Houseplants forum: My bonsai has started to make yellow leaves ...

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Montreal
Adamdadz
Jan 14, 2018 12:11 AM CST
Hi there!

so my bonzai that used to do amazing started to be unhappy and make yellow leaves... like lots of yellow leaves... its lost 20 leaves in the past month and a half and it stayed at the same spot and with the same care than when i bought it last spring.

I was wondering if maybe it was in a pot thats too small or if my roommate overwatered it (FYI i put it in the sink to let the water drain after I watered it and she didnt see it and opened the faucet with water running for literally 10 seconds.. she wasnt focused ... but i hope she didnt kill it!

Also, it's had many buds that have been here for 4 months and that haven't blossomed yet.

Here are photos to show you! I have no idea what's wrong. I water it once every 10 days average
Thumb of 2018-01-14/Adamdadz/48e043
Thumb of 2018-01-14/Adamdadz/348de2
Thumb of 2018-01-14/Adamdadz/745cb0
Thumb of 2018-01-14/Adamdadz/0d4492

Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Jan 14, 2018 6:06 AM CST
It looks like this kind of Ficus:
Ficus microcarpa 'Ginseng'

I am not sure what feature looks like buds to you, but this kind of plant does not make recognizable blooms.

If the pot does not have a drain hole, extra water can't run out, and adding too much could make the roots ill, or even be fatal.

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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jan 14, 2018 11:25 AM CST
A with other bonsais, your Ginseng is intended to say in that same pot indefinitely. However, the upper portion does need regular pruning to keep it looking like a miniature tree. That is what bonsai is all about.

The pot is fine and so is your roommate. It is good to give the soil a thorough soak once per week. You cannot put in too much water because the excess will flow out of the drain hole. The yellow leaves may be due to its getting a bit too dry after 10 days. Pruning will also help with the leaf yellowing.

Make sure you are keeping it on a sunny windowsill.

As Tiffany pointed out, this is not a flowering plant. Any buds that you find are new leaves about to emerge.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Montreal
Adamdadz
Jan 15, 2018 12:18 AM CST
Hello!

Thank you for your help. I will prune it and check the water cautiously. I really thought that the roots coming out and being very visible were a sign of the pot being to small. I was going to repot it in a bigger pot so i am happy i got to get your advice. I will leave it in its pot.

I didn't use the right word, i meant bloom not blossom. Basically i am waiting for the new leaves to appear... not happening :/

I will keep you updated if anything good or bad happens :)

Adam
Name: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
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Carter
Jan 15, 2018 7:52 AM CST
As a bonsai, part of its maintenance is not only trimming the top branches to keep growth tight and maintain its "tree" shape, but you will also have to occasionally trim the roots in order to keep it from becoming too root bound in its small bonsai pot. If roots are getting crowded or growing out the drain hole (assuming there is one in the pot), then it's time to give it a root trim. As a ficus species, you can give it a pretty harsh or drastic trim in the spring or summer when it's warmer. Right now in the middle of winter I would just continue it's care as advised above.

Even though it is indoors, houseplants can still go through seasonal changes, especially if it's sitting near a sunny window (which this type of ficus would appreciate). That may also be why it's dropping leaves. Although F. microcarpa is an evergreen tree, it still may go through periods where some older leaves will fall while younger ones remain.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Jan 15, 2018 8:09 AM CST
The art of bonsai is 100% proactive and addresses the entire entity, especially the roots. Any plant can only be as healthy as its' roots. In order to keep a tree in a small bonsai pot, the roots must be regularly pruned as well as the above-ground parts for it to stay healthy and to maintain a shrunken appearance. There are books and websites if you want to learn.

Putting a plant in a bigger pot without doing any trimming of the roots or removing the old soil is potting-up, though usually referred to as repotting. This is something I rarely do because my experiences with doing this have been overwhelmingly disappointing, and this practice does not exist within the art of bonsai except in regard to a possible training phase. Over the course of a few decades, if I were potting-up, my oldest plants would now be in unnecessarily huge pots, in the same way that the foliage would be bumping the ceiling and weeping back down toward the ground if it was never trimmed.

Repotting is when the roots are trimmed and the old soil is removed and replaced with new soil. This is what is done to bonsai to keep them in the same little pots for very extended periods of time. Some are hundreds of years old, just like their full-size counterparts that grow unmolested in their natural habitat.

👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jan 15, 2018 9:53 AM CST
It has always been my understanding that bonsais need regular root pruning, as well as top pruning. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have had to care for a number of bonsais, including Ginseng, over the years and root pruning simply was not an option for me. To my surprise, they have done very well over the course of 10 years with nothing being done to their roots - no pruning, no fresh soil, no new pot. They are in good light and they are watered thoroughly every week and pruned back as needed. I am surprised by this, but sometimes necessity is the mother of invention. I often learn a lot of unconventional things about plants because circumstances dictate doing things I would never willingly try on my own.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Montreal
Adamdadz
Feb 12, 2018 12:13 AM CST
Interesting! Thanks for all your answers

So i did prune the branches... and as i went to water my bonsai this week i saw this...

New roots?? What do I do now?
Also i dont know how to prune roots.. how do i recognize the ones i have to cut?
Thumb of 2018-02-12/Adamdadz/fa955a
Thumb of 2018-02-12/Adamdadz/23cd27

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Feb 12, 2018 8:51 PM CST
Do I understand this correctly, that the pink pot has no drain hole so your plant has been sitting in water? It looks like the white roots on the outside have already started to adapt to being waterlogged.

If this is the case, better find a pot that has drain holes. There is no reason for you to prune the roots, especially since you don't know how to do it. Get the basics of watering down before you venture into more difficult things. Your plants will do better if you do less and provide more benign neglect.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Montreal
Adamdadz
Feb 12, 2018 10:59 PM CST
It does have a hole that's tiny though.. in the middle..

Should i make extra holes?
Here is a photo
Thumb of 2018-02-13/Adamdadz/91a723

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Feb 13, 2018 4:24 PM CST
Tiny and probably clogged. Or did the water accumulate inside the other pot that the pink pot sits in?

Do whatever is necessary to have excess water flow out completely. Better yet, don't water so often and so much. It takes some practice.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Montreal
Adamdadz
Feb 19, 2018 9:07 AM CST
Hi will C!
No it doesnt get clogged but its also bc I take the bonsai out of the grey pot, water it in its pink pot in the sink.. wait for 30 min and put it back once it deained in the sink.

Having said that its not drinking its water 😒.. soil is wet as when i watered it a week ago.. im worried..
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Feb 19, 2018 11:06 AM CST
Yes, that is concerning. Perhaps the roots have died and are no longer absorbing water. Or maybe it is not getting enough light. It should at least start to get dry on the surface after a week. Keep it warm and in a sunny location.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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