For my birthday in July my husband bought me a Hawaiian Umbrella Tree. We're from Hawaii and he thought I would like it. I love it, but I don't think I'm doing very well caring for it.
This is the link that shows all the particulars of the tree: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000N ... UTF8&psc=1
Being a first time bonsai owner, I don't know that I would have chosen such an expensive one since it seems that I may be killing it.
It was so lush and full when it arrived. It's been a month and a half now and for the last 3 weeks or so it has been losing leaves like crazy. The leaflet that came with it said to expect a loss of about 20% of its leaves as it acclimated to its new environment. At this point, it's lost about 75%. I can see through the branches now.
When I first got it, the leaflet said to water every 3-4 days and that's what I did, until the water ran out the bottom of the pot. However, at the 3-4 day mark, the soil was still extremely moist so I started waiting until it was drier before watering. Again, every time I water, I do it until the water flows out the holes in the bottom.
Every day I'm losing leaves. If you brush your hand over the tree, the leaves just fall off. I'm getting a small pile of them. Even the bright green leaves are falling off. Sometimes, it's whole "umbrellas", stem and all. Only about 10% that fall off are actually brown when they fall.
There is new growth ALL over the plant. Some of them are getting bigger, some are falling off.
The only insects I've seen are the harmless ones that live on leaf litter. I forget what they're called but everything I've read about them says they won't harm the plant. There aren't any rotten spots. There is one branch that was trimmed by the company it was bought from that is starting to turn black at the tip and I was considering trimming it below that spot. It only goes about a quarter inch down from the tip.
I'm keeping it indoors because I live in Phoenix and to put it outside is a death sentence. It would burn up in no time flat. Our house faces north and south and there aren't any suitable windows to put it near so I bought a 24-inch plant light that I mounted approx. a foot above the tree in the largest cubby of an entertainment center. I don't have it in any drafts. We keep the house at 78-80 degrees all year round. I have a humidity tray for it. I will freely admit that I didn't realize it needed to be sitting on TOP of rocks in the tray and so it's just been sitting in the tray. Possibly it's getting too much water that way, but wouldn't the roots need to be coming out the bottom then? If that's the case, isn't it root bound and needing repotted?
I have considered repotting it into a larger pot and letting it become bigger than a typical Bonsai. From everything I've read, it's the binding of the roots that stunts the growth. If letting the root system get bigger will help, I'm fine with that. It doesn't matter to me what size it is. I just want it to be healthy.
Sorry this post is so long, but I wanted to convey as much info as I could. Any ideas on what could be happening to my tree would be so greatly appreciated. I emailed the "Bonsai Master" at the company it was purchased it from almost 2 weeks ago and haven't received an answer. I'm getting a little desperate.