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Who's Snacking on Your Ficus Hedges?

Ficus hedges and trees are under attack by fig whiteflies. First observed in Homestead in early 2007, fig whiteflies have since spread through Miami-Dade County and north through Broward and Palm Beach Counties, leaving a wide path of defoliation along streets and property lines. A loss of leaves is the most obvious symptom of a whitefly infestation.

Check your ficus hedge regularly by shaking the shrub and looking for gnat like insects flying about. After trimming bag clippings or remove from the site to prevent spreading. If hedges have a major leaf loss they wont need as much water, so this is not a time to increase water it will only rot the roots. The bare twigs "may" still be alive producing new leaves over a four week period after treatment. Treating the entire bush is best done by drenching the base of each plant with the proper systemic insecticide and nutrients. Treatment will last from 4-8 months. It is best not to use a foliar spray as this kills all beneficial insects and washes off easily in the sprinklers or rain. Call PRESTIGE today to develop a action plan for whitefly treatment.

April through July is also a good time to start hedge replacement, their are many alternatives to ficus and many even require less care. We are currently working on a project that replaces all the ficus hedges in a project over a two year period, by breaking it down this way this association was able to fit it into 3 budget years. Below is a list of some suitable replacements:

For Taller Hedges

  • Ligustrum
  • Silver Buttonwood
  • Areca Palm
  • Podocarpus

For Shorter Hedges

  • Coco Plum
  • Podocarpus
  • Viburnum
  • Simpson Stopper
  • Croton

All these plants and many others can be installed directly from our nursery, so give us a call today and lets work out the details.

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