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Brazilian Bonsai Tree leaves aren't opening and are dying

Hi All,

I have a Brazilian bonsai tree and its leaves are dying. Since it is October at first I thought ok maybe it is the change of season, but the other leaves aren't even opening when it is in the sunlight and the temperature hasn't gotten cooler than 65. I keep it on my deck, it gets about 3-4 hours of direct sunlight a day and I've had it for about 2 months now, but the gardening store I bought it at said it was about 3 years old. I repotted it about a month ago from the plastic pot I bought it in to a large ceramic one. I used quick drain tropical bonsai soil and left some of the original potting soil around the tree roots. The leaves haven't been opening for about 5 days now and I have no idea what to do. I'd really appreciate any advice to save my tree.

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Re: Brazilian Bonsai Tree leaves aren't opening and are dyin

Using the quick drain bonsai soil is what you are supposed to do. But it does mean you need to water a lot-- frequently and thoroughly. You need to run water through it until it is running freely out the drain holes, let it drain, and then do it again ("for bonsai, it always rains twice"). And you need to check when it needs to be watered, but it may well be every day.

The most obvious first guess on why the leaves look like that is that it isn't getting enough water.
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Re: Brazilian Bonsai Tree leaves aren't opening and are dyin

It does look like it is in shock. I usually don't put newly transplanted trees out right away. I give them a little more shade for a week and then harden them out again. I do agree with Rainbow that watering needs will change. When transplanting any plant, you need to be careful not to damage the roots and not to plant it deep. Most plants suitable for bonsai do not have taproots, but top and bottom need to be trimmed at the same time. Usually, I do not go into a bigger pot unless the plant has outgrown its' pot. I have actually pulled out a 25 year old bougainvillea and put it in a 10 inch training pot. If I succeed in getting it shaped, it will go into a shallower pot but not a bigger one. I would plant the bougainvillea high and expose some of the surface roots near the trunk. I only trim off what I have to from the bottom and an inch or two from the sides. I try not to cut the larger roots. Everytime I do a significant root trim, the top has to be cut back as well. Top and bottom have to be proportional. You cannot keep all of the top growth if you do any major downsizing. If it is a maintenance trim. I would still do some thinning on the top.

Your tree still needs training and shaping.
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