Ilex Crenata

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Ilex Crenata

Post  Storm on Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:29 pm

Hi. I have an Ilex Crenata, which I have had for some weeks. I have been careful to take care of my trees and read alot about them. The Crenata is placed near a window and recieves sun for several hours a day. It is watered when it feels a bit dry 1/2 inch down or a bit less. It has some branches developed a bit down the trunk and a big crown. Some branches were already cut away when I bought it. The problem is as follows: The tree looked quite healthy when I bought it. I cut away a few minor branches and let it stay untouched for some time. A few days later the leaves on the lowest branches started to become brown. Just drying out. Almost every leaf on one branch has fallen off during a week and a half. I cant see any new shoots on the branch at all. On of the other branches at the same level has gotten a shoot but lost alot of leaves too. I was at first fearing a branch-death.
This is the odd part. The crown is getting new leaves all the time. They seem healthy and looks good. They are showing themselves rapidly. Then only bad thing about this tree was that when I repotted it was full of hard clay in the roots. It had been there for a long time.
The tree is not looking good. At all. Its unbalanced and not healthy. Any ideas about whats happening to my lower branches?









The photos are about a week old. Though nothing have changed other that I have repotted it (in the same pot, with new soil) and the crown have got a few more shoots.

Storm
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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Jim Doiron on Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:54 am

I am not the greatest horticultural mind here but it seems to me that, if you have it indoors, it might be too harsh (dry) an environment for it post re-potting? Did you trim roots or just replace soil? I might get it under some light cover like a bag or glass to keep the leaves supported until the roots take hold. Others will correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sure, but it sounds like stress from the re-potting.

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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Storm on Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:49 pm

Some of the roots had to be removed cause of too much clay. But I didnt remove so many really. Just got some new soil into it. Didnt leave any of the old soil in the pot. It was starting to become like this before the repotting. It havent shown much difference after I repotted it. But a couple of new shoots at the crown has died. Seems like this soil is keeping its water longer than before. I dont let it dry much either. I water it when the top feels dry. I also use a water"sprayer" so I spray the leaves a couple of time's a day if its strong sunlight on them. I also kept the tree a bit furter away from the window after the repotting.

Storm
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Ilex

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:52 pm

Storm

I think this species will struggle as an indoor tree.
Try to get it outside as soon as possible. I would say even if you have a day above freezing move it out and bring it in overnight.

Billy on the Florida Space Coast

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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Storm on Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:57 pm

Oh. Thanks for the advice. I read at some sites that this would be a o.k. indoor tree, but I couldnt tell tales from truth. Ill put it outside tomorrow. Do they require a dormant period or just a bit climate change? Its not really warm in here, but its about 18 degrees. (Dont know what it is in F). I dont know what kind of ways the trees are grown, but I just assumed it all was greenhouse plants.

"Easy to care for species, slow growing with white flowers and box like leaves. Responds well to trimming.
Indifferent to sun or shade but is tolerant of shade making it also suitable for indoor cultivation." Taken from a online bonsai shop.

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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Norma on Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:20 pm

Hi Storm,

The holly you have does not do well inside unless it has more light than just a window and it needs dormancy in a cool room during the winter. My new ilex has been in my dormant room all winter from October - April and looks very healthy. The plant came from southern US and I live in the north which is zone 3-4. Oslo is zone 6 so if the temperature is above 18* centigrade your tree should go out . It needs the air circulation and dappled sunlight.

Best wishes,
Norma

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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Storm on Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:40 pm

Thanks for the info Norma. Ill start taking the tree outside. In the dormant period, does it take alott of light? And, does it lose all the leaves? And, about how cold do you have the room its in?

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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Norma on Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:55 pm

The ilex is evergreen, as it's cousin the boxwood, so the leaves stay on during the winter dormancy. I keep my dormant room between 3 & 13* centigrade. It should not go below freezing and once it hits 18* consistently the dormancy is over. I have florescent lights over my evergreens at this temperature until I can get them outside. Our temperature is not stable at this time of the year so I wait until there is no chance of freezing.

Good luck...

Norma

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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Storm on Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:01 pm

Thanks again. It really helps alot. Ill try taking it out in a short while. I hoped it didnt come to this, I wanted some year around inside bonsai's. Since im going to move soon and I wont have the possibility to have a dormant room for a few years.

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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:11 pm

Storm wrote:
Taken from a online bonsai shop.

Storm

Some of these guys have the honesty level of an American used car salesman.

They want to sell plants, you buy a plant, it dies, you think you did something wrong and buy another one.

Billy on the Florida Space Coast

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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Storm on Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:53 pm

The weather havent been so good, so the tree havent got the light it needs. It shows no positive progress this far. I was thinking, maybe I dont have a good soil for it, so it gets too little drainage? I think I might have too little grawel. If so, would it be the last nail in the coffin if I would repot it again? I cant understand what to do, when it responds badly to everything I do. Is it possible it wasnt taken good enough care of at the shop, so it will just die slowly for me? I though that almost nothing were so bad, that it couldnt be fixed.
And, all the shoots you see at the pictures, that are new, are now as good as dead.

Again, pardon my bad english, Im tired, and out of shape at foreign languages.

Storm
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lex

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:13 am

Storm

Your English is great and much better than my 0 Norwegin.

As to your plant. Keep it from freezing but give as much light and air as possible otherwise.

Use a wooden meat skewer to test the soil moisture. Place the skewer in the soil about 1/2 way between the trunk and edge of the pot. Push the skewer to just above the bottom of the pot, water the tree from the top on the soil when the skewer comes out dry. Then water until the soil is thourghly wet.

Don't worry the plant to death. The symptoms you report are signs of too much water.

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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Storm on Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:30 am

Oh, I actually though that it didnt get enough water.. A good friend of mine said that if the leaves turned yellow and fell off, it got too much, but if the branches turned darker and the leaves brown, it was drying out. But she works in a flower shop, not really doing much in bonsai. There is always differences between the species. Thanks for the advice, ill try it out, and place it outside for most of the day as soon as it stops pouring down.

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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Norma on Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:36 pm

Hi Storm,
I just re-read the part about re-potting the holly. You said you had removed clay and after looking at the picture of your tree I'm wondering about the soil you used in the re-pot. Could you describe your soil mix? This might give us a clue about why your bonsai is having trouble ....!!

Norma

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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Storm on Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:54 am

Hi. The soil you see on the picture was a standard mixture that came with the tree. And most of the roots were covered in hard clay. I removed all of this and just mixed som quite fine sand with regular soil for flowers. I made sure it didnt get too pressed down so it could breathe. I didnt make any measurements for how much I have used of what, but its quite alott of dark fine soil in it. I didnt mix in any gravel..
But, I bought a Carmona retusa, which I got cheap, since the tree was almost dead. As close to every leaf was fallen off, and it was 100% dried out. I just took it in as an experiment. But, I have used the same mix for that tree, and it thrives. Its full of new leaves and is getting new flowers and buds all the time.

Storm
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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Norma on Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:32 pm

Hi Storm,

Your soil is probably the reason for your tree's problem. We have found that a tree unlike flowers NEEDS a different kind of soil mix. It should allow water to pass over the roots quickly thus we use a course soil. I just recently repotted my boxwood in equal parts haydite (fired clay), pumice (lava) and pine bark. I seldom use flower soil except in small portions for some tropicals. Here's a good web-site for bonsai:

http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/soils.htm

Norma

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Re: Ilex Crenata

Post  Storm on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:23 pm

Today I just took a long-shot. I planted the tree in a new mix. Its was almost only sand and gravel. Only a very very small amount of soil in it. I also cut back several of the upper branches. As close to every leaf has been removed and it was dried out. Most of the branches still have some moisture in them so I hope for the best.. But I think the tree has found its end. Sad really, I really had some plans for it, and is one of my first bonsai at this size..

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Re: Ilex Crenata

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