I have a friend who gave me this plant to look after. They were concerned it was dying and want me to bring it back. Can anyone tell me what it is? On closer inspection, it produces a sticky sap substance from branch and leaf. It’s about 7 ft tall and wispy. It is non-flowering and I believe it’s a tree verses a bush or shrub. The top roots look light tan, possibly a fungus?

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  • 2
    Welcome! Could you please first take the tour and browse through the help center, especially How to Ask, then edit your post to include more details and fewer abbreviations (this site has users from all over the world!). For a good identification, always include a closeup and a photo of the whole plant. The more details, the better - is it an outdoor or indoor plant? Anything you find characteristic (the bit about the sap is a good detail!)?
    – Stephie
    Jan 24, 2021 at 8:25
  • 1
    What do "Cali" (presumably California) or "CO" (presumably Colorado) have to do with your question?
    – Niall C.
    Feb 24, 2021 at 0:01

2 Answers 2


It's a eucalyptus leaf ficus. They're quite hardy, though in Colorado you should bring it indoors in the fall. (Or it's a eucalyptus but I'm assuming you already know what a eucalyptus smells like.)

The ficus is cool because they have a process called guttation--basically a plant sweating process. They excrete extra moisture.

From the soil and root description, I think you may be overwatering. Try cutting down on watering. Too much watering can cause roots to die (the browning could be root rot from being too wet, check if you have soft roots). When roots die, there's less water coming up to the plant, which can cause some leaves to look dry/wilted. Less water should also help control fungus if it is infected (I can't say for sure from photo)


The strap-like leaves, sticky sap and the fact it is 7 feet tall in a pot point to the plant possibly being an Oleander (Nerium oleander) (I chose that link since it mentions the sap and underlines its toxicity). See if you can compare your plant with the many pictures of oleanders at various stages of maturity, compare the bark you see, possible dead flowers, fruit capsules and so on and give us some feedback.

Oleanders are heavy feeders and send out strong root systems so it could be your plant has simply outgrown its pot or exhausted the resources. Nothing much interferes with oleander since it is so poisonous despite having an attractive flower. If you have the authority, pull the plant from its pot, if it has formed a clump you could try to divide up the root and repot separate pieces, otherwise propagation is by cuttings. In all cases use disposable gloves and take very great care to avoid contact dermatitis. Otherwise just cut it back and it should re-grow.

  • Hi Colin, thanks for the response. I looked up the Oleanders and I don’t believe this fits. I took more pictures to help out. But There are a decent amount of worms and insects in the soil. It’s in a fair large pot but I think repotting it and starting over may help. See the update photos above.
    – Awright
    Jan 24, 2021 at 21:50

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