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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.


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.

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