Why do bonsai leaves drop?

Bonsai leaves fall for various reasons

Image – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Why do bonsai leaves drop? There can be several reasons, some being more serious than others. But what is certain is that when we see that our plant begins to run out of them, we tend to worry.

And it is that, of course, being a relatively small tree, we are interested in it looking healthy, that is, that it has green and beautiful foliage. So if your bonsai has started to lose leaves and you don’t know why, then I’m going to tell you What are the possible causes and what should you do?.

It is deciduous

Acer palmatum atropurpureum bonsai is easy to care forAcer palmatum atropurpureum bonsai is easy to care for

Image – Flickr / jacinta lluch valero

Many bonsai that are sold are of deciduous species, such as maples. If yours is deciduous and has begun to lose them coinciding with the arrival of the cold (or if you are in an area where the climate is tropical, at the beginning of the dry season), you do not have to worry.

But the case is very different if it is evergreen, like citrus, the carmona or the Serissa. If they are, then they have a problem.

It is exposed to drafts (indoors)

If your bonsai is inside the house and you see that it is running out of leaves, it may be due to being exposed to air currents, such as those from the air conditioning or those from the fan, for example. It is important to keep in mind that what these currents do is dry out the environmentmake the humidity drop, and incidentally force the roots of the plant to send water to the leaves quickly to try to keep them hydrated, but without success.

And is that the leaves, being exposed, run out of water faster than the roots can send them more water. Consequently, they die and, depending on the species, fall. So to avoid it, what you have to do is change the bonsai site.

He is cold

Indoor bonsai are delicateIndoor bonsai are delicate

Image – Wikimedia Commons / David J. Stang

If your bonsai is tropical and you have it outside during the winter, or inside the house but in a cool room, the leaves will also have a hard time. Thus, if you have a serissa, for example, since it is a tree that does not resist frost, nor temperatures below 10ºC, it is necessary that you keep it indoors so that it does not suffer.


Ficus neriifoliaFicus neriifolia

Related article:

What are the bonsai that can be had indoors?

Also, remember not to put it near air currents, because as we have said before, it would have a very bad time too.

It is in an area with little light

This usually happens when you have a bonsai indoors, since there is usually not enough light in homes for these plants to grow well. Especially if you have a ficus or a fruit tree, which need to be in an area with lots of light and even direct sun, when they are placed in rooms with little light they have a hard time.

Its leaves fall even though they are apparently healthy.and the bonsai does not show any other symptoms. And how is this solved? Taking it to an area with more light, of course. But be careful: if it has never been given direct light or sun, you must make sure that it does not hit it now because otherwise the leaves will continue to fall. Only if it is an outdoor bonsai (like the elm trees or arces for example), you will have to put it in semi-shade and gradually get used to direct sunlight.

Lacks water

The pomegranate bonsai is little wateredThe pomegranate bonsai is watered little

Image – Wikimedia Commons / Mark Pellegrini

This is another of the reasons why the bonsai can drop its leaves. And it is that every living being needs water to survive, and bonsai are no less. For this reason, if you see that the newest leaves dry and fall, and that the earth is also very dry (if you have doubts, check the humidity by inserting a stick), feel free to water your tree.

Take a bonsai watering can, and soak the soil well. Pour water until it comes out of the drainage holes. And if you see that the water is not absorbed, but just comes out, immerse the bonsai tray in a basin of water for about fifteen minutes. Thereafter, you should water more often.

He has plenty of water

The most serious problem that a bonsai can have is that it is being watered too frequently, since the earth must have time to dry out; otherwise, the roots drown and die. How do you know what is happening to your plant? For the following symptoms:

  • The earth is very humid, and it can have verdina.
  • The oldest leaves yellow first and fall later. Meanwhile, the new leaves also lose color and end up falling.
  • Fungi (mold) may appear.

To save it, or at least try, you must take the bonsai out of its tray, and wrap the roots -without removing the soil- with absorbent paper. In the event that you see that it gets wet very quickly, remove it and put a new one on it. Then leave it in a room protected from direct light and wind overnight. The next day, plant it in a new tray -or in the same one it had before, as long as you have previously cleaned it with soap and water-.

Then, remove everything that is dead, and apply fungicide (on sale here!), otherwise the fungi could harm you. From now on, he has to wait and see how he reacts, and water only when necessary.

I hope that your bonsai can gradually recover.

Why do bonsai leaves drop?

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