edseb1977
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 2:39 am
Location: Bangkok

Bonsai leaves falling

Help, i went on holiday for 5 days and did not water my bonsai and it has shed nearly all its leaves, unfortunately i do not know what type it is but it looks simlilar to a chinese elm. I water it nearly every day and spray the branches every day. It is situated on my balcony outside and is in the sun for most of the day. I live in Bangkok so it does get humid at mid day.
There are new leaves growing but very slowly and they drop off after a few days. Should i prune the longer branches back, also do you know how to get photos on this website so i can show you the tree. I look forward to hearing advice,

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Gnome
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Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

edseb1977,

Welcome to the Helpful Gardener.
I water it nearly every day...I live in Bangkok so it does get humid at mid day.
It is possible that you are over-watering. With little or no foliage, water usage will be diminished. Has the soil been allowed to dry out at all? By this I do not mean when it was neglected, nor do I mean bone dry, but it cannot stay constantly wet either.

Can you describe the soil? Is it dense and organic or loose and gritty? Also, tell us a little more about your watering practices. Is the soil really drying each day or are you giving it a little each day to keep it constantly damp?

Please read [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1479]this sticky[/url] for some tips on watering. There are also links there to more information.
do you know how to get photos on this website so I can show you the tree.
This site does not support uploading pictures directly, you must use a third party hosting service and link to you your pictures. Ynot has created an article with suggestions for taking better bonsai pictures, it can be found [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3557]here.[/url] Within that article you will find a [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724]link[/url] to a short tutorial on getting pictures on the board.

Norm

edseb1977
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 2:39 am
Location: Bangkok

bonsai leaves falling

thanks for such a quick response, yes i do keep the soil as damp as possible , watering every two days with a watering can. Should i leave the soil to dry for a few days ? i am not sure what type of soil i have but it has not been changed for around a year. Its looks pretty dense and organic though. still working on a photo.

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Gnome
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Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

edseb1977,
yes I do keep the soil as damp as possible... Should I leave the soil to dry for a few days ?
Yes, it must dry a little in between watering. Have you read the sticky thread I linked to? Tree roots need oxygen as well as water. By keeping the soil constantly wet you are excluding necessary oxygen.

A coarse, free draining soil helps to allow the soil to dry quicker, this in turn allows frequent watering without excluding oxygen. This might seem contradictory. How can I say that frequent watering is both good and bad?

With a loose soil, frequent watering brings with it fresh oxygen with each watering. With a heavy soil frequent watering never allows fresh oxygen to reach the roots. A good mix would be one that dries on a daily basis during the warmest part of the year. During cooler weather it would dry slower and thus require less frequent watering.

Norm

alexinoklahoma
Senior Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm
Location: Central Oklahoma

Fwiw, I have chatted with others in the 'orient' and they tell of how fast-draining soil is so much better with the high-humidity keeping 'thick organic' soil wet a long time (as gnome is saying). IMO -> lose that dense 'organic' stuff at first opportunity ;) The tree can only fail with releafing attempts a couple times before its exhausted and it dies...just a cautionary thing for you...leaves aren't limitless, and tree will be rather weak after a few 'failures to set leaves'. Do NOT prune anything off as that will take away any possible leaf-buds that may be present (make sense?)...

Alex

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