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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:26 am
Location: Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Eastern Europe

Re: Fukien Bonsai Leaves Falling Off

Hi everyone,

I washed my bonsai`s root ball last night with powerful water jet. Some substrate remained very attached to the roots (somewhere even parts as big as 3 stacked quarters, didn`t pulled very hard on them).

In the process the bonsai lost about 20 more leaves (some yellowing, some healthy).
I have then stole some substrate from my orchids, cut it down to 5~10mm (3/16~3/8 of an inch) and also grabbed some clay pebbles and crushed them to the same approximate size.

I packed the bonsai in its previous pot as I couldn`t find any nursery pot and then thoroughly wet it (last night it rained 3 times for my bonsai!) with a slight addition of special bonsai fertilizer with microelements (3.5% N2, 7% P2O5, 4.5% K2O, 1% MgO +++ 0.013% B, 0.003 Cu, 0.021 Fe&EDTA, 0.011% Mn, 0.0011 Mo, 0.0058 Zn).

This morning I turned on the ring fluorescent soldering light for about an hour until the light outside was very bright (well.. not brighter than the fluorescent light). Right now it`s overcast, should have left the light on all day...

Can anyone tell me how well/bad the roots look? They were not mushy at all, but rather strong. Maybe at most 10% were soft, but I don`t know how to evaluate them...

Thank you all for your advice so far, I will keep you updated with the bonsai`s health.

Didn`t want to eat the forum`s bandwidth, so here are more photos: ... sp=sharing

Bonsai after 3 rains with 3.5--7--4.5--1 N--P--K--Mg  (clay pebbles chips make funny sounds when watered)
Bonsai after 3 rains with 3.5--7--4.5--1 N--P--K--Mg (clay pebbles chips make funny sounds when watered)
bonsai in old pot... no nursery pot anywhere...
bonsai in old pot... no nursery pot anywhere...
substrate cut to size
substrate cut to size
washed root ball
washed root ball

garmy yo
Cool Member
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:19 pm
Location: Longmont, Colorado

Re: Fukien Bonsai Leaves Falling Off

Looks good. We should know in a few weeks how she is going to respond. Now you have me wanting to do this with my Fukien. Her root ball is still original soil..

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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Fukien Bonsai Leaves Falling Off

The core of the root system looks alive and removing the dead roots will help it a lot. Your substrate mix is a little big, but should drain very well and it should work. If the plant falls out of the shallow pot, then wire it. to the pot. It is actually the way bonsai are anchored after the roots have been reduced. You don't want the plant to be shaking or the new roots will not establish well. Remove the wire in a couple of months. Orchid bark will break down over time, plan on repotting in about 6 months. That should give you time to find the right mix. The old pot looks like it had a lot of coarse bark too.

Bark is a good mix that drains well and holds some water, but it decomposes and over time it will become sour and fungi will start to grow. That is why bark media needs to be replaced frequently while the plant roots are still healthy.

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