CurtinNZ
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:18 am

Dried out pohutukawa bonsai, any suggestions?

I forgot to water the pohutukawa bonsai for a couple of weeks and the dehumidifier was going a fair bit over this time. So it ended up getting pretty dry. The leaves dried out, curled up and it is looking worse for wear.

I have now been watering it every 2-4 days when it is just about out of water, for two and a half weeks. I have been spraying around the base once a week with fert. But not much has happened.

Now I know that pohutukawa are hardy plants (living by the ocean and largely on rock faces) but I was hoping to get some advice on anything I could do to increase its chance of survival.

Would it be worth trimming back the ends of it to look for some green (would this encourage new growth?)? Pulling it out and trimming the root base (probably last done about a year ago)? Cutting off the leaves that are slowly dying and cutting the less dead ones in half to encourage new growth?

It is about 3 years old, lives inside with morning sun.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Dried out pohutukawa bonsai, any suggestions?

I never heard of this, so I looked it up. I take it that the NZ in your screen name is for New Zealand, since this tree is native there?

It doesn't sound like drying out is good for it: "Pohutukawa is Maori terminology for 'drenched with spray.' This would be a common occurrence as the trees cling to the cliffs of some of our most exposed coast line." http://www.bonsaiforbeginners.com/pohut ... onsai.html

Don't fertilize plants that are struggling; that is just another stress on them. Otherwise, I can't say much about what to do now. Hopefully someone with more expertise will come along. You can do a scratch test to be sure you aren't trying to revive a dead tree. Green under the bark = alive.
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