My boyfriend's father gave me two small bonsai trees about a year ago.. One is a Banyan Fig Tree and the other is a Hawaiian Umbrella Tree.
I did what he told me (he's no expert though) and for the most part they were doing really well. He had given me some general fertilizer and I was using that every couple months I think in the spring/summer.
Then all of a sudden about a month ago..and more recently in the last 2 weeks (mainly) the Umbrella tree started wilting, the leaves started to curl down and turn brown and they'd fall off at the slightest touch or jar of the tree. I pruned them... but I didnt know how much to prune the umbrella tree. I cut off the sprouts that were dead or bad off.. I actually cut one branch I believe but even since then.. more is wilting..
I don't know what to do.. I think I had let it dry out too much by accident or not fed it enough... . And I don't know if them being in the windowsill in the kitchen was a factor. But they were doing fine there forever.. I moved them to the mantle in the living room (we never use the fireplace). I thought maybe them being by the windowsill in winter in the kitchen (the window was close to the stove) made them start to die? I know that I would look at them and the leaves would look like they had stuff on them..maybe grease from the stove in the air? I started to wipe them down .But they were fine last year there when I got them.. and our winters here haven't been overly cold. I also had read that if air cannot penetrate the surface then the trees could start to die...the surface of both were hard.. so I broke up all the rocks and stuff that sit on top of the soil so that it could breathe.
I watered the Umbrella tree thoroughly and now it seems like its not soaking up all the water.. I'll give it another day though, but the surface is still wet/damp to the touch.
The Fig tree is doing better - has some new sprouts.. so I think that will be okay.. I'm more worried about the Umbrella Tree right now.
ANY advice or suggestions would be helpful!!! I just watered, "aired", pruned them and moved them into the living room about 2 days ago. I really like them.. and I don't want them to die.. especially cuz Ill feel like a jerk since he gave them to me.
Also just to note - I was using room temperature (or slightly chilled) distilled water for them and then I changed to tap water. ... What kind of water is best?