So we've all been there - clearly there's something wrong with your plant, but what?! Lucky for you, when it comes to houseplants, the G&T crew have seen it ALL. Think of us as your plant GP - there's no shame in your foibles here.

In this installment, we look at sticky leaves and how to train your plant.

My evergreen Jasmine has been looking very sad and has started to get a sticky substance and white flecks on its leaves and bumps along its stem - what's happened to it?!

Uh oh! Looks like a sure sign of a scale infestation to me. Scale can be hard to spot initially as they look kind of woody, but they will suck your plant dry if left unchecked. The stickiness on the leaf is honeydew secreting from leaves that have been monched by the scale, this will be followed by browning or yellowing off the leaves and eventual death of the plant. 

Scale is one of the more persistent pests to tackle, but not impossible. Firstly, isolate the infested plant from others you have near it immediately to make sure that these pesky buggers don't spread. Once you've done this, give the poorly plant a good wash down with a clean cloth soaked in a solution of washing up liquid and water - roughly 1:5 ratio. You can also get yourself something call neem oil, which is a natural pesticide and scale HATES it, so give it a spray with this after washing. Repeat these processes weekly as needed!

For very bad infestations, a re-potting might also be beneficial - give you pot a good clean and knock of as much of the old soil as you can without damaging the plant.

My philodendron is crazy long! I've just been letting it trail but now it's so long and I want to train it up the wall, can I do this?

First off, well done on growing yourself a monster philodendron! Plants like philodendrons can be trained once they're established, just gently wind and weave the stems onto the desired structure - you may need to add fishing wire, hooks or a trellis. It wants to be secure, but not suffocated, or worse - snapped, so remember to handle with care!

Not all plants are so easily trained, so if you have a plant you know to grow up something, we always suggest starting this as soon as you get it. You can do this using moss poles or canes for a free standing plant, or if you're growing it up a wall you're going to need to put something in place for it to grow up - a trellis or fishing wire works well. Just weave your plant into the structure as it grows, gently tying it into place as needed.

Are you in need of some Agony Plant expertise? Drop us an email to for some houseplant wisdom!

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