What is wrong with this fukien tea bonsai?

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#1
It went through a bout of mealybugs - lost all the leaves then rebounded. Now, I see what I think are aphids (small white bugs? honeydew secretions / stickiness near the pot) and so have been spraying it nearly every day with just water. Leaves are not looking right. 3rd picture shows whatever the pest is that is causing problems. Let me know any thoughts.
 

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#3
Don't think so....it gets pretty dry every day. It's in my sunroom which has been around 90 degrees of late. Isn't there an obvious pest in that one pic? Aphids?
 
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#5
meaning.....most likely aphids? And if so, how to treat it? Insecticidal soap?
 
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#6
Look on the back of the leaves, are there small white flying bugs? It almost looks like whitefly damage. They are easy to treat, so are aphids. Insecticidal soap is one way to go but I don't usually mess around when it comes to my bonsai, I use liquid sevin.
 
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#7
Sevin? Won't that harm the plant? Certainly, I'd think, more aggressive than insecticidal soap. Yes...white bugs under and on top of the leaves. Pain in the butt. I had these things all over my overwintering begonias. I must have sprayed nearly every time I watered. Sticky stuck all over the place. Begonias are now outside and so now the aphids are after the bonsai. Can't win! Wait...you mentioned white flies...so that's not the same as aphids?
 

rockm

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#8
Sevin? Won't that harm the plant? Certainly, I'd think, more aggressive than insecticidal soap. Yes...white bugs under and on top of the leaves. Pain in the butt. I had these things all over my overwintering begonias. I must have sprayed nearly every time I watered. Sticky stuck all over the place. Begonias are now outside and so now the aphids are after the bonsai. Can't win! Wait...you mentioned white flies...so that's not the same as aphids?
Well, yeah it's more aggressive than insecticidal soap. It's also a lot more effective in knocking down infestations like you're developing. The bugs look like whitefly to me and the sticky mess is more evidence. You need to get ahead of it.

FWIW, the plant should be outside 24/7 now. Keeping it inside is weakening it and the whitefly is capitalizing on that weakness. Insect infestations are typically not the reason a plant dies. They help it along...
 
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#9
Outside? Interesting...it has always been kept indoors - only had it 2 years now however. What formulation of sevin would you suggest? The same as for any outdoor shrubs, etc.? Is it likely that all the leaves will drop again? That's what happened a few months ago when the mealybugs got ahold of it. Thanks!!
 

rockm

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#10
Outside? Interesting...it has always been kept indoors - only had it 2 years now however. What formulation of sevin would you suggest? The same as for any outdoor shrubs, etc.? Is it likely that all the leaves will drop again? That's what happened a few months ago when the mealybugs got ahold of it. Thanks!!
"it has always been kept indoors"
which is probably why you're having problems. Slow decline, with an apparently sudden collapse is not unusual for "indoor" trees. Privet is an extremely tough plant--when it's outside. Indoors, drastically limit the amount of light it gets, as well as air circulation. Add to that constant overwatering (which the dense soil only makes worse) and even the toughest plant will eventually die.

Dropping leaves and insect infestations are markers of a weak tree.

Get it outside ASAP. You haven't provided your location, which is critical here, do you get winter weather?
 
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#11
I'm in Zone 6 PA Cold winters. Privet? Not familiar with that term...does that include fukien tea bonsai? So during the summer months it should be out as much as possible? The info that came with the bonsai from the nursery that grew it said "indoors in sunny location"
 
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#12
I'm in Zone 6 PA Cold winters. Privet? Not familiar with that term...does that include fukien tea bonsai? So during the summer months it should be out as much as possible? The info that came with the bonsai from the nursery that grew it said "indoors in sunny location"
Not outside as much as possiblr, but outside all the time until temperatures drop below 45F at night
 
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#13
I assume bring it inside during thunderstorms, heavy rain, etc.? Should I also apply the Sevin to it?
 

rockm

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#14
Why would you do that? Don't know where you're keeping it outside, but the only concern from thunderstorms would be the chance a wind would pick it up or blow it over. Rain isn't a problem...
I'm in Zone 6 PA Cold winters. Privet? Not familiar with that term...does that include fukien tea bonsai? So during the summer months it should be out as much as possible? The info that came with the bonsai from the nursery that grew it said "indoors in sunny location"
Sorry, had privet on my mind from another thread. Fukein tea is a tropical species. It can be kept outside for most of the year, but has to be sheltered from frost and freezes, which means it will have to endure being inside in the winter...FWIW, general nurseries that sell beginner bonsai rarely have any idea of how to keep them. Instruction tags are usually of no help whatsoever and can actually wind up killing the plant they're attached to.
 
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#17
Having treated the bonsai with sevin, should I now spray it with water to get the white splotchy marks off of the leaves?
 

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