Wee Trees Bonsai Help Forum Advice for all

HELP!! Bonsai dying!
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Author:  Newbiebonsai [ 13 Mar 2010, 11:30 ]
Post subject:  HELP!! Bonsai dying!

Hello, i have a Lingustum sinense bonsai which i brougth from a local garden centre.I watered it when it was dry, and gave it bonsai drip food every 2 days! Some days the plant droops and it has got yellow leaves.So could you help me answer these questions-

Why are the leaves drooping and why are some yellow?
How can i help keep my bonsai alive?
Does it need any trimming,pruning or re-potting etc...?




Author:  Furrag [ 13 Mar 2010, 11:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: HELP!! Bonsai dying!

I find my Ligustrum cuttings wilt easily indoors. As a result, I have had to place a large Robinsons Orange juice bottle over the top of them to keep the humidity in.

Chinese privet are hardy, so you can put it outside where it will recover. It'll drop a few leaves at first simply because it's being placed somewhere colder in the day and night, but by May be putting out strong new growth. They grow very quick I find, so make a good bonsai. Are you happy to put it outside?

I'd also get it out of that soil too and repot it into Akadama or cat litter - Sophistocat pink, from Pets at Home, or Wilkinsons pink calcined cat litter. You will have to water every day though, and in the summer, in the morning and evening I have found. To combat this, you could add some soil like it is in now so it has some more water retention.

Author:  John M [ 13 Mar 2010, 11:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: HELP!! Bonsai dying!

Hi Newbie - I can't see any yellow leaves on your pics. Do you have a photo of them?

Your post is quite nostalgic for me because the very first bonsai I was given 6 years ago was a Ligustrum, and I knew nothing at all, kept it indoors in the middle of the room and watched it slowly die on me for lack of light and humidity (at least, that's what I discovered later).

SO - a couple of points to be going on with:

Are you making sure it gets enough light? I.e. next to a window, but not next to the window at night 'cos they get very cold there.

I think 'feeding' it every two days might not be right for it - I would give it just water until it recovers.

As 'summer' approaches, you might think of putting it outside and keeping it well watered while it sunbathes - does them the world of good.

If you bought it from a garden centre chances are it's in the wrong soil - too water retentive. Bonsai need to be in very coarse well draining soil.

Finally, having written all this, I notice Furrag has just posted. Follow his advice - he's the Ligustrum expert!

Cheers and good luck, SJ.

Author:  Newbiebonsai [ 13 Mar 2010, 12:07 ]
Post subject:  Re: HELP!! Bonsai dying!

Thanks,Yes ill try and get a photo of the yellow leaves.Ill try 'sunbathing' it and repotting it.Do i need any trimmming or pruning etc???

Author:  corin [ 13 Mar 2010, 13:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: HELP!! Bonsai dying!

it does not seem too bad, water if well and often, don't use the drip feed, they are awful and can overdose and kill trees.

Trim back new growth and let it settle into its new environment

Author:  Newbiebonsai [ 13 Mar 2010, 13:44 ]
Post subject:  Re: HELP!! Bonsai dying!

ok,ive trimmed the new growth and ive sunbathed it outside.Ill give you a picture in a few days

Author:  hungkuen [ 13 Mar 2010, 18:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: HELP!! Bonsai dying!

Have you stopped feeding? every 2 days is far to much! You should feed every 2-3 weeks!

Author:  Newbiebonsai [ 15 Mar 2010, 21:35 ]
Post subject:  Re: HELP!! Bonsai dying!

Yes, ive stopped feeding, ive trimmed the new growth and put it outside for a few hours for a sunbathe.The tree is still wilting and more yellow leaves are appearing?? :) Thanks for your help

Author:  Jerry Norbury [ 15 Mar 2010, 23:15 ]
Post subject:  Re: HELP!! Bonsai dying!

Put it (submerge) in a bucket of water for 20-30 to make absolutely sure that root ball isn't just dried out.

Author:  splendidplumage [ 15 Mar 2010, 23:45 ]
Post subject:  Re: HELP!! Bonsai dying!

The Ligustrum needs repotting into a slightly bigger pot.

They are very thirsty trees at the best of times and the roots grow very fast.
I would try and repot them every year, this time of year is perfect.
I would repot into a peat and grit based compost as it will dry out slower then akadama.
Cat Litter dries out even quicker then Akadama so is even less advisable.

The drooping you are seeing is wilting due to getting too dry. Watering more and repotting into a larger container should sort that out.

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