Ask a Question forum: Bonsai leaves turning yellow

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Name: Nat
May 5, 2017 7:15 PM CST
I have a question regarding this Bonsai plant ( belongs to a Friend)
Location: Singapore
Plant type: please help identify?
Problem: leaves are turning yellow and dropping. A fertiliser has been used for a few weeks but that's not helping still. Can you please advise what the issue is and what we can do to save the plant?

Thank you!

Thumb of 2017-05-06/soulful_gardener/7880c6
Thumb of 2017-05-06/soulful_gardener/3e7f2a
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
May 5, 2017 8:49 PM CST

I'm not sure what your plant is but:

1. Stop fertilizing. A plant in distress can't handle being fertilized. You are causing more stress.

2. It has a terrible case of scale insects. The insects are living under those little waxy caps on the leaves and stems. Use some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and wipe them off. Then give the plant a warm soapy bath.

BTW, it has a really cool shape. Lovey dubby
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
May 6, 2017 9:02 AM CST
Your plant is a topiary, not a bonsai. It is a type of Ficus. The discoloration on the yellowed leaves is caused by scale. They are the slightly raised brown patches on the leaves. You will need to treat the entire tree with a spray solution, not just the leaves that you can see are infected. I recommend a solution of 5 parts water, 1 part isopropyl alcohol and a squirt of liquid soap. Whatever you use to spray, do not spray it on the foliage in direct sunlight.

Daisy is right about the fertilizer. Fertilizer is not medicine and it is intended only to replace depleted nutrients in plants that are healthy and growing vigorously.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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