Bonsai tree

Help and advice required

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10/02/2011 at 14:24

 A friend has gone off to china for six weeks leaving us to look after one his most prized possessions - his s0dding bonsai tree!

 The only instructions we were given were that (a) it didn't matter too much where it was stood and (b) it should be watered every day - the equivalent of a small wine glass.

Halfway through his trip and the thing is moulting leaves like effing confetti!

If it carries on like this there will hardly be a leaf left on it.

Any ideas or suggestions?

10/02/2011 at 14:49

Oh blimey.  I'm surprised he didn't give you more detailed instructions because in my (limited and not too clever) experience, they can be quite delicate little things.  Maybe the conditions he keeps it in happen to be ideal without him realising?  

I had a Chinese Elm years ago and IIRC there were two things it particularly liked apart from regular watering: (a) a fair amount of natural light, and (b) a regular room temperature.  Unfortunately the house I was living in at the time didn't have central heating and I'm prety sure this is what killed it off.    Oh yes and apart from water I'm pretty sure there was some proper bonsai plant food to feed it.  I would've thought this might be relevant over a 6 week period.

Anyway, that's the extent of my troubleshooting.  I suggest you find yourself a bonsai tree forum!

10/02/2011 at 14:53

Thanks PB - it's not standing in a particularly well lit place so we'll move it towards the window

Hadn't  thought about a bonsai tree forum but then I guess there are some pretty strange forums about 

10/02/2011 at 15:52
I would go with Phil find a bonsai tree forum!!  I was given one for my birthday two years ago once I wasnt sure whether I under or over watered the thing but it shed all its leaves and died within a very very short time... good luck
10/02/2011 at 16:06
Replace it with a cactus and see if he notices.  They're much more resilient!
10/02/2011 at 16:28

Agree with PP, to a degree - my Mum bought be a bonsai tree about ten years ago. It died. The replacement died. The third stand in died. Fortunately, they all seem to be sold in the same blue ceramic tub so not too tricky to substiture a live, fresh one for the small, leaf-less twig your friend's bonsai tree is soon to become.

They're like pandas, bonsai trees, destined to die.

Edited: 10/02/2011 at 16:36
10/02/2011 at 16:43

I'm going to invest in some superglue

10/02/2011 at 16:43

I also had a Bonsai tree, it shed all it's leaves and then died abruptly  I'd kept it alive for 18 months, did nothing different and it just died.

I'd look for a bonsai tree forum, think I checked one of these the first time the tree had problems (red spider mites)

10/02/2011 at 16:54
PhilPub wrote (see)
Replace it with a cactus and see if he notices.  They're much more resilient!

Keyboard mop over here please!
10/02/2011 at 17:52
PhilPub wrote (see)
Replace it with a cactus and see if he notices.  They're much more resilient!


Yeah! it took at least 10 years to kill mine!! I forgot to water it for about 10 years. Kind of put it in a windowsill that got full sunlight and it was upstairs so never really thought about it much. 8 years without water is ok. i managed to revive that one but 10 years is not good especially if you only ever wateredit about 3 times a year for the previous 10 years you had it.

I like bonsai trees but I have never even been tempted to buy one. I know the leaves will fall off within a week. Same goes for other house plants. I have one that has grass like leaves. I've had it for a few years now and the leaves stopped being green about 3 months after I bought it. Should throw it away but I'm trying to con myself that it still lives. I'm onto my third cast iron plant (aspidistra), so called because you are not supposed to be able to kill them. I can categorically say that is not true, twice over and could be a third time over now too. I have it outside in the rain to try to get it to grow back. I once watered the pot when the leaves all went brown last time in the vain hope it would recover. It did and I got a few small green leaves come out. I cut out the dead brown ones to allow the green ones to grow unhindered. It came round and grew to a nice plant again. Then I forgot to water it for a while. I am back to the vain attempt to revive it.

If you want me to look after it for your friend give me a shout. PM me!

10/02/2011 at 17:56
Hell and I though I was bad with plants
10/02/2011 at 18:24

http://www.bonsaigardener.org/bonsai-tree-types.html

http://forums.bonsaigarden.net/

Good luck ... glass of wine a day sounds a bit much? or is it a giant bonsai?

Take a photo now, so you can a very similar one 1 day before they return ?

10/02/2011 at 18:26
Never Give Up Girl wrote (see)
I would go with Phil find a bonsai tree forum!!  I was given one for my birthday two years ago once I wasnt sure whether I under or over watered the thing but it shed all its leaves and died within a very very short time... good luck

So did mine.  £70 i paid for it too
10/02/2011 at 19:13

There are now more dead b'st@rd leaves scatterd on the b@st@rd floor than there are leaves left on the b@st'd branches!

10/02/2011 at 19:20
Isn't a giant bonsai tree just a tree???
10/02/2011 at 19:22

Double post deleted.

BTW you could have said no and he could have goto someone else. You are doing a favour and trying your best. Hopefully he will understand when he comes back to the bonsai tree in winter. That's a good excuse actually, might work. just say its winter so the tree shed its leaves. I take it the tree is a deciduous one.

Edited: 10/02/2011 at 19:25
10/02/2011 at 19:25

Bonsai or not it's soon to become an ex-tree

11/02/2011 at 11:53
Bonsai trees are planted in very small containers with very little soil, so they can dry out and die very quickly. My neighbour has some very old and valuable ones that he keeps on his patio and when he goes away I have to water them daily, and sometime even morning and evening in summer, else they can dry out completely, even in half a day. Your friend's comment about it not mattering where it stood however I think was wrong. If you've moved it somewhere with significantly less light, or somewhere warmer/colder, or even into a draught then that can really affect them very quickly. It's better that a carer goes to a bonsai rather than a bonsai coming to a carer.
11/02/2011 at 11:59
I kept my Chinese Elm for a while after it died, and told myself it was a "winter landscape".  It may have even sprouted some tinsel over Christmas.  That's it - stick some mini fairy lights on it.  That'll look pucka.
11/02/2011 at 12:09
Best thread of the day!
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