Asked December 13, 2019, 6:00 PM EST
Hello, My name is Linda Smith and I've asked about my Alii Ficus tree before, however I think the kind lady who was trying to help me thought I was a novice regarding trees and plants. All the suggestions that she gave me and the Horticulturist that used to work at the Fridley Bachmann's Garden Center has been for naught. The only thing that I did not try was a chemical that started with a D... and unfortunately , I didn't write down the name. The horticulturist that was at the Fridley Bachmann's and I never saw the actual insect on any of the leaves I brought in, she said she saw only the exoskeleton and the 'honeydew' that was left behind. I have replaced the dirt, with Bachmann's Premium Potting soil, containing no commercial fertilizer, trimmed the roots, and cleaned the pot with water only. The pot size is 20' across on top and 18" across on the bottom. I water my tree only when the meter down by her roots show a #2, then I soak until the H2O drains out. I remove the excess H2O from the drip pan. My tree stands over 5.5' tall from the top of the dirt, all total, she's 6' 10" including the pot.
I've used Espoma Organic Neem Oil 3 in 1, Bonide Systemic Houseplant Insect Control, and Bonide Eight Garden & Spray Insect Control. Nothing worked. I called Malmborg's this afternoon and the gentleman I spoke with suggested a "dirt wash", and suggested I search for different types that would be right for my tree. Funny (not), I couldn't find any such thing as a 'dirt wash' for a potted inside tree. I have let my tree rest from all the chemicals to see how it would do, and it is still being attacked by this unknown & unseen insect. Just in the off-chance that the bugger is airborne, I but in my aircleaner and turned it on low. Thinking that if the insect is airborne, it will get pulled into the air cleaner and perhaps, if there is enough of dead ones, I will be able to see them ( I have professional glass frames with 5 magnifying lenses to insert into the frame for magnification) so I possibly should be able to see the buggers and then maybe identify them, God willing, I don't know what else to do!!! I live on a very limited income, so options have to stay within my budget , but will do whatever is necessary to save my tree. Within reason, of course. I try to stay within the organic products if possible, but I'll use whatever you recommend at this point to kill these insects. I will be bringing in new cats, this next week, but the room the tree is in can be closed off for whatever I have to do. It's too big and I'm to short for me to try to get a bag over it.
On one of the photo's ( sorry, cheap pone, working on upgrading to better one), the white dots are actually in the veins of the leaves. This is new, I've never seen these in the leaves veins before, and I've had this tree almost 20 years now.
I'm desperate to save my Alii ficus tree, but nothing is working. Please, can somebody help me??
Anoka County Minnesota