Ask a Question forum: Orange jasmine bonsai tree

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Northeastern Pennsylvania
Mpfs1357
Dec 16, 2017 3:04 PM CST
I recently purchased an orange jasmine bonsai. Since I brought it home it is dropping a lot of leaves. I have been careful to water it without over watering, and have it near a window with bright light. Any idea what I'm doing wrong?
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

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plantladylin
Dec 16, 2017 3:21 PM CST
I wonder if your Orange Jessamine (Murraya paniculata) may just be experiencing issues with being too close to a cold window or perhaps just "new home" shock?
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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Dec 16, 2017 3:24 PM CST
Hi and welcome to NGA!

Considering your location and time of year, I'm thinking the air might be way too dry for your bonsai .. also it may be getting a cold draft from the window or getting hit with hot air because it's near a heat register. Try misting it a few times a day or if it's small enough for a really large clear plastic bag, mist it and put it in the bag for a few hours in bright but NOT direct sunlight.
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[Last edited by Xeramtheum - Dec 16, 2017 3:25 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Dec 16, 2017 3:36 PM CST
This is a pretty humidity and cold tolerant plant. That leaves light and soil moisture as the likely culprits. Indoors it should be right in front of and close to a moderately sunny window. If it is off to the side of the window, it is probably not getting enough light. Keep the soil moist by watering thoroughly (until water runs through the drain holes) as soon as the surface of the soil feels nearly dry.

Can you post a photo that shows the entire plant and its pot?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Northeastern Pennsylvania
Mpfs1357
Dec 16, 2017 9:25 PM CST
WillC,
Here are a couple photos. I have been worried about overwatering, but maybe I'm not watering enough when I do, no water runs out the bottom of the pot. It is about 3 feet from a window where it gets bright light.
Thumb of 2017-12-17/Mpfs1357/f7979a
Thumb of 2017-12-17/Mpfs1357/59d131

Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 16, 2017 9:54 PM CST
Does that container have drainage holes in the bottom for excess water to escape?
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 17, 2017 10:16 AM CST
Thanks for the photos; they are very instructive. I prefer not to be negative, but this is not a well-developed bonsai. The pot is very deep and that suggests the roots have not been pruned properly for a bonsai. In addition, the elongated stems have also not been pruned to keep it in a more compact form.

That said, there is really nothing you can do but accept it as a non-bonsai Orange Jasmine. I hope you didn't pay a premium price that bonsais typically command for it.

Three feet, even from a sunny window, is too far for this plant because light intensity drops off dramatically with every foot of distance from the light source.

Because it is not in a shallow bonsai pot, I have to change the watering instructions I provided previously. Allow the top half to one inch of soil to dry before adding just enough water so that it reaches that leave of dryness again in about a week.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Donna
Mid Shore, Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Shy_gardener
Dec 20, 2017 7:31 PM CST
WELCOME MPFS1357.....

I LOVE BONSAI, and what a lovely Cascade Style Bonsai,
It certainly looks strong and healthy, even has some
oncoming flower clusters, they'll be fragrant ya know...
It's in a Cascade Bonsai pot, is it footed?
I'm not familiar with growing Orange Jasmine, but
Bonsai are in constant training, and an awesome hobby.
Google Cascade Bonsai (images), for some
ideas to keep up it's training. If your not familiar.

Did you wire it? If your not familiar with wiring, you
MUST watch it closely, if the branch grows, and the
wiring's not completely removed, it can and
typically does kill the main vein of the branch.
We've all learned that one the hard way... D'Oh!

I agree with Lin's "New Home Shock"

Sadly, I think it also looks to have had a bit of damage done
to some branching, which unfortunately typically shows
up later than sooner on most all evergreens.

I also agree with Will about the light and care, right
in a bright Sunny window, but slowly acclimating it if
you've not had it in a sunny window.

Drench (run water completely through it), and let it sit on
the drain until water is no longer coming from the bottom.
then put it back in a bright sunny window. When it's dry (your
finger does not feel dampness a bit below the soil line),
drench it again. Indoor plants especially in small
Bonsai pots near windows (are typically near heat sources)
dry out quickly. They drop their leaves to sustain their life.
You can't overwater it, as long as it's draining well and being
let drain out. Just do make sure it's draining well.

I always put a bit (1/8 to 1/4 strength) of good fertilizer in
with every watering of tropicals, and pinch back new growth
at tips as they start growing, that will keep it thick and full......

They also do well with humidity. Our houses are so dry now
with heaters running, some folks use those pebble trays under
them to keep humidity around them and heat from blowing directly
on them (if they are too close to a hear source). I don't, but I don't
have a cascade Orange Jasmine either...

Evergreen, Flowering and Fragrant, what more could you ask for.
I suspect Orange Jasmine is on every Bonsai enthusiast's list....

I think it's AWESOME, I just love how it's being trained in the
Cascade style. Hope it does well for you... Keep us informed...


"No more bees, No pollination.... No more men!" ~ Albert Einstein

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