Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Cut, cut, cut!

You do this with your essays, stories, novels and nails when they ramble, outgrow and waffle.

Oh you do this with plants too.

Today I had to make the unfortunate decision to cut down to two stumps my 16 year old ficus tree.

It was a sad and hard decision to make but unfortunately these horrid pests invaded it:

Bountiful bloggie friends, these are Scales.

I researched how to get rid of these nasty beasts organically, chemically and manually (every day I’d run a wet paper towel on each leaf, each branch squishing these nasty beasties) but these incredible insects just multiplied and went forth!

The annoying thing they do is secrete a honey-like substance not just on the leaves and bark but on the flooring too, killing the leaves and making the flooring sticky.

So out came the secateurs and snip, snip! I feel sad because this plant was 6 inches tall when I bought it for 10p and it grew to over 5 ft.

It came with me to every house move and stayed with me through many relationship break-ups and family trauma. It grew lush and tall while I remained stunted emotionally and physically! LOL!

I’m hoping that in time and with a lot of tlc, it’ll revive soon enough!

Charlie says: About time - my footsy pads were all icky after walking near that plant!

Have a pest free Wednesday everyone!


Kea said...

Yuck, those "scales" must be disgusting!

It is rather difficult to cut back -- or get rid of -- plants you've had for years. I've had to do both, but I tend to be more ruthless now. Actually, the cats have managed to "kill" most of the plants over the years, so that I have very few left. I do have a pepperomia I can't kill off, in spite of having tried. And pothos--you can't kill those either, it would seem.

Well, if the roots on your fiscus are okay, it should come back...right? Fingers crossed!

And what a great shot of Charlie's floofy tail! :-)

HubbleSpacePaws said...

Awwwww.... we'll be wishin' your ficus well... a brand new start. Glad the scalies are gone, though. Pests are no fun at all.

Brian said...

Those don't sound like nice little bugs at all, yuck! I love your picture Charlie, that is quite the handsome tail!

Beth said...

Yuck! So sorry Jenn! I know that was heartbreaking!

Beth said...

Yuck! So sorry Jenn! I know that was heartbreaking!

Theresa Milstein said...

"It came with me to every house move and stayed with me through many relationship break-ups and family trauma. It grew lush and tall while I remained stunted emotionally and physically!"

I know you added, "LOL" but I think there are these objects we take with us that are sometimes like anchors. When we lose them, it makes us think about how long they've been there. Steady.

Maybe it's my stomach virus talking.

I'm sorry about your plant. My mother-in-law has lots of plants. When they get aphids she washes them over and over. But some can't be saved.

Pruning a plant can be like editing. Nice analogy.

KarenG said...

I hope your tree grows back up healthy & tall. I just planted my garden. Well, half of it. Tomatoes, cucumbers, summer & winter sqaush. Then I watered it. I feel so proud of myself. I'm going to go sit outside and just stare at the cultivated dirt.

Katnip Lounge said...

Charlie, may your paw pads remain sticky free!
I mourn your ficus with you; I "lost" a succulent during the move from Chicago to Vegas...I still miss that plant! Geez, maybe I need some help letting go...LOL!
KatMom Trish

Susan Fields said...

Oh no - we don't want Charlie to have icky footsy pads! I'm sorry your plant had those nasty beasties on it - that's another reason I don't keep houseplants. (The first being that with a husband, three kids, a dog, a cat, and a fish living in this house, I can't have one more thing depending on me for its survival.) :)

Bossy Betty said...

I would have hated to cut it down too!

Hope Charlie's paws are better soon!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Oh, that is horrible! It is so hard to grow a ficus. My fingers are crossed for you and your tree. (I'm sentimental too...I have a 11 year old Christmas Cactus.)

The Chair Speaks said...

Do clean your paw pads properly Charlie. Wouldn't want you tummy to get upset.

Dangerous With a Pen said...

omg, look at that beautiful furry kitty!!!! I am totally not a cat person and I heart your cat. :) We have a Chow Chow so I am a furry beast kinda girl. :)

Sorry your ficus got attacked by nasties. Funny, we have a history with a ficus, too! But the buggies that vex me are stinkbugs. GAHHH.

lupie said...

Charlie must now feel "big" beside the ficus tree! I hope Charlie don't gnaw on the stumps!

Those mini beasts look familiar...I had the same problem with trying to grow a little "lime" plant - I gave up!!
I tried so many "elimination methods" but they were so resilient!

Anyway ..

We (bin + cats...) thinks the stump will grow into a big magnificient ficus tree! Bigger and better than before! :)

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

:( oh poor plant. did you know that here in Greece they paint the stumps of trees with whitewash (limestone) to prevent disease? It works :)

India Drummond said...

That looks familiar.. I think one of my stories has scales.

Jacqueline said...

Sorry about your plant, I understand you are emotionally attached, but it should grow back more full and beautiful as ever!...LoveLoveLove Charlies fluffy furs; that handsome boy is just irresistible!...xo...Calle, Halle, Sukki

Brigid said...

Aw, that's such a pity,
I agree with Theresa, that is a beautiful paragraph about your faithful plant, would make a great start to a short story.
Your plant is a bit like my poor old 'Lottie' car, they've been with us and still are, no matter how battered they are.

Lexi said...

Like you, I don't use pesticides.

The easiest way to remove scale insects is with sticky tape, though it's virtually impossible to catch them all on a large plant. I know, I have them on my balcony. The ants were farming them, so first I had to deter the ants.

My advice is, as your plant regrows, to keep a beady eye on it and remove any surviving scale insects as you see them.

Winston said...

Pests are bad on plants and kittehs :(
This is a great pic of Charlie!

Marg said...

That is very sad, that you had to cut that tree down. I love ficus trees but I don't have a house that has enough light. I had one in the place where I used to live but gave it away when I moved.
Charlie, your tail is just gorgeous. Big and black and so fluffy.
Have a very fine day.

Hannah and Lucy said...

What a magnificent tail you have Charlie - we would like to snuggle up for a nap with it. We are sorry your Mum's plant got invaded and hope it grows back OK.

laughingwolf said...

bleah! :(

will you not have to get rid of the old soil, as well?

they hide there?

good thinking, charlie ;)

tekorin said...

Oh it is a sad story....

We had a big plant like yours,too. But Ku-suke ruined it digging and pooping there...
Our mommy was very sad for the plant,too...
But the big difference is YOU didn't do it ,Charlie.
You are a smart kitty!!
Ku-suke was very naughty when he was a kitty.

Talli Roland said...

Ew! Poor tree, and poor you and Charlie for having to walk through sticky bits on the floor!

The tree willl grow again though!

(PS - Loved the bookshop in Wood Green! You should go back to your old stomping ground!)

Anonymous said...

Uggh! Poor plant :(

You've now got me wondering if that's what happened to a mini ficus I used to have, damn thing just wouldn't thrive at all...

notesfromnadir said...

Too bad you had to resort to that but as you did your research you found out that was the only way. Sure hope it grows back better than ever.

Charlie looks like he needs his rest from all that walking about on a sticky surface!

ABBY said...

Unfortunately we are allowed NO indoor plants.Ping would eat them. So to avoid any more drama,all my plants are outdoors where they are safe from Ping's palate. But, I tend to be rather quick with the snippers because I know how much a plant/tree/shrub loves a good wack!


We are sure your ficus will come back stronger and bigger than ever.


Whirlochre said...

I hate foliage molluscs.

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Yuck! I haven't seen those before! I am sure that your tree will come back - they are usually much more resiliant then you realize. We had a tree at my dad's house that I thought had died - it was after he passed away and it just didn't get the attenion it needed being there. Then the next year it had new leaves and stalks growing! So we moved it to our house and it is doing very well! Sometimes cutting back is the best thing for it!

TK & Squashies said...

Hey Charlie, you should so join the Cow Kitty Club.
Go to Sammy and Andy and send them a picture of you. We can be Cow Kitties together!