Beyond saving?

Share your success stories about defoliation, bare rooting and anything else relating to maintaining healthy bonsai.
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artisanbaker
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Beyond saving?

Post by artisanbaker »

IMG_3388.JPG
I'm a youth worker seeking feedback on a client's bonsai.

I read Bodhi's post re poor quality stock from some nurseries, viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7422

Plus some other bits re good placement (generally should be in full sun?)

This bonsai does not appear to have good lower branching (?) and is only in partial sun.

My client has being giving a single misting every two days.

Leaves are crisp and dry, and appear dehydrated.

Is it too late for my client's tree?

Tree is in Hobart, Tasmania btw.

Thank you in advance!
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Beyond saving?

Post by Beano »

Looks like an azalea. It sounds like it is not being watered adequately. The soil needs to become moist when watered, but misting only really wets the leaves. Is the soil dry when you scratch down an inch under the surface? It looks pretty much dead to me but I don’t keep azaleas so it may be salvageable. If the soil is dry, fill up a bucket or laundry tub and dunk the pot in so that water can bubble up through the drain holes from underneath. I’d leave it in there for a few hours. Some experts may drop by and can give you more advice beyond that.

It looks to be indoor. Was that just for the photo or is that it’s “partial sun” location?
Last edited by Beano on December 28th, 2018, 10:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Beyond saving?

Post by robb63 »

It looks to be on its way out but you may be able to save it.
Beano's suggestion of water bath will increase chances of survival.
I would also remove all dead or dry foliage leaving main braches only.
If some lower leaves look green/alive leave last 2 closest to main branches and cut off rest
Don't be worried about removing all foliage that won't hurt it and may help if its not too late
After that keep soil damp and tree outdoors in shade until it recovers
Mist as often as you can but misting only is not enough water, soil has to be damp.
Hope that helps
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Re: Beyond saving?

Post by KIRKY »

Misting bonsai is nonsense!
Remove all small twiggy branches back to the trunk. As previously advise soak pot covering the soil in a bucket/trough/sink etc place some Seasol in the water too. Leave for a few hours then place it outside in the shade water every other day with a hose to the count of at least ten. Water should be running freely out the bottom. IF? it has any life left in it you should see signs of growth in about 4-6 weeks. If no sign scratch a bit of the trunk and see if there is any sign of green under the bark if green continue watering. If brown it’s dead.
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Re: Beyond saving?

Post by kcpoole »

Yep Azalea.
Cut back hard to remove all the dead and dying leaves and flowers

Stick it in sink and fill till the water is over the pot rim and soil.
leave for 1/2 - 1 hour to thoroughly rewet the soil and roots.

lift and place in a spot that get full morning and afternoon sun ( avoid the midday sun until new foliage hardens off)
Repaet dunking daily until you see either signs of regrowth or it goes all dry and crisp. one of those 2 extremes will be the result.

wait a month or 2 and then repost the outcome but it maybe too late lasready

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Re: Beyond saving?

Post by kcpoole »

Show your cliet this page on the wiki
https://www.ausbonsai.com.au/wiki/index. ... ai_healthy

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Re: Beyond saving?

Post by TimS »

I have revived one that was in as bad condition as this after it had dried out fully.

I put it in a shaded/ morning sun position and a regular deep watering (until water flows freely out the bottom of the pot) every few days. It took a week or two, but growth exploded back out from all points of the tree and it recovered well.

Misting is insufficient as a sole source of watering at any time, especially during summer.
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Re: Beyond saving?

Post by shibui »

Agree with Tim. I've seen trees come back from worse :fc:
All the above advice is good:
Soak immediately to give the roots a drink.
Proper watering from now on until/if it recovers. Proper watering depends on your climate, species, potting mix, size of pot and time of year. Every 2 days may be adequate in some places but I'd say daily at this time of year for most and I water mine every morning and evening through summer (very open mix and dry climate)
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Re: Beyond saving?

Post by TimS »

Yes Shibui is right, at this time of year daily watering is going to be the best bet. Mine was not during the heat of summer so it didn't required daily watering but rather every other day.
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Re: Beyond saving?

Post by artisanbaker »

Thanks everybody, brilliant responses :)

Water. Soaking is common to all answers. Does the quality of water matter? Is chlorinated water OK? I like the idea of adding Seasol to the water as Kirky suggested.

Cutting. Looks like a lot of trimming is in order. There is clearly a chance we will cut off too much or too little. Will do our best and post pics.

Sun. Yes the location as pictured has been a permanent location for the last few months. This is clearly lacking in sun. Will move to a sunnier spot asap.

Thanks again.
Last edited by artisanbaker on December 28th, 2018, 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beyond saving?

Post by KIRKY »

Location, if you want to grow bonsai inside grow a Fig. Azalea’s belong outside, if you want it to have a chance of surviving.
You can bring bonsai in once they flower for a week. Then back outside.
Any water apart from salt water will be fine.
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Re: Beyond saving?

Post by shibui »

Tap water is fine for plants. Chlorinated water does not hurt plants.
There is no such thing as cutting off too much or too little with azalea. Cutting it right back to bare stems won't hurt it. Azaleas can grow new buds from almost anywhere if they are still alive :fc: If you leave a bit extra on the tree it won't hurt. I would normally just leave it alone and let the tree decide where to sprout buds then prune back when the shoots have started to grow well.
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