Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:46 am
Location: maidstone, kent


hi guys
I am new to the forum but I am really worried about my little tree

it was bought as a present from tescos, I believe it is a chinese elm?

its about 7 inches tall so very small

it was bought a month ago & I was really naive without a clue how to look after it so it has been in my kitchen which is fairly well lit & has a good ventilation, and I have watered it when I thought it was necessary
I havent given it any fertiliser or taken it outside

I live in Kent, England so the weather is fairly mild as its only September

there are new shoots coming through on the tree but I'm worried if it keeps losing leaves it will die really quickly
please help :(

ive attached a photo

Greener Thumb
Posts: 749
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:28 am
Location: Cedarville (SE of Utica) NY, USA


Before offering a miracle cure - please take a few minutes to search this forum, and the other related bonsai areas. See all the references to Chinese elms? See the ones concerning leaf drop? See your question repeated?

Chinese elm and Fukien tea can be difficult material for newbies. They have their particular needs. If not provided they will pout, throw fits, act grumpy. They might even pass away.

Miracle cure? There isn't one. Me? I would get the tree outside. Provide a sheltered, semi-shaded location. It is an elm tree, not a house plant. Elm trees need the great outdoors. That's where they came from.

You will need to learn about proper watering, good well draining soil mix.

I hope you will do some research and help your little tree. We'll be here to steer you along.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:07 pm
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Just to back up Tom's assessment. Chinese Elms are one of those trees sold as "indoor" bonsai that really should not be. My experience with them is that, indoors, they will enter alternating periods of dormancy and growth, somtimes both at once, exhausting the tree, until it has nothing left and dies. I've lost count somewhere along the way, but I've tried with "normal" elms as well as "Seiju" and "Hokkaido". By far, the "Hokkaido" survived the longest, but that's not saying much since its "survival" was more like "barely surviving" and went on for two or three years for each of two specimens. AND, my conditions are about as ideal as you can get indoors, greenhouse window, south, east, and west exposure, 40-50% humidity, etc. Sorry the news could not be better.

Return to “Indoor Bonsai Forum”