BonsaiHabit
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Pomegranate Help?

Hi, I'm new to the forum but not new to the Bonsai realm. I have had 2 junipers that have previously died after re-potting (this is another issue that I have to question you guys on). I have had my Pom tree since mid May, kept it in indirect sunlight all summer with constant, every other day waterings. It's endured the heat and direct sunlight (noticed by a few brown leaves) but made it nicely through.

I recently took it inside because of the weather turning somewhat cooler, though it's only started to get hotter now...this is tough. So I took it in and soaked it all the way through, until it came out of the bottom of the pot.

1) Was this a smart thing to do being that it's only had constant, every other day watering rather than one good soaking?
2) Did the soaking cause the leaves to fall off or is it on its deathbed (it's not extremely cold on Long Island just yet so the leaves should still be on there)
3) My room does not get any sunlight, only gets light from the outside, no real sunshine, was this causing the leaves to fall off?

Just some info, it's a 2 year old Pomegranate tree that has seen plenty of pomegranate potential, but no real buds. It almost looks like the pic below sans the buds...One thing to note, I don't like what the tree sellers are doing now, they put little green fertilizer pellets on top of the soil...yes it's good but you can't necessarily know how you're doing with the thing until they run out and then the trees aren't used to not having the pellets, understand?

[url=https://img481.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dwarfpomlgzt0.jpg][img]https://img481.imageshack.us/img481/9342/dwarfpomlgzt0.th.jpg[/img][/url]

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BonsaiHabit,

Hello and welcome.
with constant, every other day waterings.
This may or may not be appropriate. Never water on a schedule but only as necessary. Check out the general growing sticky at the top of the forum.
So I took it in and soaked it all the way through, until it came out of the bottom of the pot... 1) Was this a smart thing to do being that it's only had constant, every other day watering rather than one good soaking?
I'm a little confused by this. thorough soaking should be your goal every time you water.
2) Did the soaking cause the leaves to fall off or is it on its deathbed (it's not extremely cold on Long Island just yet so the leaves should still be on there)
I re-read your post several times and this is the first reference to falling leaves. Could you please elaborate?
I recently took it inside because of the weather turning somewhat cooler, though it's only started to get hotter now...this is tough.
It is not too cold for Pomegranate. This plant needs a rest period of cool weather, either all winter if you have the proper facilities or at least long enough to allow the leaves to drop naturally and then brought indoors if you don't.
3) My room does not get any sunlight, only gets light from the outside, no real sunshine, was this causing the leaves to fall off?
Very likely it is if the leaf drop corresponds with the move. You will need to provide more light than that, even then it is not ideal for this species.

Norm

BonsaiHabit
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About the thorough soaking, I would get the soil moist enough to make it through 2 days of not watering, thus the intermittent watering. I didn't realize thorough soaking was good, I didn't want to drown it. As far as not mentioning the leaves falling, I thought I said something, I must have said something in my head.

I brought the pom in when it first started to get a little chilly out and continued on my every other day watering schedule. I just decided to soak it through because the top soil seemed very dry on the second day. It seems after that the leaves started falling off in conjunction with the move (I moved it in Thursday the 20th and by Wednesday the 26th the leaves started falling off). I moved it to a better sun accessible spot in the morning of Wednesday the 26th, by the evening, my dad noticed more leaves had fallen...he then rewatered it, so that wasn't good. I told him to hold off watering because I thought it was due to the excess water, like shocking the plant almost.

What are the proper facilities to weather the plant correctly over the winter? I want it to keep it's leaves but then again I don't want it to lose it's green ones.

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BonsaiHabit,
I didn't realize thorough soaking was good
Proper watering is more about frequency than quantity. Always water thoroughly then wait until watering is required again, and water thoroughly again. A little water often is the wrong approach.

I am new to this species having started one from a fresh fruit last year at this time. Mine is only a few inches tall but it is still outside and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Pomegranates are deciduous, meaning that they lose their leaves every year and require a rest period to do well. It is way too early to have brought yours inside. Although it is not a growing guide, perhaps this will help somewhat. As you can see this species is safe below freezing.
[url]https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/punica.htm[/url]
What are the proper facilities to weather the plant correctly over the winter?
It should still be outside now and only when temperatures get near freezing should further action be taken. I have an unheated garage with some fluorescent lights set up on a bench where I have been keeping a Live Oak (which has no business being this far North :wink: ) so that is where I will probably put mine at least until the leaves drop. This space usually stays in the thirties, only dropping below freezing when it is really cold outside.

As far as what you should do, a few pictures would be helpful. I think I would put it back outside for now. If it has some foliage left, good. If not then allow the plant to rest for a while, allowing it to experience some cold temperatures. If you intend to bring it back indoors later then you will need some form of supplemental lighting, the brighter the better.
[url]https://bonsaihunk.8m.com/cultural.html[/url]


Watch the watering, depending on the soil it is in you may have been over-watering it. I've been watering mine about the same as you, every other day, for a while but mine is in a small pot with 100% inorganic 'soil' so it dries pretty quickly. If yours is in a larger pot with water retentive soil then a thorough soaking every other day MAY be too often. With little foliage watering frequency will be reduced even further.

You still need to water thoroughly each time just not as often, you must check it every day and make the decision. Resist the urge to water unless necessary. This species can stand to go a little dry and not suffer.

Norm

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Thanks for the help; my pom is actually out in a Florida room type area so it's humid with indirect lighting received. I will try to provide some photos when I get the chance to...I think it'll be fine just shocked me a little to see it losing it's leaves summer like temps. in September, just trying to pin-point what I did wrong...

alexinoklahoma
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By not letting soil dry a bit, you let it become kinda anaerobic (bad)...so its best to let it dry a bit, then water well, and repeat *only* when it is almost bone-dry again. The thorough watering pulls 'fresh air' into soil and helps the microfauna in soil *not* become anaerobic, per se. (make sense?) There is not a shedule for this - just depends on how fast plant uptakes water and the evap rate from the environ. My pom did not mind going very-dry every few waterings, fwiw -so don't think its a 'tender' tree.

Pom's *love* heat/sun - the more strong the sun, the stronger the growth. I had mine (23" tall w/ good branching from seed in one season, and one chop to trunk early on as well) in full Okie sun/heat in last year's record-setting heat/drought - just to give ya an idea of what they consider ideal ;) Being indoors year-round will stunt it somewhat and most likely limit any flowering, etc, IMO.

By letting a pom go semi-dormant, you allow the tree's 'clock' to reset itself (essentially) and tree is stronger overall for it. It also gets you newer prettier leaves as well - a win-win situation. However, careful to not let roots get too cold as *those* are semi-tender, I think.

HTH,
Alex

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It's about 115am and I just got home from work. I went outside to take a look at the tree...many leaves on the soil but many more on the tree itself. No browning yet, just the ones that were there previously. Should this happen at all, browning of leaves? I've had junipers that have browned before...could be my watering habits. Thanks for the help!

alexinoklahoma
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Honestly, I am not fully understanding the 'browning'...seems you say there's none, but then say should it be happening? Only *old* leaves affected, or even the new ones? Can you differentiate a bit more on this aspect, please :)

Either way, not unusual for effects of overwater, moving climatically, and/or such to take weeks+ to overcome, possibly longer if plant is in its 'slowing-down-for-Fall' period (hardening new wood, per se) Browning (dying/falling-off, per se) is *not* unusual, but if the new-for-now replacement leaves brown also, you *know* you have issues, assuming the plant was stable/left-alone (in essence) during the time of new leaf making. Its possible the effects of last few weeks are still happening, and may take weeks longer to stop showing themselves. Quite often, a plant will show decline of 'damaged' foliage, while producing great new growth elsewhere, sometimes even on the same part of branch/twig.

At this point, let soil be more-dry more on average than keeping it 'more-wet'. Fewer leaves mean less water required (of course!), and cooler temps/less strong light will also reduce water requirement for plant. Any chance of a pic?

Alex

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[img]https://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff134/kidquik81/Bonsai-Pom.jpg[/img]

BonsaiHabit
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Ok, ok, I know it's huge but I figured what the heck! Ok, so as you can see, there is one flower left over on the right; most of the time they fall off but this one has stayed strong. I don't necessarily think it's pretty or anything, but if it wants to stay it can stay. That is the only flower on the tree, you might see a pink in color flower to the left of the image, that is from the plants behind it, next to the chimnea thing. As you can see, the leaves are still green and on the soil. The water in the tray is from my dad watering again...it's in direct sunlight on the table and will stay there until further notice...it's extremely humid out and so it's perfect weather for it I think...let me know if this image is ok, too large, I'll take another and scale it down...thanks.

Also on the left are the browning leaves, they're curled up a little bit, can you see them? That's what I refer to. Now on my juniper, it would brown that way as well, but on the needles near the bark, more clear or not really?

alexinoklahoma
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That plant is *weak*. Period - IMO. It needs to stay full-sun, get the water out of that 'pan' (is drain-hole(s) covered by said water?!), reduce watering waaay down and simply start with that...ensure bright *sun*, the more the better (IMO again), and if it rains, cover/take in 'til it stops, etc... I think you understand me...and hope I do not 'upset' being so 'blunt'...no intention, just wanting to be clear (talk to Dad, please, LOL - no more 'helping' if I understand correctly). Fwiw, I have lost plenty in past years doing stuff I did not realize *then* ;)

Next, you need to let it 'go dormant', at least for a few weeks, I believe. THere's a minimum time, but longer will not hurt anything. Don't let rootball get too cold ( 'root-death' temp for pom's is 10F, but lets call it 20F to be safe please), and then a repot just as/before emerging from dormancy to check that root system. I have a gut-feeling there's not much there that is functional right now (roots drowned/lack of good-enough gas-exchange leading to anaerobic stuff/effects?) and plant is not even 'vigorous'/healthy enough to hold onto the leaves - which emerge from stored energy but then must be supported into plant. Appears that ain't happening (right?)... That's also why the flowers (from other stored energy, I think) are failing to be 'normal', I bet.

Likely, it *will* recover, but be very weak for the next season - and w/ proper soil and a good fert done according to the needs along with the strongest of sun (no indirect, half-day etc), it'll do nicely :) It'd be nice if some lower buds popped up for you to help ya reduce it down later for taper and such, but for now, don't even prune it up top - it needs to *grow* as much as possible, IMO...a recovery-period of at least one growing season, restock its pantry, fill up its belly - however you wanna put it, LOL...and also don't let it produce fruit (if it even tries).

You'll also have some time to 'study-up' on more as there's always more to learn, of course :) Hope this helps...and I may be wrong...but it kinda adds up from what I read... Poms *are* cool plants :)

And on the image - waaay too big. Took me almost 5 minutes on my dial-up ;) But worth it, IMO. I live in middle-of-owhere OK, and dial-up is all I can get. Sucks. Usually, an image more cropped around 640x480 tops works fine, even 320 is good if a person knows how to 'manage' the finer-settings. It also helps the 'host-server' store more images longer/cheaper when space is reduced, blah, blah... and anything to keep these forums free is just fine by me, LOL!

Good luck, and hope you have a great (sunny!) weekend,
Alex

BonsaiHabit
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*Bam Bam Bam* one right after the other! Seriously though, I am not upset, just thankful I'm hearing this from an experienced Bonsai grower...and yes, I have left a note there in big bold letters, no more water! There is a hole and when I did watered, or soaked, it came through so no blockage, just densely packed soil.

By letting it go dormant, you mean let it drop it's leaves or just leave it outsie in the cold temps? It won't drop down to 20F until late fall/early winter...so I will be leaving it outside. I will only be watering when the soil is dry dry, which won't be fore a few more weeks!

In order to repot, I should wait until the spring time or right after I let it go dormant for a few weeks? I've only read to repot in the early spring or fall...I haven't pruned it at all, for it to be so young it needs to grow and then pruning can take place IMO.

Sorry about the long picture...I'm taking a networking class this semester and my professor was saying everyone has fast Internet connections and is away from dial-up...I guess he was wrong!

alexinoklahoma
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The densely-packed soil can/likely is one of the issues, too, fwiw..but its all saveable :). Yes, the leaves will drop by leaving it outside through Fall until Temps get down to around mid-30's as lows drop and days shorten (start of the 'sleep'), then keep a close eye on temps as you want to keep it from getting below that 15-20F 'safe' temp. Its a good idea to have it protected in a coldframe or put whole pot into a bigger pot and surround with light bark mulch or even have a small hole in ground and buy it shallowly with mulch/etc for the duration (if possible) as temps get down there a bit. It insulates roots and gives much more 'soak time' to keep it safe. A few weeks of 'protecting, and you should be able to bring it in and let it wake, but I'd let it go as long as you can until Spring to let it have more sun on leaves.

Repot it only when you are ready to let it 'wake up' so you keep those roots more protected 'til they need to be reworked with better soil. Just time everything according :) And definitely use a bigger/deeper 'training pot', as they are sometimes called, to let the roots spread and get more vigorous for the next growing-season or so, IMO.

There's actually a fair bit of info/threads on some of the 'bonsai' sites that google nicely. Dig into/search well through these and you'll get a better overall picture, I bet... It just takes a few 'new' trees to get the habits/needs of things worked out :)

HTH,
Alex

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