smithjc
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:54 pm
Location: Germany

HELP! dying Bonsai

Hello,
I am devastated!! I had a Ginseng Bonsai for about 4 years that my husband bought me. it has been beautiful for years. lots of leaves, lots of growth. Two weeks ago the leaves started turning yellow and then brown and all the leaves have died. in the space of 2 weeks. I have no idea why. Its in a window but not in direct sun. it gets watered about every 3 weeks, and it had orchids and african violets around it. that has been the same for years. Funny thing is all of the plants on that window are dying. any ideas or help would be appreciated.

linlaoboo
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Location: NJ

propably had too much temperature swings next to the window between night and day especially through winter. I don't grow orchids but have lots of ficus. They're tropical trees so they should spend time outside in the growing season and be fertilized alot. Watering ficus on a fixed schedule isn't good, every 3 weeks seems a bit long also. ficus like to have it's soil 90% dried up before watering. Depending on the state it is in it may bounce back. I have had mine lose all its leafs and bounce back before. Try attaching a picture so we can see better how bad it is.
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

smithjc
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Location: Germany

Thanks

Thanks for your answer linlaoboo. I will try to figure out how to post a photo. I guess I need to post it on Flickr or something-

smithjc
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:54 pm
Location: Germany

Photos

ok here we go try this (crossed fingers)


[url]https://www.flickr.com/photos/healingcommunities/sets/72157629802181583/[/url]

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

smithjc,

Can't offer much specifically, but don't give up. I have grown a small group of Ficus for a while now and always been, ever so slightly, skeptical of the claims that Ficus will spontaneously drop there leaves, until... one of mine shed it's leaves for no apparent reason.

I had some die back but now it seems to be on the mend and I'm anxiously awaiting warm weather so I can put it outside.

The point is, don't give up on it. Try nipping the end of a shoot and look for green, living, tissue to discern the extent of the damage.

Norm

linlaoboo
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Location: NJ

Smithjc,

It's not looking good but as Gnome said don't give up yet pick a couple random branch tips up top and clip them and look for green tissues as well as white sap. You can also scratch a thin layer of the bark on the fat trunk down low.

I'm curious if that window is a North facing one which might not allow enough light during the day and perhaps is colder at night. Personally I've not had my ficus that close to the window during the winter since my windows aren't that thermal efficient and they get pretty cold in winters. I suggest moving it to a south facing window if it isn't already. Spring is here so the temperature is no longer an issue. Try misting the tree and put a clear plastic bag over the whole tree to increase humidity. I can't see the soil that clearly but could it be pretty compacted since it was allowed to dry up too much? Try watering it and let it drain well from the bottom of the pot and keep in mind a leafless tree can't take in water so don't soak it in water or the roots may rot. Over all just try to keep it in stable temperature conditions as warm as possible and if it does make it back definately bring it outside and do a soil change if it's never been done before. Keep us posted.
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

smithjc
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:54 pm
Location: Germany

Thanks linlaoboo

I did move it out of the window and I did water is. It is in a post with good drainage and I usually let it get pretty dry before I water it again. It has always sat in a window year round and our temps vary. It never affected it before. That window is south facing. Now its not in a window at all. We shall see. I plan to keep treating it as I have in the past and keep it a stable temp. Is there anything I can give it as fertilizer?

Thanks again for your help.

Jeanne

linlaoboo
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Location: NJ

Jeanne,

That's pretty much what I had done when the mysterious leaf drop happend to my 15 year old ficus a few years ago. I simply lefted on a rack next to a southern window with filtered light and eventually it started budding in a couple of weeks. Only time will tell now.

Btw, I see this guy using indoor grow house to treat stressed tropicals, not saying that's what yours need, just thought is interesting.

https://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?6856-A-New-Tropical-Setup/page3
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

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