white crystals on figs and leaves

biagio1September 22, 2009

I have fig trees in pots and noticed a lot of hard white crystals that look like salt on leaves and figs. Is that a problem? Note: they are not aphids.

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i get that as well and they are not bugs, sometimes i notice white spots as well and sometimes also little tiny white flakes as you call crystals, personally i seen this for years on my leafs and think its something from the air and or the humidity causing it, there is no harm though to the leaves nor plant in my case.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 12:54PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You may be describing cystolyths, a normal part of the leaf anatomy of plants in the family 'Moracea'. Inside the cystolyths are hard grape-like clusters of CaCO3 crystals known as lythocysts.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 4:01PM
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bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

you mean like this?


    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 7:16PM
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Bass, I'm getting damage like that, but I think it's from an insect.
This is what the it looks like when fresh.

This flew up from the pot when I was looking at the sap droplets. It was identified by a kind researcher from Ohio State as a Plume Moth.

He didn't think this caused the damage which is just a tiny pinhole that leaks sap.
I've seen this damage on both ripe and unripe fruit. When it dries on ripe fruit, it looks like yours. When it dries on upripe fruit (more latex) it is whitish.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 9:14PM
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Unfortuntely my white crystals do not look like either of the photos from Bass or fignut. Rather , the crystals are very small, hard, white and look just like a grain of salt. They look a bit like droppings from an insect but I don't see any insects.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 10:14PM
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This is the first time I see it on my figs. Not all the variants but mostly on Malta & Marseillies VS. It is exactly like what fignut described. I saw a wasp on the green figs, just crawling about and I shoo it away.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 10:38PM
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i will look tomorrow if i see them i will take picture, i know what your talking about but i dont know what it is, if you blow on them come off easily almost like a spec of dandruff for lack of better words, crystal is a good one though, Hope i can spot some tomorrow and post pictures.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 12:17AM
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ok i looked at the other forum i go to often and looked it up but i never posted a picture but there is one look at post 4 and click on picture.
Mine are not as dramatic but more crytal like you describe , never the less i try to capture them with camera tomorrow.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=3459497&highlight=white+spots

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 12:24AM
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perhaps this is what you are seeing. I get this each year on some leaves .
I have no idea what it is .

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 10:00AM
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Put a drop or two of regular white vinegar on those crystals. If it is CaCO3 (calcium carbonate) it will react with it. You will see small bubbles of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas evolving as a result of the chemical reaction. The vinegar will eventually dissolve all of the calcium carbonate crystal if in fact that is what it is.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 12:11PM
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I will try that tomorrow useing an eye type of dropper to see what happens, i will report back with what happens .
Thanks for the suggestion Dan

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 1:44PM
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Here was my experience this morning right around sunrise, i was out on patio with my dogs and noticed what seemed like single strand lines of spider silk going from fig plant to fig plant after i walked into them thats when i seen them, mind you we have had 9 days of humid foggy mornings according to weather man and i think that is accurate.But several hours later when i go back out and fog burns off those singular strands are gone, not sure if there is a relation to those crystals on leaves. I did use dropper and vinegar this morning on a bunch of those crystal like spots and there was no reaction and they never disapeared. I observed them with a jewlers eye piece. Also looking at them with the eye piece they look like a itsy bitsy pieces of cotton instead of actual salt type crystals, with my eyes they did look like salt crystals before but with eye piece they are not they resemble real tiny pieces of cotton.
Is it possible those silk strands starting point from the leaves dry up and thats whats left on the leaf? I do get the occasional typical spider web along with lady bugs and never bother them as i feel they fend off the other little critters that can go on the plants.I really dont have a clue as to what those little white things are but they dont seem to be harmful as stated before i seen them in past years and my plants leaves seem to be ok.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 11:27AM
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