How to get rid of aphids on bonsai

Bonsai are beautiful ornamental plants. A lot of people plant them in their homes. But at the start of every season, especially spring and summer, they get some small insects, including aphids, which can cause damage to them. Because of it, numerous bonsai masters have questions how do I get rid of aphids on my bonsai tree?

I am here to help you in finding the answer to this question. So let’s start.

Dealing with Aphids

The aphids have a pear-shaped body with antennae and long legs, depending on the plants and species they feed on. They come in a range of colors, including brown, green, red, black, or yellow.

Some species appear in the form of wax or wool due to the emission of gray matter or waxy white on their body surface. A lot of species have a couple of tubular structures referred to as carnivores that protrude from the back of their body.

Adult aphids are usually wingless, but numerous species are also found in winged forms, mainly when the population is high.

Do bonsai trees get aphids

Yeah, bonsai trees can get the aphids, as they are fluid suckers and bonsai leaves are full of sap. Aphids cause problems for bonsai trees. They are very easy to identify and treat, so there is no cause for alarm. These insects are commonly seen in spring or summer.

The first indication of aphids is usually a shiny, sticky patch on the upper surface of the bonsai leaves. It is the outcome of honeydew which is excreted by insects and falls from the leaves.

Are aphids bad for bonsai tree

These tiny insects can be a general pest for people planting bonsai in moderate climates. Aphids may harm trees by sucking the sap and sometimes pass on the virus to the plant during the process. The untreated aphid’s damage can deteriorate or kill your bonsai trees.  

Aphids cause characteristics harm to bonsai trees or any other plants. Some symptoms may include distorted or fallen leaves, strange flowers appear, flower buds that fall off, and damage flower buds.

Sometimes the damage may lead to distorted leaf textures. If insects feed on the underside of the leaf, they will tend to rot backward and forwards. In addition, the presence of sticky hydrangea or soap mold fungus is usually an indication of aphids.

How to identify aphids on bonsai tree

Aphids are small insects and are often invisible to the naked eye. They exist in a variety of colors and have a pear-shaped body, as discussed earlier. Some may have a wooly or waxy coating. Nearly all species have carnations projected from their ends.

Aphids usually live without arms, but most breeds can form feathers when the population is crowded. Consequently, insects can move to other bonsai, reproduce, and produce a new one when food quality is affected.

Aphids generally eat in large groups, even though you may occasionally see them alone or in small groups.

How do I get rid of aphids on my bonsai tree

There are several things you can do to get rid of aphids from your bonsai stock. The least expensive and easiest way to control is to sprinkle your bonsai with a water jet. This will knock out most of the aphids from your trees. However, be cautious not to hit them in the dust because they will come back soon.

If you consider it is not enough, you can apply insecticidal soap. Aphids are soft-bodied insects, and this soap increases their body fluids, causing them to be excreted. Pesticide soap kills only on direct contact. When it dried out, it becomes ineffective against any future insects; therefore, scattering applications may be essential.

It is helpful to spray at any time in a day where it does not dry out immediately. Ensure to cover leaf tops and bottoms. If you don’t find pesticide soap in your local store, you can also prepare it at home. Moreover, it can be harmful to the beneficial insects in the spot of ​​application.

How do get rid of aphids naturally

There are several ways to remove aphids from your bonsai tree without using harmful chemicals.

Aphids have a range of natural enemies, including insect larvae, birds, and other insects. They move slowly, so it’s accessible to or target them with a spray or remove by hand. The insects overgrow, so there several natural methods to control them completely. I have listed a few of them.

Essential oil

  1. Prepare your own pesticide spray with essential oils. To make it add 4 to 5 drops of oils such as clove, peppermint, thyme, and rosemary, and mix them with water in a spray bottle.
  2. Then, spray on infected bonsai and other plants to target adult aphids, aphid larvae, and eggs as well.

Neem oil

Can i use neem oil for bonsai? Yes! The organic substances in neem oil work as a hideous against aphids and other pests, including cabbage worms, leafminers, mealy bugs, beetles, ants, and a range of caterpillars.

However, it can also eliminate the beneficial insects, so be careful where and when they are.

Follow the package guidelines to mix the oil in water or use a prepared neem oil spray and apply it to the affected areas. The oil is also suitable for controlling several types of fungus.

Soap and water

  1. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of pure liquid soap or detergent in a small bucket of water to make a homemade spray.
  2. Apply directly from the spray bottle to the aphids or target parts of the plants; be sure to cover the underside of the leaves with eggs and larvae.
  3. Soap liquefies in the protective outer layer of aphids and other soft-bodied pests, eventually killing them. It isn’t harmful to birds or useful insects with rigid bodies, including ladybugs, pollinating bees, or lacewings.

Green lacewings

Green lacewings are also insects with hard-coated bodies. They are commonly used to control aphids. Lacewings can be purchased from any online store or local market and leave in the bonsai tree pots. 

Other than these insects, birds like wrens and chickadees are also effective in getting rid of aphids.

How do get rid of aphids permanently

You can’t remove the aphid from your bonsai trees permanently, but there are some practical ways by using which you can remove them.

Biological Control

Aphids can be removed by using aphid predators, including hoverflies, ladybugs, and green lacewing. These insects can consume a ton of aphids on a single day.

There are two ways to bring these beneficial insects into your garden:

  1. You can attract them by growing plants with lovely fragrance in your garden. For instance, lavender globe lily, fern leaf yarrow, and a lemon gem.
  2. You can also deliberately buy good bugs directly from the well-known stores near you and introduce them.


While aphids are still rare in the early stages, you can manually remove them from the bonsai. Because of having soft bodies, they will not escape the impact. But don’t forget to wear your garden gloves first to avoid unnecessary damage.

You can perform this particular for small bonsai plants susceptible to other control measures, including high-pressure washing.

Be Vigilant

When you have sprayed, cleaned, and killed each aphid in your garden, it is essential that regularly monitor each plant. You need to inspect every part of the bonsai, particularly under the leaves where these aphids like to live.

Moreover, one aphid can give birth to hundreds more, so stay tuned. Never let a day goes by when you find there is only one aphid that can potentially destroy your bonsai plants and reduce your crop yields.

Aphids killer spray

To take away the aphids from your bonsai trees, use Ortho® Insect killer spray for small jobs in your garden. While Ortho®tree and shrub fruit spray can be used on a large scale.

How to protect bonsai tree for aphids on plants

Bonsai masters need to take the necessary steps to protect their plants from aphids.

Monitor your plants

At the beginning of the season, check your bonsai regularly for the presence of aphids or other insects, pay more attention to the plants you have had aphids before. They are most active when hot or humid and cause severe damage to plants at the end of spring. Aphid’s favorite plants are non-woody, flowering plants such as cosmos, zinnias, asters, and dahlias.

Add onion

These insects don’t like the smell of onion family members. Planting flowering garlic and onions throughout your garden can discourage aphids.

Don’t fertilize your plants more

 Aphids like to consume plants with high nitrogen levels and flourishing growth. So whenever feasible, fertilize your bonsai with a slow-release fertilizer that gradually releases nutrients over time.

Check for ants

Ants love to feed on honeydew which is produced by aphids. If you observe queues of ants hanging around your bonsai, it shows that aphids are present. When you see them, provide necessary treatment.


So, I have shared several different approaches to take away aphids from your bonsai trees. Although these tiny insects rarely cause damage to your plants, it may be risky if your bonsai have aphids. You can use natural approaches or read-made sprays to remove aphids. I hope this piece of information will help you to update your knowledge.

You may also like