martine connor
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:31 am
Location: Birmingham

i have mold growing on the soil of my bonsai

the soil and the bottom of my bonsai's bark is cover in what looks like mold. when i soak it and brush away tyhe mold its ok for a few days then the mold re appears. does this mean im keeping my tree in the wrong place or is my tree unhealthy?

ynot
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Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:49 am
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Re: I have mold growing on the soil of my bonsai

martine connor wrote:the soil and the bottom of my bonsai's bark is cover in what looks like mold. when I soak it and brush away tyhe mold its ok for a few days then the mold re appears. does this mean im keeping my tree in the wrong place or is my tree unhealthy?
For one thing I would guess that the surface of the soil is too wet.[I don't know about the rest of the rootball]
Tell us about your watering routine. Also a species would be helpful to insure you are in fact keeping it in the proper place.
Post a picture please..or several...
:)
ynot

martine connor
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:31 am
Location: Birmingham

well i water it when i think it needs it, if the soil is starting to look or feel dry. i fill a bowl up half way then submerge my bonsai into the bowl of water, this is how the books i bought told me how to do it. i remove my bonsai after a few seconds. the book said to wait untill air bubbles stop coming up but i can never see any air bubbles so i remove it quite quickly. is this the best way to water it? im going to send some pictures as soon as i get them taken. :cry:

ynot
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:49 am
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

martine connor wrote:well I water it when I think it needs it, if the soil is starting to look or feel dry. I fill a bowl up half way then submerge my bonsai into the bowl of water, this is how the books I bought told me how to do it. I remove my bonsai after a few seconds. the book said to wait untill air bubbles stop coming up but I can never see any air bubbles so I remove it quite quickly. is this the best way to water it? im going to send some pictures as soon as I get them taken. :cry:
is this the best way to water it?
I must tell you emphaticly and in no uncertain terms that the answer to that is:
No, it isnt;

I do not suggest submersion as a regular watering practise by any means.

The fact is I advise against it.
Seeing as how your tree is rootbound you may have no choice [As there is no other way for the water to penetrate the rootball]

Here's a bit about watering:
When to water,
It is impossible to water on a schedule: Watering on a schedule does not address this question

Does the tree need water?

Only checking the tree every day determines that, If it is moist two knuckles deep into the soil- no need for water.{I know you cannot do this now but it is for future re:}
You cannot simply feel the surface of the soil as this is the first to dry [and there is much below the surface.]

Check it every day, only water when it needs it.

To properly water a bonsai from the top use a can w/ a fine rose [Fine spray] and completely soak the soil until the water runs out of the drainage holes, In 10 minutes you repeat this procedure, and 10 minutes later a final watering. All three times you completely saturate the soil until the water is draining freely from the drainage holes.

I hate to say this: Continue watering as you are for the time being, EXCEPT do leave the tree underwater for 10 minutes then remove [You may see bubbles in this time period if you watch- A bubble means that water is replacing air in the soil.] until you get this repotted it will have to do.
Read the stickeys on soil and repotting/rootpruning [including the links- there is MUCH there that will apply to your situation.]
ynot

martine connor
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:31 am
Location: Birmingham

i don't think i could possibly leave it i the bowl of water for 10 minutes! its surely its bound to drown! ive had my bonsai for about 4 months now and i have only ever left it in for 10-20 seconds and it hasnt died yet so surely i mus be doin somthing right? how do we even know it is root bound? im too scared to pull it out of the pot once i tried but it just looked as the the small section that the base of the tree was atttched to was going to come out, not the whole of the roots in the square pot like it shows you in the books. i scared :oops:

ynot
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Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:49 am
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

martine connor wrote:I don't think I could possibly leave it I the bowl of water for 10 minutes! its surely its bound to drown! :
No, It absolutely would not. So do it please.
While your mini dunks have been very effective in keeping the surface of the soil wet enough to mold, If your rootball is as compacted and solid I suspect it is... I doubt the moisture has fully penetrated into the mass of it.

It is akin to tying to grill a steak ten seconds at a time and wondering why the outside is burnt but the middle is not cooked at all.

What causes a tree to drowned [It actually suffocates but that is beside the point.] is weeks on end of eternal wetness where it gets no oxygen. Not a 10 minute dunk.

ive had my bonsai for about 4 months now and I have only ever left it in for 10-20 seconds and it hasnt died yet so surely I mus be doin somthing right?
True, [But your watering is not one of those 'somethings'] It is also true that there is a difference between doing ' right enough for it to survive' and doing it right.
how do we even know it is root bound?
Only going on the information you have given:IE:
1.]
my bonsai seems to be coming out of its pot,
The roots are pushing it up out of the pot. Because they are out of room.
2.]Also the fact that you seem to have little to no water penetration {no bubbles, also the top staying constantly wet-And molding}.
3.] Add to that your statement below that you can't even get it out of the pot...

Post several pictures please.
im too scared to pull it out of the pot once I tried but it just looked as the the small section that the base of the tree was atttched to was going to come out, not the whole of the roots in the square pot like it shows you in the books. I scared :oops:
Try running a knife around the inside edge of the pot to help loosen it up.

Cold hard fact ahead:
Being scared does nothing to resolve the situation and it won't fix itself. It will only get worse until you make it better.

Waiting for those pictures... :)
ynot
Last edited by ynot on Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:11 am, edited 3 times in total.

Petra26
Cool Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:23 am
Location: Chicago, IL

listen to ynot, he knows what he's talking about. by leaving it in for 10 mins, it will allow the water to slowly penetrate the root ball.

i'd suggest you start taking pictures. first, lots of your tree and the soil. then pull the tree out and take several pictures of the roots. the people here are very very knowledgeable. what you are doing is the minimum required to keep the tree alive. these people in here know how to make your bonsai flourish.

good luck and i surely hope you heed their advice.



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