xiaome
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

How do I keep my bonsai's leaves from drying out?

Hi everyone :)

I'm new to the world of bonsai and need some help. I've had my bonsai for about a week now. When I got it from the store all the leaves were healthy and dark green. I've noticed the last couple of days that some of the leaves are getting dried out, shriveled and brown.

I've been watering it first thing in the morning until the water starts to come out through the holes in the bottom and I've never left it to the point where the soil is completely dried out. I'm not sure how to keep my bonsai healthy and the leaves from drying.

I'm quite new to this and not too sure what kind of bonsai I have so I have included a picture of my bonsai. Any help will be much appreciated!!!
:oops:

[url=https://img90.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bonsai005gd9.jpg][img]https://img90.imageshack.us/img90/3481/bonsai005gd9.th.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://img227.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bonsai010aa3.jpg][img]https://img227.imageshack.us/img227/9269/bonsai010aa3.th.jpg[/img][/url]

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Re: How do I keep my bonsai's leaves from drying out?

xiaome wrote:Hi everyone :)
xiaome wrote:I'm new to the world of bonsai and need some help. I've had my bonsai for about a week now. When I got it from the store all the leaves were healthy and dark green. I've noticed the last couple of days that some of the leaves are getting dried out, shriveled and brown.
Hello xiaome, Welcome :)

I have a lot of questions for you! This is your only warning ;)

Did your tree happen to take a very cold car ride home from the store? Or was it possibly shipped to you?
Ficus are not comfortable or happy at temperatures below 10 or 12C [Or even alive if low temps are sustained] And even short exposure to temps below that could cause what your seeing now as a response. It could be a watering issue also as yellowing leaves are often a sign of over-watering.
xiaome wrote:I've been watering it first thing in the morning until the water starts to come out through the holes in the bottom and I've never left it to the point where the soil is completely dried out. I'm not sure how to keep my bonsai healthy and the leaves from drying.
Is that every morning?...Or just when it needs it? Or does it need it every morning? - You dig a finger down into the pot to check right? Not just the surface?
Until it flows freely- or until it barely trickles? Is that akadama it is potted in?
Does the soil I am seeing in the pictures fill the entire pot? Or is that simply a top dressing and the tree is actually growing in something that looks totally different?
It seems strange to me that a vendor who bothers with akadama {If it is} [Which is good...No, it's Great in fact for your tree] would not provide you with some adequate care instructions....Or an ID for that matter.
xiaome wrote:I'm quite new to this and not too sure what kind of bonsai I have so I have included a picture of my bonsai. Any help will be much appreciated!!!
To my eye, You are the proud owner of a [url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Ficus.html]Ficus Retusa 'microcarpa'[/url]- It is a fig tree.

Please read these links from what I consider the best Ficus site on the web:

https://www.bonsaihunk.us/info/SecretsImp.html
https://www.bonsaihunk.us/Figsindoors.html
https://www.bonsaihunk.us/info/ChineseBanyan.html

[url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics.html]Here[/url]is a page of articles about bonsai that you will find very informative and helpful.

I suggest you start with the top and work your way down, They are well written and worth re-reading until you have a solid foundation that you can build on as your experience grows.

Do read a lot of the other pages on that site as well, Research/study is a large aspect of bonsai.

[url=https://evergreengardenworks.com/articles.htm]Here[/url] is another page with Yet more articles about bonsai: Some of these are not as easy to read as they delve a bit deeper.

Please fill us in a bit more wrt my questions and do read up on the sites linked to..Then read some more. [That will no doubt inspire more questions..:lol:]

Good luck

ynot
Last edited by ynot on Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

xiaome,

Hello and welcome. Ynot has done an excellent job with getting started with you so I'll leave it at that for now. Please do follow up on that reading list, you don't have to absorb it all at once. Watering is by far the most important subject for you right now. FYI, I edited your post to correct the problem with the links.

Norm

rjj
Full Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:59 pm
Location: Norman OK

This is a semi-educated guess to your problem. You clearly have 2 different soils in your pot. This is a problem. Bet it was repotted right before you bought it. The soil the roots are in looks old, compacted, and nasty. It gets wet and takes some time to dry out.

If you are gauging when to water based on the other soil along the edges of the pot, that's bad. Water runs right through that. It's going to feel dry in no time at all.

An FYI in the future. It's never a good idea to buy a tree that's not been repotted properly. You can't win with this. Roots will grow in one but not the other based on how you care for it. Most usually the tree will suffer and probably die.

If this were my tree, would do one or two things.

1. Move the loose soil out of the pot with a spoon and find out how much nasty stuff is still in the pot. If the loose stuff is just a top dressing, change the way you water. Allow the nasty stuff to dry before watering again and ignore the loose stuff.

2. If you have a "small" root ball and the loose stuff fills most of the pot, you have a major problem that needs to be fixed asap.

randy

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Thanks Randy! :)

Randy has taken a [Much appreciated [img]https://www.mainzelahr.de/smile/janein/icon_ja.gif[/img]] direct route to what I was getting at when asking about the top dressing and how you check for moisture.

Yet another soil issue:

In the links I provided do tune into the articles on soil, And re-potting, They will soon be useful to you. [As well as watering as Gnome metioned.]
rjj wrote: 1. Move the loose soil out of the pot with a spoon and find out how much nasty stuff is still in the pot. If the loose stuff is just a top dressing, change the way you water. Allow the nasty stuff to dry before watering again and ignore the loose stuff.

2. If you have a "small" root ball and the loose stuff fills most of the pot, you have a major problem that needs to be fixed asap.
This is excellent advice, Please do let us know what you discover in there..

ynot

xiaome
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Thanks everyone!

Thanks so much everyone for the information and especially ynot for the detailed response. :D

Yes, my bonsai did take a very cold car ride home. It was quite cold that week. I'm glad to know at least it shouldn't be browning much more then. :?
By the information provided I do believe I was watering it too much as I did not dig into the soil enough to see if it was still moist. :oops: I'll make sure to check now that I know.

I'm going to check out those links and do some reading up. Maybe after some studying I will see how I manage with the repotting... I'll find out about the spoil with the suggested spoon digging. :wink:

I'll give all the suggestions a try and hopefully I'll be able to post a picture of a healthy bonsai in a bit! :D

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”