Summarize the problem

  • Got this bonsai as a gift a year ago
  • it has been kept outdoors, watered twice a week
  • now I see no more leaves, wondering if it is dying / dead
  • I would like to bring it back to its original vibrancy

Provide details and any research

  • all the leaves have fallen off
  • I see some white spots on the leaves (don't know if this is a symptom of something)
  • I see tiny worm like things moving in the soil (too tiny to recognise)
  • the tree was outdoors, but not in direct sun

enter image description here

When appropriate, describe what you’ve tried

  • I have moved it to an outdoor spot that receives direct morning sun to see if it helps
  • The white spots on the leaves are mealybugs. I don't know how long they are feeding from your tree? That might be the problem.
    – benn
    Aug 13, 2020 at 15:23

2 Answers 2


I too suspect it's a Ficus. However, Ficus are known for their vigorous root system. It may develop quickly in one season and clog the drainage hole. The end result is waterlogging which may appear as overwatering. That is not the only factor to inspect. The soil looks too fine, something akin to loam or silt. As said, you will have to check the root system and trim it to fix the overgrown roots issue. A coarser bonsai mix will fix the soil issue. I can't tell for sure but I see (from the picture) what appears as dead branches: Some branches have bark that is too rough or wrinkled. If you see a dead branch tip, you can do a small scratch in the bark further down below to see where the dead part (brown) ends and the living part (green) begins. Try to do the scratch as little as possible.


I am not an expert at identifying trees, but it looks like some kind of Ficus. The white stuff looks like insect cocoon from the image.

I wonder what kind of soil it is in (does not look like usual bonsai soil from the picture) and if your watering is not enough or too much.

I would repot this and change the soil to a bonsai mix, probably need to prune some roots during the repot. You will be able to see if the roots are in good condition or not when repotting. if you do change it to bonsai mix, you will most likely need to water more often

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