CrimsonArrow
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Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:24 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Ginkgo Bonsai Help

Hi everyone, my name is Andy and I live in Hong Kong. It is unfortunate that my first topic has to be about an unhealthy bonsai.

I bought a Ginkgo bonsai a few months back (at a bargain price), so I am not sure the plant would be the best possible specimen already. The plant seemed to survive for quite awhile in its original soil, which was this more organic soil as opposed to bonsai soil and it seemed like the store had recently repotted it and trimmed some of the roots.

Well fast forward a couple of months and it was doing fine until a recent hot weather wave in Hong Kong.

Now I've read some conflicting information regarding the watering for the plant with some sources recommending lots of watering during the growth period and others recommending it be more dry. I initially kept it moist though not as wet as I do for some of my other plants and do let some water dry out.

It started to have some dryer yellow leaves and I've been trying to help it recover since.

Some of the top leaves are still healthy and green, though some appear to have begun to get some yellow blotches (almost like polka dots of yellow) on their leaves.

I've attached some pictures. Could someone please help me diagnose the problem? Some of the browned leaves were already that way when I got the plant and the leaves were still green.

Is it a watering problem? Too much fertilizer? Not enough sun? Disease?

I'm just hoping it can make it to winter and then recover through its dormancy.

Thanks again for your help.

[img]https://img42.imageshack.us/img42/6057/img0949tp.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img39.imageshack.us/img39/3358/img0945r.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img441.imageshack.us/img441/8939/img0946n.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img163.imageshack.us/img163/8405/img0947n.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img191.imageshack.us/img191/3968/img0948cx.jpg[/img]

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

Andy,

Bumping your thread in the hopes that someone with experience will see it. Sorry that I can't offer anything as I know nothing about this species. Have you come to any conclusions yet?

Norm

luigonz
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO (Zone 6)

make sure it is well drained. Ginkgo does not tolerate over-watering well.

i would try and keep it on the dryer side.

CrimsonArrow
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:24 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies.

An update on the situation. Some of the top leaves are also slowly getting blotches of yellow.

I tried changing the soil and the roots aren't as healthy as they should be so perhaps this is the problem. I did find some loose bits of roots in the soil. The roots are dark brown and I can see some new areas of white growth. Some of the roots break off quite easily though (probably root rot). With root rot, should you throw away all of the previous soil to remove the fungus completely? I think it also might be a problem with the pot's design and it not draining water as efficiently as it should be. I tried placing some medium sized gravel at the bottom as well.

The leaves are still quite dry though. I don't think they are coming back. Though they aren't falling off which means the tree is still depending on them somehow.

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zewald
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:46 pm
Location: Greeley, CO, USA Zone 5

although i have no personal experience with ginkgo biloba, i was interested in it a few months ago and did a lot of research. every source i found stated that ginkoes can die back extremely easily, especially with pruning, and to not be worried TOO much because new shoots will form.

as far as the pot, how big are the drainage holes? and is the bottom flat? more likely is that the potting medium itself is the cause of poor drainage and water retention. what are you planning on using for soil when you repot it?

if it is indeed root rot, then yes, remove all the soil (or as much as you can) from the roots and remove the dead roots.

again, second hand knowledge, but they were good sources.

hope all ends well.

Zach
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow (I Cor 3:7)

CrimsonArrow
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:24 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Dear Zach,

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately a large proportion of the plant has turned dry. I'd say around 60-70%. That seems like a pretty high proportion. The leaves are still staying on the plant so I hypothesize that perhaps they are still creating food for the plant even though they are a bit dry.

The bottom of the old pot is flat. It has a hole that is bigger than a quarter (perhaps by 20%-30%) and 3 small holes for wires etc. I just moved the plant to a new pot in hopes of getting better drainage for the plant. I used another soil that is similar to akadama soil and removed the peaty material +akadama mix that it was in before.

Thanks again for your help. Hoping it can last through to the fall. *fingers crossed*

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