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help with my "Chinese Privet Indoor Bonsai Tree"

hi, i am new to this fourm :D.. hope it can help me

well i have recently bought a chinese privet bonsai tree

age is approx 10years old

i bought it from here

i have had it for just under a week now and i have noticed that the leaves of it seem to be turning brown then falling off i would like to say that i check the soil mosture everyday to see if it needs watering and i know that u shouldent water it agen untill the soil is dry to the touch

where i bought it from it said its an indoor tree so natualy its indoors on a windowcill with plenty of light and i make sure the tempreture is kept almost constant at around 25o

is this natural i know that sometimes looseing leaves can be a sign of stress

i have noticed that some of the new growth leaves and smaller leaves to the top of the tree look nice and healthy its just the big ones that seem to be falling off .. is it beacuse i am doing something wrong causeing stress on it i know that they drops leaves due to changes in environment ect. light levles and temp

i just want some information on this thanks :D
if you belive in reincarnation
pray you don't come back as a neon tetra :P

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


Despite what the vendors says or implies there is really no such thing as an indoor tree. No trees evolved inside and very few will be at their best inside. Some species can do reasonably well inside if given the proper care but often that care is lacking from newcomers to bonsai culture.

I don't do a whole lot with "indoor species" because I have not made the investment in quality lighting that I feel is necessary to allow them to really thrive. The standard fluorescents I now use are far from ideal and they basically just allow me to keep my tender species alive from Fall to Spring. I get everything outside as soon as the weather will allow and leave them there as long as possible.

Your plant is probably suffering from low light levels. A windowsill that may appear bright to your eyes is relatively dim for plants. Supplemental lighting is always a good idea if you are serious about keeping this tree inside.

If you are able, and so inclined, I suggest you put it outside, out of direct light, for the remainder of the summer and early fall. This should help the plant to recover from the trauma of being shipped and relocated and allow you some time to begin researching indoor culture in general and your species in particular.


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Chinese privets grow as understory trees in temprate forests, so Im shure lighting isnt the big issue. Chinese privets are hardy from USDA zones 7-11. This means its fully hardy and could be kept outside in light shade. It also means it likes cool tempatures of 50*F or lower at some time of the year. However, seeing as its conditions are fairly well met, I'd say this is just a sign of stress. If you want, you could try to increase the humidity were it is, as this may help.
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Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:49 am
Location: Herts

I go with Gnome, it will probably be best if it were outside in semi-sun. I have a privet, no idea which species, and it lives happily outside all year. The chinese privet is classed as semi-hardy which may be why it is sold as indoor, since it may not survive a frost.

If you have a green house I would suggest that it go in there, especially over the winter. If you haven't then how about a cool but bright room/window for the winter. I have a lime and over the winter I place it in an unheated room. It does very well in that until it goes back outside. That one isn't a bonsai but the temperature requirements are probably similar an unheated room is probably better then one with heating.

I think that you have got yourself a bit of a challenge. :D :D

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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:56 pm
Location: Barga,Italy

chinese privet (ligustrum sinensis )

I am now living in Italy and there is a larg chinese privet across from my house,it is about 7 10 meters tall.Early this year i found plants growing in my garden,idid not know where they came from or what they me they looked like privet so i went into the computer to see what i could find.
I found the chinese privet,and when i seen the flowers i realised that allthe young plants that were growing in my garden came from the tree across from my houseand found its name.
As i am interested in bonsai's i started to pot some up.
i had no idea if they were sutable or not but then found an article by Zach Smith,and it was a great help to me.THANK YOU ZACH SMITH.
I hope this can help others.

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