Hi! I just recently purchased a bonsai plant from a local Sam's Club, who I've lovingly named Malachi. At first glance he is beautiful, but appears dried out or even dead. I know that I should have probably left him and got another one that had a healthier looking appearance, but he was by far the most beautiful one there. And when I did the "scratch test" with my fingernail on the trunk, it had green, living tissue underneath.
He did not have any exposure to sunlight in the store and I doubt they watered it (he wasnt the only "crunchy" looking one). The leaves are still green and are on the plant, but will break off at the slightest touch. He is in a 8in X 9in X 3in ceramic pot, with those little rocks that are stuck together on top of the soil and it has moss around the trunk. The moss was green when I bought it, but since watering it, it has now turned brownish (which can't be good).
When I first got him, I gave him a 20min soaking in room temperature tap water b/c the soil was obviously dry, but now after a few waterings, it feels spongy. I've read that the soil should be well drained and should have a screen with rocks at the bottom and as far as I can tell there is no sreen, no rocks and it looks like regular old miracle grow potting mix with the little white spongy things in it. I have been testing the soil moisture by touching what I can feel through the drainage holes. (Is giving him tap water ok?)
There has been no sign of new growth for the month I've had him, but I guess that's to be expexted b/c it is winter? The trunk has no signs of apparent disease, I guess. I do not know if I need to give him fertilizer, let him be and just keep watering him, take off all the dried out leaves (which is ALL of them), repot him or WHAT?!?!
From the research that I've done, he appears to be some kind of Boxwood. Please, any suggestions to save my Malachi would be greatly appreciated.