rach2mike
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Leaves Falling Off :-(

Hi,

I am new to this forum and I am hoping to get some answers as to why the leaves have started suddenly falling off of my bonsai. I purchased the tree on Oct. 10, and it started loosing it's leaves about a week ago. There are now branches that have no leaves at all. I was told that the way to water was to keep the dish that is sits in full at all times. I was informed not to water through the soil, but just in the dish/tray. I am hoping that you can help me to determine what the problem is so that I can rectify.

Thanks,
Rachel
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Tree when purchsed
Tree when purchsed
Tree in current condition
Tree in current condition
Tree in current condition
Tree in current condition

tomc
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Re: Leaves Falling Off :-(

The test of a trees need for water is to stick a chop-stick in soil, withdraw it and touch where it was in the soil. if the stick is dry it needs a liberal watering. If the stick is damp it does not need watering. Test daily.

Of equal import your tree needs much more light than that corner provides. For 12 hours a day.

Even trees that live in flood-plains do better with some access to air for roots. Your tree is drowning in the dark...
Think like a tree
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Leaves Falling Off :-(

Yup, you got very bad advice. Never leave your tree sitting in water. Perhaps what they meant was a humidity tray. In a humidity tray, water stays in the tray, but the tree sits OVER the water, not in it:

Image

That is not a way of watering; it is just to keep the air around the tree a little more humidified.

This thread:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... =36&t=1479

has some good tips about watering and other bonsai care issues.

Your bonsai is a ficus. Ficus is a good indoor tree, but even though it can handle indoors, it does need bright indirect light. Ficus is sensitive to changes, particularly in light amount and readily drops its leaves. The good news about that is since it easily drops leaves, it also easily grows them back, when you get it in conditions it likes.
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imafan26
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Re: Leaves Falling Off :-(

It is a ficus which will lose leaves if the light is too low. Ficus hates being moved. It should be in good light. On the plus side it will adapt to its' location over time. No plant is forgiving about over or under watering. So, do read the tutorials in the bonsai forum on how to water and check if your plant needs water. Also check the posts on bonsai media. Bonsai are not planted in dirt or potting soil but in a gravelly well drained mix.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

rach2mike
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Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:22 pm
Location: Annapolis, MD

Re: Leaves Falling Off :-(

Thank you to all who have replied and given advice. I am going to see if I can find a location with better light. I am very limited, as I live on a townhouse with minimal natural light. One other question - will artificial light work? I can turn on a light that is overhead. ???

I was told that it is very hard to kill a bonsai - I explained that I even kill Pothos (sp?) - the ones that no one can kill lol. I really just have to look at a plant and it seems to die.

Thanks again to everyone. I will let you know the outcome!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Leaves Falling Off :-(

Artificial light will work, but not the overhead, which is probably at least five feet away from the tree. To make any difference, the light has to be directly above the tree and just a few inches above. Here's some examples of how lighting for bonsai trees is done:

Image
https://www.bonsaihunk.us/pic/WikleJpgs/ ... tstand.jpg

Image
https://i49.servimg.com/u/f49/15/29/61/92/2011-110.jpg

Image
https://i42.servimg.com/u/f42/16/82/17/46/img_0710.jpg

killing plants is mainly a question of not knowing what they need. If you learn about the plants and their needs (how much light, type and acidity of soil, how much water, etc), and work to provide as close as you can to their optimum situation, you won't kill them any more.
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