Ficus plants are also known as weeping figs and are members of the Moraceae family. Commonly kept indoors, ficus plants are characterized by glossy evergreen leaves. Ficus plants are susceptible to pests and diseases which cause white spots on leaves and stems.
Certain diseases, such as powdery mildew, cause white spots on ficus plants. This is a fungal disease which is often the result of insect infestations. Scale insects are tan in color, but often appear white when living on ficus plants.
Powdery mildew on ficus plants can produce symptoms such as a white fungal coating on leaves and stems, twisting leaves, small leaf size and premature leaf drop. Scale insects are small, oval or flat and have a shell on their bodies. Scale insects are typically scattered on leaves and stems of infected plants.
Powdery mildew is often controlled with the use of fungicides on plants. Applying fungicides at the first sign of disease is important to controlling disease development. Scale insects are typically difficult to control. Spraying ficus plants with insecticides made for houseplants may eliminate or control scales.