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Please help!

Hi there.

I bought my bonsai tree two weeks ago from IKEA. Originally I had it placed on my windowsill to ensure it got plenty of light. However there was a radiator nearby and I was advised by a friend to move it as it will get too hot.

I've now put it in a bathroom which has less light but is a cooler environment.

Since I bought it home it's been shedding leaves regularly. However it seems to shedding more since I moved it to my bathroom - at an alarming rate.

The leaves have also started to turn brown as they drop off. It definitely did not have any dying leaves when I purchased it.

I only water it if the soil is dry when I touch it so I don't think it's been over watered.

I've always wanted a bonsai and now I'm worried I'm ruining it!

Please can you help? Should I move it someonewhere warmer and with more light? I hope it's not beyond saving :( :cry:

I'd really appreciate any help/advice.


Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2661
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

That tree is a ginseng rooted ficus (fig). They as a specie are notorious for shedding leaves when moved or light levels change.

Please go to the learning forum here and read up on "chop stick method" for watering bonsai.

I use florescent lights to enrich the light level for my tender trees. You may want to too.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Agree! Your soil looks very dense and moisture holding. In the spring, when it is warm enough to bring your ficus outside, you should repot into proper bonsai soil, which is very mineral, gritty, loose and free draining.
In the meantime, touching the top of the soil, especially dense soil like that, isn't good enough to know when to water. That's where the chopstick Tom mentioned comes in. It is a way to test moisture in the soil several inches deep, which is what you care about.
If the pictures are current, it is still looking healthy. The good news about ficus is that since it readily drops a bunch of leaves, it also readily grows them back

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2661
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

The soil your tree baby lives in, needs to admit air. So poking holes to test soil (moisture) isn't going to hurt anything.

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