itunescape
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quick question on bugs and fertilizers

If there are bugs coming out of the soil on my bonsai what does that mean?
These insects are tiny and can fly. They look like gnats, are they a danger to my bonsai?
SHould I just get a new pot, soil and fertilizer?

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Gnome
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Itunescape,

It sounds like you may be having trouble with Fungus Gnats. Check the soil for little white grubs/maggots. The only time I have seen them in my soil is when I have used home made organic fertilizer cakes. These insects like damp soils high in organic matter.

[url=https://www.pestcontrolcanada.com/INSECTS/Flies/Gnats.htm]Here[/url] is a link to a site that might help. Please look to the least offensive remedy first. I believe they suggest insecticidal soap as one possibility.

If my diagnosis ic correct, re-potting into a good free draining inorganic soil would go a long way toward eliminating the problem as well. You have the Olive, Bucida spinosa, though and, considering the difficulty myself and others have had with this species am reluctant to suggest re-potting so soon.

Perhaps you should consider contacting the retailer from whom this tree was recently purchased they may offer you a refund or an alternate plant.


Norm

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Hi Itunescape,

I don't recommend the use of strong chemicals. You can purchase or make yellow stick traps. Let the soil dry between waterings. I've also heard that an inch of sand on top of the soil helps. You can remove the sand when the gnats are gone. Here's more info including biological control.
https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r280300811.html

Newt

ynot
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Itunescape,

I have never had this problem myself but a quick google of [url=https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Fungus+Gnats&btnG=Google+Search]Fungus Gnats[/url] gets quite a bit of info, Including this:
Ways to discourage fungus gnat infestations are:

· Do not overwater your potted plants. Allow the soil to dry between waterings and provide good drainage.

· If plants are summered outdoors, check the soil of plants before taking them back indoors for adult gnats or their larvae.

· Prevent indoor entry of gnats by caulking leaky windows and doors before August, since this is generally the time that they are drawn indoors.

· Place yellow sticky traps on the soil surface to trap the gnats. They can be obtained at a local garden store.

· Place potato slices on the surface of the potting media. The lavae are attracted to it. After four days, remove the potato slices with the larvae.

· Use B.T. i, Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies Israelensis, sometimes called Gnatrol or Knock-out Gnats. It is a natural disease for the fungus gnats which kills the larvae of the gnat. It can be purchased at larger garden stores and from some garden catalogs such as "Gardens Alive".
From [url=https://www.extension.umn.edu/projects/yardandgarden/AAMG/houseplants/fungusgnats.html]this site[/url]

I can't speak to the effectiveness of the 'potato slice' solution but At least it is harmless wrt the plant and may help while you research a possible more effective solution.

A phone call to your local university extension or arboretum may be helpful also.

As Gnome notes: Attempt the least volatile solution first and move on if it not effective and a looser [larger particle] [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3422]inorganic well draining soil[/url] would be beneficial for your tree in many aspects.

It is important to note that once you rid your tree of this infestation you will have to insure that you change the conditions in the pot to prevent re-infestation.

Contacting the vendor where you purchased it [If recent] is worth considering also.

Good luck

ynot

itunescape
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Thank you guys for the advise. I'm going to the Garden shop tomorrow to purchase yellow sticky traps, insecticidal soup, and gnatrol. With any luck my bonsai would be the black olive surviver on the boards 8)

itunescape
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I don't think my tree will be the blackolive survivor on the boards, the snow made it impossible to get out and I just got my insecticide spray, it kills the diseases and the insects wooo multitasker :D
When I got home though the leaves on my tree looked like they literally suffered from skin cancer(black spots), some where crisp bown and some still yellow. I pulled those leaves out to avoid contamination of the rest of the leaves, the remainding leves are green, healthy and perfect, but when i woke up this morning about 4-5 leaves still grew the "skin cancer black spots."

Does the spray just take time to work like the average perscription drug?
Was it bad that I sprayed the plant at night?
I'm going to change the soil today, into this inorganic tropical bonsai mix that i bought would that be fine, or too risky?

Thank you for your time.

ps- why are gnats so mean :(

rjj
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Forgive me if I come across as harsh and callous. It's not my intent. Much like a doctor, I'm direct and to the point. :D

I'm not so sure gnats were ever a danger to your plant, but your solution might have been. The insecticide is only a band aid at best and could be a problem if your tree is still struggling with environmental change, it's new home, and your learning curve as to care.

Have you got some supplemental lighting since your first post and are you allowing the soil to dry between watering?

In my opinion proper care and good growing conditions should be your primary focus and little flying bugs should be ignored for the time being.

Once your plant is stabilized and your confident in giving it care that it responds to, then maybe repotting into a good soil mix would be a good idea.

randy

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Gnome
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Itunescape,

Sorry to hear about your tree. Some trees are very sensitive to pesticides and it always best to check a small area first. In this case I feel the need to point out a few things though. Nobody suggested you use chemical pesticides, you don't say what you tried but it sounds pretty harsh. Also there was no need to spray the foliage, I'm assuming you did since the leaves have been damaged, the gnats pose no threat it is the grubs that are the problem.
Does the spray just take time to work like the average perscription drug?
Was it bad that I sprayed the plant at night?
I'm going to change the soil today, into this inorganic tropical bonsai mix that I bought would that be fine, or too risky?
It is difficult to answer those questions. Most likely I have not used the product you purchased and without an idea of the composition of the soil you are referring to any response on my part would be speculation. If your soil is as we SUSPECT, you have not posted any photos, most any bonsai soil would be an improvement, but again this is speculation.

Norm

itunescape
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I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, ever since i've gotten my plant the only thing i've done to it was water it about twice a day every now and then till the water drains out from the bottom, and put it in a sunny room near a window. Thats all i've done. I haven't had time to do anything else with it yet. With time i noticed the leaves turning color, which i thought was okay because of environmental changes, or maybe over watering, but over time i noticed white looking spots on the leaves, and i immediatly thought "oh my god fungus" but i didn't take any action yet b/c i wasn't sure then over time, the other leaves began to get black and some grew white spots and it scarred me. While i was poking the soil with a tooth pick I saw tiny little critters crawling in the soil and it creeped me out thats when I posted the above.
I researched something on a website that said that larva that grows in organic soil has the ability to absorb and feed off nurients which could sometimes turn leaves yellow. These larva also grow into these flying things called fungus gnats and it worried me because of the "fungus" part of the name and the fact that some of the leaves were literally rotting black and white. Thats why i bought the insecticide the lady at the garden shop said it kills diseases such as black spots, fungus, along with tiny insects. I've only used the spray for the first time yesterday. I didn't mean for anything bad to happen.
When i got home yestrday most of the leaves looked dead and diseased and it scarred me. So i thought the spray could work, because it fights black spots and fungus and little bugs in the soil.
As for the lighting, i've just recieved my light bulb in the mail today. The tree is next to it and happily going through photosynthesis 8)
I won't use the insecticide anymore. I want to see how it grows and progresses. I think it has a chance of surviving, and I'm trying my best on it.
Thank you all for your help :) I appreciate it. I'll post up before and after photos tonight.

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Gnome
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Itunescape,
I'm sorry for the misunderstanding,
Nothing to apologize for, sometimes this medium makes effective communication difficult.
the only thing I've done to it was water it about twice a day every now and then till the water drains out from the bottom
I hope, and suspect, that what you mean is that you have used the double watering technique when the plant needs to be watered.
it worried me because of the "fungus" part of the name and the fact that some of the leaves were literally rotting black and white.
Despite the name of the insect, unless you have more than one problem, you do not have a fungal disease.
I researched something on a website that said that larva that grows in organic soil has the ability to absorb and feed off nurients which could sometimes turn leaves yellow.
If you take a look at the link I posted earlier it notes that they don't do a whole lot of damage unless they are present in large quantities. This is in line with what Randy has suggested, that the cure may have been worse than the disease. Have you tried the potato lure method yet?
As for the lighting, I've just recieved my light bulb in the mail today. The tree is next to it and happily going through photosynthesis
Good move although, as I'm sure you realize, it would have been better to have your lighting on hand before the plant arrived.
Thank you all for your help I appreciate it. I'll post up before and after photos tonight.
You're welcome and sorry that we were not of more help to you. Please post the pictures, they may help us help you.

Norm

itunescape
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These were taken by my webcam for lack of a digital camera :(

Before:

[img]https://img382.imageshack.us/img382/9617/beforenu0.png[/img]

Leaves when arrived and about 2 days later:

[img]https://img382.imageshack.us/img382/1356/left1weekug1.png[/img]

[img]https://img405.imageshack.us/img405/9846/leavesvx3.png[/img]

SOIL

[img]https://img129.imageshack.us/img129/5659/soilzm4.png[/img]

After:
[img]https://img382.imageshack.us/img382/4089/afterxd9.png[/img]

leaves:
[img]https://img405.imageshack.us/img405/9673/bushhi3.png[/img]

[img]https://img382.imageshack.us/img382/9229/leaves2jv4.png[/img]

[img]https://img129.imageshack.us/img129/9418/leaves5md7.png[/img]

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Gnome
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Itunescape,

Sorry for the delay, I have been doing a little research, but in all honesty I don't have a whole lot to offer you. I do have one possibility for you to consider.

BigDaddyBonsai, MagicDan and myself have all had negative experiences with this species. In looking over the previous threads I notice that we all re-potted our plants upon arrival. I located a bit of information elsewhere that indicates that this species dislikes having its roots disturbed and re-potting is best done in warm weather. So if you have not done so yet, you may wish to postpone any work in this area.

A warm location and humidity tray may also help. Keep in mind the part of the world this plant comes from.

Norm

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