Major physiological problems
 Major fungal pathogens
 Bacterial pathogens
 Major insect and mite pests

Group Title: ARC-A foliage plant research note - Agricultural Research and Education Center - RH-83-C
Title: Brassaia and Schefflera
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066497/00001
 Material Information
Title: Brassaia and Schefflera
Series Title: ARC-A foliage plant research note
Physical Description: 7 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Conover, Charles Albert, 1934-
Chase, A. R ( Ann Renee )
Osborne, L. S
Agricultural Research Center (Apopka, Fla.)
Publisher: University of Florida, IFAS, Agricultural Research Center-Apopka
Place of Publication: Apopka FL
Publication Date: 1983
Subject: Foliage plants -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Foliage plants -- Diseases and pests -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 7).
Statement of Responsibility: C.A. Conover, A.R. Chase, and L.S. Osborne.
General Note: Caption title.
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066497
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 71222723

Table of Contents
    Major physiological problems
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Major fungal pathogens
        Page 3
    Bacterial pathogens
        Page 4
    Major insect and mite pests
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida


C. A. Conover, A. R. Chase and L. S. Osbornel
University of Florida, IFAS
Agricultural Research Center Apopka
ARC-A Foliage Plant Research Note RH-1983-C

The popular Brassaia actinophylla (Schefflera) has been widely grown fr

many years in Florida as an indoor foliage plant, while Schefflera arboricola

(Dwarf Schefflera) has been of major importance since the mid 1970s. Both:

schefflera and dwarf schefflera can be grown in full sun, but most plants are

produced in 47 to 55% shade (approximately 6,000 foot-candles). High quality

plants can be grown at this light level with a 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer, such

as 9-3-6 or 18-6-12 analysis at a rate of 1800 to 2400 lbs N/acre/year

(equivalent to 41 to 55 lbs N/1000 sq ft/year) plus micronutrients. Both

slow release and liquid fertilizer sources have been successfully used.

Higher fertilizer levels will be necessary to produce plants of good quality

if higher light levels are provided, but plants will not be acclimatized.

Potting media used for schefflera must have good aeration, especially if

plants are grown where they are subjected to rainfall, since root loss may be
extensive during rainy periods when soil oxygen' levels are low. Schefflera

will tolerate 35 to 1050F without chilling or heat damage, but best growth and

quality occur between 65 and 90F.


1) Low root oxygen levels

Symptoms Wilted or droopy appearance following rainy periods with

subsequent non-pathogen root loss. Occurs on plants grown outdoors,
in shadehouses or in greenhouses when plants are watered excessively

and grown in potting media with poor aeration.

Professor and Center Director, Assistant Professor Plant Pathology, and
Assistant Professor Entomology, respectively.

Control Corrective measures are similar tc

since pathogens almost always invade dama

be prevented by utilizing potting media %

pore space and reducing water application

2) Cold weather yellowing of plants

Symptoms Plants develop an overall light c

when soil temperature drops below 60F dL

Control Keep soil at 650F or above, or spr

mixture containing iron, manganese, copper

after soil temperatures rise above 650F,

normal green color without treatment.

3) Excessive soluble salts

Symptoms Brown edges on newer foliage and

beneath large amounts of slow release fey

Control Check fertilizer rates to be sure

water sources to be sure they are below
containers with 2 to 4 inches of water t(

Spread slow release fertilizers evenly or

4) Fertilizer imbalances

Symptoms Tall, thin and medium green plan

while plants with dark green, soft, flop!

receiving excessive amounts.

Control Recheck fertilizer rates, compare

proper amounts.


There are several important diseases of sc

which are found on plants in Florida. The most

treatment for root rots,

ied roots. The problem can

th at least 10% noncapillary

'een to yellowish appearance

'ing cold winter periods.

ty plants with a microelement

' and zinc. About 2 weeks

plantss will return to the

)artial root death, especially

tilizer on one side of a-pot.

they are not excessive and-

)00 ppm soluble salts. Leach

rapidly reduce-salts levels.


s are often lacking in fertilizer

/ leaves are probably

to recommended level and apply


efflera and dwarf schefflera

serious of these is Alternaria

leaf spot. Although there are several fungi causing other leaf spots of these

plants, they appear to be most serious on plants produced under open conditions

and subject to rainfall and wind such as those found in South Florida. The

only serious bacterial disease of these plants occurs on dwarf schefflera and

is caused by a species of Pseudomonas. All of the diseases listed here can be
avoided through use of strict sanitation, including growing in enclosed

structures off the ground with sterile pots and potting media and keeping

foliage dry.


1) Alternaria leaf spot (Alternaria panax)

Symptoms Large, dark brown to black leaf spots anywhere on the leaf
and sometimes on stems. Severe infections commonly result in leaf

drop and give the plant a sparse appearance which can be confused with

similar leaf loss associated with root rot. Leaf spots appear wet and
can spread in a few days to encompass the entire leaf.--This disease

occurs on both schefflera and dwarf schefflera.

Control Several chemicals control Alternaria leaf spot on schefflera,
but generally cause some phytotoxicity. Maneb compounds appear to be
the safest, although none are currently labeled for schefflera.
Keeping the foliage dry will completely control this disease without
any need for fungicides.

2) Damping-off

Symptoms Poor germination and emergence or seedling Toss after emergence.
Many organisms including Alternaria, Fusarium, Phytophthora, Pythium
and Rhizoctonia are responsible for this disease.

Control Diagnosis of the causal organism is the most important step

toward control of damping-off diseases. Benlate, Banrot, Subdue and

Truban are all registered for use on these plants and each controls

certain of the damping-off pathogens listed. Banrot or a combination

of Benlate and Subdue or Truban offer a broad spectrum of root rot


3) Phytophthora leaf spot (Phytophthora parasitica)

Symptoms Essentially the same as Alternaria leaf spot except that the

leaf spots generally appear on lower leaves close to the ground first.

The disease occurs on both forms of schefflera.
Control Again, many fungicides cause phytotoxicity on schefflera, but

Banrot or Subdue should provide control of Phytophthora leaf spot.

Treatments must include drenching potting media and the-soil around

the pots if the plants are grown on the ground. Zineb is not labeled,
but has been shown to provide good control.


1) Pseudomonas leaf blight (Pseudomonas cichorii)

Symptoms Leaf spots are found primarily on margins of dwarf schefflera

and are initially small, water-soaked areas, rapidly enlarging and

turning black. Severe leaf drop is common and the overall appearance

of plants is quite similar to those infected with Alternaria leaf spot.

Schefflera is also slightly susceptible to this bacterial disease.

Control Bactericides can be used, but are not very successful in control-

ling this bacterial leaf spot. Control must be based on maintenance

of dry foliage and removal of infected leaves and/or plants from the

growing area to reduce spread to healthy plants.


Safe Unsafe

Banrot Agristrep
Benlate Captan
Copper (some formulations) Chipco 26019
Manzate Copper (some
Subdue 2E formulations)
Subdue 2E
Truban Daconil 2787

Pesticides were tested at recommended rates and intervals.


There are a number of serious mite and insect pests which attack schefflera.

Most of these are easily controlled on other host plants, but B. actinophylla

presents problems as it is one of the most susceptible foliage plants to pesti-

cide damage. In the section for each pest, a few of the many registered and

effective pesticides will be listed. For a complete listing, please consult

the references at the end of this report.

1) Aphids

Symptoms Aphids are pear-shaped, soft-bodied insects-which vary in color

from light green to dark brown. Infestations frequently go undetected

until honeydew or sooty mold is observed. Aphids can cause distortion

of new growth or, in extreme cases, infested plants will be stunted.

Control There are no materials which give good control without causing

some phytotoxicity. Orthene seems to be one of the-safer materials.

2) Mealybugs

Symptoms Mealybug egg masses appear as white, cottony masses in leaf

axils,. on the lower surfaces of leaves and on roots. Honeydew and

sooty mold are often present, and infested plants become stunted and,

with severe infestations, plant parts begin to die.

Control Systemic materials are preferred. Examples of chemicals which

have systemic activity are: Dimethoate, Disyston, Metasystox-R, and

Orthene. Bendiocarb appears to be as effective as some of the systemic


3) Scales

Symptoms Infested plants become weakened or stunted.and begin to die.

Scales can be found feeding on leaves, petioles or stems. Their -

shapes, sizes and colors are variable, but many are hard to distin-

guish from the plant material on which they are feeding.

Control See Mealybugs.

4) Thrips

Symptoms Infested leaves become curled or distorted, with silvery-gray

scars where feeding has occurred.

Control Many materials are registered and effective in controlling


5) Mites

Symptoms Two spotted spider mites are very small and sometimes go

unnoticed until plants begin to turn yellow or become speckled due to

the feeding of this pest. Webbing, loss of leaves and plant death

can occur when mite populations reach high levels.

Control Mites can be controlled with either Vendex or Pentac. The

critical point in any control program is to obtain thorough coverage

with the spray. The best control program is to minimize the possibility of

introducing mites into the growing area on infested material.


Safe Unsafe Questionable

Dipel Dimethoate EC Diazinon EC
Disyston EC Enstar Dursban EC
Kelthane EC FC-435 Oil Dylox LS
Malathion EC + Furadan G Lannate
FC-435 Oil Kelthane WP Malathion EC
Pentac WP Metasystox-R EC Omite WP
Systox EC Morestan WP Orthene SP
Temik G Plictran WP Sevin WP
Thuricide EC Resmethrin EC Vydate EC
Vendex WP Tedion EC

Pesticides were tested at recommended rates and intervals.


1. Chase, A. R. 1983. Phytotoxicity of some fungicides .used

on tropical

foliage plants. ARC-Apopka Research Report, RH-83-2.

2. Short, D. E. 1978. Phytotoxicity of insecticides and miticides to

foliage and woody ornamental plants. Extension Entomology Report #57.

3. Short, D. E., L. S. Osborne, and R. W. Henley. 1982. 1982-83 Insect

and related arthropod management guide for commercial foliage and woody

plants in Florida. Extension Entomology Report #52.

4. Simone, G. W. 1982. Disease control pesticides for foliage production-

1982. Extension Plant Pathology Report #30.

Mention of a commercial or proprietary product or of a pesticide in
this paper does not constitute a recommendation by the authors, nor
does it imply registration under FIFRA as amended.

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