Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:04 am
Location: Essex

My poorly bonsai

I have recently cut back the roots on my bonsai as it was quite pot bound, and put it into a slightly larger pot but it seems to be dying. a lot of the leaves have fallen off leaving bare twigs and the leaves that are left look pale and withered. Is there anything I can do to help perk it up. I have been feeding it bonsai fertilizer but i don't know what else to do. Can anyone help? Please :(

Big Daddy
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:41 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia


A few things I think Toby although I am still a beginner at bonsai too, you can burn the roots if you fertilise within the first 2-3 weeks after repotting.
If a plant has transplant shock you can get a product from a specialist bonsai store to help the plant re coup as it were.
Also, if the roots have been prune heavily, it is important to reduce some of the foliage as transpiration is too great, generally under the soil must reflect on top of the soil, so too few roots and lots of foliage is an imbalance.
As the leaves are already falling off, I would take the plant to a horticulturalist for a closer look, otherwise, we have all killed a few plants so try again and get some info on best times tom transplant a species and the best soil types, Good Luck

Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:04 am
Location: Essex

My poorly bonsai

Thank you for your advice, I am new to Bonsai trees, it was a birthday present about 18 months ago and I haven't really got the hang of it yet.
Again Thank you


Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Hi toby, if you are using a synthetic fertilzer cease and desist right away and switch to an organic fertilizer like liquid seaweed, liquid fish or kelp meal. With organics, it difficult, if not impossible to burn your tree.

What sort of growth medium did you plant your tree in? I reccomend using some compost mixed with compost but, different trees require different drainages so, look up what type of soil that Zelkova like and add the proper amount of sand to allow for drainage.

I like to immerse the entire post in water (slightly warm water) for about an hour to give it a good soak then, you can top water.

Misting is important so that the tree can acquire moisture while it's roots grow back.

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Aarrgh! :shock: Never fertilize newly potted trees; they can't utilize the nutrients until the roots mend, and it can cause soil troubles just sitting about (slime molds and that sort of thing). Please read my article on potting trees...

Big Daddy offers good advice. The old saying is "as with the bottom so woth the top." Prune a third of the roots, prune a third off the top. Prune half the roots, prune half the top. Opa's soaking idea is good once you have settled your new soil in for a week or so with regular top watering, but it will float new soil, so best to wait...Keep the soil moist, not damp. Hopefully we can rinse out the fertilizer some by watering three times every time. Here's some watering tips...


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