Preventing Costly Insect Damage

Previously thought to be invulnerable to pests, diseases and drought, the Ficus (Ficus benjamina) was the customary plant for perimeter hedges. That was until the whitefly invaded.

Like a tornado, the Fig whitefly hit the urban landscape and attacked the long-held standard of hedges and, for the last five years, South Florida has had to contend with one of the most tenacious pests ever seen.

While chemical insect treatments have proven to be effective at keeping these troublesome bugs at bay, bi-annual treatments can be costly. Recent evidence also suggests that with each new infestation, the Ficus is slower to recover, if at all. And in time, plants die anyway as a result of years of cumulative stress. Older plants are particularly susceptible.

Possibly even more destructive than the Fig whitefly is the Fusarium Wilt of Queen Palms. It has been the cause of a steady and consistent, rapid death of Queen Palms and Washingtonia palms in the South Florida since 2003. The University of Florida has determined the culprit to be Fusarium oxysporum, for which there is no cure.


Commercial property owners and managers should be aware that Ficus, Queen Palms and Washingtonia palms are not viable options anymore. A number of our clients are no longer investing in preventative maintenance treatments that do not yield long-term positive result. Instead, they are budgeting to replace these plants and benefiting from a secondary value: improved curb appeal.

We recommend assessing your property’s landscape to see if you too should start planning for the future today.

For a more personalized and complimentary consultation, contact the professionals at Nanak’s Landscaping!