Bumbleton
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Will this mold leave my bonsai alone?

I got this bonsai over a month ago. It's now my second bonsai as my first one died from lack of experience on my part. I've searched and searched the internet for tips on preventing the death of my new one and now I've been searching for an answer to this odd gray mold that had also occurred on my older one. I'm now aware that it's due to overwatering and I've corrected that issue, and I removed the moss at the trunk after taking these photos. I have also moved it outside which should help as well which leaves my only question being - what is this mold? It looks like fine gray lint. Will it eventually go away and is it harmful to me or my bonsai. Probably weird questions but I'm trying to get everything figured out so I can care for it adequately. If anyone could help me out here I would be so thankful to finally stop worrying over the situation. Oh one other thing I just thought of. Will it be ok the way its in rocks like that? Thanks!

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

The gray mold is likely just a fungus that consumes dead matter. It'll go away when there's nothing else dead in the pot. The soil looks pretty dry. Junipers should dry out between waterings, but should not be left dry. It looks like you have this tree outside, that's a good thing. Do not bring it inside.

Now, a couple of caveats. This is the second tree on this forum within the last week that I have seen is hastily/poorly potted. See those roots that look like they're growing up out of the soil? Roots don't do that. Poor potting does. So... I would safely make the assumption that this tree wasn't exactly potted with any care at all. I would also assume that, since the roots haven't died off and disappeared, that this was done fairly recently. Therefore, I would treat this as a newly potted tree and keep it shaded and well (but not over) watered. Also, if you leave it outdoors, as you should, prepare to replace the pot in spring, like it or not. These mallsai pots are cheap and low-temp fired and do not always withstand winter freezes witout cracking.

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kdodds wrote:
Now, a couple of caveats. This is the second tree on this forum within the last week that I have seen is hastily/poorly potted. See those roots that look like they're growing up out of the soil? Roots don't do that. Poor potting does. So... I would safely make the assumption that this tree wasn't exactly potted with any care at all. I would also assume that, since the roots haven't died off and disappeared, that this was done fairly recently. Therefore, I would treat this as a newly potted tree and keep it shaded and well (but not over) watered.
I would also like to add that it appears that your tree was, what is often referred to as, slip potted. It appears to me that the previous soil is still present and the old root-ball was simply place in the new pot and back-filled and some additional topdressing applied.

A situation like this makes managing the moisture in the soil a bit more complicated since there are, if I'm correct, two different types of soil in the same pot. You can attempt to confirm this with a little gentle excavation.

Move a little of the topdressing aside and observe what is underneath, especially at the sides of the pot. Is there a transition (under the top-dressing) where the center appears to be very organic changing to a more coarse medium at the perimeter? Or does the medium (again, under the top-dressing) appear to be uniform?

Norm

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