Help with an abandoned bonsai

crazytumbler91January 17, 2010

Okay so I have always been into plants and have read and looked into bonsai's, but never really had a chance to start really getting into them. Well then recently my dad found out that one of his aids who quit had abandoned a bonsai that the janitor was going to pitch, so he brought it home. I don't know what it is exactly. I bought books and a set of bonsai tools. But I don't exactly know where to start in taking care of it. The sticker was still on the pot so I do know is that it is an indoor bonsai, but other than that I don't know anything.

Here are two pictures:

The whole plant...

Zoom in on the leaves...

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Your bonsai is a ginsing is a indoor tree in the spring and summer put it out side.keep the soil moist not wet. they are a bonsai you can buy at wal mart,lowes ect. hope this helps john

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 6:41PM
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Okay just some general questions:

1. Do I have to worry about a dormant period? If my plant doesn't go through one is there a problem?

2. Because I have cats I have to keep it in my room. Will it do well inside if the room is constantly lit during the winter?

3. Because my room is directly above the furnace it gets extremely hot during the winter, will having a fan on (not directly on the plant) hurt it?

4. Other than watering does any care need to be done now?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 12:07AM
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I meant by the room.... will it do inside the room and not by a window.... I don't have a window in my room. However, if I keep it well lit will that work?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 12:15AM
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Tropical plants don't have appreciable dormant times, especially if they're indoors, so don't worry about that. #2 sounds like me - "I have to keep it behind a closed door because of my cats" - when I refer to my bird! Being hot and then having air blown on it will turn it into blown ash. The answer is humidity, not a fan, and that means, if not a 'room humidifier', then a wide tray of stones under the pot, with water in the tray, but never enough to touch the pot bottom, because you don't want it wicked into the pot where it will rot the roots. Your worst problem is lighting and you need at least a high wattage fluorescent placed within 6 inches of the tree for up to 16 hours a day, whether hung from above or as close to that as possible. It's one thing for a plant to be in the dull light of "inside" vs outside, but with no window at all, and it being tropical, you may have trouble - just wait and see, I guess. As far as water goes, always from above, and in your setting, allow a lot of the mix to dry in between times.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 5:13AM
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You might want to check out my thread "Neglected Schefflera". I was in the same boat as you pretty much. My mom had a tropical bonsai that she took minimal care of but didn't treat it as a bonsai so it was overgrown, and had never been repotted in the 5+ years she had it. There's some good advice in my thread from regular members on here as well as what you should/shouldn't do first.

My recommendation would be to find out how bad the current soil and root ball is because (like in my case) that was the most important thing starting out. If it is poor (too much water retention or compacted or root bound), repotting into the proper substrate with some root pruning will be the best thing you can do.

Put away the bonsai tools for now as unless it's in good shape already as you will have a good bit of time just getting it happy before you get to form it (needs time to heal from the stress/damage of repotting and pruning).

Just do some specific research (or ask) on your species as they can require vastly different conditions for optimal growth.

Goodluck and hopefully you get bitten by the bonsai bug like I did just a few weeks ago!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 1:58PM
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