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Aphids

Aphids come in various forms; the best known are probably the green form known as greenfly, although grey and black aphids are just as common. Aphids suck the sap from plants and quickly debilitate a small bonsai. They are transported by ants from plant to plant. Ants use the 'nectar' exuded by the bodies of thw aphids. It is therefore advisable to control ants in addition to the aphids themselves.

For the environmentalists, aphids can be controlled by dusting the plants with tobacco dust. They can be sprayed with a solution of soapy water or controlled by spraying the plants with a systemic insecticide or contact poisons like Malatheon or Pyron.

When spraying bonsai it is advisable to use insecticides at weaker strengths than advocated. Read labels carefully as some sprays may not be used on certain trees.

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Random Bonsai Tip

Mixing growing medium - To mix your growing medium, put the mixture into an empty compost bag (as much as you can handle) and tip the bag backwards and forwards - this is much easier and more effective than mixing in a wheelbarrow!