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TOPIC: Help with Chinese Elm and Fungus/Mold/Mildew?

Help with Chinese Elm and Fungus/Mold/Mildew? 1 year 10 months ago #26578

Hi there,

I recently bought a Chinese Elm and I'm a little concerned that it may have a problem. All along the base (haven't noticed much along the trunk or on the leaves) I see this stringy white stuff that looks like mold. I can't tell what it is, and I haven't found any info online as to what it might be and what remedies I could try. This is my second bonsai - first was a Jade that took a turn and quickly deteriorated and died in about a week.

I'm watering it using a tray that I top off daily. I read that this might introduce fungus, but some others told me the tray is a reasonably good way to water the tree. I can switch to a different watering method if someone thinks it'd help solve the problem. It is in a window and gets direct sunlight in the late afternoon (between 1 and 6, I'd say). I've also considered getting rid of the ornamental rocks on top as they obscure the soil and make it hard to test whether or not it's dry (but I was told that didn't matter when using the water tray).

My first tree I think I over fertilized and burned the roots, so I'm a little wary of using chemicals unless necessary. I have a bottle of bonsai food with instructions on fertilizing.

Any help would be appreciated! Pictures attached to help identify.

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  • mimarcos
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Help with Chinese Elm and Fungus/Mold/Mildew? 1 year 10 months ago #26586

What do you mean using a tray to water? very odd idea. You need to check every day if the soil is dry and water if needed. The gravel on the surface is not a good idea and if there is a rock again I would get rid. There is a lot of moss up the trunk which needs to be removed. The mould is probably a watering proble, that is incorrectlyy watered, and will disappear when watered properly.
You need to buy a book and read how to look after the plant you have. If the soil is draining well there is no need for re potting. Stop the fertiliser.
  • m5eaygeoff
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Help with Chinese Elm and Fungus/Mold/Mildew? 1 year 10 months ago #26591

It belongs outside in the first place
  • Madartej21
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Help with Chinese Elm and Fungus/Mold/Mildew? 1 year 10 months ago #26594

Yes of course it does.
  • m5eaygeoff
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Help with Chinese Elm and Fungus/Mold/Mildew? 1 year 10 months ago #26602

I can't keep it outside. I was told (and found in research) that it could live and grow indoors assuming it still had light. I live in a condo.

As far as the tray goes, I was told (although it seemed a little fishy to be honest) that I could setup a tray underneath, fill the tray with water and it would soak up what it needed, and I just needed to keep the tray filled. I did shuffle away some of the pebbles and it does seem to be soaking wet underneath, which is probably not a good state. I guess I'll remove the water tray and start watering daily.

When you say stop fertilizing, what do you mean? I've only done it once with this tree and the plan was to keep it up once a month. Does it not need fertilizer?

Thanks!
  • mimarcos
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Help with Chinese Elm and Fungus/Mold/Mildew? 1 year 10 months ago #26603

You don't need to fertilize to keep it alive but to keep it healthy and thriving. It is your choice but always follow the instructions on the label. Species that can be kept inside should be fertilized all year round. A chinese elm should go through a dormancy in order to keep it healthy.
  • Madartej21
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Help with Chinese Elm and Fungus/Mold/Mildew? 1 year 10 months ago #26604

mimarcos wrote: I can't keep it outside. I was told (and found in research) that it could live and grow indoors assuming it still had light.

You were told to keep it in a tray with water too...
  • Auk
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Help with Chinese Elm and Fungus/Mold/Mildew? 1 year 10 months ago #26634

Dont water daily. Water when the soil goes dry.

It is very hard keepibg trees alive indoors. It is not the easiest route you are takjng. I keep all mine outside most of the time.
  • leatherback
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