Japanese Holly Problem

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Japanese Holly Problem

Post  AndrewJPAS on Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:06 pm

Hello

I have been bought my first bonsai tree as a gift and have followed the care instructions to the letter, a Japanese Holly, unfortunately the leaves in the middle of the tree are turning brown and falling off, also some of the a smaller branches are also turning brown and becoming brittle, any help with this problem would be appreciated. I have hosted an image here and hope that helps

http://i.imgur.com/divibNX.jpg

kind regards

Andrew


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Re: Japanese Holly Problem

Post  Auballagh on Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:47 am

Are you keeping your Japanese Holly, Ilex crenata indoors?  I have never brought my own Holly trees indoors except for very short periods of time.  They prefer a few hours of full sun each day, and really like air circulation.  I live in Zone 8, and my trees all go down on the ground into mulch, for over-winter protection.
I would be careful about keeping your tree too wet, also.  They definitely will not tolerate drought (drying out), but 'wet feet' can be very harmful over a period of time, as well.

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Re: Japanese Holly Problem

Post  fiona on Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:25 am

A few questions, Andrew. 1. Do you know where the gift was bought from - eg garden centre, hardware store or bonsai nursery? 2. Did the instructions you mention come with the plant or have you found them online? 3. Have you been keeping it indoors since you got it and how long ago was that?

I have never had any success with Ilex crenata and I suspect your climate and mine are pretty similar. It will easily take our summer outdoors but is susceptible to frosts in my experience.

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Re: Japanese Holly Problem

Post  AndrewJPAS on Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:57 pm

Hello

The gift was bought online from http://www.allthingsbonsai.co.uk/ and came with care instructions included, it arrived in lovely condition and the soil covered with sphagnum moss, it has been indoors all the time for about 2 months and placed on the window sill during the day but out of direct sunlight, then placed on a table during the night, I hope that helps, the instructions do state not to keep the plant to wet but once it has nearly dried out to imerse the container in water unlil it soaks up enough water? maybe this is to much.

Kind regards

Andrew

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Re: Japanese Holly Problem

Post  John Quinn on Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:33 pm

They should also have stated to keep it outside...

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Re: Japanese Holly Problem

Post  fiona on Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:37 pm

John is right. There are few trees that need to be kept indoors in this country except during the coldest months and yours would have benefited from being outside pretty much up 'til the first frosts. I have only one tree ( a bougainvillea) out of an extensive collection that comes indoors, and even then it is only indoors from about November through to April. You may be able to save the tree but bear in mind that we are fast approaching the frosty season so putting it outside will only be for a limited time. I suspect it is a goner which is a pity if it was a gift.

I'd seriously think about getting something like a larch or a hawthorn to set you off on your bonsai journey. But only, of course, if you can keep it/them outside.

Whereabouts in Cumbria are you?


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Re: Japanese Holly Problem

Post  AndrewJPAS on Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:11 am

Hello

Just wanted to thank you all for the helpful advice, I will try putting it outside while it is still mild and see what happens.

I am in Ulverston in the south lakes Fiona

kind regards

Andrew

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Re: Japanese Holly Problem

Post  fiona on Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:44 pm

Interestingly, someone local to me has now contacted me with exactly the same problem with a Japanese Holly. They too have been keeping it indoors. I'm going to have a closer look at her tree and see what, if anything, can be done. Will let you know the "verdict" Andrew.

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Re: Japanese Holly Problem

Post  Justin_ on Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:20 pm

It sounds like the same problem that didn't get resolved here: http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t11305-japanese-holly#118733

My ilex crenata which I'm growing in the ground as a garden plant had branches die this summer too. I wasn't closely monitoring it, despite it happening the previous summer, but I think it was just after the big heatwave that I noticed it.

I think I'm right in saying that ilex crenata is not really used for bonsai in Japan where it is mostly found as a hedging plant. That strange anomoly found in expensive garden centres over here, the potted niwaki-pruned ilex crenatas, are created purely for export.

It would be interesting to hear if anyone is growing them successfully in the UK or NW Europe.

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Re: Japanese Holly Problem

Post  fiona on Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:06 pm

To me it is all part and parcel of what is sold as "bonsai" to the unsuspecting public over here. As well as being sold as an indoor tree, the one my friend was given came in a plastic-lined basket rather than even so much as a training pot, was rootbound, and the seller had sold the buyer of the gift a bottle of "bonsai feed" for some ludicrous amount of money.

Andrew, just in case you want to follow suit, I have taken my friend's tree out of its container and put it into a training pot. I removed as much of the poor soil as I dared at this time of year and potted it in something more open. I've cut away the damaged areas and trimmed off some older dead branches.

It is now in my cold greenhouse and I'll keep an eye on it from now on. Will keep you posted as to its progress.

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