Why are the black tips growing on this Serissa bonsai tree?

We have just received this e-mail from Jeff:
Hi Sarah, I have been looking at your web site at you advising someone on their bonsai tree. Do you think you could have a look at mine, as I am at a loss at what to do with it. I purchased it three years ago and it has been fine until this year. All of a sudden it started to lose its leaves, and when trying to grow them back they go dark brown at the ends. All I know about it is that it was eight years old and from china. kind regards Jeff.

Bonsai Direct reply:

Thank you for your e-mail.

Would you mind if we put your question on our website? I think other readers may find it helpful.
Your bonsai is a Serissa (a tree of a thousand stars). The black tips are indicative of slight over-watering. It can be a quick spiral downhill because when the leaves start to drop it actually needs less water than normal.
I would recommend a position with good daylight and out of draughts. Please only water when the soil is barely damp. Please check the soil morning and night and do not water if the soil is wet to the touch.
Bonsai can take a few weeks to recover at this time of year but this should make a good recovery if watered slightly less; enabling the roots to get stronger.
Please make sure that the bonsai does not sit in water in the tray.

I hope this helps
Kind regards

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