Hi, I received a lovely sageretia bonsai as a gift for Christmas. At first he thrive, nice green foliage etc, and I tended him religiously. Come summer I did research and (stupidly) defoliated him partially, later I read elsewhere that sageretias should not be treated this way.
Well, he seemed to handle it well nonetheless and exploded with new shoots, everything great, till one day he starts dropping his old leaves. Nothing seemed wrong, but when I moved house this just be he seemed to worsen, presumably because of the change. I thought he seemed unusually damp, as though he never dried out, so i backed with the waterings...
At one point I was forced to entrust him to a neighbours care (cringe) as I was in hospital. When I returned his tray was full of water and his soil soaked. I did what I could but thereafter his leaves died off. His soil being so drenched, I began to fear root rot as his trunk showed signs of superficial mold. I decided to risk it and repotted him-- but again, my sources incorrectly advised to fertilize him. I've tried since to remove what I could, it's a very slow release so hoping the damage is less??
Atm his remaining leaves are still on the tree but green and crispy... No dieback on branches, some with others still flexible. When i Scratch the trunk there's still a faint green... Please, please tell me there is hope!! This little guy is like my kid, I'll be er forgive myself if he dies:( Also is there anything else i can to help him heal?? Ive raised many trees/shrubs before but new to bonsai...
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Don't be that hard on yourself.
Was it inside?
We do not fertilize a tree as medicine.
Also repot depends a lot on what is happening, season and etc. but generally you don't repot a weakened tree, and it's kind of out of season.
I think it's kind of hard to predict what will happen without knowing how severe was the interventions and how it will be taken care of.
Did you repotted like, changing the soil, or just slip potted?
I followed the instructions given saying as a last resort do an emergency repot. Since the aim was to combat waterlogged soil etc I did change the soil, as gently as I could. What concerned me greatly while repotting was the total lack of roots, no web through the soil, around the sides etc. Just the root mass proper under the trunk and a shag of limp red brown roots.
I kick myself over the fertilizer... I thought it sounded off, but then thinking of planting trees and how you always tuck some fertilizer in, I said maybe...
Right now he's the same, he has a nice humidity tray going that I built for him, also a grow light to amend our poor exposure. (I just recently moved, so still have to adjust things for him) Anyway, only change is that the leaves in the pic have finished drying out to a crispy green and dropped. But his branches are good, very minimal dieback on only the youngest twigs. Even suspicion of a bud...
So idk, did I overreact by repotting?? Most importantly, what are his survival chances...
Since you asked for it....Ill give it 90% chanse of recovery if you get all conditions perfect and 0% if no conditions is right. The biggest challenge is humidity, your tray do not work and you can easily measure humidity to control my statement. I would put it in a cold, but humid place somewhat shaded to recover.
Heat is tricky, my apt is super stuffy, poor air circulation so I do my best with a large fan. He seems happier in his present nook than near the opening window/fan.
The tray, idk... Seems to regulate his waterings better and temper the summer heat. But it's still a fairly new addition. You wouldn't recommend the supplemental light then? It is getting into fall soon here in Alaska so I guess I was getting into grow light mode haha... But I wanted to rule out lack of proper light as a cause for distress.
Now it seems I'll have to move yet again and I'm praying it won't prove the straw to break the camels back...
Generally speaking bonsai should be kept in shade after repotting until it is recovered. For hard root pruning that could be a full season, for light just a few weeks. And everything inbetween. It also depends on species.
In my experience Sageretia really loves wet conditions in summer and moist in winter. Never let it dry out. If it dries out at one point it quickly lose all leafs. I have not been able to recover a sageretia from that stage wich makes me think this is now a lost case. Sorry to bring bad news. Do not hold your neighbour responsible as wet conditions is always better than dry for this species.
Hmm.... What confuses me is that he was thoroughly damp at all times prior to this, the only major incident would be the saturating the neighbour gave, which would have been ok had it dried out. I was always assuming it to be dryness when he started aiming, despite the soil status, hence I thought, maybe overwatering actually is the problem. Idk
His bark is still green when cut-test. You think he's just slowly going to die from here or should I just wait him out??