inurl
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: Sofia Bulgaria M.o.N.

Bonsai novice please help me not kill a tree.

Hello everyone

A few days ago the generous people at Renault lightweight trucks Bulgaria gave my dad a bonsai tree as an invite to confirm him taking part in a test drive event. Classy but still he ain`t doing it. Aniway as far as gardening goes in this family we have a ficus-like thing in the living room a bunch of red and white flowery stuff in the kitchen and a cactus - and if you guessed an import company you are so right - Subaru at a random auto show anniversary last year.

Now since I`m the only anime freak around (and currently studying japanese thank you very much) all the japanese stuff comes to me. Need I even mention that I have no idea whatsoever as to what am I going to do with a tiny bushy thing sold halfdead and ugly at an east european flower... selling... well place. It is in a pretty pot though.

It didn`t come with any directions other than the phone number of the secretary for the test-drive and I will feel awkward to be throwing her questions about bonsai watering.

So please help save this poor creature I dare not imagine to what extent I might mess things up!

First thing first I desperatly need watering information - as the chant goes I`m planning on throwing 2/3 of a coffe cup for the pot another 2/3 for the soil and a full cup for the plant. Then I`ll put a big china plate underneath and mount the pot on three small rocks about a centimeter above. For the first few days I`ll leave the plate dry to try and measure how much of an excess water there is and in such a manner estimate how much water it needs. Then when I hopefully get the hang of it I`ll start leaveing some extra water in the plate throughout the day to moisture the air around the plant.

Also I`d like to ask if I need to do the "submerge the pot bellow soil level and wait till all air is gone" thing straight away since the tree might have spent some time beeing passed down the line of people from the car marketing bussiness.

<edit by admin>image broken</edit by admin>

I`m not sure if you will be able to see the picture as the host I`m using is *.bg. So please tell me if I need to move the photos on imageshack.


Also.

-the leaves feel moist
-well... I`m realy trying to make up something positive about the situation... then again I can`t
-is there a good net encyclopedia to try and determine the kind of plant it is?

ynot
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Inurl ,

Welcome!

Inurl,
You will need to host your photos via Photobucket [or similar] to post them here.

ynot

inurl
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Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: Sofia Bulgaria M.o.N.

Thanks - it`s all fairly straightforward I guess :) . I`ll try all of it. About the submersion method - I read a website article and it said to do it once a week - I`m not going to risk it yet though and especially if you say it`s not that necessary at the moment.

I have also read it might be good to leave fresh water in the plate above the drainage hole level in warmer days so I wanted to confirm this - the basic idea of this method was to somehow water the plant from bellow. And do I need to leave water to evapourate around it during the day too?

The plant is going to be kept indoors and it has a sufficient amount of light as it is right next to a southern window.

Lastly I am determined to make a bonsai tree out of this whole affair no matter how difficult it might be so any advice will be of help.

Thanks again for your time.

ynot
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
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inurl wrote:Thanks - it`s all fairly straightforward I guess :) . I`ll try all of it. About the submersion method - I read a website article and it said to do it once a week - I`m not going to risk it yet though and especially if you say it`s not that necessary at the moment.
As Mary noted virtually no one with experience suggests submersion as a regular watering practice. She listed some very good reasons for it also.
Please just let that idea go.

Do you know the species? This is a good place to start. Lots of the answers to your following questions are dependent upon the species...
I have also read it might be good to leave fresh water in the plate above the drainage hole level in warmer days so I wanted to confirm this - the basic idea of this method was to somehow water the plant from bellow.
Generally, No this is not a good idea. Proper soil and watering practices will be much more beneficial than it simply sitting in water.
And do I need to leave water to evapourate around it during the day too?

The plant is going to be kept indoors and it has a sufficient amount of light as it is right next to a southern window.
An ID is required before you know if this is suitable for indoors, It may be temperate and require a dormancy.

Yes humiditiy will be beneficial! The average desert has higher humidity that a living room in a modern house.

You may be surprised to know that it is very very very dark inside a house as far as a plant is concerned- Consider getting supplemental lighting.
Lastly I am determined to make a bonsai tree out of this whole affair no matter how difficult it might be so any advice will be of help.
Again, You can see this coming can't you?;) ... Without an ID of the species we have no idea what we are talking about yet, All else follows that.

good luck

ynot

inurl
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: Sofia Bulgaria M.o.N.

And that`s it. Click to enlarge.

[url=https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/?action=view&current=DSC00344.jpg][img]https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/th_DSC00344.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/?action=view&current=DSC00345.jpg][img]https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/th_DSC00345.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/?action=view&current=DSC00346.jpg][img]https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/th_DSC00346.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/?action=view&current=DSC00348.jpg][img]https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/th_DSC00348.jpg[/img][/url]

I dare not joke you about those folks :? . PR is still a pretty long way from here.

[url=https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/?action=view&current=DSC00350.jpg][img]https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/th_DSC00350.jpg[/img][/url]

So the first thing tomorrow morning will be to check google for the type of tree and I also happen to have a couple of botanical textbooks.

ynot
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Thanks for posting the pictures! :)

Actually, I am not immediately sure what you have there...

Others will chime in I am sure.

More immediately:

Is the soil dry as a bone? :shock: It looks to be and the foliage appears limp as though it could use water, Is this the case?

That soil is another issue that will be addressed shortly, [It looks like peat or dirt to me, Neither is good in a bonsai pot]

Keep researching and reading and posting :)

ynot

inurl
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Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: Sofia Bulgaria M.o.N.

https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/?action=view&current=DSC00361.jpg

Ok this is it after doing the stick thing and it was dead on dry as hell. So now I`ve watered it two cups of those on the picture - at that point it started to leak.

https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/?action=view&current=DSC00362.jpg

And that`s the soil up close. I don`t know what type it is. I guess in a couple of days when I know the exact ID we can talk about changing it with a more appropriate type.

Anyway it seems quite pourous as it absorbed the water almost emediatly and it was soft to the touch even though it was dry I guess that`s what mislead me into thinking it`s ok in the first place.

Considering the leaves about a quarter of them are in a realy bad shape - they are not dry or britle in any way - just a bit mingled - The rest are all fine soft moist and flexible. I don`t realy know what to think of it. At some point of my life I`m going to clear them off as I will be wiring the tree as soon as possible. Meaning in a week or so. I don`t want to miss the spring season - as it looks quite bad - there are crossing branches - even ones that have hardened a long time ago.
Last edited by inurl on Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ynot
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
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And that`s the soil up close. I don`t know what type it is.
It is entirely inappropriate for bonsai {see the sticky}
Ok this is it after doing the stick thing and it was dead on dry as hell. So now I`ve watered it two cups of those on the picture - at that point it started to leak.
Ok it takes more than just a plunge of the stick to tell [first of all] Just leave the stick in the pot and pull it to check every day.

No doubt you need new soil. [read the soil sticky -and the links in it at the top of the forum]

I do not know where the 2 cups concept came from but it is not nearly enough water. The wilting of your tree is also an indicator of this.

Take it to the sink and run water in it, Do this until the water FLOWS from the pot [Not a trickle, Not barely, Not drops of water coming out...FLOWS]

Then wait about 10 minutes and do it again.

This will insure a thorough saturation of the soil. Set it somewhere it can drain also.

Every time you water to want to wet all the soil, You do not water again until it needs it [review Marys post if need be.]

Do not water again until the stick method determines it needs it


At this site I suggest you read up on watering and soil as a start, Then just start at the top and work down.
You will find it most informative: https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics.html

ynot

inurl
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: Sofia Bulgaria M.o.N.

Ok did as you told me and left it in a plate raised half an inch above.

I`ll read it all then go back to questions.

Thanks again for the time spared. I appreciate it. :)

ynot
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
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inurl wrote:O
I`ll read it all then go back to questions.

Thanks again for the time spared. I appreciate it. :)
Your very welcome,
There is a lot of info in that link I gave you so don't expect it all to sink in the first time through...lol

Do read the soil and watering links first.

good luck

ynot

inurl
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Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: Sofia Bulgaria M.o.N.

Hello again.

I`ve spent most of the day browsing google for any kind of hint on the tree ID I`ve tried most of the visual ID keys but non too successfull. Most of the time there are five or six types of trees that match the structure of these leaves and none too close to call.

So I`m posting a few high res pics of the foliage and hopeing for somebody to recognise a specific plant in it.

I also failed at the school library - it was my last hope really :( .

So anyway I`m going shopping tomorrow - but don`t worry none more specific than a design for a drainage plate :lol: . No way that semi-translucent thing is staying for any more than it Needs to.

[img]https://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/DSC00398.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/DSC00394.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/DSC00396.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/DSC00395.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/DSC00400.jpg[/img]

I`ve also uploaded a 10 sec video of the tree in perspective so you are able to understand the spacing and structure of the branches. Here it is.

https://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w123/inurl/?action=view&current=MOV00406.flv

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

You might google pics of Chinese Quince and see what you think. Never owned one, so it's really just a guess.


The tree definitely needs to be fertilized. If this were citrus, I'd say you have a phosphorus deficiency because of the bronze colored leaves. A good all purpose with minors should help.


randy
Last edited by rjj on Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

inurl
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It is close to shape and structure to the quince tree but the leaves on mine are definetly thin and flexy - rather than the thick oily ones on the google photos. Also qince appears to be semi-evergreen and I don`t think mine could acomplish that with no more than a milimeter of leaf protection.

https://www.cnr.vt.edu/DENDRO/DENDROLOGY/Syllabus2/factsheet.cfm?ID=544

rjj
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[quote="inurl"]It is close to shape and structure to the quince tree but the leaves on mine are definetly thin and flexy - rather than the thick oily ones on the google photos. Also qince appears to be semi-evergreen and I don`t think mine could acomplish that with no more than a milimeter of leaf protection.

If your plant has been indoors for a long period of time in low light conditions, the leaves will be thin and anemic like in the photos, nothing like they should be if it were outdoors.

Your call though. Like I said, just a guess. Good luck with it.

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