Imagine that you have bought a pine tree, either in a bonsai or in a pot. It’s beautiful, but after a few months you look at it and it looks brown and lifeless. You touch it (careful not to poke yourself) and it turns out to crumble. And when you look closer, he’s dead… Why does the potted pine dry up and not in the ground?
Well, here you will find some of the reasons why potted pine dries up, as well as some solutions that you could carry out to try to save it. It is difficult, we already told you, but it is not impossible. Shall we start?
Why potted pine dries up
Having a pine tree in a pot is something very nice. Especially if we talk about bonsai or striking structures (for example, a cascading one). However, everything beautiful that they are disappears when you begin to notice that they have dried up and the beauty they had before is no longer recovered. What do you do in such cases?
You see, there are several reasons why this happens to pine trees.. And the most common are usually the following:
You have gone too far with the irrigation
In general, pines are trees that do not need a lot of watering. Being in a pot, they do require more watering than if they were in the ground, but not much more either.
In this case, this reason can come, in turn, from several factors:
Because it has unsuitable land. Keep in mind that pines need a substrate that is porous, light and with good drainage to be good. If it does not have good soil and suitable for the species of pine you have, it is normal for it to consume it and not finding the nutrients it needs, the pine dries up.
Because it has bad drainage. Have you noticed the bottom of the pot? Does it have drainage holes? Sometimes you don’t realize it, and when you water, the water stays in that area and causes it to accumulate, to the point of rotting the roots. At first you may not realize it, but later you will see that this affects the rest of the tree.
Lack of oxygen on earth. Imagine that you water. The normal thing is that the water accumulates in the free zones of the earth, where the oxygen would be. But since it is occupied by water, it would soon run out of it. If you water more, what you cause is a drowning of the plant because carbon dioxide appears and with it it loses permeability in the roots. What causes this? Well, it can’t absorb water or nutrients.
As you see, overwatering can cause your pine tree to dry out. It is also one of the most common causes and the only solution is that you control very well how much irrigation water you are going to add and how often.
Lack of light
Like any plant, the potted pine needs light to develop, to do photosynthesis… Although in the case of pines they are fine with direct sun, everything will depend on the type of pine you have. Some will be able to tolerate direct light, but others will not.
Even if the potted pine tree you have is one that you can leave in direct sun, if it is a young specimen we do not recommend it because the rays can burn it, and you would be in serious trouble. But having it in the shade is not the solution either.
Lack of light prevents the tree from developing properly and getting the nutrients it needs. And having light doesn’t mean you have to be in full sun. Actually, as long as it has indirect light, and perhaps a few hours of direct light at the beginning or end of the day, it will be more than enough.
The dreaded pests and diseases
Just because you have a potted pine does not mean that it is free of pests and diseases that can affect it.
In reality, they will affect you just as much or even more than if you were on the ground. And many times it is a consequence of the bad watering that is given.
For example, one of the fungi is Phytophthora cinnamomi, which begins to attack the secondary roots (they are responsible for absorbing water and nutrients). Later, they go for the primaries and finally for the base of the trunk. In addition, it usually affects other plants.
Another of the fungi, which in this case goes directly to the trunk and branches, is Seiridium cardinale. They directly infect the specimen through the aerial part and continue until it is dry.
Now, these two do not have to appear only when there is an excess of water. Sometimes this doesn’t need to happen for them to attack.
They are not the only ones, Another lethal fungus for a potted pine tree is the Bursaphelenchus xylophilus nematode. This strange name causes the pine nematode disease to occur, which causes the pine to die in 1-3 months due to dryness or sudden wilting.
That is why we recommend that you keep a close eye on it. so that none of this happens to you.
lack of moisture
There are some pines that do need somewhat higher humidity than others. That is why it is important to know what type of pine you have in hand. Or between pots.
In this case, the lack of humidity is noticeable because the pine begins to dry from the outside in. That is to say, the leaves that it has are drying from the most external to the most internal.
To solve this problem, and try to recover it, what you can do is add a mulch of dry leaves on top of the pot, as a cover, so that the humidity in the soil is maintained for longer. It can also be a danger because this will cause you to have problems with watering if you don’t take it to the letter.
Another option is to place a humidifier and check that it is at the right level.
When a potted pine dries up, or is in it, it is difficult to save it. You can try it by watching irrigation, lighting, nutrients, etc. but sometimes it’s hard to get it back. Have you ever got it? What did you do to achieve it?