reikimaster
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Cardiff

New owner of a Bonsai needing help

HI I was given a beautiful large Bonsai as a birthday gift in April. Initially the tree shed some leaves, which I understand is normal after being moved. She was resettled into a lovely spot near my other indoor plants and has seemed to thrive. The dropping of leaves stopped, she has been watered and sprayed and fed with half strength plant food. Everything was going well but I now notice that some of the new growth is pale greeny/yellow and has brown spots on it. Should I just remove these leaves or do I need to spray the tree with an insecticide? Apart from this she (Bonny - not very original) loves our chats and seems well so I hope you can help me keep her this way. Thanks in anticipation.

linlaoboo
Green Thumb
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:15 pm
Location: NJ

if u speak in people terms just like people there are so many kinds, what kind is Bonny?
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

reikimaster
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Cardiff

Ficus retusa

Hi Bonny is a ficus retusa and is Just over a metre high from the bottom of the pot to the top of the plant. Hooe this helps.

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

You're new to bonsai and have acquired a F. retusa of imperial size? Sorry, but that doesn't seem quite right to me. Such a tree would be so well matured and meticulously cared for that, if it became available for sale, the cost would be multi-thousands of dollars (divide by ~1.6 for Sterling), probably over $10K. Are you sure it is a bonsai? Can you post a picture?

Contrary to the belief of some, talking to one's plants has absolutely no effect on them. They have no organs or systems in place to "enjoy" anything, much less conversations they can't possibly understand (or even hear). Concentrate more on providing IT (it is not female, not male) with the circumstances it requires and less on providing for its non-existent emotional needs, and you'll readily find that horticulture becomes much, much easier.

As for diagnosis of a "problem", without images, there's really not any way to offer any advice whatsoever. We, in fact, could not even say if anything is, indeed, wrong.

reikimaster
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Cardiff

differing attitides

Hi I am a newbie to the care of Bonsai but I am a mature and well educated person and I would choose to have a different opinion to you regarding talking to plants. I know of several experiments that support the theory of talking to them and quite frankly see no harm if this is included in the general care of them. As a newbie I believe I have acted responsibly in coming to a web-site such as this so that I can care for my plant correctly. I had believed that this might just be a little more friendly and personal than reading books.

I can assure you that the name on the plant I was given states Ficus rectus and the tree is quite large and apart from these few leaves at the top of the plant being slightly tinted with brown, looks to be in excellent condition. I obviously want to keep it this way hence my asking for some advice from someone with more experience of looking after these beautiful plants.

I am afraid that I find your post and your attitude rather unhelpful and would suggest - albeit politely - that maybe not speaking to ones plants might have positive benefits too for the plant.

I will take some photographs and download them so, if anyone is happy to have a look at them and advise me, I would be most grateful. Many thanks.

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

reikimaster, it seems to me that the bonsai situation in Wales vis-a-vis size of available plants is (clearly!) much different from that in the U.S. I would congratulate you on having acquired such a beautiful specimen, myself. :)

Although I have no bonsai, I do have container plants. Often, when a container plant begins to show brown edges on the most extreme-lying leaves, the situation pertains to drainage: either too slow (roots are very wet) or too fast (roots and plant are too dry). Please review the Bonsai Library here for plant media vs. what you have provided; perhaps there are clues there.

On the question of talking to plants, I talk to mine as well...."And how are we doing today, chard? Uh-oh, nasty aphids again!" etc. Or, with roses, "That's a very nice yellow bloom!"

You're def. not the only gardener who talks to his/her plants, believe me. :wink:

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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

Re: differing attitides

reikimaster wrote:Hi I am a newbie to the care of Bonsai but I am a mature and well educated person and I would choose to have a different opinion to you regarding talking to plants. I know of several experiments that support the theory of talking to them and quite frankly see no harm if this is included in the general care of them. As a newbie I believe I have acted responsibly in coming to a web-site such as this so that I can care for my plant correctly. I had believed that this might just be a little more friendly and personal than reading books.
Opinions are fine to have, and everyone has theirs. I can only go by everything I've read, studied, experienced and experimented, and what I've seen. Talking to one's plants, from every last iota of reliable information I've gleaned, has 0 effect, period, in a truly scientific situation where the ONLY variable is plants spoken to and those not spoken to. If you have links to the studies you've referenced, I'd love to see them. No, there is no harm in talking to a plant, even if there is no benefit, unless said "husbandry" excludes other, more reliable, means of keeping plants healthy that work. IOW, trying to talk a plant into drinking more isn't ever going to prevent root rot.
reikimaster wrote:I can assure you that the name on the plant I was given states Ficus rectus and the tree is quite large and apart from these few leaves at the top of the plant being slightly tinted with brown, looks to be in excellent condition. I obviously want to keep it this way hence my asking for some advice from someone with more experience of looking after these beautiful plants.
I have no doubt that it is a Ficus retusa. I have no doubt that it is over a meter tall, or more than, even two meters. But I seriously doubt that this is a bonsai other than in the strictly literal "tree in a pot" sense. There is far more to bonsai than putting a tree into a pot.
reikimaster wrote:I am afraid that I find your post and your attitude rather unhelpful and would suggest - albeit politely - that maybe not speaking to ones plants might have positive benefits too for the plant.

I will take some photographs and download them so, if anyone is happy to have a look at them and advise me, I would be most grateful. Many thanks.
Well, I'm sorry you don't see this as helpful, but, the fact is, that a container tree and a bonsai of the same species have VERY different care requirements. If not properly identified as one or the other, help can not truly be given. And, given this is a bonsai forum, such help would be more guided toward helping you with a bonsai, not a container plant. As I said, a bonsai of such size and age is a rare commodity and would cost far more than I think a beginner would ever be willing to spend. Unless you've inherited the tree as part of a collection, it's probably just a container plant and should be treated as such.

User avatar
froggy
Senior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:54 pm
Location: Toronto, ON, zone 5a

Arguing on whether to talk to plants or not is beside the point really - if they start talking back is when you've got to worry ;)

But a helpful diagnosis to the problem is not really possible without a couple of clear images - whole plant, soil, closeup of affected area.

Checking out the learning library is indeed a good idea, it may give you some ideas on improving the care of your tree. proper watering, soil composition, feeding. styling is secondary, as long as you keep it/her alive...

oh, and i just call all my ficuses 'figgy' - makes me laugh every time - and if they care, they haven't told me :p
;)

linlaoboo
Green Thumb
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:15 pm
Location: NJ

Remember to describe the environmental conditions you are keeping the tree in. F. Microcarpa is prevalent in the tropics so you want to provide the most adaquate conditions for them and there are a few but don't worry F. Retusa is a beginner bonsai weather yours is a bonsai or a tree in the pot. In Chinese and Japanese they are written the same and mean the same but indeed it has a deeper meaning to Bonsai practioners which you can understand by reading bonsai books.

From my years of growing ficuses, I've not seen leaves emerging in yellow or brown color. I have had leaves scorched under direct sun. I can imagine if it has problems in the soil, how it's watered, kind of pot it's in, root conditions, fertilizing routines, etc... leaves may quicky turn yellow and brown. That's the hunch I have with the limited information given so far.
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

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

Unfortunately, and I've seen this numerous times before, brand new "yellowed" growth as reported by the first time grower, can be perfectly normal, light green, growth. And, with Ficus (and other species, like Schefflera) you can also sometimes see very tiny brown/black markings that just "go away" as the leaves mature. There's no real way to tell whether something is wrong, or not, without a picture.

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

Kdodds,
(and other species, like Schefflera) you can also sometimes see very tiny brown/black markings that just "go away" as the leaves mature.
This is interesting, I have never read anything about this elsewhere. The Scheff. that I have shown in the gallery appears to exhibit this same behavior and I was never sure what to make of it. I tend not to panic every time one of my plants shows some small abnormality so I kind of just shrugged it off. I'll have to observe it more closely.

BTW, I too note new leaves of a lighter color emerging on my few Ficus'. They darken up as they mature.

Norm

Justin088
Cool Member
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:04 pm
Location: Coppell, TX

Plants love Carbon Dioxide. Im no Mr.Scientist but exhaling carbon dioxide on a plant would have some kind of positive impact.

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

Not really Justin, the environment would have to be SEVERELY CO2 depleted for human exhalation in the immediate vicinity to be beneficial. Trees don't really consume that much CO2, pound for pound, as other, much faster growing, plants. And indoors, CO2 levels are already usually higher, outdoors would make no difference whatsoever.

Return to “Indoor Bonsai Forum”