Are the Leaves on your Bonsai Dry & Crispy?
If the leaves on your bonsai tree remain green, but are dry and crispy, then your bonsai could have dried out at some stage. Alternatively or it is in such a hot position that water cannot be transferred from the roots to the leaves quickly enough. Dry crispy bonsai leaves are indicative for one of two things:
- The soil of your bonsai has dried out. The symptoms are usually very quick (ie. within 24 hours). The top of the bonsai is usually the worst affected because the top of the tree is furthest from the roots where any water is.
- The position where your bonsai tree is kept is too hot. Again the top of the tree will be worst affected and the leaves will go dry and crispy. The will feel papery in texture. The symptoms will be quick, but the soil may not have dried out. Essentially what has happened is it that your bonsai cannot translocate any water in the pot from the roots to the leaves quickly enough to prevent dehydration.
Both of these can unfortunately result in the death of the bonsai if total dehydration has occurred.
Is your bonsai still alive? – How to check.
To ascertain whether your bonsai is still alive, make a small cut on the trunk or branches in a couple of places. If there is a green layer (Cambium layer) just under the bark then it is still alive. A brown layer would suggest that it is sadly dead. Please do check in several places as it is normal to have ‘veins’ which are alive and some which show no evidence of green.
If there are still signs of life, then keep it cool and moist (just damp and not too wet) until new shoots appear. We recommend a bright position but out of direct sunlight. Be patient as this may take a long time (several weeks or months depending upon the time of year).
Misting the branches and twigs is good practice.
Our best advice, in addition to keeping the soil damp, is to mist the branches twice daily with water, to maintain humidity. Furthermore, if you have a garden please place any dry indoor bonsai outside in a sheltered semi shaded location. Please don’t forget its out there! It will still need to be kept damp.
If you ever notice that your bonsai has become too dry and the leaves have wilted please stand the bonsai in water. Ensure the water covers the entire pot for 10 minutes. This will evenly re-wet the entire root ball. Then return to checking the watering as normal and keep the soil damp. Please do not over-compensate by over-watering. If a bonsai dries out and drops its leaves it will actually need less water because it is not transpiring!
Don’t forget to mist your bonsai daily with water, this will aid the recovery and help maintain the humidity. It will also speed up the recovery process, so any new leaf buds should emerge more quickly.
Small Bonsai Pruning Scissors – Great Value£5.49
The Bonsai Direct Care Handbook£4.99
Bonsai Mist – 300ml spray£11.99
Ceramic Bonsai Drip Tray/Humidity Tray – Various sizes£7.99 – £9.99
Liquid Bonsai Fertiliser (T92)£8.99 – £10.99
Beginners Bonsai Care Kit – The Essentials£14.99
Premium Watering Can 0.7L – Choose the colour£12.99
Bonsai Drip/Humidity Tray – 3 sizes available£6.99 – £9.99
Beginners Bonsai Basics – Great Care Essentials for all Bonsai Varieties£19.99