Monday, March 10, 2008

Bonsai infestation

hi, I received a bonsai tree (ficus I believe) for Christmas and love it. Tonight however, I noticed it had a lot of yellow leaves. Closer investigation showed a hollow 2 inch area in the the middle tree trunk (it has three twisted trunks) and a bunch of brown tiny eggs(?) and brown bug carcasses. I really don't want this plant to die, and there are still a lot of lovely green leaves. What are these bugs and how can I get rid of them in order to save my plant?



Anne's Response:

Insecticidal soap can be sprayed on the trunk of the tree to smother the insects and eggs. Take it outdoors on a warm day to spray as it is messy and the odor is not that pleasant. Leave the spray on the plant for about an hour and then wash it off and bring the plant back inside. The yellow leaves may be from another cause entirely. Ficus resents being moved; they do loose a lot of leaves in the winter so check the base of the yellow leaves to see if there is a sign of new leaves beginning to emerge. You may also want to check the soil moisture to make sure it is not “sopping wet” because that causes root rot and yellow leaves. A slow release plant food may supply enough nitrogen to produce greener leaves.

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