The Q&A Archives: dry bonsai

Question: my bonsai is very dry and brittle can I revive it or is it to late.

Answer: If the foliage is dried but the twigs and branches are still supple, it might recover if you can provide it with ideal conditions. Without knowing which plant you have it is difficult to tell you exactly what to expect. Ideal conditions would vary based on what kind of plant it is. Many bonsai specimens need to experience a cool winter -- above freezing but below 45 degrees -- to stay healthy. Bonsai grown from deciduous trees will also defoliate naturally in the winter. To check if the woody portion is stil alive, you would examine the plant closely. Dead wood is dry and brittle and the bark is discolored and dried out, typically gray. The twigs and branches are brittle and will snap easily in your hand, and there is no green inside the bark. If the twigs and branches are dry and brittle with no green inside, then it is probably dead. Bonsai are lovely but are very demanding to maintain and grow successfully. I hope this helps.

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