Is Bob dying?

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Is Bob dying?

Post  Relequestual on Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:24 pm

This is my first tree and I've had him since march 11th. He looked pretty health and I've been trying to take pictures every day to show progression.

Here is a photo from 16th march


It was still looking good on 18th. On 22nd I noticed some lighter colour leaves...

You'll notice some of the leaves have black dots on...


By the 28th, some of the leaves were dying and falling off...


Now it's the 2nd of April, and it's look pretty unhappy, looks like some of the previously healthy leaves are curling up...
It also looks like they have lost their bright green, but it may just be the light, it's difficult to tell.


I've been checking it every day to see if the soil feels dry and watering if it is. I've followed the instructions and not placed it next to my radiator. The room it's in is mostly dark, but a fair amount of light through the window. It's got little direct sunlight mind.

Have I missed something I should have done to look after it? It's my first Bonsai. Does it need plant food? I asked a few green fingered friends and they said it probably wouldn't.

Thanks in advance.


Last edited by Relequestual on Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Additional infomration)

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Re: Is Bob dying?

Post  JimLewis on Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:42 pm

The room it's in is mostly dark, but a fair amount of light through the window. It's got little direct sunlight mind.

There's your problem. PLANTS NEED LIGHT -- lots of it! A "fair" amount of light won't do it. If you must keep it indoors, get a fluorescent tube and hang it 5 inches above the plant and keep it lit for 13 hours a day.

Better yet, get the tree outdoors, where it belongs.

From your description, you've probably overwatered as well.

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Re: Is Bob dying?

Post  Relequestual on Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:52 pm

Thanks Jim.

I can't keep it outside because I'm in a flat, and I can't hang anything from anywhere because it's rented.

I will place it next to the window and hope it recovers.

How can I make sure I don't over water it?

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Re: Is Bob dying?

Post  fiona on Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:44 pm

First, it would be helpful if you could give a better description of where in the UK you are.

Second, if you are stuck with keeping it indoors then it is advisabe to remember that this causes the plant stress from the outset and your care approach is always going to be how to minimise that stress to give it a sporting chance. As Jim says, light is essential. As is keeping the soil moist but not soaked. Drafts and hot air currents such as those caused by central heating are also a problem. As a for example, I keep my one and only Chinese Elm in a cold greenhouse over the winter where it can get all round light. In your case you need somehow to recreate that. Fluorescent tubes are one suggestion but if you had a very light and airy window sill then that might do. An over-warm atmosphere wont kill it as long as you remember to water it.

And don't forget that trees drop their leaves all the time not just in autumn. Don't overworry yourself and keep an eye out for new growth rather than counting the ones that are dropping off.

Good luck.

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Re: Is Bob dying?

Post  JimLewis on Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:11 pm

You can find fluorescent light fixtures that have a lamp stand. That way you don't need to hang it.

If you find that all you can give it is a window (south is best) remember to rotate the tree once a week to keep it from getting lopsided when it grows toward the light.

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Is Bob Dying?

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:26 pm

I'm afraid the answer to that question is probably. This is a common problem. People without prior knowledge buy an outdoor bonsai that comes without instructions, or worse, is sold as an indoor plant.
If I were you, I would take the tree back to where you bought it & demand a refund. In this country we have a policy called "breach of implied warranty." If a product simply is unsuitable for use, even if there is nothing specifically wrong with it, you have a right to a refund.
You have a Chinese elm. Even if you put it under a fluorescent light or right near a window, I doubt it will survive. First of all, it is probably in soil that is unsuitable for your conditions, hence the yellowing leaves. But you can't repot it now while it is not dormant. Next winter it will need to go dormant.
Will the landlord let you arrange a little shelf outside your window so you can put the tree outdoors?
If the store won't give you a refund, give the tree to someone with a yard or at least a balcony.
And get yourself a Ficus. Not a ginseng Ficus, because that is not a bonsai. And preferably not one with those tasteless zigzag bends in the trunk. Even a Ficus likes to be outdoors for the summer, but at least it will survive in a sunny window. And you can repot it into proper bonsai soil in warm weather.
Iris

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Re: Is Bob dying?

Post  PeacefulAres on Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:16 pm

Looks like it's just in potting soil. That's probably only making the situation worse.

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Re: Is Bob dying?

Post  PeacefulAres on Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:26 am

I had a bit of a realization. If you want to keep growing your elm inside, you might want to visit you local pet store, whatever the equivalent of Petco is in the UK. You can find a cheap lamp like this http://www.petco.com/product/9469/Flukers-Clamp-Lamps.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch which is used to provide UV light to reptiles. Some of these lights are designed for desert creatures which need extremely high amounts of both heat and light, which simply cannot be match by regular lights. Also, they're usually not tremendously expensive, and many of them come with clamps or stands, which will allow you to attach them to something. Just some food thought.

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Re: Is Bob dying?

Post  tap pi lu on Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:54 am

Photo 1: arid
Image 2: thirsty plants
Image 4: too thirsty
Image 5: it is to say goodbye
You were thirsty for it for days.
you lightly scratch the bark - if that is still green and the sap is when you put all submerged in water from 2 to 3 hours.
then lifted out, placed on absorbent towels for all excess water.
the following day average hold moisture.
cordially. tap lu pi

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Re: Is Bob dying?

Post  ScottB1 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:44 am

tap pi lu wrote:Photo 1: arid
Image 2: thirsty plants
Image 4: too thirsty
Image 5: it is to say goodbye
You were thirsty for it for days.
you lightly scratch the bark - if that is still green and the sap is when you put all submerged in water from 2 to 3 hours.
then lifted out, placed on absorbent towels for all excess water.
the following day average hold moisture.
cordially. tap lu pi


Concur - outside is needed for this species, but the immediate problem is that it has been severely droughted. Can you tell us more about how you water you tree?

Scott

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Re: Is Bob dying?

Post  fiona on Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:15 pm

I am not sure if the poster is still with us or not as he hasn't visited since April 5th. If you do pick this up I think the message is simple: first, in the UK don't buy trees from garden centres and hardware stores as they are extremely inferior and are probably already in poor condition. Second, remember that indoors is always going to be a very poor second best to outdoors and while it can be done, there is a very limited number of trees that would work. A number of people - between this thread and some others - have suggested Ficus. In the UK there is virtually no scope for buying these to the point where I'd be very wary of buying any except from a recognised bonsai trader. Do not buy Ficus benjamina as it is little other than a house plant to adorn your bathroom.

If you are still wanting something for your living room, my recommendation would be to look for a little olive which is about the only thing I keep indoors for most of the year. You can get those in garden centres for very little. But since we dont know your exact location, I cant comment on whether even that would need to go outdoors in the late spring through to the first frosts.

Best we can do for you I fear.


Last edited by fiona on Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Hi Sott

Post  tap pi lu on Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:40 am

ScottB1 wrote:
tap pi lu wrote:Photo 1: arid
Image 2: thirsty plants
Image 4: too thirsty
Image 5: it is to say goodbye
You were thirsty for it for days.
you lightly scratch the bark - if that is still green and the sap is when you put all submerged in water from 2 to 3 hours.
then lifted out, placed on absorbent towels for all excess water.
the following day average hold moisture.
cordially. tap lu pi


Concur - outside is needed for this species, but the immediate problem is that it has been severely droughted. Can you tell us more about how you water you tree?

Scott
as I have already presented. the next day you just need to hold enough moisture in the soil.

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Re: Is Bob dying?

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:29 pm

Tap pi lu, I think Scott was asking the original poster how he watered his tree and not you.

All pretty irrelevant as the original poster hasn't responded for 20 days

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Re: Is Bob dying?

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