dying blue spruce

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dying blue spruce

Post  andispud on Sat May 01, 2010 1:57 pm

I have long been interested in the art of bonsai and read up over the years and so last october my boyfriend bought me a blue spruce. My first bonsai. I watered and fed it, pinched out during it's wintering indoors and nurtured it carefully but it's needles have dried up and it appears to have died. I am loathe to throw it away as I'm sure there is a way of recovering it. Does anyone have any ideas please to make this come back please. It's been a labour of love.

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Re: dying blue spruce

Post  JimLewis on Sat May 01, 2010 3:11 pm

Sorry. If the needles are brown and dry (or even greenish and dry) your tree is dead.

It should have been outside in the winter; nowhere in England do you have weather that's too cold for a blue spruce. Spruce will NOT live inside.

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Re: dying blue spruce

Post  Guest on Sat May 01, 2010 11:55 pm

Jim is quite right. This species can be difficult outdoors but indoors is a complete no no. Were you sold the tree as an indoor bonsai?

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poor tree

Post  andispud on Fri May 07, 2010 10:29 am

Yes, it was sold as an indoor tree. There's no hope then? Not even a partial recovery? Thank you both for your honesty. I'm gutted though... What type of trees are good for indoors please?

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Re: dying blue spruce

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri May 07, 2010 10:51 am

The person or nursery that sold you this tree were guilty of advising you incorrectly. If you can, take it back and demand a refund. It is unlikely to recover, even partially. If you cannot take it back, put it in a semi-shaded part of the garden, water only when it approaches dryness and don't hold your breath. If any needles remain green after a year, there may be a small chance of a partial recovery.

Few trees grow well indoors, though some semi tropicals can be grown with experience and the right conditions. This usually includes specific artificial lighting for the plants. Easiest are Ficus and some succulents such as Portulacaria and Crassula. Chinese Elm is often offered as an indoor tree but it is hardy and does better outdoors in the UK. Almost all of the bonsai grown by enthusiasts on this board are outdoors 99.9% of the time. They can be displayed indoors for a short time occasionally but a longer spell causes decline.

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Re: dying blue spruce

Post  fiona on Fri May 07, 2010 11:34 am

Hi Andispud. Is the problem simply that you don't have a garden? If so, how about a balcony or even a window box?

Also, whereabouts in England are you because even the relatively short distances in the UK can make a difference as to what people can grow?

We're not being nosey - just trying and get you sorted with something that'll work in your area and available space.

Cheers

Fiona

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Time

Post  andispud on Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:18 am

Time nor the outdoors did the little fella any good. Thank you to all who replied and tried to help. I know its been awhile since my last posting
(understatement). I think I'll look at bonsai's from afar as I have tried a few times without success. I wish you all happy growing

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Re: dying blue spruce

Post  Precarious on Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:44 pm

I would guess that most of us have been at this point you find yourself. If I can be so bold, you posted today because you don't want to give up, but are frustrated. The solution is simpler than you think (to keep a tree alive). Try again, if you can muster it. Buy a tree that is amongst the easiest to care for- a ficus. Bring it home with the knowledge that most trees die from two things- overwatering or underwatering. Your ficus will prefer you to err on the side of dryness.

1. Place it near a window, but not up against it. Give it about 12 inches space from the glass.

2. Test the need for water one of two ways- stick your finger an inch into the soil and water if it comes out completely dry, or keep a simple wooden chopstick in the soil and pull it out to check- water when the chopstick is dry.

3. Buy any commercial fertilizer that is for indoor plants and use it as instructed on the package.

After several months or a year, you will be confident that you can keep it alive. Spend some time gaining more knowledge on the three main steps above. You will find you can improve the lighting, will find better ways to know when to water, and will be able to make more informed decisions on the type and amount of fertilizer to use.

Probably by next summer you will be feeling pretty good about your tree and taking care of it. That will be the time to disrupt the whole thing and repot it into good bonsai soil, so read up on that too!

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