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Jalf
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Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:41 pm
Location: Ireland

What sort of Bonsai tree and how can I save it - white mould

Hello,

Could anyone tell me what specie my tree is? I bought it in my local supermarket around three months ago because I was looking for a plant at the time and I happened to come across this poor little thing. It was half dead and I wanted to save it. I brought it back to health and everything was going well.

However now in the last two weeks I've noticed it completely stopped growing new leaves and branches, and its general form is deteriorating, and there is also a white mossy mould growing on the soil. The type of mould you would see on rotting fruit.

How can I save my Bonsai? I think it would help if I knew what type it was as well.

More info: I keep it inside on my window sill. I water it whenever I see that the roots and soil are dry. My mom gave me some plant food that she feeds her Bonsai. I'm not sure what it's called but I've diluted a tsp. of food into 500mls of water and I use it when watering the Bonsai.

Thank you.
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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Re: What sort of Bonsai tree and how can I save it - white m

Jalf,

I'm fairly certain that you have a Chinese Elm or Ulmus, parviflolia. Second choice would be Zelkova but I really don't think so. From the information provided my guess is that you are watering a little but too often. Proper watering is all about frequency and not quantity which should always be copious

Try watering thoroughly (I really mean to drench it so that the soil is saturated) then wait until the soil dries more. Try using the chopstick method to determine when to water again, instructions can be found here:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... =36&t=1479

Is there moss on the surface of the soil? If so you can remove it which should help with your mold issues. You may need to back-fill with some soil afterwards.

Next, and you will hear this from nearly everyone you ask, this tree should be outside in the wind and sun. If you are willing and able to do so a period of acclimation would be advisable. A week or so in a semi-shaded location should do it. If you can't or won't grow outside your putting yourself at a disadvantage from the start.

As far as the fertilizer goes always I always follow the instructions (mixed as directed not half strength) others may disagree. Regardless, since you have fertilized recently, take a break until you see new growth.

If you update your profile to include an approximate location it would help us to help you. Welcome to the site.

Norm

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Jalf
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Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:41 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: What sort of Bonsai tree and how can I save it - white m

Hi Norm,

Thank you. You've helped me learn a lot. I really never new they were supposed to be outdoor trees. I guess because it came in such a pretty pot, I assumed it was to keep inside. Sort of silly on my part...

I'm from Ireland so we have lots of wind and rain, and sometimes sun. I will keep it under shelter from too much rain.

What would be the best soil to use? Is regular compost okay or will I buy a specific one. After taking the mossy mould off, I see the soil is almost like sand/grit. There was no moss on the roots as far as I could see, only on the top layer of the soil.

So i've put it outside now. Hope it gains it's strength back.

Thanks again! :D
jess;)

tomc
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Re: What sort of Bonsai tree and how can I save it - white m

I'm about sure there are threads about bonsai soil in the learning forum.

Regular United Kingdom compost is too fine, it will hold too much water and not out-gas adaquately.

My daughter described bonsai soil to another as: 'a bag of rocks with a little bark mulch dragged through it'. I think she was about right.
Think like a tree
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Jalf
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Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:41 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: What sort of Bonsai tree and how can I save it - white m

Thanks tomc. Yes I completely forgot I was on the identification section. I'm new to forums in general.
My daughter described bonsai soil to another as: 'a bag of rocks with a little bark mulch dragged through it'.
I like it :)

Thanks again!
jess;)

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