HELP!! Duranta defoliation in FL winter during whitefly infestation

m0rtis

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I’m quite impulsive but I admit that I panicked... Will my Duranta Bonsai live? In FL we get abundant sunshine throughout the year, and as an indoor tree the house temperature is in the 70s (F). I had a whitefly infestation that I noticed yesterday and identified this morning, I plucked out all the leaves, blasted the tree and roots with a hose and changed the soil, I will be buying Neem oil to deter future outbreaks. Is it safe to spray on the bark? Or is it best to wait for new growth and then spray? Thanks in advance.
 

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m0rtis

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I would like to add that this plant was recently moved from an outside nursery to a sunny window indoors, and I have read that Duranta usually drop their “outdoor leaves” anyway during such a change. I have noticed some natural defoliation since I have brought it home.
 

Carol 83

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Just curious, being in Florida, can't your tree be outside? I have a little Duranta inside, but we have winter here. It came from Florida and hasn't really lost any leaves since I've had it. I wouldn't repot tropical's in the winter here, but maybe if will be OK in Florida? Adding your location to your profile will get you the best advice for your climate. Keep us posted on it's condition.
 

m0rtis

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Just curious, being in Florida, can't your tree be outside? I have a little Duranta inside, but we have winter here. It came from Florida and hasn't really lost any leaves since I've had it. I wouldn't repot tropical's in the winter here, but maybe if will be OK in Florida? Adding your location to your profile will get you the best advice for your climate. Keep us posted on it's condition.
Thanks so much for the quick response, friend! I don’t have it outside as I have pets who could possibly be harmed by chewing on it (I turned my head for a second and next thing I know my dear cat was chewing on my cactus!)
When I first got the plant, I trimmed the roots considerably from its training container to ready it for it’s new pot (it was also quite root bound)
It’s usually quite hot in South Florida, typically in the 70s-80s, and there’s enough bright light to go around for sure!
 

Carol 83

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There are a few Duranta owners here, maybe one will chime in with some advice. I've only had mine a few months, so I'm still learning what it likes. Best of luck with it.
 

m0rtis

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I also wanted to add that I noticed some dark spots/patches on the bark, is this cause for concern? After some reading I have since sprayed the entire plant with the Neem oil, will that help?
 

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m0rtis

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There are a few Duranta owners here, maybe one will chime in with some advice. I've only had mine a few months, so I'm still learning what it likes. Best of luck with it.
I saw your duranta in a thread and it’s absolutely gorgeous btw!
 

thomas22

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I have a few Duranta I keep outside here
In California. Mine lose their leaves in the winter but bounce back nicely in spring. They are a pretty durable species so you may be alright. I would try to get thing outside when it warms up so it can bounce back.
 

m0rtis

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Friends! I’m happy to announce new growth! My tree is out of its training pot and has settled into its permanent pot where it will recover, fingers crossed!
 

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Carol 83

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Good for you!
 

m0rtis

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Friends! I’m happy to announce new growth! My tree is out of its training pot and has settled into its permanent pot where it will recover, fingers crossed!
Perhaps I spoke too soon... one of the leaves has since wilted and died. I expect the other to follow suit but I am keeping an eye on it. I must say that I have regret for defoliating, as it steals precious energy from the tree.
What should I do? Maybe I will put it outside, I have since asked a friend to forward my story to his arborist aunt for advice, which is pictured below.
 

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m0rtis

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Perhaps I spoke too soon... one of the leaves has since wilted and died. I expect the other to follow suit but I am keeping an eye on it. I must say that I have regret for defoliating, as it steals precious energy from the tree.
What should I do? Maybe I will put it outside, I have since asked a friend to forward my story to his arborist aunt for advice, which is pictured below.
So I have called the nursery and they predict my bonsai will be well in a month or so, even offering to help rehabilitate it. Will update then, thank you all for your wisdom.
 
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m0rtis

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I wanted to show some damage to the trunk that I tried to clean cut so the edges weren’t jagged. I think this happened in the first place when I sawed off a branch of dead wood and the knife bit into the trunk, I’m (just a little) obsessive as you can see. 😥 The wound got bigger because I wanted to check if it was still alive so I did the scratch test in the same area not wanting to do damage to another part of the tree. I wasn’t sure what color living tissue looked like with this plant so it is a bit deep. There’s (some) method to the madness...
Can it recover from this?
I do hope it will callous over and I quite like the look of knobs so I wouldn’t mind if one happened to form.
 

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