pepperhead212
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Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Indoor citrus question

I have two kaffir lime trees in pots, which I have to bring in every fall, and this year something happened that has only happened once before (the old one is 12 years old!), and I am wondering what it is. A bunch of sticky little droplets accumulated on some of the leaves. There seems to be nothing wrong with the plants, and these sticky droplets rinse off easily, as if it is sugar of some sort, which is why I put them outside today, when it is raining! I'm just wondering what this is, should I be concerned about it, and why it has only happened twice in all these years?
Dave

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Indoor citrus question

I want to say scale insects. Right now, with days of the rain outside, ants have been coming in the house here, looking for dry place to move their babies -- they like to move in to my container plants inside. I am positive they are the source of scale and aphid infestation that spontaneously appear.

Do you think it's warm enough to move the kaffir out? I've moved almost all my other citruses outside for the season... I wasn't sure about kaffir.
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imafan26
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Re: Indoor citrus question

I agree it is probably honeydew from insect feeding. You look for the insects under the leaf above where it is sticky. They particularly like to hit the citrus when it is flush with new leaves. Either that or someone dropped some sugar solution on it.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

pepperhead212
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Posts: 1709
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Indoor citrus question

It's definitely the scale - once I got them outside, where I could examine them better, and most of the scale is on the stems, which seemed strange. I got a terrible infestation of those another year - I'm sure that year with the "sticky stuff" all over them, and many of the leaves had them underneath, and curled up from them. I got rid of them using some pyrethrin spray, followed by orange oil. Now, when I take any plants indoors, I spray them several times with that orange oil, which seems to eleminate just about anything, though these things must have been brought in later on.

I have read somewhere that kaffir limes are resistant down to a brief frost, so I figure they're OK in the high 40s. I always put them out a little earlier than the curry tree, which I've heard is resistant down to 50°.
Dave



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