Linden: characteristics and care guide

Tilia platyphyllos

El Linden It is an imposing tree that grows in the forests of the Northern Hemisphere. With a height of up to 30 meters and a crown diameter of up to 10m, it is a perfect plant to have as an isolated specimen in large gardens. It does not require special care, so if you do not have much experience in green care, this plant will give you great satisfaction.

Get to know this amazing tree in depth.

Basswood characteristics

Linden flowers

The linden is a genus of trees that includes about 30 species, the best known being the tillia cordata and tillia platyphyllos. All of them have deciduous leaves, which reach incredible sizes as we mentioned at the beginning, and can live up to 900 years.. The leaves are light green, have serrated edges, and are up to 20cm wide. The flowers are aromatic, and are shaped like yellow clusters.

They are very beloved plants, as they provide very good shade and are very decorative. Let's know how to take care of them.

Care

Trunk of Tilia platyphyllos

If we want to have a linden, we will need a garden with a lot of space available so that it can grow and develop properly. But it is also advisable that we take into account the following:

Location

We have to plant it full sun, at a minimum distance of 33 meters from another high floor. It is very important that we plant it at a minimum distance of 10m from any construction, as its roots could damage it.

Land

It grows in all types of soils, but prefer those that stay cool and moist.

Irrigation

Frequent in summer, somewhat rarer the rest of the year. We have to avoid waterlogging, but keep the soil moist. Thus, for example, if the weather is dry, we will water it up to 3 times a week in summer, but if it rains frequently, 2 weekly irrigations will be sufficient during that season. The rest of the year we will water it no more than 2 times / week.

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Organic fertilizer

During the growing season, that is, in spring and summer, it is highly recommended that we fertilize it with Organic fertilizers, such as horse manure or guano.

Pruning

It's not necesary, although if it grows a lot we can cut its branches in autumn or at the end of winter.

Rusticity

Withstands frosts up to -15ºC, but excessive heat (over 30ºC) hurts it.

Multiplication

If we want to have new copies, we can sow your seeds in spring. But we have to know that during the first year it is very difficult for them to germinate, since they are protected by a very hard cover. To soften it, we can subject the seeds to thermal shock, which consists of placing them in a glass of boiling water for 1 second and 24 hours in another glass with water at room temperature.

The next day, we will sow them in pots with universal growing substrate mixed with 20% perlite, and we will keep it moist.

Plagues and diseases

The most common problems are the following:

  • Roya: it is a fungus that attacks green leaves and stems. Orange bumps will appear on the affected plant. It is fought with Oxycarboxin.
  • Cottony mealybug: If the climate is hot and dry, the mealybugs will feed on the tree's sap. In principle, they are not capable of ending it, but you have to keep them at bay. To do this, it is highly recommended to treat the plant with an anti-scale insecticide, such as paraffin oil.
  • Drills: they are larvae that feed on the wood of trunks and branches, as they excavate galleries. They are fought with Fenvalerate, Bifenthrin or Deltamethrin.

Uses and properties of linden

Linden leaves

This is a tree that is planted in gardens for its incredible ornamental value. But it must also be said that it has many and very interesting medicinal properties. And, how many times have you heard that a linden can help you sleep better? Some other, right? Well then. In addition to being a natural remedy against insomnia, for which it will be enough to take an infusion with 4-5 leaves, it is often used to:

  • Soothe the headache: If you have this type of pain, prepare an infusion with 5-10 leaves.
  • Relieve foot pain: prepare an infusion of 7-10 leaves, and wash your feet.
  • Rheumatism: you can prepare an infusion with up to 10 leaves, or a poultice made with crushed leaves and flowers.
  • Colds, colds, flus: prepare an infusion with 10 grams of leaves in a liter of boiling water, and drink it three times a day.
  • Colic: to relieve them, take infusions made with 10-15 leaves several times a day.

Curiosities

Linden in autumn

Being an imposing looking tree and having such a long life expectancy, it has been regarded as a sacred element among several of the ancient Indo-European tribes.

Also, it should be noted that when the leaves fall in autumn, provide a high mineral and nutrient content hummus decomposing, which is very useful for improving poor land.

And so far the space on the linden. We hope it has helped you to learn more about this interesting tree species 🙂.


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  1.   Sofia alvarez said

    Hello, I need information about the linden root

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Sofia.
      What you need to know? 🙂
      A greeting.

      1.    Gustavo Casarotti said

        Hello MONICA, my name is Gustavo and I have a serious problem with a 33-year-old lime tree that is drying up !!! In 2015, in the spring, the leaves began to appear normally all over the tree, but when we arrived at the end of November, we noticed that they did not develop any more, they were small, we attributed it to the heat !!!! In 2016 we noticed that very few leaves appeared and especially as if it were attached to the main arms and not in most of the branches! I consulted a nursery in the area and he told me to put fertilized food at the base of the tree, where the roots would be, and the tree would notice that it remained the same! In this year I noticed in the winter many dry branches and in the part of the base as the peel of the base is peeling against the ground! right there at the base with the earth I detected an anthill at the base of the earth of small ants that is the only thing I saw, the anthill already eliminated it! but I notice the tree with many dry branches! I am united by a special affection and I would not like to lose it !!!! I look forward to your advice !!!! From already thank you very much !!!!

        1.    Monica Sanchez said

          Hello Gustavo.
          Linden trees suffer greatly from heat stroke. To help yours, I recommend doing two things:
          -First, fertilize it with fertilizers rich in nitrogen, from the beginning of spring to the end of summer. This allows you to produce healthy leaves of the right size.
          -And second, treat it with a universal fungicide. The fungi are probably hurting you.

          I also recommend you inspect the leaves, to see if they have any pests. The Red spider it is one of the most common.

          A greeting.

      2.    Eduardo said

        Hello monica, I will tell you I planted last year a linden tree came in handy with its beautiful and large leaves, I watered it every day and suddenly in this new summer I noticed that its leaves are drying from the outside, grabbed the inside and it does not give new shoots, what can I do to recover it from now, thank you very much.

        1.    Monica Sanchez said

          Hello Eduardo.
          You may be running low on compost.
          I recommend you pay it with guano, for being organic and very fast effective, in addition to its richness in nutrients.
          A greeting.

      3.    Oscar Alberto said

        Hello… I really liked all the comments… ..and it is very good to find out… .. I told you that I wanted to know what I can do with a vine that my father-in-law cut it 3 times 1 root …… it continued to grow… .now I knew that they call him falzo tilo… ..but how I see that he has so much desire to live… ..and my father-in-law is no longer there… ..I wanted to know if I can do something like a pergola… .with wire… ..and tomorrow have a good shade ... I don't want it to spread throughout the house ... any support? ... and thank you

    2.    Yo said

      Thank you very much for the time and knowledge shared in this article. I have several of these trees in my house and I didn't know what they were, until now. But I don't see mine having flowers… All this time I thought they were sterile muldeberries… I live in INdiana, USA.

      1.    Monica Sanchez said

        Hey.
        Linden trees can take years to flower. Sometimes it can even happen that a plant blooms, but that its flowering goes unnoticed (this has happened to me, with a yucca. I knew that it had bloomed when, when I looked up (the plant is about 3 and a half or four meters) , I saw the dried flowers).

        If the trees are fine, healthy, it is only a matter of time before they flourish.

        A greeting.

  2.   Sofia alvarez said

    Hello Monica, I need information about the root of the linden, it is for a reserca

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Sofia.
      What information do you need? The root system is very invasive, it can break pipes and even prevent other plants from growing around it. Therefore, you have to leave a lot of space and do not plant it less than 10m from any construction.
      A greeting.

      1.    Sofia alvarez said

        Hello Monica, it is mainly to explain how it is what function it fulfills etc.

  3.   Sofia alvarez said

    I also need to know about the linden stem to make a small description of how it is what measures it has to be thick if it is herbaceous or woody so that it serves the plant etc. And thank you very much for answering my questions.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Sofia.
      The roots of all plants have two functions: to hold them to the ground and to absorb the nutrients it contains.
      The linden trees I can't tell you exactly how long they are, but quite a bit. About 7 meters or so.
      As for the thickness, it depends. If it is the pivot, that is, the main root that is the one that serves as anchor, 1cm, but if the secondary roots are less than 0,5cm.
      It is woody.
      A greeting.

      1.    Francisco said

        I pass and read this page to know about the Linden; and I am surprised by Mónica Sánchez's response to Sofía Álvarez regarding the root system; "Pivoting Root 1 cm, Secondary Roots 0,5 cm" are a joke or it is a slip; Unless the linden is germinating and no longer with 30 meters.
        Greetings.

        1.    Monica Sanchez said

          Hello Francisco.
          Sofia asked about the thickness of the roots, not the length 🙂
          Obviously, an already grown tree has very long roots, more than 1 meter.
          A greeting.

  4.   Sofia alvarez said

    Thank you very much Monica ????

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      You're welcome 🙂

  5.   Ester said

    Good morning, I would like to know how much a linden tree grows per year! I am thinking of buying an apartment and this is the type of tree that I see when I look out the window.
    Thank you very much.
    a greeting

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello ester.
      If the conditions are right it can grow 30-40cm per year.
      A greeting.

  6.   Maria Alejandra said

    Hi Monica, I have 2 lime trees in the garden, one is just a couple of meters from my neighbor's mud wall, to which obviously, a large part of the leaves fall in autumn. He asks my permission to be able to do it on his side, in order to avoid so many leaves in his garden. I think it's going to deform it, and it's going to be unbalanced ... I don't understand the subject, but I don't think that cutting the branches that overlook your patio is good for the tree. What can be done?
    Thank you very much

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Maria Alejandra.
      The truth is that the trees even if they are yours, if there are branches that bother the neighbors they can prune them. The truth is that they can deform them a lot, so I recommend that you be the one who is in charge of pruning them, but on both sides at the end of winter. This way, it wouldn't look so weird 🙂
      A greeting.

  7.   Isabel said

    The stem of the linden tree, which is very old and thick, has come out like a giant mushroom or fungus, what happens to it, do I tear it off? Thank you very much and greetings

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello isbael.
      Sometimes it happens that fungi grow out of the trunks of old trees. It is normal.
      If you stay more calm you can treat it with fungicide, but if the plant is well it is not necessary. There are many plants that have a mutually beneficial relationship with fungi.
      A greeting.

  8.   Alexis said

    Hello Monica:
    We have a young linden tree (about 4m tall) in the garden. We planted it last year and it has held up well to date. However, for a couple of weeks a few brown spots have been coming out on the leaves, to the point that some of them end up drying out completely and falling off.
    Since it is very hot now (Madrid) I try to water it every 1-2 days (about 10/20 L direct to the ground near the trunk) and at night I pour water over it with the hose to cool it down a bit, since it does not I know if the effect on the leaves is due to drought / lack of water ...
    Could you guide me on what can happen to him?
    Thanks and good day

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Alexis.
      Could you upload a photo of a sheet to tinypic or imageshack (or another image hosting website) and copy the link here? It could be fungi, leaf miners, or even sunburn.
      A greeting.

  9.   William Ibanez said

    Hello Monica,

    We have a lime tree in the garden about 15m high. Several main branches are completely dry and from those that are not, the leaves that have sprouted are scarce and small. Some new branches have sprouted from the trunk and those do give large, intense green leaves. Much of the trunk is covered with lichen. What we must do to regain a healthy appearance. Thanks a lot!!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Guillermo.
      Have you ever paid it? If you have not done so, it is highly recommended to put a good layer of organic compost (manure, worm castings, compost) of about 3-4cm and mix a little with the earth.
      In the next spring it will sprout strongly.
      A greeting.

    2.    Cintia said

      Good Morning. I have 3 linden trees, I planted a crying year ago. The leaves fell in autumn as usual, we are already in spring (ending September) and they still do not have shoots, the trees are still completely bare. When do the leaves start to come out?

      1.    Monica Sanchez said

        Hi Cintia.
        If all goes as it should, linden leaves begin to sprout in early spring or mid-spring at the most. It depends on how cold and harsh the winter has been.
        Greetings.

  10.   Vicky said

    Hello:
    My linden, about 7 years old, started to sprout, but the buds do not finish opening
    It was perfect and about 10 leaves appeared, the rest remained as in Stand by. What I can do?
    I can't see if the leaves that came out are brown around the edges ...
    Thank you!!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Vicky.
      You may be short of food (compost). I recommend you pay it with guano, which is a very fast-effective natural fertilizer that you can find in nurseries. Cow or chicken manure would also do well (if you can get the latter fresh, leave it in the sun for ten days to dry).
      A greeting.

  11.   Denise said

    Hello good morning Monica! I wanted to know how linden is harvested? Are only the flowers removed when they open and the leaf is left? Or are they both retired?
    My idea is to harvest for home use. Thanks a lot

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Denise.
      Yes, only the flower is picked, from June to July (in the northern hemisphere). Then they are left to dry in the shade and that's it 🙂
      A greeting.

      1.    Denise said

        Thank you very much Monica !!! ?

        1.    Monica Sanchez said

          To you 🙂

  12.   Santiago said

    Good day. I wanted to know if the linden can be planted from seedlings that are born against the trunk in the ground. Or if they are simply branches that are born against the ground and from their roots down there ??? Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Santiago.
      Yes, you can do it, but it is difficult. You have to dig some trenches about 30cm deep, and then cut trying so that the plant does not run out of too much root.
      Then, infuse its base with powdered rooting hormones and plant it in a pot in semi-shade.
      A greeting.

  13.   Nora said

    Hi Monica, I have a 17-year-old linden tree, and I noticed that the bark of the trunk cracked and reveals the trunk, from the ground up to 3 meters up, you could tell me what to do, I also noticed the somewhat porous soil, thank you very much in advance

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Nora.
      You may have received more water than usual. You can cover the wound with healing paste.
      A greeting.

  14.   Vanesa said

    Hi Monica, thanks for the interesting article. With my husband we have a linden tree that is at least 25 years old, it was there before the house. Over the past two years, it has greatly lost its shading capacity, giving out smaller and smaller leaves and presenting fractions of small dry branches at random. We compare it with that of a neighbor who is 20 m away. and its foliage is totally closed. About 3 months ago, consulting a nursery, we administered a systemic insecticide (insecap) diluted in water and perforations in the trunk and fertilized it with triple 15 in 4 holes in the earth around the trunk. Please could you give us your opinion of what may be happening to him and if it is advisable to do so in the next season? It should be about 15 m. maximum. Thanks a lot.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Vanesa.
      Sometimes it happens that two sister plants, with the same parents, have different characteristics. 🙂
      It should also be borne in mind that the conditions of a garden are not exactly the same as those of the next garden.

      My advice is that, if you have not already done so, give it fast-effective organic fertilizer, such as guano. Add a thick layer -about 10cm- and mix it a little with the most superficial layer of the earth. Give it a good watering, and don't fertilize again until all the guano has been 'eaten'.
      What this will do is give the tree strength, thus allowing it to remove many leaves.

      When in doubt, ask. 🙂

      A greeting.

  15.   Almazan Hugo said

    Hello Monica
    They gave me a piece of linden trunk with a long root and from which several twigs with green leaves came out.
    We planted it on the sidewalk and it caught on but those twigs that were 20 or 30 cm were transformed into a bush full of branches and green leaves 1.5 meters high.
    How do I make it look like a tree?
    There are one or two thicker branches that come out of the ground the others are finite but they also come out of the ground
    Can you do something and at what time of year?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Almazán.
      To have a tree shape, the trunk must be left almost free of branches. Decide how tall you want the trunk to be (for example, 0m) and from there down remove all the branches. Do it in late winter or fall.
      The branches that come out of the ground must also be removed.

      If in doubt, contact us via facebook and send us a photo.

      A greeting.

  16.   Andrew said

    Could you tell me which is the fruit of the linden tree and what is it for?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Andres.
      You can see the fruit of the linden here!.
      It only serves to usher in a new generation. It has no medicinal uses.
      A greeting. 🙂

  17.   Salix said

    Hello, congratulations on the article, you offer a lot of information about the Tilo. You see, my visit to the site is motivated because I read everywhere, even in specialized bibliography, that the Linden has a fast growth and that they can reach great height. I have four lime trees, planted about 6 years ago crossing a walk, due to the consideration that the species has as a shade tree. The fact is that, during this time, the linden trees have grown surprisingly slowly, the trunk initially measured about 5 cm in diameter just arrived from the nursery, and now it will measure about 11-12. It has increased in height moderately, and in the last two years it has started to widen the crown, but it is still a very slow growth.
    The main handicaps that a non-expert can see are poor soil and what is even more evident: the condition of the extreme dry heat of the area in summer, which has achieved all these years that the edges of all the leaves were burned to early August. My doubts are: in view of the information described, what do you think could be the future of these trees? I mean: could the extreme heat of the Plateau be an insurmountable obstacle for them to one day become great shade trees? Or even if they are growing slowly, one day they can get it? Thanks a lot!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Salix.
      I am one of those people who loves to try new things. Why am I saying this? Because I have Japanese maples living - in a pot, yes - in the south of Mallorca, with temperatures of 38ºC in August and with a minimum of -1,5ºC. I also have a ginkgo, a horse chestnut ... and others that are not supposed to survive here.

      That said, it is normal for linden trees to grow slowly. They are trees that like temperate climates: mild in summer, cold in winter. Anyway, from what you say they are going at a good pace. To help them better overcome the worst of the summer, I recommend fertilizing them with chicken manure (yes, if you get it fresh, let it dry for at least 10 days in the sun. Put a good layer -about 5cm thick- around the trunk, and water, like this once a month from spring to late summer.

      Let's see if they go better that way.

      A greeting.

  18.   Beatrice Souza said

    Hello, I wanted to ask you if a linden tree recently planted by the city government has any bumps on its stem?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Beatriz.
      Without seeing it, I couldn't tell you.
      You can send a photo to our Facebook.
      A greeting.

  19.   sergio said

    Hello Monica. I have a linden tree from more than 40 years ago that has not grown much which does not bother me what happens lately that its roots are spoiling the path that is about 10 or 15 cm away. The question is whether these roots can be cut or if such an old tree can be transplanted to another place. It is in Mendoza Rep. Argentina in summer it reaches 40º and in winter 0º as maximum.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Sergio.
      Ugh, it's very, very close. It should be at least 5m away 🙁

      You can cut the roots, but moving it around being so old is very difficult.

      A greeting.

  20.   Angel Gil said

    Hello Monica, I have a 12-year-old lime tree that is very healthy, it was never pruned, I planted it in my garden, but it has no distance from the house or the dividing wall. It is 2 meters from each other and the roots are advancing a lot. The Tree seems that you see it grow …………… .. beautiful.
    Can you cut the roots from above or make a ditch 1 meter deep and build a retaining wall in the trench or some invention like that so you don't have to cut it?
    Do you know any specialist in Buenos Aires who can see or advise me.
    Thank you
    Greetings.
    Angel

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Angel.

      Building a retaining wall is a good idea. Anyway, once done, it is worth covering it with anti-rhizome cloth, or failing that with black plastic (thick) so that the roots go down and not that way.

      Regarding your last question, no, I don't know anyone. We write from Spain 🙂 Ask in nurseries or so, maybe they can help you.

      Greetings.

  21.   Standard said

    It is the second season that my linden leaves come out small and thin. I do not notice any disease in sight eg. Woodlouse. It is planted on the sidewalk, it is the tree indicated by the Municipality and I estimate that it is more than 40 years old.
    Every year I collect the flower for infusion. The aroma it gives off pervades the entire house and the neighborhood. I observe the lime trees of my neighbors and mine is the only one in these conditions.

    Atte. I hope Rta.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Norma.

      Out of curiosity, do you have cats or dogs? It can happen that when, for example, the dogs relieve themselves near the tree, it ceases to be completely healthy.

      However, if you can, it would be advisable to treat it with diatomaceous earth, which is like a white powder with insecticidal properties. In this link You have more information.

      Greetings.

  22.   Andrew said

    HELLO!!!
    they are falling !!!!! lots of leaves !!! It will be because of some plague ... there are no more ants ... I don't see anything else !!!! Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Andrea.

      If you have ants, you may also have aphids, mealybugs o White fly. In the links you have information about these pests.

      Greetings.

  23.   Gabriel said

    Hello Monica. It happens that the linden tree about ten years old in our garden (in Montevideo, Uruguay) and about 6 meters high, gives seeds but no flowers. It was pruned two years ago around the entire crown. Its trunk is about 20 cm in diameter.
    We wonder if pruning could have influenced it to stop flowering. But I have also located two lime trees in another area (which I see every day) that present the same situation (it is spring in the southern hemisphere): they are very green, healthy, covered with leaves, but they have not produced flowers (or perfume) this year .

    Thank you very much,

    Gabriel

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Gabriel.

      The linden cannot produce seeds without first having flowered, since the fruit is the fertilized ovary that had the flower in its center.

      What may happen, taking into account that the tree is already large, that it has produced few flowers and that these have gone unnoticed, remaining "hidden" among the leaves.

      Similarly, a compost or fertilizer rich in phosphorus and potassium, well applied (following the instructions for use), may help you get more flowers.

      Greetings.

    2.    Guille said

      There are varieties of linden that do not give flowers, I have one like that

  24.   Claudio said

    Hello, I bought a linden 2 years ago. It had small leaves and they fell off, as if drying and only ribs. This year, the leaves were small again and in a short time they all fell off and the branches dried up. What can be? I leave it to see if it sprouts this year ?. Thank you.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Claudio.

      Do you have it on the ground? It may be that you lack compost. Look to pay it this year with guano for example, or with chicken manure (that is dry).

      Regards!

  25.   Nacho said

    Good morning Monica, very good article and it has been very useful to me, thank you !! I have a linden in a pot a year and two months ago, which in appearance is in good health, but now I want to put it on the ground. When is the best time to do it? Now in spring it is better to wait for its vegetative stop? I live in Cantabria, which is where I will plant it.
    Greetings and thank you!!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Nacho.

      Thank you very much for your words.
      Well, living in Cantabria, I recommend doing it more at the end of winter, when you see that its buds swell. This will also give it more time to finish rooting in that pot 🙂

      Regards!

  26.   Rosana said

    Thank you very much for the work, which I think is excellent. The information has been very useful to me.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Thanks to you Rosana for your comment. We are glad to know that it has been useful to you.

  27.   Angel said

    I live in the city of Formosa with average temperatures of 35°. Plant a lime tree this year, it will prosper or it will dry out in the heat.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Angel.

      The linden is a tree of temperate climates, which needs frost during the winter.
      It might survive if it freezes or snows at some point, but not if the weather is warm all year.

      Greetings.

  28.   pink leash said

    I have a young Linden tree that I have kept in a pot until today when I planted it. Although I have kept it moist the leaves are turning yellow (note: it has already given some flower clusters and will be about 2 meters tall although the trunk is thin). Is it normal for the leaves to turn yellow at this time or could it mean that it has not withstood the temperatures of up to 40 degrees that have occurred here? I would not like it to die

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello rosa.
      It may have been affected by the heat, yes, but also by planting it in the ground at this time. Transplants, especially if they are from a pot to the ground, must be done at the end of winter, when the tree begins to wake up from winter but has not yet begun to grow (or in other words: when the buds begin to »swell »).

      But hey, now that it's done, all you have to do is wait and take care of it like you did when it was in a pot. All the best!

  29.   Anabella Raffo said

    I have a lime tree that is almost 50 years old. This spring green leaves have fallen in quantity. And many leaves are kind of shrunken at the edges. What could be the problem? Thank you very much. Anabella

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Anabella.
      You may have a pest. If you can, get a magnifying glass (there are even mobile applications that use the camera as a magnifying glass).
      And look to see. I'll pass you a article about the most common plant pests.
      A greeting.