miss_kimchi
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Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:53 am
Location: Derbyshire

Chinese Elm Bonsai Brought Indoors, Now Leaves Falling

Hi there,

I need help please with my chinese elm bonsai tree. I bought it in July and it flourished in the conservatory. When the weather started getting colder, I watered it less and moved it from the conservatory (which was like an ice box) to the kitchen window (slightly less cold, but still not warm). Was this a bad move? Recently all the leaves have been dropping off quite rapidly (is this normal in winter?) and I've noticed that the soil is a bit white and mouldy looking. What have I done wrong? I hope I haven't killed it. Is there anything I can do?

Please help.

Thanks

Jen

P.S Forgot to say I live in the not so sunny UK!

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Gnome
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

miss_kimchi,

Hello and welcome to the forum.
Recently all the leaves have been dropping off quite rapidly (is this normal in winter?) and I've noticed that the soil is a bit white and mouldy looking. What have I done wrong?
No it is not normal for this species being kept indoors, there is the possibility that you have been over-watering it. Your soil should not be as you described it. If the soil is damp don't water it for now and please post some pictures so that we can get a better idea.

Norm

kdodds
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

I have to agree with Norm. White moldy soil is almost definitely a sign of a) overwatering or b) poor draining soil. Being that poor drainage is a recipe for overwatering, it really amount to the same thing, soil-wise. But, plants that sit in poor drainage can also have problems with their root systems if they're not "built for that" (i.e. bog plants tend to love sitting in wet).

Anyway, Chinese Elms have been kept indoors successfully. They have a very wide range in the wild and can be considered temperate to subtropical (i.e. Florida, warm Mediterranean climates). In the warmer parts of their range, they are evergreen, in the colder parts they shed their leaves. It's really impossible to tell from where your particular tree originated. However, that cold conservatory was probably the best place for it (and also why it dropped its leaves). You might want to move it back there and stop watering until the soil surface dries. If you keep it in a warmer area, it will soon come out of dormancy.

alexinoklahoma
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

White moldy soil...hmmmmm

Could range from actual mold/fungus to desirable myco growth(s) upon/around 'organics' or maybe just 'crusting' from hard-water deposits. If it is fuzzy on *top* of soil, bad for sure no matter what it is.

Alex

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uzeyr
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Location: rochdale,manchester

or it could be styrofoam i have that they usually add it in bonsai potting soil it could have resurfaced when she over waterd the tree
i don't know though just suggesting :D

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

I have never seen styrofoam used in 'bonsai' soil (???). You may be thinking of 'perlite'?? I guess it may be used by unscrupulous persons, but I have never seen it used myself in 30+ years of buying soils.... I can't imagine having soil that would float away!

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