ugastudent
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HELP!!! sick or dehydrated bonsai!!! :(

I got a rosemary bonsai from my boyfriend as a gift, and i've been doing my best to take care of it, i've been watering it regularly and putting it in the sunlight. I left it with my dad for a 7 day vacation, but when I came back, it was brown and dry and dead looking! I don't think he took care of it while I was gone. :( I really really wanna save this tree because it means a lot to me! please tell me what can i do! :(

opabinia51
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You shouldn't be watering "regularly". If you water to often, you will encourage parasitic fungal growth on the roots of your Rosemary. Read the stickies at the top of the page but, here is a short synopsis on how to check to see if your plant needs water.

Use a toothpick and immerse it into the soil (all the way). Pull the toothpick out and if it has soil stuck to it, don't water your tree.

ugastudent
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how do i fix it though? because the branches and the leaves feel dry, so i watered it, but i don't know what else to do :(
is there anything i could do to help it go back to the green bushy bonsai it once was?

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Gnome
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uga,

Not sure what your weather is like but I killed one of these by keeping it inside. Check out the information here.

[url]https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3653[/url]

Norm

ugastudent
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yeah i kept it inside too.. i don't want it to be dead :(
see the problem is that i live in a dorm, so i cant really be putting anything outside, unless I'm standing out there with it.
and the weather is usually cloudy and rainy, so I didnt want to harm my plant.
it's just weird how it was perfectly green and bushy for a month or so and now it decides to dry out :(
so there's nothing i could do to save my plant?

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Gnome
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Uga,

As I said in the other post, I have killed one and have one currently alive so perhaps another person can offer some other ideas.

I think it is too hot in your dorm, has it been exposed to central heating recently? If you can't keep it anywhere else it may not recover. The soil should be very free draining. I know that almost every thread in this forum says that but in this case it is even more important than usual, this species does not like wet feet.

If you really want an indoor bonsai there are other species that are more suitable such as Ficus.

Norm

ugastudent
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thank you.
i have been putting my plant outside, and yes, we have turned on the heat for the winter. I checked the soil yesterday and it was dry, and I watered it about 5 days before... so does this mean that the plant is still alive?

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Gnome
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Uga,
thank you.
You're welcome.
yes, we have turned on the heat for the winter.
The change in environment may have been the trigger for the decline of the plant, too hot and too dry inside.
I checked the soil yesterday and it was dry, and I watered it about 5 days before...
Dry is a relative term, although the soil should not be kept constantly wet neither should it be allowed to dry out thoroughly.
so does this mean that the plant is still alive?
I have no way of knowing if your plant is alive, water usage by the plant (transpiration) is only one factor that determines water consumption. Others would be air temperature, pot size, soil texture, etc. When my first one dried out I threw it out, so I can't really say how likely it is to recover. I guess time will tell, good luck.

Norm

bonsainut
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The good news is that rosemary is a very drought tolerant plant. Best thing to do to try to save it is:

1) Soak the entire plant in a pot of water for about 5 minutes to make sure that all the soil and roots get thoroughly saturated. Remove plant from water and then water like this whenever the surface of the soil is dry. Let the surface dry out but NOT the whole soil ball. Too much or too little water will kill your plant.

2) Remove all dead foilage by hand or with scissors.

3) Keep plant in strong INDIRECT light but NOT DIRECT sunlight. Don't let any sun hit the plant until it recovers, but otherwise keep it in very bright light (right next to window).

Hopefully you will see new growth sprout in a week or two. I have several rosemary bushes in containers out by my pool. This summer we had about three months of straight 90+ degree days (including some days that got up to 108!). If you ever wanted to see some scorched looking rosemary plants, they were the ones. However as soon as the weather cooled they have popped out new foilage all over the place.

Greg

ugastudent
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wow really?

i'll try it out ASAP!!!!
thank you so much everyone!!



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