rachel10
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Bonsai Tree - Leaves dropping off at a fast rate!

can anyone offer advice as to why this may happen? I'm looking after the bonsai tree for four weeks, I'm now into week 3. The bonsai tree was dropped into my office so I could water it when required. I wait until the soil is almost dry & then water it again & I've also tried watering the leaves with a spray bottle. The leaves are dropping off really quickly & have no idea why. We also feed it baby bio once a week.

Help![/url]

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froggy
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Some trees just react badly to being moved. No matter where to. Most trees don't like air conditioning, and lack of light will upset them too.

To help, we need to know what species it is, see a picture, know what conditions it came from, and the environment it is in now.

But you have to accept that the tree won't be back to it's glorious self by the time the owner is back from vacation...

Here is how to post pictures:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724
;)

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Gnome
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rachel10,

How much do you water it, only sparingly or are you saturating the soil? Are you providing it with similar lighting as it received in its previous location? Just a few things to consider.

Norm

rachel10
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Hi,
Thank you for your help. Hopefully you can see the images I have posted.
[img]https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g439/rachel1031/Bonsai1.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g439/rachel1031/Bonsai3.jpg[/img]
They are now in a light office but no direct sunlight (even though there are two windows) with no air conditioning so it is quite warm.
I’m not sure where it was kept in its previous location but I know the house does have air conditioning. I googled watering the Bonsai as the owner watered it every day. However when reading up on them I noticed they said let it dry out & then saturate the soil so that is what I have been doing. Also using Baby Bio once a week.
Thank you,
Rachel

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Gnome
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rachel10,

It's a shame you were put in charge of keeping someone else's trees especially considering the less than ideal location and the equally dubious potting soil they are in.

Watering such soils can be challenging. Peat based potting soils are known to retain water for a long time and then, ironically, they are difficult to re-wet if allowed to dry down excessively. Apparently their owner had found a happy medium which you are struggling to achieve. Try using the chopstick method to determine when to water. You will find it outlined in this thread.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1479

This will not cause a miraculous recovery but hopefully it will avoid further damage. While it is often suggested that you can allow a tree to dry out between waterings there is dry and then there is dry. Perhaps you waited a little too long especially considering the warm environment it is in.

It is also possible that the roots have become damaged through excessive watering. When this happens the tree can behave the same way due to the fact that the damaged roots can't take up water effectively.

Sorry I can't offer any instant fix, just try to not make it any worse until the owner returns. Incidentally, the healthier of the two appears to be a Chinese Elm but the other is impossible for me to identify.

Norm

rachel10
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Bonsai is now growing lots of new leaves

Hi all,

Thank you for your advise in August. The orginal leaves are continuing to drop off but now there is also lots of new leaves growing but they are sprouting at a fast rate & I'm not sure what to do with them! Does this usually happen?

Photos attached.

Thank you,

Rachel
[img]https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g439/rachel1031/Bonsai4.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g439/rachel1031/Bonsai5.jpg[/img]

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Gnome
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rachel10,

I'm glad that things have turned around and that you took the time to tell us. Often we give advice and never hear of the outcome. I'm sure some trees don't make it so it is gratifying you hear about a happy ending.

Yes, Chinese Elms can elongate shoots at a surprising rate if things are to its liking. I don't think I would do anything, just count your blessings and let the trees owner decide what to do. From your first post I thought they would be back by now.

Norm

lemur818
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Re: Bonsai Tree - Leaves dropping off at a fast rate!

help! my bonsai is all died up please save him! why is he doing this I've been giving him 5 ice cubes every week he's not in direct sunlight
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hes all dried up! help!
hes all dried up! help!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bonsai Tree - Leaves dropping off at a fast rate!

It would have been better to start your own thread and preferably ask for help before it was totally defoliated.

Your tree is a ginseng ficus.

Ficus as in the previous posts is pretty prone to dropping leaves when it is moved or conditions are not to its liking, especially light. How long have you had your tree? How long has it been dropping leaves? How long has it been sitting there with no leaves as pictured? Had it been moved recently when it started losing leaves?

Since ficus readily drop their leaves, they also readily grow them back, IF the tree is basically still healthy. Try scraping the bark with a fingernail. If it is green and moist just under the bark, it is still alive and may come back. If it is brown/grey and dry, it is dead.

Is the location where it is pictured where it has been living? It is a TREE. Like any other tree it needs plenty of sunshine. If you want a counter ornament, buy a fake one.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bonsai Tree - Leaves dropping off at a fast rate!

Also, I don't know who told you the 5 ice cubes routine, but it is a terrible way to water:

1) when you water your tree, you should always water thoroughly so that all the soil has been moistened. Put it in the sink, pour water in it until the water is running freely out the drain holes. Let it drain and then do it again. "for bonsai, it always rains twice."

2) Never water bonsai on a schedule. Water it when it needs it. That will be different amounts of time depending on season, how actively it is growing, ambient temperatures, etc etc. Read about the chopstick method to tell when it needs it:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... od#p387765

Right now, with no leaves, your tree will be using very little water.

Offhand the five ice cubes a week doesn't sound like enough water for when it was growing, but that depends on how moisture-holding your soil is, etc
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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