Chinese Elm leaves all shriiveled up and fell off

Lynn NevinsJune 16, 2013

I bought a bonsai online and paid about $70 for a Chinese Elm. At the time it was in good condition. The website indicated this plant was intended for INDOOR use.

I am a pretty good gardener and know how to listen to my plants to know what they need. I generally don't 'kill' plants. ;-)

I kept the plant in a West facing window that gets full sun on the 4th floor.

After about two months or so, suddenly all the leaves dried up and fell off. When I called the company, they seemed apathetic and their response was 'yeah, maybe it will do better outside...we recommend you put the plant outside in the Summer' (even though they sell the plant as in INDOOR plant!). Anyway, I expressed my displeasure with the whole process to the manager and he replied 'there's nothing wrong with the tree...put it outside and you should see new leaves soon'.

Well it's been about three weeks now since the leaves fell off. No sign of life.

So....what do you all think? Any chance it will come back? And once I return it to the West-facing window, do you think it will do ok? I have NO desire to keep this plant outdoors... Could another bonsai expert potentially revive this if I gave it to them? Or should I just trash the thing?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Give the trunk a slight scratch with your nail to see what color it is underneath. Green means it's still alive, anything else means it is no longer alive.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 9:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lynn Nevins

I gave the trunk a good scratch sort of towards the base...I had to scratch it quite a bit in order to see the trunk...I hope that won't damage the tree there a way to 'seal' the scratch?

In any case, I think it may still be alive. Under the bark, while it wasn't green, it was more like a yellow with a tinge of green,,,and it felt smooth...not dry...

So ....if it IS still alive, is it normal that 3-4 weeks after all the leaves fell off, no sign of new leaves? I HAVE continued to water the plant every other day or so...a full soaking.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 12:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lynn Nevins

Anybody want to chime in on this again?....checking under the bark, I think the tree IS still alive...but would it be taking so long to produce new leaves? would it help to trim back some of the smaller offshoot branches?


    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 8:43PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Will my window provide a sufficient amount of light for a bonsai?
My window faces northeast. So the only time I get direct...
5 Cedar Trees
Thanks to the advice of coppice, I looked in Craigslist...
For my first? Good choice or bad?
Seiju Dwarf. Elm. $ 70 three gallon pot.Nice fat trunk....
My pine bonsai is in bag inside pot, what do I do?
New to bonsai, Ive had a pine bonsai thats roots came...
Who's Going to MABA show in July?
Wondering if anyone from GW is planning to attend the...
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)
Sponsored Products
Hubbell WGL 250W Pulse Start Metal Halide Outdoor Full Cut-Off Wallpack
LBC Lighting
Bulkhead Light
Design Within Reach
Resident | Spar Table Lamp
$990.00 | YLighting
Home Decorators Accent Rug: Majesty Bordeaux 2' x 3'
$65.00 | Home Depot
Dakota Outdoor Ceiling Fan by Monte Carlo Fans
$475.00 | Lumens
Keurig Vue V600 Single Serve Brewing System
Danze Parma Trim Only Single Handle Tub & Shower Faucet - Brushed Nickel
Modern Bathroom
White Ceramic Square Wavy Canister Set
Classic Hostess
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™