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We hope this trouble shooter helps you identify the issue with your bonsai.

Are you having trouble with your bonsai? Is it not looking in the best of health? Are you searching for ‘my your bonsai looks dead’?
Use our super web app below, so you can troubleshoot your bonsai problem. It’s easy to use: just click the relevant radio button next to the image which shows the type of symptoms you’re experiencing and press the troubleshoot button below.

Are you having problems with your bonsai?
If you think your bonsai is sick, compare its symptoms with the list of more common problems above.
Leaves are:

turning pale yellow and dropping off.
mottled with yellow, brown and black spots.
green, but crispy.
pale green to yellow and new shoots are long and spindly.
going black or brown, starting at the tips and slowly working down the leaf.

Mottling of the leaves…
…normally means that you have a pest on your bonsai. Spray with a non-systemic insecticide that kills a broad spectrum of pests , especially Red Spider Mite. Make sure you spray under the foliage and around the trunk. Following this, spray after ten days and then repeat after a further ten days. Always follow the instructions.

If the leaves remain green…
…but are dry and crispy, then your bonsai has dried out at some stage. This often results in the death of bonsai. To ascertain whether your tree is still alive, make a small cut at the base of the trunk in a couple of places. If there is green just under the bark then it is still alive, if it is brown, then sadly it is dead. If there are still signs of life, then keep it cool and moist until new shoots appear. Be patient as this may take a long time.

Long spindly shoots…
…with pale leaves usually mean that the bonsai is growing in a position where there is not enough light. Move it in to a brighter position avoiding direct sunlight all day. Prune back spindly shoots to the first pair of leaves on that shoot.

2 replies

  1. I was given a bonsai from Bonsai Direct a couple of weeks ago and almost straight away it started losing leaves. I watered it as advised every couple of days and the leaves have kept falling. I have bought a moisture meter and it is telling me the soil is about right, and have placed it near a window, but now most of the leaves have fallen, shrivelled, darkened and it seems in freefall. Still watering every three days. What should I do?

    1. Kindly click on the link below and upload some photos so we can see what is happening and what species of bonsai you have;
      https://www.bonsaidirect.co.uk/contact-us/something-else/havent-found-an-answer-to-your-question/
      Is is not uncommon to lose some leaves when the bonsai re-acclimatises but they don’t usually shrivel

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