Lindsey81
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:30 pm
Location: UK

Ligustrum Bonsai - advice needed

I got my first bonsai tree for Christmas (Ligustrum bonsai) and really need some advice on looking after it. I think I have it pretty well figured out as it is growing lots of new shoots and needs trimming regularly but there are a few other things I need advice with.

1) I think I may be overwatering slightly it as there is mould appearing on the top if the soil. I spray it lightly once a day but think the top of the soil is staying wet but underneath is dry. Once a week I soak it for a few minutes in water. Would I be better standing it in water a couple of times instead of spraying?

2) When I got it some of the leaves didn't look in great condition (some were broken and they are very dull) and I wondered if there is anything I can do to make them look more healthy and shiny?

3) It looks like it needs re-potting and I am unsure what to do. Should I get it a slightly bigger pot as to me it looks too big for the pot it is in.

4) I am terrified of trimming the roots in case I cause too much damage so would really like advice on this eg how much to cut and what to avoid cutting.

5) What tools/type of soil would you recommend for repotting and where is the best place to buy these as nowhere local has anything? I read somewhere that you have to hold the tree in the pot by wires but looking at it now there seems to be no wires holding it in place.

I would be really grateful for any advice :D

User avatar
djlen
Green Thumb
Posts: 660
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:37 am
Location: Just East of Zone 7a

Re: Ligustrum Bonsai - advice needed

Lindsey81 wrote:I got my first bonsai tree for Christmas (Ligustrum bonsai) and really need some advice on looking after it. I think I have it pretty well figured out as it is growing lots of new shoots and needs trimming regularly but there are a few other things I need advice with.

1) I think I may be overwatering slightly it as there is mould appearing on the top if the soil. I spray it lightly once a day but think the top of the soil is staying wet but underneath is dry. Once a week I soak it for a few minutes in water. Would I be better standing it in water a couple of times instead of spraying?
Privet is an unusual 'gift' over here in America, but makes a nice Bonsai over time. I've got hundreds of Privet plants in hedges all around the house and they are very hardy. As to it's suitability to indoor culture, I would question that's advisability without much misting and a drip tray underneath. In the Spring it's a smart idea to put it outside for the growing season. It will easily tolerate cold as well. Many of mine are now under a blanket of snow and have been all Winter.
Don't stand any Bonsai in water.....ever. That is an old school way of watering and not advisable by today's standards. Water it from the top when it is dry. Test for dryness by poking a chop stick or better yet a Shish-kabob skewer into the soil and leaving it there for a few minutes. When you pull it out if it's dark and moist, no water is required. If it's light and dry your tree needs a drink (from the top :)).
Lindsey81 wrote:2) When I got it some of the leaves didn't look in great condition (some were broken and they are very dull) and I wondered if there is anything I can do to make them look more healthy and shiny?
It will re-grow leaves to replace the dry ones. Misting will help to prevent this occurrance but your Privet will shine when the Spring comes and it's put outside where, IMO, it needs to be all the time.

Lindsey81 wrote:3) It looks like it needs re-potting and I am unsure what to do. Should I get it a slightly bigger pot as to me it looks too big for the pot it is in.
I would not re-pot until Spring as long as it's growing nicely for you. When you water, pay attention to how the water reacts to the soil.....whether it stands and pools or does it seep into the soil and drain out the bottom holes in the pot? Most Bonsai need an airy, light, free draining potting mixture.
Lindsey81 wrote:4) I am terrified of trimming the roots in case I cause too much damage so would really like advice on this eg how much to cut and what to avoid cutting.
[url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basics_Repotting1.html]Purning and Re-Potting 101[/url]

Lindsey81 wrote:5) What tools/type of soil would you recommend for repotting and where is the best place to buy these as nowhere local has anything? I read somewhere that you have to hold the tree in the pot by wires but looking at it now there seems to be no wires holding it in place.
See Pruning and Re-potting link above. :)

[url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Ligustrum.html]Here Is An Overall For Your Tree[/url]

I hope that this is somewhat of a help for you and don't be afraid to ask questions. That's how we all learned.
Welcome to the forum!!
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
_________
How To Post A Picture

TomM
Greener Thumb
Posts: 749
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:28 pm
Location: Cedarville (SE of Utica) NY, USA

I totally agree with Len's advice here. A privet bonsai is not an indoor plant. Please get it outdoors soon. In the meantime misting is good, soaking it is not. Water when dry. When outdoors, as it should be, snow will provide ample moisture in winter. Spring will bring new foliage. Tight clipping is good. But please spent some time learning all you can about your species. GOOGLE it, try www.bonsai4me.com or any of these sites. The best advice for newbies is to learn all about the native environment of your tree and how to best replicate that in your home/yard/patio/porch/garden, whatever. And try to find a nearby bonsai club for the hands on help they can provide. Look up Bonsai Clubs International - a great source.

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”