How do I look after my indoor bonsai tree?

The following are all great examples of indoor bonsai.
Please click on the links for more specific information about the different bonsai species.

 

Generally the care for each of these bonsai is very similar.

  • Place your bonsai on a humidity tray. This will catch the water draining through the holes in the bottom of the bonsai pot. This water will create some humidity around your bonsai, especially when the central heating is on. Please take care that the tray does not overflow onto your furniture and make sure that your bonsai does not sit in the water. If bonsai sit in water this can rot the roots and the bonsai can become weak.
  • Good daylight is essential to the health of a bonsai. During winter place your bonsai in the brightest place possible, trying to avoid hot objects like radiators and televisions. In summer time beware of hot south facing windows, a little sunlight morning or evening is beneficial, but too much and your bonsai could over heat.  Basically, your bonsai needs a position with good daylight but out of direct sunlight.
  • Watering is the most important part of growing bonsai. Check your bonsai morning and evening to see if it needs watering. If the soil looks dark and feels wet then it will not require watering. Only when the soil looks light brown and feels damp will your bonsai require more water. Water thoroughly all over the soil until the water drains through into a tray or saucer. Never let your bonsai dry out and avoid keeping it constantly wet. The soil should go from wet to damp between watering. Remember the hotter the position the more water your bonsai will use. If the soil surface becomes hard during hot weather simply submerge your bonsai in water, to cover the soil surface, for about ten minutes.
  • To maintain the artistic grace and beauty of your bonsai it will need to be pruned regularly. Once new shoots have grown to about 2-3cm, using a sharp pair bonsai scissors carefully cut back to the first pair of new leaves.  If your bonsai gets out of shape, Spring is the best time to hard prune – remove all those straggly shoots and initially the bonsai may look a little bare but with just a few weeks it should be covered in new young shoots.
  • We always recommend feeding your bonsai. Please feed with a bonsai fertiliser – other general plant foods can be too strong for the bonsai and may scorch the roots. If using a liquid bonsai feed I would recommend feeding once a week to once a fortnight during the spring, summer and autumn. Reduce the feeding to approximately once a month in mid-winter when it is barely growing. It is particularly important to feed flowering bonsai. Bonsai, like the Serissa for example, are very hungry trees are rely on you for their nutrients. You will notice yellowing of the leaves if the bonsai is deficient in nutrients.

How to prune your indoor bonsai trees:

 

Bonsai Care with Lloyd Noall from Bonsai Direct – 16 chapters

If you have any questions relating to your bonsai please enter your comments below and we shall reply shortly.

 

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200 Responses to How do I look after my indoor bonsai tree?

  1. Garry says:

    Hey, this may seem like a silly question, but i have just brought my first ever Bonsai tree a Oriental Lacebark Elm (Chinese Elm) and on the roots is some copper wire. Do i need to take this out or leave it?
    Also im unsure if the Bonsai will ever need repotting and if so how do i tell when?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Garry,
      When we re-pot a bonsai we wire the bonsai into the pot.
      This helps prevent the bonsai from rocking in the pot whilst the new roots become established.
      We usually leave the wire because it holds the bonsai in the pot during transport and it is now entirely up to you whether you remove this or not. It has now done its job! There is absolutely no harm in leaving it there and it usually helps the bonsai.
      All bonsai will need re-potting or root pruning at some stage to prevent the roots from getting pot bound.
      I would recommend every other summer. If the bonsai has grown considerably please re-pot into a larger pot (you can also do this sooner if you would like the bonsai to get larger). However, if the bonsai looks fine in its current pot simply root prune slightly every other year and put some fresh bonsai soil around the root ball.
      We have produced a DVD about re-potting and root pruning if you are a little daunted in 2 years time: http://www.bonsaidirect.co.uk/item/2351/bonsai-dvd—re-potting—root-pruning

      Great question, many thanks.
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

  2. arran says:

    hi im a beginer got a chinese elm is it good place to put on window seal it say not in direct sunlight but surely it needs some sun on its leaves and do i leave water in the tray aslong as i seprate it with stones from pot .

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Arran,
      Thank you for your enquiry. A windowsill can be a great place for a bonsai for most of the year. It would get good daylight there but could also suffer from scorch in the middle of summer, so I would recommend a cooler location during mid summer if the window you are talking about gets hot.
      kind regards
      Sarah

  3. arran says:

    what do they mean by not direct sunlight what about trees in the wild how do the stay out of direct sunlight

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Arron,
      Trees in the wild can get their water from long roots under ground, bonsai reply on you giving them water so this is why we recommend a position out of direct sun. In a very hot position during mid summer you may need to water 4 times a day and the bonsai will not be able to transpire quickly enough to take up this water. Please move the bonsai to a cooler place in mid summer.

  4. arran says:

    if you email me i can attach where i put in a bay window

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      If the bay window faces south it will still be too hot during summer but perfect for the rest of the year.

  5. arran says:

    also shall i leave water in humidity tray if i serprate the pot from the tray with pebbbles

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Yes, Please leave some water in the tray. You have the right idea – if you want to leave some water in the tray this helps keep the humidity up round the bonsai – this is especially good when the central heating is on.
      However, you are correct in suggesting standing on pebbles. If the bonsai stood directly in water the roots would rot over a period of time.

  6. arran says:

    and on my branches there tiny bit of green algae on the end what do i do leave it or ???

  7. arran says:

    also some green leafs fallen off dont no weather this is because ive just been sent it and its still stressed please could someone help me out with my questions today will be very grate full

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      It is very normal to lose some of the older leaves (not usually the growing tips) within the first 3 weeks of having a new bonsai. The bonsai simply re-acclimatises and at this time of year the new shoots will open quickly. Please keep and eye on the watering and make sure your bonsai does not dry out. Water when the soil feels barely damp to the touch. I hope this helps and happy bonsai growing!

  8. arran says:

    emailing you some pictures now the suns on one side of window so not to sure weather to put it in the sun or on the oppisite side where the sun hasnt reach yet till later on in the day many fanks arran

  9. arran says:

    emailed you some pics my window is south facing i think could you email me back ask few questions just sent it to you should have it soon cheer again

  10. arran says:

    my windows a south westly facing window let me no witch side you think i should put my bonsai on my bay window you should of got few pics

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Arran,
      I think for this time of year I would position the bonsai to the right of the bay window so that they get the evening sun and will not get too hot.
      You may prefer to move the Chinese Elm Bonsai to the left during winter so they get more sun.
      I think the slight discolouration is just while the bonsai re-acclimatizes; I would not worry about it unless it gets worse.
      You are correct, only water when the soil feels barely damp and then water really well until the water comes out of the holes at the bottom.
      If you find it easier you can stand the bonsai in the sink with water for a couple of minutes when they require watering.
      Do not water when the soil is wet because you could over water.
      I hope this helps
      all the best
      Sarah
      Bonsai Direct

  11. Chris says:

    Hi i have got a pack of juniper bonsai seeds what is my best way about planting and looking after them is there any food that i need and do i need tools for this stage?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Chris,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      The germination rate for Junipers is relatively low and very slow so I would recommend sowing all the seeds.
      There are different theories about stratification – with some seeds you need to cold treat them (in the freezer) for a period of weeks or months prior to sowing.
      The company you brought the seed from should be able to advise you about the best stratification method for the seeds to have.
      After stratification I would sow the seeds in a seed compost and just keep the soil moist; keep them outside – this could take months.
      I am not overly experienced about sowing Juniper seeds – we tend to take cuttings due to their difficulty!
      Sorry I cannot be more help
      kind regards
      Sarah

  12. mo says:

    All the leave have falling of my bonsia. I dont know if l have over watered, but at the ends off the branches l do have green tips growing l am hoping that it will recover.

    Can you tell me what l have done wrong.

    Regards
    mo

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Mo,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      It is not uncommon for some leaves to drop as we enter winter; this is usually followed by a growth period.
      Is it just the old leaves which are dropping or the new growing tips too?
      Over-watering is usually recognisable by the tips of the leaves going brown/black.
      Please could you let me know what type of bonsai you have and if possible send a photo and I shall be able to advise you further.
      many thanks
      Sarah

  13. mo says:

    Hi sarah.

    Not sure of the name had lost the card that came with it. It has normal shape leaves but with jagged edges.

    Regards
    mo

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Mo,

      It sounds like it is a Chinese Elm (Zelcova) if the leaves are serrated.

      This is an indoor bonsai and usually recovers quickly.

      I hope this helps

      Kind regards

      Sarah

  14. Kristina says:

    Hi there,

    I brought my partner a bonsai tree of a thousand stars about 2-3 weeks ago now. It’s new to us, I’ve been keeping it watered and its also sat on windowsill as I’ve read this is best place in winter. Some of the leaves are turning yellow?! I just wondered what we are doing wrong?

    Thanks

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Kristina,
      You are not doing anything wrong. If it is just the old leaves going yellow and not the new growing tips this is very normal when you first purchase a bonsai.
      It is probably warmer in your house than in our glasshouse and the bonsai thinks it is going into spring. it will drop its old leaves and then have a growth spurt.
      Just watch out for brown tips to the leaves because this is an indication of slight over-watering.
      If you are worried please send us a photograph and we shall check all is well,
      kind regards
      Sarah

  15. shamima says:

    Please help. All the leaves on my serissa is turning black. What am I doing wrong ?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Shamima,
      Black leaves on a bonsai could be a sign of:
      1. Over-watering – the black starts on the tips on the leaves and works its way up the leaf. The leaves go brown/black and are limp and the bonsai may wobbly in the pot slightly. The Serissa is a bonsai which likes to be kept fairly dry.
      2. If the bonsai dried out then the leaves would go crispy and brown.
      3. If the bonsai is kept somewhere very cold (ie not frost free) then the leaves could go black.
      I hope this helps.
      If you would like to send a photographs we could check this for you.
      kind regards
      Sarah

  16. nigel says:

    hello i now live in Thailand could you advise me on bonsi living in constant heat 30c-39c how much water do they need also is in the sun any problem for them. thanks

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Nigel,
      thank you for your enquiry. If I am honest I do not have much experience about the types of trees which grow in Thailand.
      I feel you would be better asking a local garden centre as to what thrives.
      Instinct tells me that you could grow any indoor bonsai but it would just need watering more frequently and certainly checking daily for watering.
      One bit of advice which may be helpful is to put the bonsai into a proportionally fairly large pot. The larger pots hold so much more water so that would reduce the frequency that you would need to water.
      I am sorry I cannot be of more help
      kind regards
      Sarah

      • nigel says:

        thank you very much, you have answered my question. I was of the same thinking surely most plants will grow over here, and the water is now sorted i will keep the soil moist again thanks.
        nigel

  17. greta says:

    I have just received a Chinese Elm from you as a gift for my son. What temperature will keep it looking as good as possible for Christmas Day? Would a cool room be better than a warm one?
    Many thanks for your help. Greta

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Greta,
      Thank you for your order and your enquiry.
      A cooler room would be ideal. Please give the bonsai plenty of light and make sure that it does not dry out.
      Wishing you a very happy Christmas,
      kind regards
      Sarah

  18. kim pantry says:

    Why are the leaves falling off?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Kim,
      Please could you send me some more details.
      Are the leaves changing colour? are they spotty or crispy or brown?
      It is very normal if you have just purchased a bonsai for some of the old leaves to fall within the first 2-3 weeks.
      the bonsai is acclimatising to its new location; this should just be the old leaves and not the new growing tips – a period of growth normally follows.
      If you have a photo this would be a great help to try and work out the cause,
      many thanks
      Sarah

  19. Becki says:

    hi i got a carmona bonsai for x mas, i have read loads of different web site on best place for them, how to water etc.. But they all slighty different things! Now i dont know how or whats the best way to keep my tree happy and well. Also i have him in my bay window its always just under 20c but there is abit of a draught is this ok or should i move him? He has lost some leaves but is growing new ones + he has some white flowers, kind regards becki

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Becki,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      I agree that it can be very confusing, because many books contradict each other.
      I shall attach basic care instructions below.
      The Carmona is a bonsai which prefers a warm position – it sounds like your bay window would be great – nice a bright, but you are correct they do not like cold draughts.
      If the bonsai is happy and growing then it is probably fine but it the weather is very cold it may be worth moving it away from the draught.
      It is very normal to lose a few of the older leaves within the first few weeks whilst the bonsai re-acclimatises; it should not be the growing tips which drop.
      Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you have more questions,
      kind regards
      Sarah

      Oriental Tea Tree Bonsai
      Carmona microphylla

      The Oriental Tea Tree is a simple and elegant tree ideal for growing indoors. This bonsai has pretty white flowers during summer months and lovely green, shiny and waxy foliage. The leaves are unusually shaped and well proportioned. The leaves grow in neat clusters allowing the flowers and branch structure to be highly visible. A highly appealing and artistic bonsai.

      • Your bonsai is a living tree and with the right care it should live for many years. We hope that your bonsai brings pleasure to your home.

      • During winter place your bonsai in the brightest place possible, trying to avoid hot objects like radiators and televisions. Good daylight is essential to the trees health. In summer time beware of hot south facing windows, a little sunlight morning or evening is beneficial, but too much and your bonsai could over heat.

      • To aid the health of your bonsai place it on a humidity tray. This will catch the water draining through the holes in the bottom of the bonsai pot. This water will create some humidity around your bonsai. Please take care that the tray does not overflow onto your furniture and make sure that your bonsai does not sit in the water.

      • Watering is the most important part of growing bonsai. Check your bonsai morning and evening to see if it needs watering. If the soil looks dark and feels wet then it will not require watering. Only when the soil looks light brown and feels damp will your bonsai require more water. Water thoroughly all over the soil until the water drains through into a tray or saucer. Never let your bonsai dry out and avoid keeping it constantly wet. The soil should go from wet to damp between watering. Remember the hotter the position the more water your bonsai will use. If the soil surface becomes hard during hot weather simply submerge your bonsai in water, to cover the soil surface, for about ten minutes.

      • To maintain the artistic grace and beauty of your bonsai it will need to be pruned regularly. Once new shoots have grown to about 2-3cm, using a sharp pair bonsai scissors carefully cut back to the first pair of new leaves.

      • To keep your bonsai strong and healthy we recommend the use of a good bonsai fertiliser. Bonsai fertiliser, an informative DVD and further advice are available from our website, http://www.bonsaidirect.co.uk

      • A bonsai is a living work of art and seasonal changes can sometimes be experienced.

      Please do not be concerned if, within 2 – 3 weeks of delivery, your bonsai shows signs of yellowing or falling leaves (normally the older leaves, not the new tips). Not all bonsai will exhibit these symptoms, but it is not uncommon. Your bonsai is simply acclimatizing to its new environment. A few leaves may drop, but within a few weeks you should notice new bright green buds starting to develop.

      We take great care to prune your bonsai before it is dispatched. If the foliage looks a little thin this is purely because it has been meticulously pruned to encourage new buds to form. You will also notice that during the winter months there are fewer leaves than in spring and summer.

      • Becki says:

        Hi sarah, thank you for getting back to me. Now i know what i should be doing hopefully my carmona will live for along and happy life! Thanks again becki

        • Bonsai Direct says:

          Hi Becki,
          You are most welcome, If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask,
          all the best
          Sarah

  20. TOM POTTER says:

    My indoor bonsai (Chinese Elm) 6 months old gradually lost all its leaves in early December.
    No sign of any new growth yet, is this the normal winter pattern?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Tom,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      It is normal to lose a few leaves on a Chinese Elm in December but these should be the old leaves and not the new growing tips.
      Did the leaves go crispy or change colour? It will take 6-8 weeks to display new buds so I would not worry that there are no new shoots.
      It would be nice to establish why it dropped all its leaves.
      Are you able to send a photo?
      Many thanks
      Sarah
      sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk

  21. Sgbonsai says:

    Hi, I’ve recently trimmed the roots of my fukien tea bonsai as they were root bound, the leaves have lost their shine and dropping, drying up and turning brown, have you any advice to try help my tree? Thanks

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Thank you for your enquiry.
      Generally, the tea tree prefers being re-potted in summer months so it may just be a little shocked.
      Did you root prune the bonsai or simply pot it into a larger pot?
      If you are able to send me a photo I can just check the symptoms for you … my e-mail address is sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk

      Are the leaves going crispy or maybe brown and limp on the end of the leaves?
      I also wondered whether when you water the bonsai you may not be watering the orginal rootball but just the new soil – this would result in the bonsai drying out.
      It may be easier to water the bonsai by standing the bonsai in water for 5 mins when it requires watering – this way you know you are socking the entire root ball and not jsut the new soil.
      I hope this helps
      All the best
      Sarah

  22. Christina Wood says:

    I received a Chinese Elm for Christmas, almost all the leaves fell off in the following 2 weeks, they did not change colour or dry up, just fell off. The new leaves are starting to grow back, they are pale green and on long stems, and seem much bigger than the older leaves. I have the plant on a bright window ledge during the day, I move it at night in case it gets too cold, I have put the pot on a drip tray filled with gravel and water regularly. Is this regrowth normal and do I need to do anything to the new leaves as they start to grow. The bonsai is still looking very bare and not at all as it was when it arrived in the post.

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Christina,
      You will find that as the weather improves and the daylight gets better the leaves will grow more quickly.
      The drip tray with gravel sound perfect, please keep the soil damp.
      the re-growth at this time of year is always larger but this reduces with pruning. Please allow approx. 4 new leaves on each shoot then pinch out the tips. New shoots will then sprout. This stops the shoots getting long and leggy – they will thicken up and come through smaller and go darker green.
      All our Chinese Elms have this new growth (the first this spring) coming through now and the leaves will be larger and lighter green.
      Please be patient – in 4-6 weeks your Chinese Elm could look fantastic, once they start growing they grow quickly.
      Please do not over water – only water when the soil is barely damp and as more leaves grow you will find you need to water more frequently. You can start feeding the bonsai now too.
      I hope this helps
      Lloyd

  23. Neil says:

    Hi. On inspecting the soil in my Bonsai pot today (which was rather hard and dry, even with daily watering), I discovered several small stones/pieces of grit. What is the purpose of these stones? I removed some of the bigger ones and turned the surface of the soil over a little, before watering again. My Bonsai is a Podocarpus. Many thanks.

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Neil,
      This is a great question. Bonsai like a free draining soil – the grit is added to the compost to open the soil so that more air can get to the roots.
      This encourages the small fibrous feeder roots which all bonsai growers are looking to develop.
      The grit also helps prevent the bonsai becoming over-watered – although it does sound as though in your case this is not an issue – it may be getting close to the time that it needs repotting.

      If the soil is hard and dry i would recommend watering by standing the bonsai in a sink with a few inches of water in it, for about 10 mins. This will re-wet the soil and make it easier for you to water.
      I hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Sarah

  24. leon says:

    Hi I have got a black monkeythorn bonsi tree as a gift but it is starting to lose all its leves and I don’t know what to do. do you have any idea of what I can do?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Leon,
      The Black Monkey Thorn is an Acacia bonsai.
      This is an outdoor bonsai and I would not expect it to have any leaves on at this time of year.
      It needs to be cool so that it has a dormant rest period during winter, but they do not tolerate frost well.
      Do you have an unheated location where you can put the bonsai?
      It may be a bit confused this year because it should be waking up in about May.
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

  25. tina says:

    Hi, I have a Carmona and it didn’t have many leaves on it when I bought it about three months ago, well I woke up this morning to find the green leaves drooping, they have no discolouration on them, just drooping. I keep the soil moist as in the right amount of water. My house ranges from 14 degrees, to 20 as its on timer so drops to 14 when off. I hope I have given you all the information. Thanks.

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Tina,
      I think your Carmona bonsai has got too cold.
      They are a bonsai which likes to be kept on the warm side – are you able to keep it somewhere warmer?
      A photo would help so we can check the symptoms.
      kind regards
      Sarah

  26. tina says:

    Ps, I have been standing my tree in water until the soil looks wet. Is that the right thing to do? and the window it is in maybe quite cool and only gets the sun in the evening.

  27. Bonsai Direct says:

    Dear Tina,
    Thank you for your e-mail.
    Please could you send me a photograph so we can check out the symptoms.
    My e-mail address is sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk
    Kind regards
    Sarah

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Yes, that’s fine – when you do water, make sure the whole root ball is wet and then only water when the soil is barely damp.
      I hope this helps

  28. david gill says:

    I have a well established, 4 year old, ‘Ginseng’ bonsai which i suspect has been dried out over the past 3 months. Most of the leaves are going crisp and brown and falling off. I have been feeding and watering for the past 3 weeks but no sign of any improvement. Since this problem arose i have been spraying the leaves as well as watering the soil, is this a good idea? The soil feels barley damp.
    What should i do to re establish healthy growth.

  29. Mandy Griffiths says:

    I recieved a minature bonsai tree about 3 weeks ago . The leaves are going dry and crispy and some have brown marks on but there is also new growth . Is this a sign of over watering or under watering ? I have been misting it too but its leaves continue to fall off.

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Mandy, Thank you for your enquiry. If you have only had the bonsai for 3 weeks it is unlikely to be over-watering. Dry crispy leaves are usually a sign that the bonsai has dried out or got too hot at some time. Please could you send me a photo so I can check this out? If this is the case please stand the bonsai water in the sink for about 5 mins. The water needs to cover the whole pot. If the bonsai has dried out, it will continue to lose leaves and then in about 6 weeks you should see new buds.
      My e-mail address is sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk
      I hope this helps
      How often do you water your bonsai?
      many thanks
      Sarah

  30. Solek says:

    Hi,
    I recently got a bonsai but I’m not sure what type it is. But the leaves are crispy and falling off very easily, I think it may have dried out. Is it possible to revive it any way? I can provide photos if it will help!
    Thankyou!

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Solek,
      Thank you for your enquiry. Please could you send us a photo to sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk so that we can identify the bonsai.
      If the leaves are going crispy, this is usually an indication that the bonsai has dried out or become very hot. However, it is not uncommon for some types of bonsai to lose their old leaves (not the growing tips) at this time of year. They drop the old leaves as they come into spring and then have a growth period.
      I think it best that we identify your bonsai and help you from there.
      If you believe it has dried out please stand in the sink with water covering the whole pot for 10 mins and then retrun to watering as normal.
      Kind regards
      Sarah

  31. Megan says:

    I’ve bought my first bonsai today, an Acacia Erubescens (Bluethorn). I’ve watered it like suggested, yet after only having this beauty for half a day, the leaves are drooping. My question is – does this specific type droop at night, or am i just really bad with plants? Is there anything i can do to fix this if i have hurt it?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Megan,
      I apologise but we do not grow Acacia, so I am unsure as to what you advise you.
      If the leaves are dropping I would stand the bonsai in water, so that the water covers the pot, for about 10 mins.
      I was of the belief that Acacia were outdoor bonsai and would not bee in leaf just yet so I would recommend contacting the centre from which you purchased it and getting some help.
      Sorry that I do not know more,
      kind regards
      Sarah

  32. Bonsai Direct says:

    Spraying is less important than watering. It is a good idea to mist the foliage once or twice a day but the most important thing is to get the watering right. We recommend touching the soil morning and evening (whilst you are learning). If the soil is wet to the touch then do not water. As soon as the soil is barely damp then soak the soil by either standing the bonsai in the sink for 5mins and covering the pot with water or by pouring water over the soil until it runs out of the holes at the bottom of the pot.
    It is important not to over water you bonsai so only water when the soil is just damp.
    When misting with a sprayer just makes sure all the leaves are damp.
    I hope this helps

  33. Daniel says:

    Does moss surrounding a bonsai tree help its growth?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Daniel,
      Moss does not affect the growth of a bonsai at all.
      It looks really nice.
      If it is thick it can make it very difficult to determine when you need to water the bonsai.
      Hope this helps
      all the best
      Lloyd

  34. Lisa says:

    Hi I have a pepper tree and have been using the drip feed bottles how often should I use tem as it has used one in two weeks and any other advice how to look after it would be great thanks

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Lisa,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      I am embarrassed to admit that I have never used the drip feed bottles. We use a liquid bonsai feed which must be diluted. We feed our bonsai weekly. It sounds like it may be using to much.
      Does it give an indication of the period it should last on the bottle. Please do use a bonsai feed – other feeds can be too strong for bonsai and burn the roots.
      I am sorry that I am not much help.
      Possible other growers may be able to advise you further.
      Kind regards
      Sarah

  35. Lauren Talbot says:

    Hello,
    I bought a chinese elm around xmas time. The tree was lovely, very green and keep growing and growing! I keep it in a cold’ish utility room, which does get some daylight. I soak approx once a week, feed it and spray the leaves with water. In february time all the leaves started to crisp and fall away. The tree is now completely bare and i have trimmed it back of all the crispy twigs. I didnt soak for approx 4-6 weeks and im worried that i have killed the tree :( it is extremely dry. Can it be revived? Thank you!

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Lauren,
      It is great to soak the bonsai once a week but it will need watering more frequently than this.
      As soon as the soil feels barely damp then it will need a good water.
      I suspect that as the daylight increased in February, it dried out even more quickly.
      We are watering daily at the moment – the place where you purchased the bonsai should have told you this or provided care instructions.
      Have you not given it any water for 6 weeks? If this is the case the bonsai will not have survived.
      If you have been watering, then please stand the bonsai in the kitchen sink with watering covering the soil for at least 30 mins.
      Then go back to checking the soil daily and water only when barely damp – it will not need as much water now it is out of leaf.
      I hope this helps
      all the best
      Sarah

  36. Adrian says:

    Hello,
    Is it better to remove the leaves that have fallen off or is it better to leave them in the soil where they fall?
    Many thanks

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      I would recommend removing old leaves, your bonsai will look much nicer and they could start to go mouldy with time.
      I hope this helps.

  37. Nicole says:

    Hello,
    I got a Sageretia for my birthday 3 weeks ago. I’m read that it loves more acid soil, so I went and got some soil acidifier, giving it the recommended amount. It was growing at the top, and is continuing to grow, but more and more of the bottom leaves are becoming yellow (and sometimes brown) and falling off. It is still very evident that the bonsai is growing, so I am confused to why the leaves are falling off. I am worried that I made the soil too acidic and it’s killing it, even though I followed the directions. I keep the soil moist, but not overly wet, and mist it frequently, so I don’t think it’s an issue of watering. Could it just be stressed from being replanted 3 weeks ago? It’s not to the point where I think it’s dying, but I’m just concerned because it wasn’t as yellow when I got it.

    Thank you!

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Nicole,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      Please could you send us a photograph so we can check out the symptoms – How do you know it was re-potted 3 weeks ago.
      I would just like to see the symptoms – are the leaves crispy at all?
      Sageretia grow well and do not require a soil acidifier but hopefully the issue is unrelated.
      Kind regards
      Sarah

  38. Lydia says:

    Hello,

    I bought a bonsai from tesco a few weeks ago, it didn’t say the species on it but after much investigation I believe it is a Chinese Sweet Plum. I was confused about the watering and had been letting the soil fully dry out before watering. It is now looking very unhappy, many of the leaves are becoming yellow and crispy and falling off, however many still look healthy. I am worried that it is dying because I have allowed it to dry out, will I be able to save it? Also, the care instructions it came with said to fill pot it came in with water from the bottom not to water it from the top, is this wrong? They also said to feed it but I’m not sure what the appropriate food is? Thank you for your time.
    Kind regards
    Lydia

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Lydia,
      thank you for your enquiry.
      If you could send a photo then we can just check the bonsai variety.
      My e-mail address is sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk
      It sounds as though it has dried out if the leaves have gone crispy.
      Please be patient – it takes 6-8 weeks to recover.
      During this time I would not feed the bonsai – wait until it is strong again before you feed and then use a bonsai feed such as the one in the link below:
      http://www.bonsaidirect.co.uk/item/1851/liquid-bonsai-fertiliser–t92-

      Only water when the soil is barely damp – and then water well.
      It does not matter how you do this – you could stand the bonsai in water or water from the top or bottom
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

  39. Georgia says:

    I bought my boyfriend a Chinese elm bonsai for Xmas 2012. For a few months is was thriving with lots of greenery and was covered in leave with new shoots growing every week. However, a couple of months ago we moved and the bonsai started loosing its leave gradually. We was concerned but put it down to the temperature change in the room. It suddenly lost literally all it’s leaves and is completely bare and we don’t know what to do! There seems to be a few new shoots but they don’t seem to be growing very fast. Is there anything we’re doing wrong? We feed it weekly and water it regularly. Any help or advice given will be much appreciated. Thankyou!

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Georgia.
      Please could you let me know if the leave changed colour or went crispy when they started dropping?
      If you are able to send a photograph that would really help.
      My e-mail address is sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk
      It is good that there a re new shoots – the Chinese Elm is good a recovering from a shock.
      It would be nice to identify what has happened.
      It will take up to 6-8 weeks for it to fully recover, so please be patient.
      Give the bonsai as much light as possible and keep the soil damp.
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Georgia,
      Thank you for the photos.
      I believe the bonsai has definitely dried out. The crispy leaves would indicate this.
      To check if it is alive please make some small nicks in the trunk and branches with a sharp knife.
      If the layer beneath the bark is green then the bonsai is alive – please give the bonsai plenty of light and keep the soil damp.
      You need to give the bonsai at least 6-8 weeks to re-bud.
      I hope this helps

      • Georgia says:

        Thankyou so much for your help. I’ve made a small cut on the trunk and it’s bright green inside. Thankyou again for helping me identify the problem, I really appreciate it :)

  40. Tina says:

    Hi I currently have 4 bonsai trees and absolutely love them if I send you pics would you possibly tell me what they are please as it didn’t specify when i bought them also any advice on pruning would be helpful as the new branches are growing a bit wild and quick lol… thank you for reading :)

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Tina,
      Yes, of course. Please send the photos and I shall try and identify the bonsai for you.
      Kind regards
      Sarah

  41. Rachel says:

    My juniper bonsai has lost some color and there are some brown spots. Is there something wrong with it? What should I do?

  42. Gwyneth says:

    Major dilema! I had a friend take care of my bonsai for a couple of months, it was doing amazingly, until I saw it yesterday, and I was horrified!! The watering tray was full to the brim with water, the soil was drenched, and the leaves have completely wilted. I poured all the excess water out, and set him down in a warm spot to help the soil dry a little. But, after checking today, the leaves are looking even worse, they are now drying up and looking ready to drop. What can I do?? Or have I lost my poor bonsai intirely? Thankyou in advance.

    • Gwyneth says:

      Should just ad, I am not entirely sure, but I believe my tree is a ficus.

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      It sounds like your bonsai may have dried out and that your friend is trying to compensate and soak the soil.
      I’m afraid if the leaves have gone crispy it is likely that they will all drop off.
      Providing it hasn’t totally dried out you should see new buds in about 4-6 weeks.
      Please water as you used to and do not stand in water.
      Please be patient,
      Kind regards
      Sarah

  43. Beenz says:

    Hello. I recently brought a bonsai tree. After few days I noticed its leaves falling off. I live in Hot climate country and I have placed my bonsai indoor. I have placed it beside the window which receives sunlight in the morning for 2 or 3 hours and then normal day light. I still see its leaves falling. I am new to bonsai. Please help me. I don’t know the type of bonsai I have but if you would require, I can send its pic to u. Awaiting for ur reply.

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      You are welcome to send us a photo so we can try to identify the bonsai and work out what might be wrong. Are the leaves going crispy?
      all the best
      Sarah

      • Beenz says:

        Thank u Sarah for replying me. Can u share the email addresss where I can send u my bonsai pic? Well initially the leaves were green and falling but now I note, some of the leaves are turning brown before falling down. I check the soil layer daily to know if its dry.. Plus I am also giving it outside air daily. Since it is placed near to window, I open the window for little time daily. But my bonsai does not look happy:(

  44. Nick Toye says:

    Hi, I am just starting out with a Bonsai, I believe it is a Chinese Elm, but it didn’t say on the label. There is a lot of green moss on the soil around the tree, but it was like this when bought so I assume that is ok. I also bought a feed tube called Drop by Drop, and it says to place the feed bottle upside down in the soil and replace when empty. Is that right? Nick

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Nick,
      You are correct, the moss does not do any harm and looks really pretty. Just ensure that when you check your bonsai for water you check the soil beneath the moss to see if the soil is damp or wet.
      I regret I have not heard of Drop by Drop – please make sure it is a bonsai feed – other fertiliser can be too strong and burn the roots.
      If you would like us to identify the bonsai please send us a photo.
      I hope you enjoy it,
      kind regards
      Sarah

  45. Emma says:

    I am not sure what type my bonsai is but this week the smaller branches have dropped down, it is watered when it starts to dry out and is still damp enough at the moment, also fed regularly! Is there a way I can send a picture and ge advice? I don’t want to lose it!!

  46. Fernanda says:

    My carmona bonsai has died. I was my first bonsai and I put too much water. I heard that if you cut a bit of the branch and if she is brown, not green this means that she id dead. Also if you cut the roots a bit she will might come back to like again. She does not have any leaves and the branch looks really dry. Is anything else I can do it for she comes back to life again. this was 3 weeks ago and she was 3 years old. Thanks

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      If the cambium layer beneath the bark is brown then the bonsai has died and I regret nothing you will do can help the bonsai.
      If this layer is green then this is great news and you should send a photo to us so that we can advise you further.
      A bonsai can recover from no leaves on most occasions (providing the cambium layer is green), however I would not advise root pruning unless the bonsai is strong and healthy,
      I hope this helps,
      kind regards
      Sarah

  47. Tahira janin says:

    I recently purchased a bonais elm about 1 week ago it came from holland but the leaves are going yellow very quick and I am keeping the soil damp and it the water tray has water in it with pebbles all the time and it is getting filtered sunlight from the kitchen windowsill as the garden has huge trees which I think block direct sunlight, please can u tell me what I am doing wrong, thank you

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      You may not be doing anything wrong – it may be simply be re-acclimatising to its new location. Are both the old and new leaves affected? When a bonsai adjusts to its new position it can loose a few of the old leaves (not the new growing tips). These then bud back over 3-4 weeks and the bonsai will produce a new flush of foliage. I hope this helps, Kind regards Sarah

  48. sarah says:

    Hi, I am new to bonsai and have recently got a Zanthoxylum (pepper plant) 4-5 years old. I have noticed that it has tiny white bug shells on it, also when I watered it recently the leaves have gone very limp! Not sure if I’ve over watered or if the bugs have effected it. The tree is kept out of direct sunlight but in a warm living room. If you can tell me what I’m doing wrong that would be great.
    Regards Sarah

  49. normam says:

    Hi my bonsai leaves are brown and is in living room in 16 c temperature, i moved it from conservatory to living room from June 2013 because the conservatory was to hot for it and the leaves are sill brown I water it one week and fertilizer it once a week at same time why are the any green leaves yet I am moving back to the conservatory for the winter time what am I doing wrong pleases let me know

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Norman,
      It sounds as though your bonsai either dried out or became scorched in the very hot weather in June – is this right? Please can you tell me what sort of bonsai it is please or send a photo to info@bonsaidirect.co.uk. I would check to see if the bonsai is still alive – make some small nicks in the trunk with a sharp knife. You need to check if the layer beneath the bark is brown or green.
      I look forward to hearing from you,
      kind regards
      Sarah

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Norman,
      the other thing I forgot to mention is that you need to water you bonsai when it is barely damp (and then soak it).
      In hot weather this will be every day.
      In a hot conservatory it maybe twice a day – I think your bonsai dried out.
      kind regards
      Sarah

  50. normam says:

    Hi sent you some pictures to your email address my email hope you got them

  51. Michael says:

    I am new to the Bonsai world. I dont even know what kind it is. Can you help?

  52. Cecilia says:

    Hello Sarah,

    I have a Sweet Plum bonsai and over night the leaves when completely dry. The leaves would fall off as soon as I touched them. I did not let the soil dry out and I also did not do anythign differently. I live in North America and now it is approaching the winder season (but I keep my bonsai indoors). I have no idea what happened :(

    Could it be that all the leaves have dried out because of the change in season, even though it is indoors?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Cecilia,
      The are very few things which will make the leaves go dry and crispy overnight.
      1. The bonsai has dried out (even for a short time).
      2. It is so hot that the tree cannot move the water around the bonsai quickly enough to get water to the leaves.
      3. Rarely, air freshener has been used and causes these symptoms.
      The old leaves can drop at this time of year, but they do not go dry and it would not been the new growing shoots.
      You are very welcome to drop us a photo.
      Please e-mail sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk with any images,
      I hope we can identify what has happened,
      For now please do not feed the bonsai and keep the soil damp.
      Give the bonsai plenty of natural daylight.
      kind regards
      Sarah

  53. Sandra says:

    Hello! 6weeks ago I purchased a beautiful Ficus macrocarpa Ginseng Bonsai from Ikea- a very healthy tree- large and full of leaves. Over the course of the following weeks I have watered it, taking care not to over or under water and I spray it daily. It is in a well lit, warm hall and no in direct sunlight. It loses about 20 leaves overnight! It has a lot of new growth on the top but is looking quite poorly everywhere else. Really sad! Please can you advise as soon as possible. Thank you!

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Sandra,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      Are the leaves changing colour or going crispy?
      The fact that the top of the bonsai is ok makes me wonder if there is enough light on the lower branches.
      Ficus bonsai are usually very tolerant of lower light levels so this is unlikely.
      I wonder if you could send me some photos and I shall check out the symptoms.
      My e-mail address is sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk.
      I shall then be in a better position to help you,
      best wishes
      Sarah

  54. Rochelle says:

    hi Sarah,
    i bought a serissa 3 months
    ago. Nothing has gone seriously wrong with the tree, but I move it in and outdoors twice a day every day to give it some natural sunlight but also protect it from the excessive rainfall we have had recently. I’ve read you shouldn’t move Serissas around too much. What is the worst that could happen if I continued shifting it in and out of doors daily?
    Thanks

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Rochelle,
      At this time you year in the UK it would be too cold to put the Serissa outside. The bonsai would think it was autumn and become deciduous and drop its leaves.
      Large temperature fluctuations can also do this. I have a feeling from your e-mail address that you are not in the UK, so this may not be a problem at all.
      You are correct – the serissa likes to be on the dry side so protecting from over-watering is good. It also likes to be outside in our summers.
      Kind regards
      Sarah

  55. Heather says:

    Hello,
    I received a Tea Tree bonsai as a gift last year. It thrived for some time, bloomed over the spring and summer, but it seems to be failing now. Since winter has arrived it has been difficult to find a “sunny” but not too drafty space in our older home. The tree’s leaves began to wilt, and then some leaves began to dry up.

    I tried moving it from the window and offering it fertilizer, but I think I have harmed its roots. One side of it turned black within a few days, and the leaves are entirely dried out on that side. The other side is almost entirely wilted except for one branch, which looks healthy.

    Can you tell me what you might do to help a tree that is in this condition? Or is it too late to help this tree?

    Thank you,
    Heather

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Heather,
      Black leaves are usually a sign of getting very cold or over-watering.
      Please could you send us some photos and we shall check this for you,
      many thanks
      Lloyd

  56. Emma says:

    Hi I was bought a bonsai in the middle of October. I believe it to be a Chinese elm although it didn’t come with a description. Every time I prune it all the old leaves go yellow and fall off. There is plenty of new growth but barely any old leaves. I was wondering if it needs feeding more often. I currently feed it once a month with a proper bonsai food. I would be grateful for any advice you could give me.
    Kind regards
    Emma

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Emma,
      We feed our bonsai weekly with a bonsai food; especially the Chinese Elms because they grow fairly fast.
      Please could you send me a photo and we shall identify the bonsai for you.
      You need to keep the new foliage pruned to encourage ‘back budding’.
      If you pinch out the growing tips of the leaves this will encourage new leaves further back down the branches.
      At the moment all the hormones are at the tips.
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

  57. bex Dawson says:

    Please help. We got a tree for xmas quite alot of leaves have fallen off. Looked at the pot its in and it doesn’t have any drainage holes….???? Does it need them!??

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Bex,
      It is not uncommon for a bonsai to lose leaves during the first 3 weeks of arrival; it is re-acclimatising to its new location.
      However, if the pot has no holes you will always be at risk of over-watering the bonsai. I would never advise growing bonsai in pots without drainage holes.
      Do you know what variety it is – if you would like to send a photo please do and we can identify the bonsai and take a look at the symptoms,
      many thanks
      Lloyd

  58. Leah says:

    I have root pruned my bonsai and the leaves are turning yellow and falling off. I have a Zelkova and was wondering whether this was normal or not after cutting the roots. If it isn’t, what should I do??

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      How much of the root ball did you remove?
      It could be stress if you have removed a lot of root.
      Zelcova recover fairly quickly.
      If you are worried please send a photo and we can take a look,
      many thanks
      Sarah

      • Leah says:

        Hi Sarah
        I sent you an email with an image of my Zelkova bonsai, please could you have a quick look.
        Many thanks,
        Leah

        • Bonsai Direct says:

          Hi Leah,
          After re-potting did you soak the whole root ball? We recommend standing the bonsai in water, so that it covers the soil surface for about 5 mins.
          It maybe worth doing this because I suspect that the original root ball may have dried out and it is just the new soil which is moist.
          Do you think this could have happened?
          many thanks
          Sarah

  59. Helen says:

    Hi
    Can you help we bought a bonsai tree a few months back, can remember the name of it. It is a large bonsai. Not sure if we’re doing anything wrong but it has constantly been losing leaves. However it is growing new one. The leaves it losing are old and new ones. It gets watered everyday, mist spray on the leaves as well. We have is still at the front window on the floor but on a movable plinth as we have underfloor heating. Didn’t want it sitting directly on the floor. Any help with this would be very much appriaciated.
    Many thanks
    Helen

  60. Helen says:

    Hi Sarah
    Just sent you an email with picture of bonsai.
    Regards
    Helen

  61. Anthea Matley says:

    Hi
    I was given a group of bonsai figs for Christmas which were doing really well until I went away for two weeks over summer. On my return it was very, very dry but the leaves still green and soft but limp. Even after submerging in water a couple of times the leaves are still limp. Will it recover?
    Appreciate any help.

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Anthea,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      Only time will tell. I know this sounds vague but you have done exactly the right thing by submerging the figs.
      Please keep the soil just damp (not wet) and give it time.
      The recovery will depend on how far it dried out.
      Usually a bonsai will drop its leaves (they go dry and crispy) if it has dried out. It does this to save the roots, trunk and branches.
      Hopefully new shoots will appear in 2-3 months.
      Sorry I cannot be of more help,
      kind regards
      Sarah

  62. Ricci says:

    Hi would appreciate your help please. I think my bonzai has been over watered. It’s not looking well. I tried the small cuts you suggested and it looks brown underneath. Does that mean its a lost cause? :(

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Ricci,
      Unfortunately if the cambium layer, beneath the bark, is brown then the bonsai is not alive,
      I am sorry,
      kind regards
      Sarah

  63. Margaret Daniels says:

    I was given a Bonsai for my Christmas and I love it. I have been reading all your advice and although it lost most of its leaves it grew new ones and is now looking lovely. The problem I have is when I go on holiday how do I keep it watered? I go for sometimes one and sometimes two weeks. I have no-one near to look after it when I go away. Thanks in advance.

    • Margaret Daniels says:

      Sorry I should have said it is a Chinese Elm.

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Margaret,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      If you go away for a week or less please stand the bonsai in the kitchen sink with water covering half way up the pot.
      This will over-water the bonsai but it is better than letting it dry out.
      Ideally for any longer than a week you need someone to look after it for you.
      I would be concerned if you sat it in water for a longer period that the roots could start to rot.
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

      • Margaret Daniels says:

        Thank you I will take your advice for the week away and for any longer I will perhaps get a colleague to look after it.

  64. Yahia says:

    Hi I just bought a zanthoxylum piperitum, but it didn’t have any bonsai fertiliser so I am not sure what to do. I have a humidity tray full of water. Is that okay. What is the maximum temperature that the zanthoxylum piperitum can handel.

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Thanks for your enquiry. I would recommend buying some bonsai fertiliser for your Pepper Tree. Please mkae sure that there is only a little water in the humidity tray – you do not want the bonsai to sit in water because it will rot the roots. Obviously the hotter the temperature the more frequently you will need to water it. In the summer our glasshouse can exceed temperatures of 40oC and the bonsai are fine but please do not let it dry out.
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      sarah

      • Yahia says:

        I got a liquid fertiliser for the pepper tree but I don’t know how to use it.

        • Bonsai Direct says:

          Please can you let us know what sort of bonsai feed you have – is it solid if liquid. Please let us know the make? Does it have instructions on the packaging?

  65. Yahia says:

    My zanthoxylum piperitum is 5 years old

  66. Astrid says:

    I’ve had an indoor Serissa Foetida in the UK since December now and it’s growing very well. Which month will it flower? And what is the best time to hard prune it in order to promote maximum flowering?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Astrid,
      The Serissa usually flower late summer to autumn but I have known them flower at any time of year.
      If you prune harder early spring and then be careful not to prune any flower buds off in the summer; summer pruning can stop the flower buds developing.
      Please keep the soil just damp; Serissa do not like to be wet and feed with bonsai feed to promote flowering.
      I hope this helps,
      Kind regards
      Lloyd

  67. James Gue says:

    Can you recommend any VISUAL guide to pruning a Gingko biloba (book, dvd, online video etc)

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi James,
      I am sorry but I do not know of any reference which covers the Gingko.
      I am sorry we cannot help,
      Kind regards
      Verity

  68. David lambie says:

    I bought my first bonsi tree a few months back however the leaves are going dry and falling off have you any idea what i may be doing wrong ?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear David, do you think it could be too hot or have dried out at some point? These are the only reasons for dry leaves. Please could you send a photo to sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk special offer we can advise you further.
      Many thanks
      Sarah

  69. ellie says:

    What do I do if my bonsai tree has yellow leaves ?

  70. John Macaulay says:

    I just bought my 1st bonsai tree and I’ve no idea if it’s unhealthy or what kind can u help ???

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Yes, please upload a photo and I shall identify it for you and advice on care,
      kind regards
      Sarah

  71. Ellie says:

    I’ve been given a bonsai (Chinese Elm I think) The pot that it came in has no holes for drainage and I’m worried about water sitting at the bottom and rotting the roots, is it a wise idea to repot the tree or should I drill holes in the existing pot or just leave as is?

    Also it seems to shed leaves quite quickly, normally I find brown dried leaves every few days, it is still sprouting a lot though, is this down to me possibly not watering enough or is it normal to shed so much?

    At the moment it is on a windowsill that gets sun in the afternoon/evenings, could it be that the spot is too sunny?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Ellie,
      At this time of year the sunnier the better – you may need to move your bonsai to a cooler position during the summer months.
      The fact that it has new shoots is great – it is probably the old leaves which are dropping. If this is the case the I think this is a seasonal change and nothing to worry about.
      If the new growing tips are affected then you are probably not watering enough.
      You are welcome to send me a photo.
      I am very concerned about the pot. It is essential to have holes in the pot.
      I am wondering if you have a plastic pot inside the ceramic pot cover. Please can you check.
      These bonsai are very hard to water correctly and it is essential to make sure that the bonsai does not sit in water – the roots could rot.
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

  72. sally webb says:

    can you please tell me;when I water my bonsai tree do I need to spray the leaves of the tree or do I just keep the roots watered?from sally webb

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Sally,
      You need to check the soil daily for water. Only water the soil when the soil is barely damp to the touch.
      If the soil is wet please do not water; over-watering can cause the roots to rot.
      If you would like to mist the leaves in addition to checking the water this is great and can be done daily.
      I would recommend you use a bonsai fertiliser. Baby Bio is too strong and can result in the roots burning.
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Bonsai Direct Team

  73. sally webb says:

    also,i feed my bonsai with baby bio mixed with rain water.is this o.k or do I need a proper bonsai feed? from sally webb

  74. Denise says:

    My son bought me a bonsai tree yesterday for my birthday. Not sure what variety it is, and I haven’t a clue how to take care of it!

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Denise,
      How lovely; I hope you enjoy it. If it was a bonsai delivered by ourselves when there will be care instructions with the variety of bonsai within the box.
      If not please could you send a photo to sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk and we can identify it for you and send you the correct care details.
      Kind regards
      Sarah

  75. margaret vernon says:

    i live in Spain and as my spanish is not that good,i could not ask then the name,but it about 3 foot high and has a curly trunk,with clumps of leaves, do you know what sort it may be,and does it help to mist the leaves it cost me 80 euros so i dont want to lose it,its in a very well light room,but the room will get very warm in summer,and also cold in winter,thank you mags

  76. margaret vernon says:

    thank so much,but i dont know how to upload a photo,if someone comes round in the next few days i will get help,thanks again

  77. Luke says:

    I have a carmona bonsia, iv had it for a good few months now but recently it seems to keep getting these little furry balls attached to the leaves and a moss like film over the soil top
    Is this somthing I should be worried about and get it off or just leave it ?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Luke, please could you send a photo to sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk and we shall take a look,
      kind regards
      Sarah

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Luke,
      I haver not seen anything like this before – I would be inclined to spray with an insecticide for 3 successive weeks.
      Please just use a general insecticide because I cannot tell what it is.
      The top of the soil probably just needs a brush with an old toothbrush and it will look great,
      sorry that I cannot be of more help
      best wishes
      Sarah

  78. Jude says:

    Hello I have had a beautiful Japanese Pepper tree for two years I water it daily never letting it dry out it seemed very healthy and then two weeks ago I trimmed it after which it started dropping leaves they are not brown or crispy when they drop.I have noticed to a little yellowing on a very few of the leaves.My tree is almost bald now! Any advice am hoping that it has regrowth soon it’s never dropped leaves.Any advice would be most helpful.Thankyou.

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Was there any evidence of brown tips to the leaves?
      I think it would be best if you sent us a photo so we could check this out for you.
      If you are unable to upload an image please send to sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk,
      many thanks
      Sarah

  79. Victoria says:

    So I got a Bonsai tree for valentines day of this year. The women that I got it from told me to water it every Sunday which is what I’ve been doing. She also gave me food for it that I’m suppose to give once every four months. My tree was growing and it was so healthy and green I hadn’t missed watering it’s in a perfect place in my kitchen. It even grew a new branch I was so excited. I’ve taken outside for a while that way it get better sunlight but I still keep it in the shade even then. Lately like last month & this month my tree’s branches have turned brown and the leave are very hard and sharp to the touch to the point where even when I touch it the leaves fall off. I have no idea what I could have done wrong… please could you give me some advice to save it?
    -Victoria

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Victoria,
      I do not know where you brought your bonsai but it sounds very poor advice.
      We recommend that you check your bonsai every day for water and water it well as soon as the soil feels barely damp.
      We feed our bonsai weekly, but that does depend upon the food you are using.
      The watering was probably fine when it was very cool but we have had some hot days over the past couple of months.
      Please stand the bonsai in water, so that the water covers the pot, for 5 mins to re-wet the soil.
      I would expect that the leaves are crispy??
      We are watering every day to every 2 days when cooler.
      All the leaves will drop – lets hope that it has not dried out too much and in 6 weeks you should see new buds.
      The link below will direct you to general care instructions for bonsai – do you know what kind of bonsai you have?
      http://www.bonsaidirect.co.uk/p/indoor-bonsai-tree-care-and-identification

      These care video clips should help you too:
      http://www.bonsaidirect.co.uk/p/bonsai-care-dvd

      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

  80. jordan cook says:

    I have a 7 year old chineese elm never had any problems, this year im having loads of new growth like normal but the lower leaves seem to be going patchy brown and yellow falling off leaving me with naked stems atthe bottom, also confused by these hairs below every leaf coming out fresh green but then later turning brown and droping of near the bottom of stems again, please help

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Jordan,
      Please could you send me a photo and let me know when the bonsai was re-potted.
      Are you pruning the tips of the shoots – it the shoots get long and leggy the older leaves drop off.
      Many thanks
      Sarah
      sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Jordan,
      Thanks for the photo. The bonsai looks great; you always get some old leaves when the new growth spurts.
      You have done exactly the right thing pruning. It could definitely do with a larger pot now and some fresh compost – I think it is pot bound,
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

  81. Simon Fisher says:

    Hi I recently bought an 11 year old sweet plum tree. It was for a gift and unfortunately it was in it’s box for 3 days!!!. I’ve noticed on the leafs little brown holes and also some brown dead lacerations on some leafs. Also I’ve noticed some new shoots have black tips. I’ve now removed most if not all of the leaves I can see with this problem. And now I’ve sprayed the plant with SB plant invigorator I was wondering what is the problem? And have I took the right steps in resolving it. And secondary I have a feeder that says to use 5ml into 1 litre. But how much feed/watering does the plant require. Thank you for your time. And I really hope I can sort my lovely tree out

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Simon,
      Please be assured that bonsai are fine in transit for at least 10 days – we have done many trials and 3 days in a box will have no affect on the health of your bonsai.
      We have thousands of bonsai to prune and occasionally we do cut through leaves – we try not to, but the only way to make this cost affective is to prune fast.
      Those leaves will just drop off and have no ill affect on the health of a bonsai.
      Black tips on leaves are usually an indication of slight over-watering – you are very welcome to send me a photo (sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk) so that I can check this out for you.
      We spray preventively with the plant invigorator and it gives the plants a low dose feed and helps to keep them pest free. When you spray please ensure you spray under the foliage too.
      We recommend feeding with the feed once a week. Please dilute 5ml of the feed in 1L of water. You can make this mixture up into an old drinks bottle – please clearly label it and keep it out of the reach of children.
      Once a week use this water containing the feed. You will not use much of the litre but can save the mixture and use the following weeks.
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

  82. darren says:

    hi sarah would there be any benefit to my ficus tree if I put it outside on a nice day in the sun aslong as I keep it well watered ? if yes would it matter if it rained and could i also leave it out over night weather permitting? many thanks

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Darren,
      Absolutely – I have just put a very large Ficus bonsai outside.
      It will be very happy out there until September. It loves the rain and should be fine at night too!
      Don’t forget to water it!
      all the best
      Sarah

  83. Jessica says:

    my bonsai has some parts of its leaves brown is that normal??

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Jessica,
      Are the tips of the leaves brown? This is usually a sign of over-watering.
      it may be worth sending me a photo (sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk) and I can check out the symptoms for you,
      kind regards
      Sarah

  84. Daryl says:

    I think my tree is a Ficus Ginseng and I received it on Saturday. I have not watered it yet and only have been misting since then but some of the leaves are turning a dark black/brown color.

    What could cause that? Any help is appreciated.

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Daryl,
      I am not sure where you got your bonsai tree from but it should come named and with care instructions.
      I am wondering if it has dried out.
      We are watering daily at the moment – but this does depend upon how hot it is and what size pot you have.
      Please could you send me some photos.
      many thanks
      Sarah
      Sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk

  85. Daryl says:

    Thank you. I have sent you an email.

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Daryl,
      I think the brown bits maybe either be a result of re-acclimatisation to the new location of perhaps it has got a little hot.
      The soil looks very dry.
      I would give the bonsai a good drink.
      The symptoms look very minor, you can mist the foliage in addition to watering.
      I hope this helps
      please let us know if the symptoms worsen,
      kind regards
      Sarah

  86. Anita ram says:

    Hi I got bout a bonsai but it didn’t specify what kind of tree it is or come with any instructions to care for it and I’m afraid I may have accidentally let it dry out as I wasn’t sure how often to water it and now the leaves are all crisp and dry however I did make a small nick in the bark and it’s still green inside how do I get it to recover back to the way it was?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Anita,
      if you send us a photo we can try and identify it for you.
      The nursery you purchased it from should tell you what type of bonsai it is.
      When we have identified it i can send you the correct care information.
      In the mean time please stand the bonsai in water for 5mins so that the water covers the soil and the check the soil daily.
      Only water when the soil is barely damp and then water well.
      I hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Sarah
      sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk

  87. Maddy says:

    My new white serissa has black dots on some of its leaves. Should I buy an insecticide because some other leaves appear to have bites I guess on the leaves. Also I was told my bonsai is for indoors and I don’t know if I should buy a grow lamp or if the window is fine. Is it okay to take off yellow leaves or only dying flowers ? Do I put fertilizer on top of the soil or in it deep? How often should I trim my bonsai to keep its shape ?

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Maddy,
      Please could you send a photo of your Serissa – the black spots could be a fungus as opposed to an insect.
      What the the nursery say about it where you purchased it from?
      The window will be absolutely fine -you will not need a grow lamp.
      Serissa do not like to be wet so please keep the soil just damp and do not be inclined to over-water it.
      Please remove any yellow leaves, they should just be the old ones.
      As far as fertiliser, there are lots of different types of bonsai food so please follow the instructions on the bottle or packet because I do not know what you are using.
      Please trim the long shoots when they are 2-3cm longer and beginning to get out of shape,
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah
      sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk

  88. martina says:

    Hello
    I have had a juniper bonsai for a few months, just been watering when needed, but noticed its starting to brown…. i read it requires a liquid food… will go to store for some tomorrow… is that possibly why my bonsai is turning brown??

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Martina,
      The brown foliage will not be caused by lack of food. But it is good to feed your bonsai at this time of year.
      Where are you keeping the Juniper and which country to you live in?
      Brown foliage is usually a watering issue – could you please send a photo to sarah@bonsaidirect.co.uk
      kind regards
      Sarah

  89. martina says:

    Well my boyfriend has it near a big window on our kitchen table, there for a while it was in direct sunlight… Now its not so exposed but still gets good sun. I will send u a picture as soon as i get home tonight! Thank you for helping!

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Hi Martina,
      Thanks for the photos.
      In England Junipers will only grow well outside – I would think it got too hot in the direct sunlight.
      I would be inclined to recommend that you put your bonsai outside in a sheltered position. They are happy in the sun and do not like to be over-watered. It maybe worth checking with a local bonsai centre to you – your climate could be quite different to ours.
      Sorry that I cannot be of more help,
      kind regards
      Sarah

  90. martina says:

    And i live in kansas…

  91. Mario says:

    Hello,
    I purchased a small bonsai tree, back in May.Curved trunk with small green leaves on weeping branches.after about 2 weeks every leave turned yellow and fell off,completely bare. Well new leaves came back full and green absolutely beautiful. Well , the leaves are beginning to turn yellow ,dry and fall off again. aghhhh. No brown at all. I think my wife is afraid to over water. I am know trying to water 2x a day ,letting water drain to secondary dish attached to pot. I also bought 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer and started that today. How often should I apply the fertilizer? And do you think the yellow leaves coming back was from lack of water,fertilizer or both. Thanks for any help , it’s a beautiful little tree when fully green ,
    Mario

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Mario,
      Please make sure your bonsai does not stand in water – it will rot the roots.
      I think you need to ascertain what variety of bonsai you have – frequently people buy outdoor bonsai and keep them indoors and that will affect the bonsai dramatically.
      I am unsure of your seasons but in the UK we have noticed distinct indications of an early autumn – this maybe caused by a hot summer and some leaves are turning yellow on the outdoor bonsai – this is perfectly normal.
      I think you’re best bet is to ask the nursery/shop that you purchase your bonsai from – I simply do not want to give you the wrong information.
      Please try to maintain damp soil – not too wet (unless it is a weeping willow (Salix)) and then it likes a lot of water.
      Sorry that I cannot be of more help
      kind regards
      Sarah

  92. Mario says:

    Oh, I’d like to add we are in NJ, and I have been bringing the plant outside during the day, is this a no no. It did help when it first came back. Thanks again, Mario

  93. martina says:

    Hello again, i have sent pictures to your email address. Have you received them? Thank you martina

    • Bonsai Direct says:

      Dear Martina,
      I am not sure if you got my reply:
      Hi Martina,
      Thanks for the photos.
      In England Junipers will only grow well outside – I would think it got too hot in the direct sunlight.
      I would be inclined to recommend that you put your bonsai outside in a sheltered position. They are happy in the sun and do not like to be over-watered. It maybe worth checking with a local bonsai centre to you – your climate could be quite different to ours.
      Sorry that I cannot be of more help,
      kind regards
      Sarah

      I really feel you need to check with your local bonsai centre as I am unfamiliar with your climate,
      If it has been over-watered and the roots have rooted then there is very little you can do except be patient.
      It will look worse before it gets better,
      Kind regards

  94. kerry says:

    Hello, I was wondering if it possible to upload a picture of my trees – they were a gift given to me today and as I’ve never had one before, I was hoping you’d be able to tell me what variety they are please?

  95. marlene avino says:

    My ficus bonsai is dropping a. few leaves and some have brown edges. What could be the problem? I have had it for 10 years.

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