HELP! Dried out serissa bonsai..

plumeriasJanuary 20, 2013

I left for vacation almost two weeks ago, leaving all my plants for my mom to care for. They were all fine EXCEPT for my poor bonsai. It's a serissa, which is already finicky, but it seemed to be perfectly happy in my care and was about to bloom again before I left. My mom told me last week that some leaves were turning yellow, so I thought she may have been overwatering it. But now, I come back and the soil is bone dry. Right now, all the leaves seem to be dead and drying up and none of them are "plump" enough to revive now. However, I did a scratch test and the tree is still green under the bark, even at the branches. I understand that it's probably going to die, but I think it's still alive at the moment so I might as well try to revive it. Does anyone have any advice or tips or anything? :'( I cried for an hour, my grandma bought this bonsai for me and it was so pretty. Gah.

I'm guessing it needs less water now that there are no living leaves. I gave it a good watering to get the soil damp again, but I don't know what to do from here.. Thanks for any help!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You already know not to over-water, so CHECK to see if it needs water with a wooden dowel before you water next. Mites are a possible cause ..... and can I assume you checked carefully for scale?

If there is no scale infestation, you might mist the top of the plant every 3-4 days with a mix of water and rubbing alcohol (50/50), in case mites were in play as the reason - or part of it. Beyond that, you'll have to concentrate on keeping it in good light, keeping the soil damp (never wet/soggy), and hope the plant has enough stored energy to push a new flush of foliage. If you can keep the humidity up around 50% or so in the immediate area of the plant, it will appreciate the effort.

How about sharing what your fertilizing history has been over the last few months. How much of what and how often - when last?

Al

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 4:57PM
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