charlotte
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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:10 pm

New to bonsai trees, please help-(Serissa)

I have had a serissa foetida/tree of a thousand stars since July. It has been flowering and new leaves growing all the time. In the last couple of weeks leaves have started to go brown at the tips (mainly on one side of the tree), and fall off. The leaves on the other side of the tree seem ok (green and look healthy - one or two have turned yellow and fallen), but i don't think new leaves are growing. One side seems considerably more bare than the other.

It was positioned near a window, with a lamp to one side (the side which is now going brown) could the light/heat from the lamp have donw this? I have now moved the lamp, but don't see any changes (it has only been a few days though).

I water it every two to three days by submerging the pot for a couple of mins/until the air bubbles disappear.

Can anyone suggest what I can do? :?

Thanks

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

charlotte,

Welcome to the site. As you may know this species has the reputation of being difficult to manage but since this is a recent development your general care may not be the issue.
In the last couple of weeks leaves have started to go brown at the tips (mainly on one side of the tree), and fall off...It was positioned near a window, with a lamp to one side (the side which is now going brown) could the light/heat from the lamp have donw this?..The leaves on the other side of the tree seem ok (green and look healthy
This seems to be the most obvious thing to consider. Is the light a recent addition or have you perhaps moved it closer? Another thing to consider; has your central heating become more of an issue at the same time?

Incandescent bulbs are a poor choice for indoor growers. They produce too much heat in relation to the amount of energy they make available to the plant, not to mention that the wavelength is not ideal for general growing. Fluorescents are a better choice. The wavelengths, depending on the tubes you choose, are more appropriate. They can also be placed much closer to the plant without causing heat damage.

Most experienced growers avoid watering by immersion on a regular basis. In the short term there should be no problem but over time this favors the accumulation of salts/minerals that are present in fertilizer/water. By watering copiously from above you help to flush away these unwanted materials.

[url]https://extension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/hort/g06515.htm[/url]

Norm

yakuzumo
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:27 am
Location: southern california

I agree with norm. I think the light is doing this. If your light is a flourecent light, then you have no problems. But it it is another type of light, we may have issues. Anyway, move the lamp away, don't overwater it, and then get back to us/me and we'll see how it's going.

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Yakuzumo,

welcome to the site. I'm glad that you are providing advice. Keep up the good work. :idea:

kdodds
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Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Any chance you can observe the root ball? Watering by immersion every 2-3 days seems like a lot, even for an indoor tree in a dry house. It might be possible that the roots on one side have been damaged or are diseased, causing the localized problem in the leaves. Also agree with the above, watering by immersion is not the best thing to do for most trees on a regular basis, especially if, like me, you have very hard, very alkaline water.

Note: Serissa stink, their root system will have this noxious cabbagy kind of smell that might make you nauseous (it does me), especially when cut, so don't mistake that for disease.

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