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Help! Complete Amateur

Posted by eacantrall Virginia (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 15:06

My brother gave me a bonsai tree for Christmas after I remarked on a whim that I thought they were pretty. The poor thing has been on my kitchen table for a few months and I'm pretty sure I'm killing it (not on purpose!!).

I've been watering it every two or three days, but the trunk has been shrinking steadily and the leaves have fallen off which leads me to think that it's becoming dehydrated. I don't think all hope is lost because some of the more slender branches are still a yellow-green. It looks like someone lopped off some very large branches before it came into my possession. In those areas, the wood is completely dry and appears dead.

I'm not sure what I should be doing. I've read several forums about how often I should be watering the tree and how to prune it, but I'm not sure what I should trim if there's no growth in the first place. I don't think that the pot is too small for the tree as it's not very big in the first place, but again, I'm out of my league here. The last plant I owned was a petunia which was given as a gift to my mum after a few months. Any and all help I could receive would be greatly appreciated!

The link below is to a photobucket album of the tree.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bonsai Tree photos

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help! Complete Amateur

Have you been fertilizing it?

Plants need more than just water, and bonsai trees in those small pots either aren't in actual soil to begin with, or will exhaust what little soil they have very quickly.

If all you've done for months is put water in it, you've likely washed every bit of food out of the pot and the poor thing is starving.

If thats the case, my fist recommendation would be to get some plant food you can mix into the water. Miracle Grow makes a nice general purpose mix with micro-nutrients, use that. Then get some slow release fertilizer (I recommend Osmocote, it'll look like little tan pellets in a plastic shaker bottle). Put some of that in there and it should keep the tree fed for quite a while.

RE: Help! Complete Amateur

Hi, I believe thats a ficus ginseng. I never owned one but you can get a care sheet on the web. Also, (thank you to those who warned me), that looks like a walmart plant. Make sure all that green fake moss on top is not glued to the pot. One quick tip as I was scanning a care sheet. Ficus Ginseng do not like drafts. Hope this helps!!!

RE: Help! Complete Amateur


I agree with the last post. The tree is a tropical plant and won't take cold or drafts. I have one and I keep the soil moist with a humidifier tray underneath especially if it is indoors. It needs as much light as it can get indoors. I agree with the feeding comments as well. GL Aloha

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