Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 10:50 am
Location: UK

My Japanese Pepper Bonsai is not looking good :(

Hello, and thanks in advance for any help you may be able to supply.

After a long time of waiting, I finally decided to take the plunge and get my first ever bonsai.

I have the perfect place for him, a window that gets indirect light all day, that is cool and does not get too hot.

It's also a room when things pretty much stay the same and the ideal spot was not in any draughts etc.

So on the 22nd March, I buy the tree.

By the 15th April it looks to be really settled and things look great!


Then a disaster occurs. 30th April. My heating was left on for a weekend whilst i was away and when I came back the tree looked very sad.


He has remained in this state since the 30th April. I am still checking him to keep him moist, but the leaves are falling fast now.

I am watering him via the underneath method and using rain water from a water butt.

I have never fed him, I have not changed his soil and he is in his original pot still.

Have I to admit that I have lost this one?

If anyone can offer me any tips or advice, even f there is the smallest chance that he will make it, then I shall try it.

Senior Member
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:57 am
Location: Indianapolis IN

Your watering method may be a problem here. I do not know much about your type of tree, so someone else may have more specific answer. But using the underneath watering method on ANY bonsai, will cause problems.

Make sure that your tree is in a humidity tray.
here's an example of one of mine...


It's an aluminum pan with pebbles in it, and there's water that is NOT touching the bottom of the pot.

Then when my trees need water, (checking when they need it with chopstick method) i water the top of the pot, pouring water in it, until it runs freely from the bottom, and then wait 15 minutes and do it again.

My bonsai trees are also in bonsai soil which is very free draining.
I can not make out what type of soil you have.

I hope this helps some, and maybe someone with direct experience or knowledge of this species will add to this :)
I'm Russian and litteral translation of screen name is Svet "light" Sad "garden" :)

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Senior Member
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:14 pm
Location: west seneca ny

as for the watering method i water my shohin "from the bottom" they are put in a tray of water that almost reaches the ridge of the pot and they are left to sok for an 1/2 hour or so this ensures all soil is saturated and it doesnt wash awy the soil in the small pots...

you will want to remove at least some of the moss that is covering the soil it appears to be getting enough water (maybe too much) because the moss is growing so well . it can actually suffocate the roots by not letting the oxygen get released from the soil. you may want to do a last ditch repot to ensure that it isn't a root rot problem

Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 10:50 am
Location: UK

I cannot thank you enough for both taking the time to reply.

I test the need for water by putting my finger in a hole underneath to feel how damp it is. Then I decide if it needs watering.

The moss is very thick, so thank you, I will address that this evening.

I really cannot thank you both enough.

Have a wonderful day. :D

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

If that's how it's being kept, it's not getting enough light at all, even if you're facing south. Water only when necessary. Do a search on "chopstick method" here.

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