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How to Revive Bonsai Tree with Leaves Falling Off

Bonsai tree cultivation is, undoubtedly, one of the most profound pleasures that you could engage in at home. However, it is not always a bed of roses, and you will encounter challenges before becoming a professional.

Taking care of your bonsai tree will involve a considerable learning curve, especially when it is your first time. One of the challenges that you are bound to experience is leaves falling off your bonsai tree. If you are wondering how to revive a bonsai tree with leaves falling off, then you have come to the right place.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the causes of leaves falling off your bonsai tree and the solutions available. 

Causes and Solutions of Falling Bonsai Tree leaves

1. Under-watering or overwatering

bonsai watering

Did you know that both under-watering or overwatering your bonsai tree will lead to leaves falling? You need to water your bonsai tree only when the soil feels slightly dry. Touch the soil to determine whether your tree needs watering.

Poor quality soil and lack of a watering schedule are the leading causes of under-watering or overwatering. If your soil retains water, then it might feel dry to the touch while it is soaking wet at the bottom.

Soil that retains water will lead to root rot after a prolonged period. Dealing with root rot can be rather challenging. However, the root rot problem can be addressed with the application of plant powder and essential oil.

When you suspect that your bonsai tree is losing leaves due to overwatering and poor-quality soil, you need to let the soil dry out. Be careful when doing this because you don’t want the soil to dry out completely. You can then reduce the amount of water you usually give your bonsai tree.

However, if you suspect that the problem is caused by under-watering, then you need to rehydrate your bonsai tree. It is also a great idea to mist your stem and leaves regularly to help your bonsai tree absorb water while the roots are healing.

Do not overwater your bonsai tree to compensate for under-watering. This will usually lead to water stress that is rather lethal. Instead, pour water frequently until your bonsai tree recovers fully. Create a watering schedule to ensure you give your bonsai tree adequate time to recover.

2. Exposure to lower or higher temperatures than required

An indoor bonsai tree requires room temperature that should not exceed 27 degrees Celsius or fall below 15 degrees Celsius. For outdoor bonsai trees, you need to research the specific plant specimen temperature requirements.

Deciduous bonsai trees will lose leaves during the autumn-winter period. This is an everyday occurrence that shouldn’t worry you. Understanding your plant species should help you determine the expected changes at different periods.

3. Stress

Trees are creatures of habit, meaning that environmental stress will lead to loss of leaves. Constantly shifting the position of your bonsai tree can lead to stress due to the variable shifts in air penetration.

Changing the position of your bonsai tree frequently is not recommended. You can consider using an artificial grow lighting system for indoor bonsai tree cultivation. Remember that certain areas in your room don’t get enough direct sunlight exposure.

Look for the perfect spot that guarantees sufficient sunlight and air penetration. Do not shift your bonsai tree around your home regularly. Once you place your bonsai tree at the right place, then give it time to recover.

4. Wrong fertilization

Are you using fast-acting fertilizers or slow-release nutrients for your bonsai tree? The wrong method of fertilization will lead to the loss of leaves. Sometimes the problem might be that you are not using any fertilizer.

When buying fertilizer, ensure that you check the label carefully. This should help you determine whether that fertilizer is right for your bonsai tree.

5. Disease or pests

Pests and diseases will lead to loss of leaves on a large scale. The good news is that you can easily spot disease or pests. Once you spot the problem, then research the correct solution to use. Use a magnifying glass to help you spot any pests or disease signs on your bonsai tree.


You need patience, consistency, and determination when dealing with leaves falling off your bonsai tree. Dealing with this problem is rather simple once you identify the cause. Do not be in a rush and always give your miniature tree time to recover.

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