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Ficus Trees

Q.neem oil to take care of ficus plant

Zone NYC | Jean-Paul Le fevre added on September 29, 2014 | Answered

I bought neem oil to take care of ficus plant disease as well as black bugs in my African violet potting mix (miracle-gro!) but cannot find any info on how to use it. Does it need to be mixed with water, sprayed on plant directly or on the dirt? Ficus with sticky leaves falling and dirt bugs from potting soil.

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Answered on October 2, 2014

There should be mixing directions on the package. I recommend that if there are no mixing directions, you should contact the maker; you should be able to do this on line. For 70% neem oil formulations, the usual mix is 1 tsp in a quart of warm water; 1/2 tsp of mild dish soap can be added for extra effectiveness. This mixture is put into a spray bottle and sprayed on the plant, especially up onto the undersides of the leaves and down into the leaf axils (where leaf stem and main stem join) and all along the branches. Spraying should be done at weekly intervals for 4 weeks. This will take care of the aphids or scale, which are causing the sticky leaves.
If you leave out the soap, you can pour the mixture onto the soil, where it has a certain amount of systemic value. You'll probably need to mix up more than a quart of the stuff for use on the soil, but use whatever you mix right away.
I don't know about the black bugs in the soil, unless they are little flying bugs, like fruit flies almost - these are known as fungus gnats. If you have these, the most important defense is to allow the plant soil to dry more between waterings. The neem oil might help with those also. Here are some articles that should help you learn more about neem oil, as well as insects and ficus trees.

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