sahar77
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Bonsai dying with yellow brown leaves

Hi All,

My name is Sahar, I love gardening but not that successful in it ;). Hope joining this forum can help me.

I have a bonsai and I leave in Medellin, weather temperature between 17-25 celsius all year round. My little bonsai seems to be dying. I do not know what type of pine is this, cause as I was reading this forum depend on that I should decide on watering of the plant.
Photo on 11-14-15 at 9.11 PM.jpg
Photo on 11-14-15 at 9.25 PM.jpg
Could you help me on:

1)figuring out what type of pine is this? and how much water it needs?

I have been reading the forum post on yellowing leaves. Water: My pine soil as you see is hydrated, there are many little green grasses growing on it. so I don't think that's it. Light: I tried putting it inside in a soft light and in the balcony where it can get 2-3 hours direct sunshine a day. Insects: not an expert but I can not see anything on it. none of them worked. watering too much? I'm scared to take it out of pot as I know it may even hurt the plan more.

2)do you have any suggestion on why it is looking like this?

3)only thing I haven't tried is Fertilizers: what type of fertilizers do you suggest for this type of pine and for this specific issue? as you see is very small how much should be the quantity.

I really hope my beauty gets back to life. Help plzzz!!
Any suggestions or comments are welcomed.
Thanks a lot!!!
Last edited by sahar77 on Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bonsai dying with yellow brown leaves

it sounds like you thought you were attaching a picture, but there is no picture. A picture would really help. If you have the picture on your computer, you should be able to just use the gray Upload attachment button under the typing box. If you are still having trouble Private Message webmaster and he can help you.
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sahar77
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Re: Bonsai dying with yellow brown leaves

thanks i just added the picture.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bonsai dying with yellow brown leaves

It is a juniper and it is in very sad shape. Junipers die in slow motion from the inside out. By the time they look like this, they may be completely dead and past saving. It is in bad soil, not bonsai soil, and it looks like it is indoors. Junipers die indoors. They need to be outdoors all the time in all weathers.

Since I think it is a goner anyway, you might try breaking a little twig off, to see if it is green inside. If not, it is dead.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings. :(
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sahar77
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Re: Bonsai dying with yellow brown leaves

thanks for the explanation. I keep it in the balcony just brought her in to take the picture. I know is in a very bad shape, it looks yellow from inside of twig too but I don't know why i feel is not entirely dead. I will try changing the soil. will buy tomorrow morning and replant, would cutting branches help her? anything I can do to help her? fertilizer? cutting roots?

thanks a lottt for helpin :)

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bonsai dying with yellow brown leaves

I was hoping someone who knows more about bonsai than I do would come by. But no, other than continued good care, I don't think there is anything you can do. Pruning won't help, root-pruning won't help, fertilizing won't help. For a plant that is struggling all of those things are just more stress.

Get it in real bonsai soil and learn about how to properly water bonsai:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... =36&t=1479

You can try the scratch test: . Carefully scratch a section of the tree’s trunk with a fingernail. While the outer layer of bark is brown and appears dead, the inner layer of a tree that is still alive should appear to be a vivid green. If your test reveals a green inner layer, there is still life in your tree and it can possibly be saved. If, however, your little tree has a dried trunk with no green underneath, it unfortunately is time to say goodbye to the tree.

If the scratch test reveals life, then you need to check the roots. Since you are going to change the soil, you will be taking it out of the pot anyway. So gently wash all the old soil off the roots and inspect them. If they are black, mushy, or smell bad the tree had root rot, from over-watering and the wrong kind of soil holding water too much. If there is green under the trunk bark AND the roots are white and firm, then your tree can probably be saved. If most of the roots are rotted, it is still a goner.

If it passed both those tests, repot it in good bonsai soil or potting mix, mixed half and half with coarse sand or ground volcanic rock. Keep it out on the balcony (how much sun does your balcony get?) , water it correctly, and hope.

If you are in the northern hemisphere, and it is winter, then you won't really know until spring if it survived. It would be going dormant now anyway (which is NOT what has happened; a dormant juniper is still green, not brown like yours). So you wouldn't see new growth until spring.

Best Wishes, but be prepared for it to be bad news.
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imafan26
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Re: Bonsai dying with yellow brown leaves

I think it got too much water. The moss around the base of the tree is very green. I also think that it is too far gone to save. I cannot tell what kind of soil it is in, but if it was fine soil or potting soil in a container with a small hole, it is easy for the plant to get too much water. Junipers like to be outside in full sun. they are not house plants. Bonsai potting soil should be very loose and well drained and contains very little organic matter. It is made up mostly of different grades of fine gravel.
Bonsai pots usually have small drain holes so you need to use a well drained mix and learn how to use the chopstick or finger method for checking when to water. If the bonsai is the right size for the pot and in good well drained soil in full sun, it can be watered every day without issues. But if the soil does not dry and the plant is sitting on a saucer or in a location that does not have good air circulation, it can stay wet too long.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

tomc
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Re: Bonsai dying with yellow brown leaves

Post mortems are (or can be) agonizing.

It may seem conterintuititve, but a tree needs access to air at its roots as well as water. Soil with very small particles like those built primarily out of peat, or loess (soil), hold much too much water and too little air. The tree drowns as a result.

Bonsai set to-pot with this kind of soil, is no bargain.

The nursery that uses this kind of soil is counting your being a repeat customer. The hobby-ist who uses peat or loess based soil, soon finds out their soil wasn't "just as good".
Think like a tree
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