You must provide adequate light or it will decline and die.I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think it gets enough light
It won't thrive until you get it into some better soil.the soil is very, very hard
If the soil is as you describe, water is probably not reaching the interior of the root-mass. You may have to take the emergency action of watering by submersion occasionally until you get it re-potted. How have you been watering it?I feel awful that this living thing seems to be suffering in my care. I live in Vegas, so it is always extremely dry, but I do my best to stay on top of watering it.
This species is sub-tropical, it will not go dormant if kept indoors. You have other issues.I am concerned with the current leaf-dropping and lack of new buds that I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tell the difference between it going dormant for the winter and it just plain dying. It has always been indoors.
I use 4 foot fluorescent fixtures for my indoor plants. Inexpensive, reasonably effective but not very attractive. You can also use the newer type of fluorescent bulbs that screw into a conventional fixture. The more light (lumens) that you provide the better.Can you recommend a tabletop plant light system that may work for me?
Watering by submersion is not really the best way to manage your tree, I suggested it because of the description you provided. It is not harmful in the short term but if repeated long term, salts and minerals from your water can build up. It is effective in thoroughly wetting a compacted soil though. With the proper soil it will not be necessary. You should wait until the soil is approaching dryness and then water thoroughly. Water the entire root-mass from above until water runs from the drainage holes. Wait 5 minutes or so and repeat; this helps to ensure that the soil is completely wetted.As for watering it, I have done the submersion method a couple of times and now that I think about it, I did it after the major pruning I mentioned after which it seemed to thrive for a while. I have mostly been watering it gently with the filtered water stream running from the faucet through my fingers.
I can't possibly give any specific suggestions about pot size without knowing how large the tree is now. Some general information to think about though. Bonsai trees are usually grown in training pots until they reach the desired size and state of development. If you are happy with the tree now use a bonsai pot, if you think that it needs more development a somewhat larger pot can help in this regard. Not too large though as the soil will remain damp too long. I have trees in homemade wooden training boxes, I am also experimenting with colanders. A cut down nursery pot is also effective. Since this is an indoor tree I suppose you want it to look attractive, and thats OK but just be aware of your options.I think I may go for a larger pot than I have now. Can you offer any insight on what pot size to choose?
Get any balanced (10-10-10 or 20-20-20) water soluble fertilizer at the local hardware or home center and follow the instructions, over dilution is not required.Since I have not fertilized it since I've had it, I assume I should start doing that too, any chance you can provide me some links to preferred bonsai fertilization methods?
'Dry' as in dust dry? dry as a bone?...MUCH too dry... Barely moist is a good point to be watering at. As Gnome mentioned new soil is on your agenda.As for watering, I have generally been letting the soil dry out
And:one thing that comes to mind is that your tree having just grown a new set of leaves [Which are now almost gone] Has just expended a lot of it's root systems energy reserves/resources. It may not have alot left to push more growth.
I agree completely, especially now that I have seen the tree. As I suggested above (perhaps not strongly enough) an immediate re-pot may not be prudent. Purchase your pot and soil, prepare the pot and do some reading. Make sure the tree has recovered before putting it through any more stress. Keep in mind that fertilizer is not medicine, but since you have had it now for the better part of a year and not fed it, I would give it a dose and get it under the light as soon as possible.I am a bit concerned about the amount of stress your tree has been under considering all it has been through.
Either they will grow or they won't. But if you feel the need you can nip the very end off a branch and if it is still green inside it is healthy. But please don't go cutting branches now as you may inadvertently remove some that could recover. Also a technique that is usually cited is to scrape the bark slightly and again look for green tissue.Is there a way I can tell if any of the smaller branches have died and should therefore be pruned off?
When you say I should wait until the tree has recovered before I repot it, can you elaborate a bit on what I should look for to indicate that's it's strong enough to handle the stress of repotting?
You have answered your own question.Should I just let it grow as many shoots and leaves as possible (so it can get lots of light energy?) and not worry about pruning for a while?
They are almost always one and the same, although there is a technique commonly referred to as slip potting. Re-potting is the process of removing the old soil and root pruning to encourage new feeder roots. Check this site out. [url]https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics.html[/url] Pay particular attention to the sections "A guide to watering bonsai" and "Repotting & rootpruning" but eventually you should read it all.You're not distinguishing between new soil and repotting are you? There really doesn't seem to be much I could do with the current soil without replacing it.
I look forward to hearing how things work out for you.Hopefully I found you all in time! I will certainly post an update once I have things under control.
Your very welcome.Thank you very much for your thoughts and advice, Gnome and ynot!
That is all I have ever used for indoor trees, A fluorescent light[s], reflector, and a timer. [A 7$ bulb, 5$ each for the light fixtureI ordered the growing light system earlier today
and so hopefully I will have it within a week or so.
Until then I will see if I can rig a regular lamp somewhere with a fluorescent bulb so it is at least getting something in the meantime.
Check daily but do remember to water ONLY when it needs it, With few leaves your tree will be using less water than usual.I will plan to get some fertilizer and give it a dose and also stay well on top of my watering for now.
lol...All part of the learning curve...The vast majority of us have a story or two like this no worries.You're both right, this tree certainly has had a stressful several months now, especially since I didn't even mention that
I flew it as carryon home to Vegas from my parents' house in New Hampshire
when I first got it (it was a gift).
So its life with me began quite stressfully. Shocked And unfortunately has not gotten much better. Yet.
In this case I would simply wait it out and see what sprouts. There's no sense in potentially cutting off a survivor.Is there a way I can tell if any of the smaller branches have died and should therefore be pruned off?
Lots of good strong growth, As in two months of it-at the absolute minimum.When you say I should wait until the tree has recovered before I repot it, can you elaborate a bit on what
I should look for to indicate
that's it's strong enough to handle the stress of repotting?
Exactly, Let it grow, Let it grow, Let it growOnce it's well fed, well watered and has had some good time under a good light, what should I expect from it?
Should I just let it grow as many shoots and leaves as possible (so it can get lots of light energy?)
and not worry about pruning for a while?
[new soil/repotting] It is one and the same.You're not distinguishing between new soil and repotting are you? There really doesn't seem to be much I could do
with the current soil without replacing it.
Please do keep us updated.I will certainly do some reading in the meantime. Hopefully I found you all in time!
I will certainly post an update once I have things under control.
good luckThanks again for your patience and willingness to help me. Have a wonderful weekend!