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Natasha18
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Serissa's leaves turning brown all of a sudden?

Hello, well, I have had a Serissa bonsai for about a year and I never had any problems with it.
It is an outdoor bonsai and I make sure it has enough water and enough sunlight everyday.

However, some days ago, I moved it from the place it used to be and continued with my routine and suddenly all of its leaves began to turn brown and fall. Now it has almost lost all of them!
Another fact I have to add is that I recently used fertilizer on it (maybe I overdid it?) and also that we are in the rainy season so there hasn't been that much sunlight.

I've been reading about what to do and I re-potted the plant yesterday (there were no bugs or plague infection either and the soil was moist; the roots were not rotten and the only thing I noticed is that the pot it used to be in was already too small for it so, as I wrote before, I found a new pot for it). Some of the branches are dry but some others are not.

I really don't know what is happening and since this is my first bonsai tree, I am afraid I may do something wrong in my intent to save it.

I leave you some pics so you can see it:
Image
Image
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Please help me, I thank you so much in advance.

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Re: Serissa's leaves turning brown all of a sudden?

Natasha18,
I make sure it has enough water and enough sunlight everyday.
also that we are in the rainy season
I hope that you are not automatically watering it everyday, your soil appears to be rather peaty and water retentive. Watering is not done to a schedule but as necessary, which may or may not be required on any given day. Many factors will determine watering frequency. When you do water, do so thoroughly.
One method is to insert a kitchen skewer or chopstick to the bottom of the pot and leave it there. Take it out daily to check it; if the skewer has soil stuck to it don't water. Touch the wood to your cheek or underside of your wrist, if it is damp there is no need to water. This method is particularly useful for trees that are in heavier organic/peat based soils. It becomes less effective when proper bonsai soils are used. After a while you will get used to the requirements of your particular trees. You will find that temperate trees will need less water in late fall and winter than they will in spring or summer.


This is a plant that I have never tried but here is a link to a care sheet.
https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Serissa.html

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Natasha18
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Re: Serissa's leaves turning brown all of a sudden?

Hello and thank you so much for replying.

No, I have not been watering everyday...

But yeah, maybe I've been doing it wrong. Now that you give me that chopstick method I can see what the problem may have been... Since it's been pretty humid here due to the rainy season, even if the upper layers of soil were already dried, it could have been wet in the lower parts... my mistake to keep watering it. I was told by the local merchant that in order to know if a bonsai needed watering I had to dig up a little with my fingers and if the soil was dry I had to add water. Of course that didn't guaranteed the lower layers were dried or wet...

But thank you so much! Now I know the problem has been over-watering my bonsai and I will use that method from now on.
And also thanks for the link, I'll go read more about it there.

tomc
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Re: Serissa's leaves turning brown all of a sudden?

A collateral benefit of using a chop-stick is as you poke holes into soil you by defalt airate it.

I still suspect your soil particle size is too small (and thus too water retentative). As Gnome notes.
Think like a tree
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Natasha18
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Re: Serissa's leaves turning brown all of a sudden?

Oh! Ok, I'll work at it...

Yeah, maybe... I'll see if I can get a different type of soil, thanks

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Re: Serissa's leaves turning brown all of a sudden?

Natasha,

Don't rush into anything, it was just re-potted. Learn about proper bonsai soil here:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... =36&t=3422

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