Chinese Elm Trouble?

sambessey(GMT)September 26, 2005


I have a well established Chinese Elm and am based in the UK.

I have just (about a week ago) got it back from a bonsai specialist who treated it for whitefly that have been ravaging it (and nearly killed it!) for the past year. He re-potted it, and gave it a really good treatment. When I got it back, it was very healthy with lots of small dark green leaves and it looked great!

Howeverm, now it has lost around a thrid of its leaves and more seem to be falling off every day- the leaves are going yellow before they fall off and I'm a bit worried as there is no signs of new growth developing! I keep it on a window sill where it is sunny but no direct sunlight and have the window at least partially open for the daylight hours. It began dropping leaves the day after we got it home. It also looked like the whitefly had started to come back at one point but I have treated it a couple of times with systemic insecticide and they have definatley gone now. I have on occasion seen litte insects in the soil and flying around the tree.... Could this be something attacking it? What should I do next?


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Chinese elm react badly to many chemicals (sprays, etc.) and you might want to talk to the man who treated it... the specialist.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 9:38PM
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tim_moose(UK South Zn 9?)

Well my Chinese elm is starting to look a bit yellow here and there and dropping a few leaves but it lives outside and it's late Sept after all. Plus it's had a major trunk chop and 3 large airlayers taken off it recently.

(disclaimer: I don't recommend that you do trunk chops and remove air layer this time of year. My tree - my risk)

Field maple are all yellowing rapidly, some beech trees are on the turn as are horse chestnut and even some roadside larch along the M3.

Could be doing what comes naturally in autumn perhaps, accelerated by what sounds like a hard time over the past few months.

Sounds like you're keeping it inside as well which I wouldn't consider always appropriate in the UK.

Not trying to be smart a$$ but is there a clue there perhaps.......?

" I keep it on a window sill where it is sunny but no direct sunlight."

Get it outside and let it live a little maybe.

Trees go into dormancy triggered by reduced light levels in fall and dropping temperatures and we're past the autumnal equinox now. Light levels indoors will be lower sunny windowsill or not.

A light blast of a systemic insecticide is unlikely to do major damage. Derris/ B&Q Bug Gun and Rapide haven't hurt mine so far.

Some products may harm elm. See link.

The more you worry about it and perhaps fiddle with it the worse it will get.

Give it some positive waves.


Here is a link that might be useful: Control of Elm Pests

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 6:58AM
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Tim is right that elm like lots of sun, cooler temps than you probably have indoors, plus the humidity outside, and air circulation. While it is a deciduous tree and prone to leaf change and loss in the fall, it seems quite early to me, esp. for the UK. Experience here (myself and many others) has been that 'treating' C. elms for e.g. spider mite (not mentioned on Tim's list, but very common in plants living in too-dry indoor conditions) with chemicals leads to disaster a lot of the time.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 11:16AM
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Ok I hvae put it outside in a sunny area during the day now... SHould I bring it in at night or will it be OK with the overnight temps? I just don't want to shock it or anything.

ALso, do they mind wind and draughts? as I also have a Serissa and was told to keep it away from winds and draughts as they don't like it....


    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 5:35AM
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Elms can (should) be left outdoors in the UK all year, unless you're in the Orkneys or somewhere really cold. They need wind (within reason, of course) to clean them of things you don't want, to dry them when necessary, to provide air, and to strengthen the trunks. Serissa is subtropical, elms are temperate.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 5:57AM
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tim_moose(UK South Zn 9?)

I agree with Lucy.

A tree is always going to be happier outside if it's in conditions that it can tolerate.

Even tender tropical "indoor" bonsai like serissa will probably benefit from some outside time in late June, July-August if you can guarantee that it won't suddenly plunge down to 40 deg F or whatever all of a sudden although I am not an expert on tropicals.

Elm - particularly Chinese - are often sold as indoor trees and, although only my belief, I think they can get awfully confused as a result. (often labelled as Zelkova I understand as well)

They struggle to go into dormancy but can't/don't fully in the artificial inside environment and become weak as a result.

My only real experience with a bonsai elm was one bought for me as a Xmas present. I put it outside in what was quite a hard winter back in 97? and it was dead before spring.(below freezing for 7-10 days)

As to why this happened, I suspect that the tree had been kept inside for a year or 2 and couldn't stand the sudden shock esp in its classic little blue mallsai pot.

So this will be something to be taken into account. If the tree has been indoors for 2-3 years it will probably have to go through what gardeners call a "hardening off" process and possibly a long one at that.

There's a link to the RHS page about this process below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hardening off

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 6:47AM
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Watch out for spider mites...they love my elm bonsai's.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 2:24AM
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I have same problem with my chinese elm i bought, It consistently loses about 5 or so leaves a day. I keep it indoors under florescent light and fairly close to a window. I have fed it some super thrive to no avail. Tree looks ok but it just keeps on sheeding leaves. The go spotty then yellow then drop off. Seems also to be the newer smaller leaves that are dying. Help..

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 4:53PM
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Hi, I am new to bonsai, and recently bought a Chinese Elm, I also have had similar problems to this.
A few weeks ago, I repotted the plant, cutting away about 1/3 roots, I must admit that I was suprised, as although I had been watering every few days, the peat soil was completely dry around the root area.
I used John Innes compost, and mixed about 1/3 washed horticultural grit in with the mixture.
I have continued to water every few days, but the new compost is holding water much better.
Also I have been misting the plant every day or 2, to keep any top growth replenished.
I hard pruned the plant about 1 week ago, and got rid of lots of top deadwood, especially on the outside of the branches, misting the plant in a sink as I cut away.
This seems to have done a lot of good, as any of the browning buds, have turned back to green in colour, and the plant has reacted well to this, as it is throwing out many more buds.
Hope this helps folks.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 10:26AM
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I have now lost almost 1/3 of all the leaves and it seems to be declining very quickly. Should I take the tree outside as the weather here has warmed up or should I follow the advice above in the previous post. Also alot of leaves are curled which indicates to me either overwatering or underwatering. I water the plant every other day which should be fine, I am a bit confused on why this tree is declining so quickly. Also I have seen no new leaves growing..

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 11:11AM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

Watering every other day indoors sounds fine? Doesn't that sound a little excessive to you?

Try looking at the FAQ here on watering.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 1:58PM
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Randy, for a C. elm, in the right amount of light, in a small pot of free draining soil, every other day might not be too much, it just depends on whether it needs it. However, if most of the soil is wet most of the time, the leaves yellow and it generally looks unhappy, then it is possible that it's being watered too often, OR it could have spider mites (lack of humidity and fresh air) which need treatment. Look into that.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 4:01PM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

Dear Lucy

Watering a tree every other day that has lost over a third of it's leaves and has stopped putting on new growth is not an option. I don't care how perfect conditions are :-).

IMHO Chinese elms shouldn't be grown indoors in zone 8. It's not a houseplant. I have quite a few outdoors with no protection at all here in zone 7.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 6:00PM
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You're right, I wasn't thinking about a tree in that state, just the average ones.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 3:55AM
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Ok, took the plant home yesterday and will leave it outside, any suggestions on a bonzai for the office? Plant will get no real outside light only flourescent lighting. Suggestions? I also have a ficus, sago, moneytree and juniper, all are indoors and seem to be ok. The juniper will be going outside soon as it is starting to dry out. Is it a good idea to leave these all out next to my pond in zone 8a all year round? The money tree and sago seem to be very happy indoors without outside lighting..

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 10:48AM
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The soil type is a big factor in all this too, the proper pmanufactured Bonsai soil is the best, as it is very peaty, and full of Perlite, and is like a sponge when it gets wet, and retains water properly.
Both my Chinese Elms are indoors, but are in a very cool room with no heating, and a large north facing window, so they are getting lots of light.
I think if I hadn`t repotted the largest of the 2 when I did, then it would have definitely died, as even the top branches had started to wither, and they were quite thick.
It is now throwing buds out for fun, and I should have some proper shoots over the next few weeks.
Best of luck with your tree mate.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 2:04PM
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I would think it was planted properly, it comes from the only bonzai only store I know of in all of dallas. Plus this elm was not cheap either. Anyway its outside will keep an eye on it. Soil was dry so that is why I watered about every other day. My other trees I water maybe 1-2 a week.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 5:15PM
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Kevip - maybe trivia, but do you think you can start referring to it as bonSai, not bonZai, which has a very different meaning? That would be great.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 5:32PM
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Sure.. why is it some many people get offended so easy by the simplest of term or words, I have had this same problem with calling something jap rather than japenese. Are so many people out there so wound up so tight that they get offended by anything. It blows my mind even in a plant forum that people arent liberal at least a little.

anyway the bonsai is not doing any better under the sun. It's losing almost all leaves now and does not look good.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 1:28AM
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"Jap" was used in and after WW II as a pejorative (put-down), and maybe no one cares today, but that's the reason it's not the most popular way to refer to Japanese It's not about being liberal, but about respecting people (not me) who've worked so hard to teach others about bonsai when they get enough flak for 'torturing' trees, etc. I'm certainly not the first to mention it.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 4:39AM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

Liberal has nothing to do with this. If you don't care enough to even notice and use the correct spelling of the word "bonsai" that is in numerous locations on this forum, then whine and cry foul because you're corrected on it, IMHO you're hardly worth helping.

You took you some time to almost kill your tree, It's going to take some time to correct the problem. If you want quick fixes, you're probably not well suited to this hobby.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 9:17AM
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Ok folks lets not have an all out kick off on here about spelling mistakes.
My mate Mr Miagi taught me how to pronounge Bon-Sai years ago but that`s another story.

Anyone out there know why Chinese Elms do seem to be more sensitive the older they get?
I`ve been following this link a few days now, and it sounds like the probs peeps on here are getting seem to be with the older elms.
I think that unless you buy from a reputable dealer, a lot of elms are kept in too dry/warm conditions, and are not ready to shed their leaves at autumn, due to the conditions thay are kept in.
This surely must cause the tree some stress, and basically throw it`s body/biological clock westward, as it were.
I went shopping just after xmas, and there were shops selling fully leaved chinese elms, which surely cannot be natural for the tree, as it is quite a hardy plant, and it should be allowed the drop in temp over the cold dark winter months.
Anyway, I will keep up with this link over the next few weeks, and keep following up on how my complicated but recovering 8 year old is.
And remember if all else fails, you can always call on the help of `Jack In The Green`, and if you don`t know who he is, then maybe, you shouldn`t be on here either lol.



    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 10:37AM
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Thanks Dave, finally someone takes my side of things sorta.. I never chide someone else when they make a spelling mistake or error about something I know alot about. I still think people are just too uptight, its garderning for goodness sake. Sure I am passionate about my pond, palms, bonsai's etc and love to hear the help and advice, but it almost seems people need to get off their high horse for a moment.. anyway it is a older tree and it does come from a reputable vender. I am guessing it is like you said some sort of transplant shock. Maybe I jumped the gun on being corrected on the spelling but it wasnt the first time I was corrected on something from these forums. I dont recall me ever chiding or correcting someone else when they post a stupid spelling mistake, or say something that may be remotely offensive, but then again welcome to America, land of the free, land of the lawsuits, land of racism, land of the bushies and corruption, and land of better say everything perfect or I am going to complain..

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 2:33PM
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I didn't chide you, just asked that you refer to things differently, but not being American, I obviously did it wrong - and it was done not in the interests of spelling, but bonsai. I could care less how ignorant you choose to appear in public, but I do like to see something I care about treated properly.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 6:16PM
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Lucy, take a look at the bamboo post and look for any post that pertain to lucky bamboo. You'll get the idea how mean people are in these forums.. this is all I am getting at. Like I said I jumped the gun on your comment, but the next post from rjj1 didnt help, his comments I take offence to, I misspelled bonsai so I am not worth helping?? gee.. I have only had the tree for 3 weeks, I asked for advice as soon as I noticed a problem, I am a new to bonzai's.. I also got chided once before on a abbreviated race comment on a tree and this just irked me, so when I got your post I thought I was getting more of the same hate responses I got before.. Anyway I am honestly here to learn about gardening, fixing or preventing problems I run into, whether its bonsais, ponds, trees, palms, etc.. If everyone knew everything about everything then there wouldnt be a forum at all about anything.. I have a failing tree I have had for only 3 weeks so I asked for advice, if asking for advice and making a spelling error on the tree is to much for people to handle or warrents comments like I am not worth helping, etc, etc then I think this whole site should be shutdown. How about this.. you get sick, you know what your condition is called, you go see the doc and he tells you your not worth helping cause you didnt spell your condition correctly. On top of that he tells you that you appear ignorant in public.. If there is a more user friendly forum for bonzai, palms, ponds, bamboo please let me know. If you didnt like my American facts comment.. then I am sorry dont blame me there just facts..

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 9:23PM
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Kev, let's start over ok? Did you ever check for spider mites? I do think it would be worth it, though at this point it there might not even be any to find. I think your tree (and you) has been stressed enough so just keep it on a low burner for now, maybe get another starter or two from the nursery - be sure you have the 'right' environment for that one, and join the rest of us crazies who may not torture trees, but do it to ourselves because of them. You can't get nuts because of one tree at this point or you'll never get past it. It's all a giant learning experience, we all lose some, pronounce Japanese backwards and once in a while something does work out, so just relax and try again.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 9:42PM
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The tree wasnt cheap and I would like to save it. I have kept it outside in the 85 degree heat for the past two days. I have watered sparingly just to keep it from drying out. I am not sure about spider mites but have looked closely and have not seen any bugs. The remaining leaves look withered, like bamboo leaves, they curl a bit when under watered which is what it looks like to me. I like this tree alot so would like to save it, will keep it outside but any suggestions on what to apply to it or not apply or anything to help it along is appreciated. I am not a yahoo like Randy seems to think, I am just new to bonsai care, my three others all seems to be fine its just the one that is having problems. I have followed all the directions the store gave, but since buying it I have kept it in a office and not outside or in the same environment as it was in when I bought it. I hope you can ignore this negative talk and or attacks that seem to go through many of these forums and see the real me who is just trying to get help and fix a failing tree. I see so much negativity and rude comments in some of these forums which just irrates me. I am not some ignorant person who has never left some rural town. I admit I am some what young but I have traveled all over the world and have seen and done many things that most people never accomplish in a lifetime. I know some times I may misspell something or use a term someone finds offensive but if you knew me you would find that I am not what you think. My political views and opinion of this country and what it does around the world is another story. I think I am for sure I am in the minority in my thinking but then again the minority in the country are also the smartest.. ;) anyway again any help with the elm is appreciated

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 2:17AM
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Hi Kev thats mad, I bought a pot of Lucky Bamboo yesterday from Asda of all places, and even they are selling Bonsai trees now.

It is definitely weird as I said with the Elms, as they are older, they seem to be more fragile.
I definitely think it is down to that fact where the tree hasn`t been left to shed over Autumn/Winter.

I have another Elm here that seems to be about 3-4 yrs old, which is giving me no problems whatsoever, and lo and behold, I bought some trees of Ebay which arrived in perfect condition a few days ago, and someone included a freebie in their package, which was 4 Chinese Elm seedlings, which are also sprouting like mad.
I think the next couple of weeks will be the most telling time, once spring starts to arrive, and temperatures climb a little.

To be honest, the trees that I bought off Ebay, are in much better shape than others that I have bought from the nursery, which sort of tells me, something isn`t quite right there.

At least we can all come on here, and chat about all this and hopefully get it all sorted in some way.

Hope your tree starts to show some healthy signs soon Kevin, send it some good vibes, and tell it to hang on in there.

Cheers all,


    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 4:12AM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

Dear Kev

I will lose little sleep over what you think of me, but there is something very important here that would be of benefit that you understand.

Your misspelling of bonsai is not that big a deal. It's easy to understand since they are very close to one another on the keyboard.

I take issue with your lack of sensitivity towards the term "Jap". If you ever have the opportunity to listen to a WW2 veteran or POW, listen to the way they say the word. It's filled with anger, sometimes hatred, and bitterness from the things that happened to them during the war. I don't condone the use of the term, but I understand their feelings.

Now imagine the 1000's of innocent Japanese Americans that were interned without any evidence against them here in America because of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor by the country of Japan. I'm sure they felt the lash from that word and survivors to this day still hate that term.

I'm sure you were having fun with the shortening of the term, but this is one word that should be spelled properly.

Did you read the FAQ on watering? The lack of proper technique kills more trees than all the other problems put together for newbies. It takes the average bonsai hobbyist about five years to learn to water trees to their needs.

Once again I have no ill feelings towards you, just felt you were so busy crying foul because people were dogging you, you didn't fully understand what they were saying had merit.

From one Yahoo to another.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 10:47AM
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The J term wasnt even me who made it in the first post I just repeated it in the forum. I caught crap over it too and had to explain myself and my relationship with asians or orientals. I in no way dislike the japanese, I understand that race terms upset people, specially since I am not married to an american and I myself am a half breed. In my wifes country the japanese came, burned their villages, ra**ped their women and killed innocents people. Not that this has anything to do with my comments or my view of the people. I acutally like them very much. I think its more of if your that race then its ok to call someone else in this race the j word. If your not that race then its taboo or considered a insult. Anyway this really doesnt have anything to do with fixing the elm, I just think I brought it up cause I was tired of getting dogged and wanted to state another example of an innocent post and people dogging me.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 8:21PM
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Hi sambessey

I had the same problem early last year after buying a elm.
I myself had just started to keep bonsai's, so I know what your going through.
Like your tree mine lost around a third of its leaves and more seem to be falling off every day. The leaves were going yellow before they fall off and there was no signs of new growth.

Being a beginner myself these are the thing I did wrong...
1.I did over water
2.The tree didn't like being indoors
3. I gave it some Bonsai Tree Fertiliser to see if that would help.
4 move tree under window near sun away from window away from sun.

These are the things I did to fix the problem.....

1.put a stick in the soil if the stick came out a little damp the tree didn't need watering.if on the dry side water.
2. Humidity indoors was to dry for the elm so it needed to be put outside during the day and brought in at night cover base if it rained .Did this for 2 months then left out in a sheltered area, that only gets sun up until 11.30 am
3.stopped giving Bonsai Tree Fertiliser for a while I think 2 months.
4.stopped watering with tap water used rain water collected in butt.

What this done for the tree ......

Well the tree stayed outside all winter tempeture didn't fall below - 3. kept the based covered with weed control
so I can still to a certain degree control the watering.
After doing this the new shoots started to come through and stay, and the tree looks great.

Hope this helps

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 11:24AM
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Thanks, I bagged it and gave it a quick mist and set it in my garage next to a window.. Almost all leaves gone or at least need to be gone. Will wait and see if it comes back. I do have a failing juniper but this is my own negligence and will probably just buy another as it was not an expensive tree, but doing the same to it to save it to, I think though this one is really already dead. Why is that the cheap ones I bought at home depot, sago, ficus, moneytree all seem to perfectly healthy and fine, but the expensive ones from the bonsai store have the most trouble??

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 1:25AM
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Hi Kevip711

I keep forgetting you guys may no be in the UK DOHH!!.I still think you need to put the elm outside in a sheltered area. Maybe the tree can get a little sun in the morning and in shade in the afternoon when the suns at its strongest. If you havn't got a sheltered spot you my need to make a small pagoda with some netting over it..

Like I said Im no expert but this worked for me..


    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 4:15AM
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Indoor or Outdoor?

Some people mistakenly believe that all bonsai can be kept indoors. This is not really suprising, because bonsai are usually displayed indoors. The truth is, however, all bonsai do best when kept outdoors year-round. Most bonsai are temperate-climate trees and need to undergo seasonal changes just like their non-dwarfed cousins in your yard. These temperate climate trees can certainly be displayed indoors during any season, bot not for more than a few days. This includes tropical, or "indoor", varieties. Naturally, tropical trees can only be kept outdoors in tropical climates, but outdoors is where they will grow best. Tropical trees can be kept indoors in temperate climates during winter with extra care and light.

Where do I put it?

Pines and junipers go in full sun, while deciduous trees, such as maples and elms, will do well in a spot that gets some shade from late afternoon sun. Indoor, or tropical, trees will want quite a bit of sun. They are used to bright, humid climates found near the equator. If the Summers where you live are hot and arid, you must be careful that your trees do not dry out. You will want to give all your trees dappled sun during Summer. Azaleas will do well in a spot that gets bright sun until noon, with plenty of humidity. Last, it is a good idea to set your trees on a low bench about two feet off the ground. This will keep many of the bugs out of the pot and keep the tree from accidentally being kicked or stepped on. Plus, it looks nice.

How often do I water it?

In general, you should water your tree when the top of the soil is dry. Each tree uses water at a different rate, so do not water all your trees at once, unless they truly need it. Use a watering can or hose attachment that will cast a soft, rain-like spray so that you do not blast the soil out of the pot.

Common Mistakes

There are two major mistakes: too much water, and too little water.
Too much water leads to soggy soil. The excess water, over time, will literally drown the roots. A well-draining soil mix will help avoid this.
Too little water is obviously bad, also. If the water level in the soil drops too low for too long, the fine root hairs that dump wastes and draw up nutrients will die. Again, a good bonsai soil mix can help by retaining moisture.
A bonsai soil that is well-draining, as well as moisture-retaining, will help take much of the guesswork out of watering. It will also help protect a bonsai from mistakes in watering.

Each Tree is Different

Each tree should be examined individually, in order to see if it needs water. There are a myriad of elements that affect how fast the soil in a particular tree dries out. Here are a few:
species and size of tree
 size and shape of pot
 kind of soil used
 weather and wind conditions
A maple may use water faster than a pine, for example. And bonsai in smaller pots will almost certainly dry out faster. Bonsai planted in large, shallow containers will dry quickly, as will trees that are exposed to full sun for the greater part of the day.

When to water

Most sources say that watering in the morning is best. Water a bonsai when the top half-inch of soil is dry. For smaller bonsai, water when the top quarter-inch of soil is dry. Do not depend on rain to water your trees. Bonsai grown in a well-draining soil mix (like ours) can be watered daily in spring, summer, and fall. Periodic watering is also necessary in winter to keep the soil from drying out. Never allow the soil to completely dry out.

How to water

Watering should be done with a watering can that creates a soft, rain-like stream of droplets. There are also hose attachements that accomplish the same thing. The idea is to mimic a soft rainshower that will not wash away the soil in the containers. A hard spray from a common hose attachment will almost certainly blast away the soil from your bonsai. Also be sure to thoroughly soak the soil. This means watering until water runs out the drain holes in the bottom of the container

I found this for you hope it helps Sry its a bit long :-)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 8:37AM
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I water all my bonsai's with the spray bottle, its sitting in my garage now so will give it a few weeks to see if it makes it or not. I will go ahead and keep them outside except for the ones that seem to doing fine, the moneytree=forgot the right name for this one, ficus and the sago..

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 3:13PM
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I have purchased a few Chinese Elms from EBAY and I live where there are very hot summers. We have mild winters with a handful of freezes average.

THe elms purchased are in tiny pots so with good care, I have to repot (out of season) by just lifting the trees out of the pots and place them (with their soil) into a larger pot with a good water retaining mostly organic mix. I have lots too many trees due to our summers and too grainy mix. Its a tough balance here getting the soil just right in order not to have to babysit all day my plants. I almost gave up completely but I was so concerned with a free draining mix that my plants dried out.

IF I could find a good potting soil, I could basically go with the soil and some grit here. Winters would be touchy but once a week watering should not produce root rot since none of my other plants have died.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 2:51AM
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I bought a C.Elm at a fair in Feb (my first bonsai). When we bought it, the tree had greyish tiny spots on it's leaves (The person we bought it from said that was normal). Could it be that they sold me a sick tree??
We live in an apt. and had the tree next to a big window. The tree started shedding leaves and I notices it had tiny mites. We left for 5 days and totally forgot to leave the window shade opened, when we returned, the tree was turning yellow and the leaves began falling even faster. It's been 2 months, the trees has not leaves and non are growing back. It seems it's still alive (I scratched the trunk and it was green). I water it weekly and have given it vitamins, but nothing seems to work... The moss that surraround the trunk is green, that's fine.
Is there something I can do to revive this tree?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 9:40PM
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Actually, I made a mistake about the type of bonsai I have (Sorry about that!!). My bonsai is a Fukien Tea specimen.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 11:00PM
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It's summer and my Chinese Elm is getting yellow leaves. Am I doing something wrong? I moved it outside and it sits in the shade for most of the day. I water it every 2 to 3 days, making sure the soil gets to dry out a bit. What is causing the yellowing of the leaves?

P.S. How do I know what zone I'm in?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 12:27PM
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I'm going on holiday for chistmas for a week and i don't know whether i should take it with me or just leave it here the bonsai is a chinese elm

Can you help me?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 11:13AM
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I know little about bonsai though I am just about to start a course in them. If I happen to learn anything useful, I will post it. About figuring you zone, there is a link on the posting interface. If - like myself - you do not live in north america, you need to get an atlas & work out your relative latitude. Using the USDA map, find your comparative zone & as the japs say, voila.
About the elm, I would repot it. So long as you are careful, clean & prudent with any root pruning, I imagine repotting would ussually help any tree. You can check out the roots whilst you are it.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 5:57PM
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Repotting as something else to throw at a problem is not necessarily a good idea, and does not necessarily help anything, though it can if there's a relevant problem. It's more important to diagnose what's wrong to begin with, and proceed from there. BTW, Woodvss, whose post were you replying to - the most recent one is from Dec. 19th, and repotting would be irrelevant to his question.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 10:24PM
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I have a beautiful chinese elm tree that I found in NC and brought it back to PA and it's been in my front yard for the last 4 years and although it's looking very healthy and lush, it has not grown an inch sine I got it. Aren't these trees supposed to grow to be fifty or sixty feet in height. It has very tiny leaves and the person that sold it to me said that it would grow really big. Is there anything that I am not doing right? Do I need to feed it and if so, how and with what. I will appreciate any help you experts can offer.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 8:27PM
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I have a chinese elm about 8 inches tall (I don't know how old), and live in Wisconsin. Being a beginner, I let it dry out a few times. It dropped most of its leaves. I put it in dormancy for the winter, and it now has lots of new dark green leaves. However, it fails to produce any leaves on the very top of the tree. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:36PM
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Hello, My friend gave me a Zelkova Bonsai as a gift a month ago, It was green and healthy looking until I had to go to a 2 day trip last week and the person who promised to water it, forgot to do so, now its leaves are dry and falling without getting yellow or brown, what should I do? please help.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 8:44AM
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