k1229
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Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:53 pm

8 yr old Bonsai near death :(

Hi All-

I received an 8 year old bonsai as a gift and it arrived in the mail plush and beautiful - every single branch had lush leaves. After 2 months every single leaf is gone, and I've moved it from my office to my house to get more natural light.

Right now its at a NORTH facing window, so doesn't get much sun. Should I invest in a grow light? I water every other day or so.

Do I need fertilizer or is it winter woes?? :cry: :oops:
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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: 8 yr old Bonsai near death :(

Your bonsai is a ficus tree. Ficus is notorious for dropping all its leaves when conditions, especially lighting, are not right for it. The good news about that is that they also readily grow them back when conditions improve. A north facing window in winter is about zero light.

Yes, most indoor bonsai need supplemental lighting. It doesn't need to be a fancy grow light. Any fluorescent lamp dedicated to it, a few inches away, and on 12-16 hrs a day will be fine.

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: 8 yr old Bonsai near death :(

Don't know what happened to your ficus. But I thought just for future reference I should have said don't water it every other day or on any other schedule. How often it needs to be watered depends on the temps, humidity, how fast it is growing, etc. Water it thoroughly so that all the soil is moistened and then don't water it again until the top layer of soil is drying out. Now with hardly any leaves, it will not be taking up much water, so it could be a long time between waterings. Don't fertilize until it is leafed out and growing well again.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: 8 yr old Bonsai near death :(

You don't say where you are located, but when the weather warms up to at least 50 degrees, I would start to harden the plant off to go outside. Hardening gets plants gradually used to more light. Start in the early morning for an hour then the next day an hour and fifteen minutes. As long as the plant does not show signs of burning, you can increase the time outside gradually until it is in full sun. Trees should be outside whenever the weather is good so it can rejuvenate..

When the weather gets cold again, bringing ficus in to low light will cause the leaves to drop. It should have good light indoors but will still likely drop all the leaves in winter anyway.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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