Ask a Question forum: Podocarpus Bonsai Brown Leaves

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kgl96
Mar 23, 2017 1:31 PM CST
Hi,

I've been keeping my podocarpus on my window sill for the past couple of months, until I noticed the leaves were turning slightly crispier/browner. I moved it off the window sill, have repotted it (as its roots were looking pretty pot-bound) and have been watering it as normal (every time the soil dries about 1-2 inches down). I feed it about once every month as it's still only small.

It still doesn't look vey happy, and I was just wondering if there's anything I can do? Is there any nutrients that it's lacking? What can I do to make it healthier?

Thank you in advance!

Katherine
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 23, 2017 11:32 PM CST
It would be good to see a photo of your tree. I am visualizing a little tree in a little pot. Podocarpus like to be slightly moist - I think you are keeping it too dry.
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kgl96
Mar 24, 2017 5:39 PM CST
Hey, you're right, it's only small!

Here are some photos - as you can see there's discolouration on the leaves and they're really quite dry.


Thumb of 2017-03-24/kgl96/4d98c3


Thumb of 2017-03-24/kgl96/dc30b3


Thumb of 2017-03-24/kgl96/df52be

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Mar 24, 2017 8:17 PM CST
That doesn't look good. Are the leaves still pliable? It looks dead. Sad

You might want to do the scratch test: scratch a tiny spot on the stem with your fingernail. Green underneath, its alive. Brown or hard underneath means its dead.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 25, 2017 9:35 AM CST
Are you sure it is a Podocarpus and not a Ficus Alii? Hard to tell from the photos.

By definition, bonsai's are miniaturized plants that are designed to be kept very potbound and in the same small ceramic pot virtually forever. Sometimes, the roots need pruning as does the plant, but it should never be moved to a larger pot. If it is, it is no longer a bonsai.

The dry foliage is due to water stress. That can occur if the soil is allowed to get too dry between waterings. Ironically, it can also happen when the soil is not allowed to dry sufficiently and the roots rot. Rotted roots are dead roots that are no longer able to absorb water for the plant so the net effect is the same as if you had under-watered.

The foliage will not recover. My advice is to prune back all of the stems and move the plant back to a sunny windowsill and water when the top quarter of the soil is dry. If there are any healthy roots remaining, then you should see some healthy new growth emerge from the cut back stems.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
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