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Bonsai Care

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Why Is My Bonsai Turning Yellow?

Bonsai means ‘tray planting.’ It is a form of art that originated in East Asia centuries ago. A bonsai tree is a replica of a full-grown tree as it would be in the wild, but scaled down so as to be grown in the comfort of your household. As with any tree, it requires set conditions to grow and thrive well. Yellowing of bonsai leaves is not an uncommon occurrence, and it is natural for some types of trees to change the color of the leaves. Sometimes it is not natural, however, and it indicates that something is wrong. This could be due to insufficient lighting, too little water, or a mineral deficiency, among other factors. Here are some of the reasons that may cause yellowing on bonsai leaves.

Watering Your Bonsai Incorrectly

Without a doubt, water is the most vital requirement for any plant to grow. Water provides the plant with all the nutrients it needs from the surrounding soil. Not only is it detrimental for a plant to be under-watered, it is also undesirable for it to be over-watered.

  1. Underwatering

When a plant is given too little water, it begins to wilt and dry up. This will be accompanied by yellowing of leaves, as the plant lacks what it needs to grow properly. You will know a plant is under-watered when it shrivels up and has droopy leavesl yellowing of the leaves soon follows. The soil is also parched.

  1. Overwatering

Just like anything else, water should always be administered in moderation. Too much is poison, since it imposes still water inside the pot. This is a harbor of deadly microorganisms that could potentially kill the plant. Still water surrounding the roots may cause them to rot and ultimately kill the plant. You should take note of any presence of mold, as this means rotting has begun.

Providing Your Bonsai With an Insufficient Amount of Light

The other main necessity for any plant to grow is light. Light is so essential that plants growing in light-deprived areas tend to grow toward the light. Like any tree, the bonsai requires a great exposure to sunlight to grow to its full potential. Light provides the plant with the energy to create its food to sustain its life. Also, chlorophyll found in the leaves of the plant gives the leaves its green color. With more sunlight, the plant produces a greater number of chlorophyll cells, which in turn bring about a vibrant green color. When a bonsai is underexposed to light, yellowing of leaves is inevitable and will lead to an unhealthy looking tree.

Type of Bonsai

You also must familiarize yourself with the nature of the tree you are rearing. Evergreen trees can remain green throughout the entire year, given their growing conditions are met. Tropical trees and conifers may be seasonal, hence changing the color of their leaves and dropping them at certain times of the year. This is hardwired into the system of the tree and no amount of care may change this. So before you panic, know the type of tree you have.

Stresses on the Bonsai

A tree is a living thing, and as with any living thing, stresses in the surrounding environment affect the tree’s general health. The plant’s environment may include the atmosphere, the soil, or features of the plant itself. Changing the soil and altering the temperature may adversely affect how a plant grows. The change in color means that the plant has not acclimated to its new surroundings and may take time before it adjusts. Hard pruning is another way you could lead your plant to ruin. When you snip away too many leaves, you limit the amount of sustainability it can generate for itself. This may lead to depleted resources and the yellowing of leaves. Always make sure to prune the tree when and only when it is healthy.

Bonsai Lacking Minerals

All plants require certain minerals to thrive to their maximum potential. This is the same case with a bonsai. When it lacks specific minerals in the soil, its leaves may turn yellow to indicate a deficiency.

Fertilizer is the needed boost required for the plant to grow healthily. It provides the plant with all the necessary nutrients which make the plant thrive. However, excess fertilizer will scorch the plant and cause it to change the color of the leaves. Fertilizer should be approached carefully and knowledgeably.

Type of Bonsai Pot

From the definition of the word bonsai, it is evident that the pot used will affect the tree. The type of pot will not only serve as the habitat of the tree but will also be aesthetically pleasing to all those who see it. A good-looking pot elevates the overall style of a tree and should be carefully considered when growing a bonsai tree. If the pot used cannot let out excess water, you will waterlog the plant and potentially kill it. Also, the roots may grow too big for the pot and require repotting.

Improper Bonsai Placement Causing Browning of Leaves

Some plants do better outdoors than indoors. The intense sunlight, humidity, and wind all work hand-in-hand to aid trees that grow outside. If these plants were to be planted indoors, it would be problematic and cause a struggle for growth. This will be indicated by the leaves turning colors. You should know the type of tree you are growing to know which conditions best suit it. Indoor bonsai trees include Jade and Ficus, while outdoor trees include the Elms and pine.

How to Revive Yellowed Leaves on Bonsai

If your bonsai tree has turned yellow and you are attempting to restore the leaves to their normal state, you should first know that this is not a process that will happen overnight. Patience is key. Keep a close eye on subtle changes and try to combat them as soon as they appear. Troubleshoot and try to find out what the likely cause of the problem is and deal with it.

Give your bonsai just the right amount of water. Do not be tempted to add water in excess as this is detrimental to the plant’s health. Only water the tree if the top of the soil is parched. Add water till it drains out the bottom, and do not add any more till you are certain the soil is dry.

Always expose the tree to enough light to continue to grow healthily. Sunlight helps in building the plant and so positioning of the plant is quite key.

Get to know your tree so you can understand why it sheds leaves. In a matter of weeks, the tree’s leaves are bound to revert back to the green you are used to. 

Make sure the soil you use is well aerated with all necessary minerals. A bonsai tree typically needs phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium for good growth.

Add fertilizer with care and make sure it is not in excess, as this will only make the problem worse. Research the type of tree and what nutritional supplement it may require for healthy growth.

Keep the tree in fairly stable conditions. Avoid drastic changes in the environment so as not to stress the plant.

You shouldn’t over-prune your tree. Make sure you prune the tree when it is healthy to avoid putting too much strain on the plant.

Growing a bonsai tree is a soothing endeavor and quite rewarding if done right. It requires your constant attention so make sure to take time out of your schedule to look after your plant and prevent yellowing before it gets out of hand.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Juniper Bonsai Tree Turning Brown

The juniper bonsai tree, known to resemble plants of the cypress family, is a popular coniferous shrub. Some of its notable characteristics are its needle-like leaves and its beautiful foliage color, ranging from light green to a bluish dark green. Many consider the juniper bonsai to be one of the most beginner-friendly bonsai trees. However, failure to follow the care fundamentals for the juniper bonsai may cause plants to grow brown leaves, wilt, or even die. So, before looking at the possible remedies for the juniper bonsai tree turning brown, a quick check of the causes of its browning would be essential.

Causes of a Juniper Bonsai Tree Turning Brown

For a juniper bonsai tree to have its leaves brown, something must have gone wrong while caring for the bonsai. What are the most prevalent mistakes while caring for the juniper bonsai tree?

Overwatering Causing Leaves Browning in Juniper Bonsai

Different bonsai trees have different water requirements, with the soil used also playing a part in the amount of water needed. If the soil retains too much water over a long period, you have overwatered the plant. Juniper leaves tend to discolor when the plant is overwatered, with the color turning from green to brown or yellow. Other signs of overwatering include shrinking of the branches, softening of the trunk, and an unhealthy appearance.

Underwatering Causing Leaves Browning in Juniper Bonsai

On the other edge, underwatering may also cause the juniper bonsai leaves to turn brown. Notably, this may be caused by poor watering habits or the use of excessively low water-retentive soil for the plant. Lack of quick intervention in this area may lead the juniper to wither and die. Signs of underwatering include soil hardening, tiny creases on the trunk, and roots sticking out.

Low Light Causing Leaves Browning in Juniper Bonsai

How To Care For a Juniper Bonsai Tree

With the juniper being a tropical tree, it needs lots of exposure to light. For optimal lighting conditions for your juniper bonsai, I recommend considering both the local climate and season of the year.

Now you know what probably made or might make your juniper bonsai leaves turn brown. That doesn’t mean all is lost. There is still hope for the browning juniper to become a healthier green juniper bonsai.

How to Revive Juniper Bonsai from Browning

There are three basic ways to revive your juniper bonsai from browning. They include making corrections related to the mistakes listed above, as well as repotting. Let’s have a look at each procedure.

  1. Correct Watering

Watering your juniper bonsai is the most critical technique to master for the excellent health of the plant. The major rule here is to neither overwater nor underwater the plant. I recommend that you test the moisture conditions by poking a finger in the soil daily. If the soil feels dry, you should water the plant, ensuring you don’t leave the soil waterlogged. Depending on the season, the plant may need anywhere between a day to a week before watering again.

  1. Proper Placement of the Juniper Bonsai

When we talk about proper placement, this means positioning your bonsai to receive adequate sunlight and temperature. Many bonsai trees prefer outdoor weather, since they can obtain at least six hours of sunlight and a warm temperature. While indoors, always have your juniper bonsai in an area where it can receive adequate temperature and sunlight, especially by the window. At times, adjusting the position of the plant may be needed to have it obtain adequate sunlight and temperature.

  1. Repotting

The frequency at which repotting is done depends on the container size of the juniper bonsai. Most of the juniper bonsai trees require repotting anywhere between every year and every two years. Usually done during spring, repotting is the perfect time to check on the overall root health (bacteria presence), trimming them to get rid of some of the old and rotten roots. I recommend that one uses a quality potting compost mixed with pebbles and sand for optimal drainage.

Conclusion

juniper bonsai

Investing time in caring for your bonsai tree is vital for a healthy plant. While the juniper’s major issue is the browning of the leaves, there are several things you can do to prevent or revive your juniper bonsai from browning. With the above tips, your juniper can maintain a green, healthy color, a crucial characteristic for the juniper bonsai’s beauty.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Azalea Bonsai Leaves Turning Brown

Azalea Bonsai Tree

The azalea bonsai tree is an evergreen tree with deep red flowers that remain on the tree for weeks. It is a member of the rhododendron family. There are many species of azalea with different shades of pink or red flowers. However, there are a few species with white flowers as well. Out of all bonsai trees, the azalea is one of the most satisfying. It is popularly known for having a prolific amount of gorgeous flowers when in full bloom. The azalea also adapts well to cultivation and root pruning. 

As with any other plant, improper care of the azalea may lead to complications that will affect the tree. In this article, we will discuss detailed information on reasons why the leaves of the azalea bonsai turn their green color.

Over-watering Causing Azalea Bonsai Leaves to Turn Brown

There is a specific amount of water that is recommended when watering a bonsai azalea. The leaves and roots of rhododendron may rot due to excess watering. This water becomes trapped in the plant leaves, making them turn brown. 

Often, when over-watering is becoming a problem, it is because the bonsai is being watered more than once a day. The tree should only be watered once every day or two, when the soil gets slightly dry.

Under-watering Causing Azalea Bonsai Leaves to Turn Brown

Browning of the leaves of potted azalea may occur as a result of under-watering the plant. Too little water leads to browning of the leaves and a dried, wilted trunk.

Water your Azalea bonsai every day or two when the soil gets slightly dry. Do not wait until the soil completely dries out.

Low Light Causing Azalea Bonsai Leaves to Turn Brown

Azalea bonsai depends on various environmental factors to survive and to stay alive. The tree should be exposed to sunlight. Since the azalea tree is hardy, it needs to be placed outdoors, because its leaves will turn brown if left indoors for an extended period. When potted azalea lacks sunlight, its leaves begin to wilt. For at least part of the day, you should expose the tree to indirect sunlight to prevent the leaves turning brown. However, when the tree is exposed to the sun for too long, it can dry out and cause browning of leaves.

You should place your azalea bonsai in a warm, well-ventilated, and partially shaded area. The tree to be placed in such an environment to enhance the healing process of brown leaves.

Pests and Diseases Causing Azalea Bonsai Leaves to Turn Brown

When pests affect the potted azalea’s leaves, they usually go unnoticed, thus causing the leaves to turn brown. These pests prevent the nutrients from reaching the leaves by feeding off the liquid from stems. They also suck the moisture from the leaves; hence, browning of the leaves occurs, and leaves eventually die. To promote new growth of the leaves, you can spray a light pesticide on the bonsai tree and remove dead or brown leaves. You should also use water to wash away the pests with an insecticidal soap that will prevent the infestation of pests.

Nutrient Problems Causing Azalea Bonsai Leaves to Turn Brown

In order for the potted azalea to grow and develop, it needs proper nutrients. The leaves may turn brown due to nutrient deficiency, such as a lack of magnesium and iron. The potted azalea also needs fertilizers like any other plant. An incomplete energy cycle may occur due to insufficient nutrients, thus affecting the leaf’s color. Notably, excessive use of fertilizers may cause the plant to burn.

How to Revive Azalea Bonsai From Browning Leaves

  1. Trimming the dead spots

To encourage and nurture future growth and development, you can trim away the dead parts of your bonsai tree. It is helpful for survival and revival of the azalea bonsai to trim away any fallen leaves or brown and wilted leaves from the stem.

  1. Treating your potted azalea tree with an organic insecticide

 You can spray your azalea plant with insecticide if you have noticed your potted azalea is infested with any type of pests. To ensure that you buy the right treatment for each parasite, you should identify the symptoms of the plant before choosing the spray. It is essential to lightly spray the bonsai tree’s foliage to ensure that the chemical lightly coats each area.

  1. Checking the moisture levels

It is essential to check the soil’s moisture levels before taking any action. You can stick your fingers 1 to 2 inches into the ground to check the moisture levels. Severe dehydration of the soil may cause the browning of the leaves; thus, it is recommended to water your tree well.

  1. Placement of azalea bonsai in a clean temporary container

You should place your potted azalea in a clean temporary container filled with lukewarm water. The normal pot should be cleaned thoroughly when the plant is still resting. You should prepare a new bonsai mixture of soil that drains well but retains water effectively.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Black Oak Bonsai

Oaks are among the most common trees. Most of them are deciduous; however, some of them are evergreen. Oak trees produce characteristic fruits (acorns). Black Oak bonsai tend to be picky compared to other plants; furthermore, they require greater care than all popular maples and conifer. In this article, we shall be discussing the care of the Black Oak bonsai tree.

How to Take Care of the Black Oak Bonsai

When it comes to taking care of your Black Oak bonsai tree, there are several essential aspects you will need to keep in mind, including:

Where to Position the Black Oak Bonsai

When it comes to positioning your Black Oak bonsai tree, sunlight should be your top priority. A Black Oak bonsai tends to tolerate full sunlight better than other bonsai plants. Therefore, you should consider positioning your Black Oak bonsai in direct full sunlight. Morning sunlight is regarded as the best since it is not overly hot; however, in the heat of the afternoon, you should consider filtering the sunlight or providing full shade to prevent your Oak from drying.

When kept in full shade for an extended period, a Black Oak bonsai will develop abnormally large leaves or dieback. These large leaves are inconsistent with your goals for your bonsai.

When and How to Water the Black Oak Bonsai

It would be best if you watered your Black Oak Bonsai every time its soil runs dry. However, you should avoid constant soil wetness. This means that you should water less during winter, but you should avoid letting the root-ball from drying out completely.

Fertilizing Needs for the Black Oak Bonsai

Virtually every Black Oak bonsai requires supplemental fertilization during the growing season. Since there are no ornamental flowers on the Black Oak, the tree does not need as much nitrogen as a flowering bonsai.

Using a heavy nitrogen fertilizer is desirable for plants that you will be trying to coax in developing heavy trunks. However, Black Oak responds better to a weak solution of a well-balanced fertilizer, which will address top- and root-growing needs. A Black Oak bonsai may produce bonsai-sized acorns, or it may not.

How to Train the Black Oak Bonsai

The Black Oak bonsai, like the pin and live oaks bonsai, tends to respond well to wiring and training. However, when training your Black Oak bonsai, be extra careful not to damage its bark while bending or positioning its branches. When you start on the second year of training, you should consider repotting your bonsai with the utmost care, as well as pruning and grooming the roots. Continue shaping it by bending and wiring its branches until you attain the desired appearance.

Common Pests and Diseases that the Black Oak Bonsai May Get

Black Oak bonsai often suffer from powdery mildew. To take care of this issue, you should consider using 10g baking soda along with 10ml grapeseed oil, a drop of dishwasher detergent, and 1 liter of water. You will spray the mixture repeatedly every seven days.

Less often, bacterial leaf scorch, oak leaf blister, and pine-oak gall rust occur. You should consider looking for a professional gardener who will take care of the situation if it worsens. There are some mites and insects that cause galls, but they do not cause any harm to the Oak tree in most cases. In addition to that, scale, aphids, hookworms, and leaf miners are a bother to Black Oak bonsai. To get rid of these pests, you might consider using a jet of water rather than chemical pesticides. It would be best if you also watched out for caterpillars of the Oak Processionary moth, since they have toxic hair and are very dangerous for humans.

By taking good care of your Black Oak in its early stages, you will be able to grow a perfect bonsai with the utmost ease. Keep in mind the growing conditions, correct watering techniques, and supplemental fertilizer to help your Black Oak Bonsai thrive. The best part is that Black Oak bonsai responds well to wiring and training; this makes it relatively easy to work with. We hope that this article has been of great assistance when it comes to caring for and training your Black Oak bonsai.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Flowing Bonsai Trees

How to Turn an Apple Tree into a Bonsai

Apple Bonsai Tree 1

It is undeniable that flowers and fruits add to the beauty of the environment. With bonsai gardening, the beauty of an orchard can be brought right in your living room in a miniaturized way! There are several ways to turn an apple tree into a perfect bonsai tree, including apple seeds and apple cuttings. Here, I will offer tips on how to grow an apple bonsai as well as discussing care tips for a healthy bonsai tree.

Growing Apple Bonsai Trees

Great bonsai gardeners go an extra mile of growing their trees instead of buying them. If you need to grow apple bonsai trees, you can use apple seeds or apple cutting. Since apple trees are not self-pollinating, you need at least two apple plants of a different type for your bonsai to bear fruits. Let’s look at both ways to learn how to turn an apple tree into a perfect bonsai tree.

Growing Apple Bonsai through Cuttings

To grow apple bonsai from cuttings, you will have to access healthy apple trees for your cuttings. The apple trees should be of different types, as noted above. When harvesting your cuttings, you should use a sterile cutter; a diagonal cut is preferred while harvesting cuttings. Then, you should place your cuttings in water immediately after harvesting them to prevent air from entering the cuttings’ stems.

Patience is key, since you need to allow the cuttings to develop roots. You may also use grafting techniques to produce good roots. When healthy and thick roots have grown, you can transfer the cuttings into their pots. You should water the cuttings daily to keep the roots moist.

Growing Apple Bonsai from Seeds

On the other hand, one may develop apple bonsai trees from apple seeds. To start this off, you need to collect seeds of different apple trees. Dry the seeds’ outside shells using a dry paper towel. You will need now to cover your dry seeds with a damp paper towel and place them in a sealable plastic bag. Apple seeds grow roots and sprout during winter; hence, you need to simulate seasons in your growing environment. To do so, keep your sealed seeds in the refrigerator for about seventy-five days under temperatures between forty and fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Doing this in winter is recommended for aligning the seed growth with its most preferable season.

When the allotted time has elapsed, remove the seeds from the refrigerator for planting. You will need some neutral pH soil with no fertilizers in which to plant the seeds. I recommend that you do the following after planting the seeds:

Water the seeds immediately to allow the soil to settle quickly around the seeds.

Ensure the soil stays moist.

Place your pot near the window or an environment with temperature matching or above room temperature.

As the seedlings grow over several weeks, water them daily.

We now have growing apple bonsai trees, but that’s not all. For a healthy and beautiful apple bonsai, special care is required. So, what are some common care tips for an apple bonsai?

Caring for Apple Bonsai After Planting

When it comes to caring for the apple bonsai, think of its growing position, watering, fertilizing needs, pruning, and training. The apple bonsai needs to be watered frequently, with water needs rising when the tree begins bearing fruit. Under-watering and over-watering should be avoided, with the soil kept moist and never dry. For optimal growth, the apple tree bonsai require feeding at least twice a month using balanced fertilizers. However, when the tree starts bearing fruit, stop feeding it.

We need to keep the apple plant miniature, so good skills in pruning are essential. Apple trees are best pruned in the spring; use clean pruning shears to keep the apple bonsai miniature. While pruning may be used as a training method, I recommend that you use wiring as the perfect training method. Through wiring, you can shape the apple bonsai in the spring season, before new leaves and buds emerge. You also need to keep your apple bonsai free from common pests and diseases such as mildew and aphids.

As evidenced in the tips above, you don’t need to purchase an apple bonsai. You can grow it on your own! However, developing the apple bonsai tree from seeds or cuttings is not an easy task. Caring for the apple bonsai is a lifelong obligation, but you can use the beautiful tree for decoration in your office, balcony, or living room.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Indoor Bonsai Trees

Fukien Tea Problems

The Fukien tea bonsai (Ehretia Microphylla, Carmona Microphylla) is an evergreen shrub that is commonly used for indoor or tropical bonsai. The tree is often available at bonsai nurseries, discount stores, and many other online sources. The plant originates from Southern China and is named after the Fujian province. It is excellently suited for the art of bonsai, due to its small leaves. Unlike most indoor bonsai, Fukien tea grows continuously, with no detectable rest period. Some of this tree’s characteristics are shiny, dark green leaves and a reddish-brown trunk. In this article, we will discuss the Fukien tea bonsai and its common issues.

The Problems That May Arise with Fukien Tea Bonsai

The growth of the Fukien bonsai tree can be cut short due to various problems. Some of these problems include discoloration of leaves, fuzzy spots, and swollen barks.

  • Visible spots on the leaves of Fukien tea bonsai

Red, brown, or black spots can appear on the leaves, and these are a sign of fungal infection. You should consider immediate treatment. It is vital to treat the tree with anti-fungal medication and prune the affected leaves.

  • Fuzzy spots on leaves and stems for Fukien tea bonsai

When the leaves and stems are affected by mold, small fuzzy white spots will appear. Low humidity conditions accelerate the growth of molds, causing the plant to deteriorate rapidly. In some cases, the fungi can affect the tree without being noticed until it has completely invaded the leaves and stems. When you are not careful, the small patches of white fuzz can grow to a large spot.

  • Swollen bark for Fukien tea bonsai

Swollen barking commonly occurs when the tree has not healed after trimming correctly. It can also be caused by canker diseases and under-skin diseases too. To prevent the whole plant from being affected, you should cut the infected part of branches. Cut paste can be used to encourage healthy healing.

  • Shrunken branches

Poor nutrition, watering, or diseases can lead to wrinkled branches. The affected limbs should be removed to prevent the entire tree from being changed. For nutrition identification, a soil test should be performed. 

  • Discoloration of leaves and stems

Discoloration of leaves and stems can be caused by infections and nutrients imbalance. The disease causes the leaves to turn brown, dark green, or light green colors. The leaves will dry and finally fall off. The application of fertilizers could help to prevent the branches and stems from shrinking.

Over-Watering and Under-Watering Fukien Tea Bonsai

watering bonsai

It is not always easy to determine if your bonsai is suffering from over- or under-watering. Some of the causes of over-watering are poor drainage, poorly draining soils, and containers. Overwatering makes the roots rot; rotted roots will take up water to the entire tree inefficiently. The symptoms start to appear immediately, including dry and yellow leaves and soft black tips on the leaves. Over-watering also loosens the trunk of the tree in the pot, and it may appear wobbly. It is essential to keep the soil damp and not wet. On the other hand, under-watering means the soil is dry due to a lack of sufficient water. It rapidly causes the leaves of the tree to wilt, dry, and become crispy, and they will eventually fall. 

Fukien Tea Not Receiving Enough Light

Fukien trees can only be kept outside all year in hot climates; this tree is best kept as an indoor plant. It always needs a lot of light, however. Insufficient light can cause the tree to grow slowly, interfering with shaping techniques. After pruning or leaf trimming, the plant will not grow back.  When they do not receive enough light, the leaves will start yellowing, drying, and falling off the tree.

Common Pests in Fukien Tea Bonsai

The tree can be attacked by spider mites, scale, and whiteflies under inadequate conditions. Spraying insecticide and using a stick to push into the soil will help to curb these pests. Light and humidity must also be improved to prevent infestations of pests. Fungal diseases can affect this plant in rare cases.

To sum up, improper care of the Fukien tea bonsai tree makes the plant unhealthy. The problems discussed above remain a threat to the growth of Fukien bonsai, and you should consider immediate treatment of the issues to make your tree thrive.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

How to Save a Bonsai Tree

Taking good care of a bonsai tree is not an easy task. Bonsai trees are prone to various problems that make them susceptible to disease. Hence, bonsai trees need careful handling. Watering a bonsai involves using clean and safe water. Fertilization of bonsai depends on your specific bonsai tree; some trees need regular fertilization in either liquid or powder forms. Pruning is also a critical care practice for bonsai; it should be done with special shears, depending on the age of the bonsai tree. In this article, we will discuss common bonsai problems and how to fix them.

How to Solve Bonsai Problems Related to Watering

  • Yellowing and wilting of trees

The leading cause of dryness, wilting, and yellowing of bonsai leaves is too much watering. Fixing this condition requires proper watering of the tree. You can water the trees only when the soil gets slightly dry. However, do not water bonsai on a routine basis but instead, observe each tree’s soil moisture. Finally, use the correct soil-mixture to plant your bonsai tree, making sure to use a mixture that can retain water for some time. You can also use a pot with good drainage to avoid water accumulation.

  • Discoloration of the stems and leaves

Discoloration in a bonsai tree might be caused by diseases or a lack of nutrients. You can conduct a soil test to check the nutritional imbalance on the plant. It is advisable to use clean, distilled water for watering your trees. Because dirty water contains impurities and toxic salts, it causes nutritional imbalance.

How to Solve Problems Related to Light

Light problems like molds and certain diseases are caused by insufficient light. The best bonsai location is a sunny spot in the window or your garden. Bonsai trees need to receive at least six hours of sunlight in a day. The light also helps to optimize the humidity levels in the bonsai space.

You can improve the humidity of your living room for indoor bonsai trees by installing humidifiers to improve the moisture level. The opening of windows and doors also helps to improve the humidity level.

How to Solve Problems Related to Soil

  •  Shrunken branches

Poor nutrition causes bonsai branches to shrink. A soil test is crucial to detect any nutrient problems. Replace bonsai potting mixture over time to avoid soil-borne diseases.

  •  Root discoloration and rotting

Trimming ensures no disease originates from the root zones. The roots are essential to the tree’s absorption of water and nutrients. Always keep the soil moist to avoid wilting of leaves.

Also, ensure you use well-draining soil to avoid the accumulation of water in the pot, leading to bonsai root rot.

How to Solve Problems Related to Fertilizer

  • Discoloration of leaves

Leaf discoloration is usually a result of nutritional imbalance to the plant. You can analyze your bonsai’s soil to determine which nutrients are available or deficient in the ground. A sick bonsai needs balanced nutrition or fertilizer for better rejuvenation. Therefore, you should understand the needs of your specific bonsai tree to know which fertilizers to use.

Conclusion

Caring for a bonsai tree requires careful examination to know the cause of any apparent problem. Tree care involves various steps and also requires the use of proper tools and equipment for pruning and tree shaping. Observe the tree for any cases of discoloration, leaf and stem spots, presence of insects, yellowing and drying of leaves, or shrunken branches, and fix them properly. The cases might be related to watering, fertilizer, soil, or light and therefore require a proper understanding of bonsai growing.

Other ways of fixing bonsai problems include proper root trimming, repotting a bonsai tree, changing the bonsai to new soil after disease condition treatment, changing the tree’s location gradually, or pruning of diseased branches to minimize the spread. The proper watering of your bonsai is also vital. To achieve adequate water levels, ensure the soil is always moist.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Bonsai Tree is Losing Leaves

When properly cared for, bonsai trees are beautiful and healthy. But sometimes problems arise, which cause the tree to lose its leaves. The loss of leaves on a bonsai is not uncommon, and as soon as you know the cause, you will be able to revive the tree. 

Common reasons why your bonsai may be losing its leaves include problems with the environment, watering, pests, and stress. All of these problems can be fixed fairly easy, especially if caught early enough. Don’t worry! We will tell you exactly how to fix these issues, and your tree will be back to normal in no time.

How Environmental Factors Can Cause Bonsai to Lose Leaves

The amount of light a bonsai tree receives is crucial to its health. The temperature of the bonsai’s climate is also very important. So, without proper light or temperatures, it is possible your bonsai’s leaves will drop. 

Indoor bonsai need to stay inside all year round in order to survive. Temperatures indoors should be kept fairly high (at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit). Additionally, tropical and subtropical trees, indoor trees, need to be inside so that they can receive plenty of light without being exposed to the cold. If your bonsai is outdoors, the climate must be well suited for your particular bonsai.

So, your bonsai’s leaves may be dropping because your bonsai is positioned wrong, is not receiving enough light, or is in a climate with temperatures that are too low or high.

How Over-Watering Can Cause Bonsai to Lose Leaves

A very common reason your tree may be losing its leaves is over-watering. Issues will arise if over-watering is done constantly, but not if it is occasional and irregular. 

One clear sign of over-watering is soggy soil. Bonsai rarely need to be watered more than once a day. Only water your tree when the soil gets slightly dry. When watering, stop when the water drips out of the drainage holes located at the bottom or sides of the pot. 

It is possible that the reason your tree is over-watered is not because of your watering schedule but because of the tree’s soil. Your soil needs to be water-retentive, but also well-draining. A soil that is not well-draining will store too much water, rotting the tree’s roots. Consider repotting your tree in better-draining soil if you believe this is the case.

How Under-Watering Can Cause Bonsai to Lose Leaves

The exact opposite of over-watering, under-watering is another major problem bonsai growers face. Under-watering could very well be the reason your bonsai is losing its leaves. 

If you find yourself forgetting to water your bonsai or are watering it only once or twice a week, under-watering is likely the reason the leaves are dropping. The bonsai’s leaves will likely not only drop, but they will be withered up and dry. The branches and trunk will also be dry.

The first thing you must do if your bonsai is under-watered is dunk the soil in water. After you do this, it is crucial that you start watering as soon as the soil gets slightly dry every day or two. 

Just like with over-watering, is possible that your tree is under-watered because of the soil, not your watering routine. In this case, the soil will not be water-retentive, meaning not enough water is soaked up when you water. If this is the case, repot your tree with a well-draining, but water-retentive, soil.

How Pests Can Cause Bonsai to Lose Leaves

Pests and diseases are another likely cause of dropping leaves on bonsai. Pests can include critters like scale, spider mites, aphids, and many more. They can be removed with specific pesticides or, in some cases, ladybugs! Don’t think that ladybugs are bad for your bonsai; they actually eat the pests on your plant without hurting it in any way. 

Bonsai’s leaves dropping can be caused by a number of things. These factors include but are not limited to watering problems, insufficient light, wrong temperatures, and bugs. If the conditions are unsatisfactory for prolonged periods, it is unlikely that your bonsai will survive. But, when these problems are caught early, your tree can recover.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Indoor Bonsai Trees

Best Soil Mix For Fukien Tea Bonsai

The Fukien tea bonsai is one of the most challenging tree varieties to sculpt. This tree presents many unique characteristics that can turn into a nightmare for beginners in bonsai cultivation. Although you need to put a lot of effort in cultivation, pruning, and maintenance, the end result is usually graceful and beautiful.

One of the things you will have to consider when it comes to Fukien tea bonsai is the soil quality. Rotting roots are a common problem associated with Fukien tea bonsai. Soggy, compacted soil will pose a huge problem, and you might never get the desired results.

Generally, Fukien tea trees prefer moist to slightly dry soil. If you want the very best results, you will need a quality soil mix for your Fukien tea bonsai. In this article, we will look at the importance of quality soil, the preferred soil mix, and when you should repot your Fukien tea bonsai.

Importance of Quality Soil in Fukien Tea Bonsai

Inferior soil will lead to no or slow growth of your Fukien tea bonsai. Your bonsai will undergo a lot of trauma and stress during pruning and shaping. Poor quality soil won’t provide the nutrition needed to bounce back from the cultivation process involved.

As stated earlier, soil without the proper drainage will also lead to the rotting of roots. The Fukien tea bonsai is particularly affected by this. Recovering rotting roots can be a complicated procedure, especially when you are a beginner. Most people usually quit and start again with a different tree, which can be devastating.

When you use low-quality soil, you will end up struggling with the speed and growth patterns of your Fukien tea bonsai. You mustn’t procure your soil from gardening stores, but instead, try a quality soil mix.

Fukien Tea’s Preferred Soil Mix

Now that you understand the importance of quality soil in cultivating Fukien tea bonsai, you need to create the perfect soil mix. You need a freely draining soil mix that consists of half inorganic and half organic soil components.

However, your Fukien tea bonsai could grow just as comfortably in a well-draining organic mix or 100% inorganic mix. You have to ensure that the soil never gets compacted, or you will end up with rotting roots.

Lastly, you need to add fertilizer weekly. Before you fertilize the soil, ensure that you water the tree well. The fertilizer should also be mixed at half the recommended dilution for the best results. Do not fertilize a sick, transplanted, or purchased Fukien tea tree.

Repotting Your Fukien Tea Bonsai

Repotting a Fukien tea bonsai should be done periodically when you notice that the root system has filled the current pot. One of the key reasons why you need to repot at this time is to ensure that your bonsai gets a fresh potting mix.

Repotting will also encourage the growth of a compact root system, which is essential in bonsai cultivation. Therefore, you need to examine your bonsai’s root system often to help you figure out when to repot.

No two trees are identical when it comes to growth patterns. When to repot will depend on the rate that your tree is growing. There is no predetermined schedule of when to repot, and you need to observe your Fukien tea bonsai carefully.

The best time to repot your Fukien tea bonsai would be around midsummer, when it is warm. It would help if you started by removing the bottom and outer quarter of the root mass.  You could then either return the bonsai tree to its original pot or transfer to a new pot.

Ensure that you add sufficient soil to make up the difference created when you trim away the roots. Your plant needs to be raised to its original position after you are done repotting. Water your tree when you are done to ensure that your bonsai tree remains healthy.

Fukien tea bonsai is a fantastic tree variety that creates beautiful shapes. However, there is a lot of work needed, starting with the soil. You want a healthy rooting system that can promote speedy growth, and the right soil is your answer.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Training Japanese Maple Bonsai

One of the main reasons why bonsai are so unique and beautiful is the training that goes into growing each tree. Training is crucial to not only the appearance but also the health of the bonsai. Japanese Maple bonsai in particular need maintenance pruning as well as structural pruning. Wiring is another crucial training technique used to shape branches and trunks. 

But there is no one way to train a Japanese Maple bonsai. Every bonsai grower is free to style their tree any way they choose. That being said, there are some classic styles which a bonsai grower can choose from. In this article, we will be going over some of the most popular styles for training a Japanese Maple bonsai. 

The Importance of Training Japanese Maple Bonsai

When you look at a Japanese Maple bonsai, the first thing you will notice is how beautiful it is. This beauty is achieved through training the tree. Pruning is used to evenly distribute leaves, decrease the size of the leaves, and more. Branches and trunks that have been bent through wiring present a more pleasing appearance. 

Pruning is not only important for the visual appeal but for the health of the bonsai as well. In nature, Japanese Maple trees’ leaves grow abundantly at the top of the tree. This causes the leaves located at the bottom of the tree to wither up and die, since light is not able to reach the leaves at the bottom of the tree.

How to Prune Japanese Maple Bonsai

Pruning is done by strategically removing leaves from branches. As previously mentioned, pruning is used to force leaves to grow further down and towards the center of the tree. While pine and coniferous trees prefer to be pruned by hand, the Japanese Maple is deciduous and can be pruned with shears or scissors. 

In addition to removing leaves, you can also take branches off the tree. Do this carefully and thoughtfully. You should remove branches that are dead, those that grow too far out, and those that hang too far down, rather than growing upwards. In the end, it is up to you to decide which branches aren’t needed.

How to Wire Japanese Maple Bonsai

Wiring your Japanese Maple can bend your bonsai’s branches or trunk. This is not an instantaneous event; the wiring process takes a few months before the branch will be in the position you want. The wire will need to be removed once the branch is bent. The wire will cut into the bark and scar the tree if it is not removed soon enough.

Begin wiring your tree at any time throughout the year. For Japanese Maples, aluminum wire is preferred. Simply wrap the wire around the branch you wish to bend. Once the branch is wired, bend it to the desired angle or shape. Then, wait!

Different Shaping Styles for Japanese Maple Bonsai

There are many different bonsai styles out there. Take what you will from these styles and leave the rest. Your tree can look exactly like a certain style, or you could take an aspect or two from one and make it your own. This is completely up to you! Experiment and have fun when training your Japanese Maple!

The first common Japanese Maple Style is the Broom style. Japanese Maple is perfect for this style since it works best with bonsai with fine branches with growth primarily at the top of the tree. The Broom style involves lots of growth rounded at the top of the tree. In this style, there is no growth at the bottom half of the tree.

Your Japanese Maple can also be styled in an upright, formal position. In this style, the bonsai’s trunk is straight up and its branches are evenly distributed throughout the tree. This style can be achieved by pruning the leaves and branches so that they grow at the bottom of the tree as well as the top. Their leaves should go out further than the trunk. A similar style is the informal upright style. The only difference is the trunk is not straight. Instead, it is curved into an S shape and the bottom of the trunk is thicker than the top. 

The last popular style we will talk about is the slanting bonsai style. In this style, the trunk is slanted to one side. The trunk’s base should be closer to the pot on the opposite side of which your tree is slanted. So, if your trunk is slanted towards the left, the base of the trunk will be off to the right.