Struggling beginner here... I got a bonsai for my husband about two months ago and the shopkeeper gave us the instructions to simply "water every day." Once we got it home, he did some research and got it some fertilizer and set a regimen. Now he's away until next year and I've been entrusted with the baby and things aren't looking fantastic.
It seemed great until a couple of weeks ago when I noticed it started browning on the needles close to the trunk and along the base of some of the branches. Initially my husband suspected they were hardening up or dying off because those sections weren't being reached by sunlight. Now it seems to be getting progessively worse and I'm getting concerned.
It's an evergreen of some kind, but I forget what exactly. It sits in my open window facing east so it gets direct morning sunlight. I was following the instructions to water daily but this last week I switched to using a bamboo skewer in the soil to check the moisture level and watering when the skewer is dry. I also started using the "for the bonsai it always rains twice" method, watering thoroughly once, letting it drain, then watering it a second time, then draining again. It gets fertilized every second Friday. I don't know what the soil is like or anything like that, it's been left in what the shop had it in, with some small pebbles on top. I read today that for fertilizing I should be watering it regularly first, then doing it a second time with the fertilizer so as not to burn the roots, which I haven't been doing.
We did have a couple of nights where it dropped down from being in the 20s celsius to between 3C-10C. I pulled the tree from the window for one of those nights and set it inside, but I don't know if that was good for it or if the premature cold shocked it. The browning kind of coincided with that, but I am under the impression it takes several days for damage to become visible so it may have been before that. I'm confused as far as having an indoor bonsai, because I've read a lot of people saying they just can't be indoors. I'm not sure what to do. I'd prefer it to be indoors so I can monitor it, but if it will save the plant I'll figure out how to do it outside. I'm just concerned for the coming winter. I live in Canada and in my area we get several feet of snow regularly, and it frequently drops down to -30C.
I've attached photos of the browning, what the tree looks like in its usual windowsill, and the fertilizer. Thanks for any help.