Fukien tie problem


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Hi all, i managed to take some pics today. This fukean was my first bonsai given to me as a bday present. Obviously when it was bought it had alot of leaves and now its dying or i don't know what is happening, i have tried alot of things to try to keep it alive but then on the other hand the tree won't die.

It was indoor for most of the winter, read all i could have read giving it love and water and good daylight. All the flower buds died before opening flowers and all leaves curved on their own turn brown and fell. The tree still continue to have new leaves but when they get their full growth they do the same so the tree was never back to its origin alot of leaves. Now it is still having leaves and tbh its has more then usual but still some of them are curving and dying. It has now been outside for about a month but i need help to do anything i can to keep her healthy. Here are the pics your suggestions will be gratefull.




I believe you have an infestation of something but can't see from the pics aphids perhaps.
i want to be honest,mum told me about this a couple of months ago and i did spray it with soap and surgical spirit, but does this thing ever dies? i also have some ants on some other trees can i spray all the trees?
Check for scale....that is what happen to mine this winter in greenhouse....I used this on mine:


Dish Detergent
Rubbing Alcohol

Fill a gallon jug with water and add one (1) or two (2) tablespoons of dishwashing detergent and one (1) tablespoon of vegetable oil (or Neem oil). Shake up the gallon jug to mix the ingredients.

Fill this solution from the gallon bottle into a spray bottle and just before using add 1 to 2 two caps full (from the rubbing alcohol bottle) of rubbing alcohol and spray immediately. If you do not use the full bottle of spray, I suggest the next time you are going to use the soap/alcohol solution add the same amount of rubbing alcohol again, since the alcohol will evaporate. I store this soap/oil solution in the gallon jug for months on end. It does not seem to go bad.

Spray on plants covering all leaf and stem surfaces. You may have to spray from three to four times with intervals of three days. I have eliminated almost any kind of pest that has attacked my trees, including scale.

I do not wash off the spray and have seen no adverse reaction to the trees from this mixture.

Carl L. Rosner

This cleared my scale up.....cannot tell from your pics if I see any on it or not. Take you fingernail and scrape the "Bumps" on your truck, if it breaks and yellow orange liquid comes out you have scale.
i want to be honest,mum told me about this a couple of months ago and i did spray it with soap and surgical spirit, but does this thing ever dies? i also have some ants on some other trees can i spray all the trees?

... ants are aphid farmers so good chance that is what is going on here. If you have ants areound your trees that is not a good thing.
I had the same problem, the new leaves never got to full growth before they died this winter. I sprayed with Neem Oil solution and it stated to do better and then would start to die again. I was not doing the Neem Oil spray long enough. Soon as it got warm I took mine outside and sprayed with water-hose, not full force but more than the water can will do. Sprayed with the Neem Oil twice a day for a couple of weeks and now they are doing good. It does sound like aphids.
Keep LOOkin Up!
my concern is simple, is this solution permanent i mean do i have to keep doing it? i think i will do all the trees is that ok?
Hello GOZTEK.....Fukien tea is the absolute worst for pest infestations. If there is a pest in the area, it will almost always go for the fukien tea first. I cannot tell by your pics, but it does not look like a scale or aphid infestation. However, that does not mean they are not present.

In this case, I beleive it may be a drastic climate change that is making the tree shed it's leaves. Fukien teas are very sensitive and a cold snap would probably cause this.

You mentioned that the tree has been outside for a month after being indors. What have the outside temps been like??? If the tree was indoors and then put outside and the temps where in the 30'-50's...This would explain it. "Full tropicals" so to speak, not sub tropicals, definitely need a period of adjustment. Actually all trees do, but tropicals should not be left outside until temps are consistently around 60 degrees or higher. When a tree is transitioning from Summer to Fall to Winter, some cool temps are beneficial for tropicals. However, a tree going from Spring to Summer, is not ready to go through another cold period. The tree is expecting summer temps and if it is cold, the tree will be confused and start slowing down. Which is something you don't want.

Also, you had mentioned you had ants. Ants carry scale eggs so there there could be some scale present.

Regarding the soap solution pesticide. It works very well and I have used it a few times. Also, no, you do not have to spray forever. In my opinion, I would spray maybe 2 times about a week apart. Then wait a couple weeks and see how it goes.

As always, the key to stopping infestations is one, first picking off all pests by hand or with tweezers, then spraying. Two, is timing. Spraying in early spring when the pests are emerging and they are vunerable to pesticides.

The best way to control infestations is to keep a clean tree...Keep the tree in good air circualtion. Shower the tree off gently, here and there and also, remove all dead leaves immediatley. Prevention goes along way.

I hope this was helpful.

i am in zone 11 here so it hot already, the fukien was infested when it was alot indoors so its not a problem of climate change. Yesterday i sprayed most of my trees, others have some ants in them but overall they are all healthy. This fukien seems picky, i mean i can spray everything but there will still be some pests unfortunately. I had this problem also last year with some other plants and i used anything i can really eliminate all them. I have been told locally to use malatine, this is normally used here on vegtable plants and kill pests 200% but i don't know if it can damage any of my trees. Will try the soap sollution for a month and see how it goes.
Watch your watering routine,they dont like alot of water,if mine gets just a tad bit more water then normal some of the leaves will turn yellow and drop off,temp change will also do this as stated above.If its aphids or scale,it would be visible to you.
I have had a lot of problems through the years with my FT and black sooty mold, ants, aphids and scale.
Lately I have been having a lot of success using a granular systemic insecticide. It is made by Bayer and it is in a tall blue plastic bottle that I bought at Lowes. It works great on keeping thrips away on my ficuses too!;)

Sorry I can't give you more info than that right now. If you are interested PM me and I will look it up when I get home later.
i done the soap spirit thingy seems to be working on other trees as ants and anything that looked suspision turned black and dropped off the trees. I have put up some strings that capture mosquitos flies and whatever flies and less then a week they are already full i have alot of mosquitos and its normal in our countries. I be honest i didn't see anything on the fukien but i sprayed it anyway could be lot of water but i am not sure. Our country Malta is already hot at the moment no rain in about 3-4 weeks and i don't think we will see any rain till september now so i water twice a day. Should i try to take it out of this routine and water it twice weekly or something like that? I am new to bonsai some of the other trees have small young leaves that are dying but then again more are coming out. I am new to bonsai so all this is new for me and like most of you at the begining you have alot of questions hehe. Thanks for all this help i really appreciate it
Gozzy, Never Water on a schedule!
Stick your finger into the soil if it comes back damp Do Not Water!
After learning your tree you will learn when your tree needs the water or the foods.
Fukien Tea problem

Hi Goztek, how are you?. I am new to this forum and this is my first post from Sydney Australia. Your post caught my eye because Fukien Tea is one of my favourite species and I have several of my own both macrophyllus and microphyllus. I also have the good fortune of being close to a nursery run by a guy called Leong Kwong who has some massive Fukien Tea Trees and I often go to his nursery just to see them. Unfortunately I cannot afford them as they about $3,000 to $4,000 each

Your problem has me very curious. May I ask what country your are in? One of the replies in relation to your problem said that overwatering could be the cause. I don't think it is that. Overwatering causes the leaves to go yellow and drop off. The leaves that you have are'nt doing that. (a) They don't even get as far as going yellow. (They are staying green) (b) If the leaves had turned yellow, they generally don't curl as much as what I see in your photos.
I also doubt it is a like scale or aphid. I'm not sure they would even bother attacking a tree with such little foliage (Unless there is something lurking under the soil). Some have said that it is in fact Aphids or scale. Fukien Tea trees ARE magnets for these pests but again I don't think it is this. And besides a tree of this size to fend off a minor infestation for quite some time.

1. Let me give you my 2 theories. (And apologies if I have offended anyone on the forum with my thoughts) (When you had it inside for such a long period, it is possible that if you had it up against a window for a long period of time the intensity of the sunlight may have partially "fried" your tree thus causing die back.) This happened to me with a chinese elm about 4 years ago and had only been there for a week. 4 years later it has still not recovered.

2. If you are now just getting into spring I am assuming that you are starting to "pelt" it with fertiliser. If I'm right in your eagerness you may have overfertilised and thus had the same effect as above. If I am right here you may want to consider submerging the whole pot in a bucket of water for a day.

Anyway that's my ten cents worth. Good luck to you Goztek. I hope your tree recovers.

PS At least you don't have to worry about possums. I had one defoliate a crab apple, a Sargents Juniper and a Cherry Blossom in 2 sittings. I know he now has his eye on my Fukien Tea trees. I will be moving them all tonight befoer his 3rd course!!!!
When i had it inside it was winter so it was cold so even though it was against a window. I repotted it when i got it which was in december because it was in peat, i will see what i can do. The tree wants to survive it is having alot of new leaves though lets just hope they don't fall off will try to give it extra attention
Hi Goztek

Just remember that just because it's cold does'nt mean your tree can't be burnt. Your window is basically a giant magnifying glass. Have you ever been skiing and came back sunburnt even though it was cold??
my trees are loaded with ants but they have never given me any problems. You do have mites because they will attack the buds at or just after they begin to bloom. the ants are also mite farmers. If you were in the tropics you would always have a problem with black mould. I have no idea about the leaf-curl however, my FT does have yellowing leaves but for every one that yellows and falls there are always a few dozen to take it's place;)

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