TOPIC: Yellow leaves on Chinese Elm two weeks after repot

Yellow leaves on Chinese Elm two weeks after repot 1 year 6 months ago #29035

Good afternoon everyone,
This is my first post in this forum.
Two weeks ago i repot my two Chinese Elm's. In one of them i change the pot and in another one i maintain the same pot only change the soil.
The fact is that 3 days ago i started to notice the leaves becoming yellow and fall.
Both Elm's was on dormant state (at least i think). In both i cut very few root portion, about 1/10 of the root volume.
The new substrate is a mixture of akadama, peat, coco peat, volcanic stone and Quartz Sand.
Is this a normal behavior two weeks after the repot? Please check the pictures below of my two repotted bonsai's:








This message has attachments images.
Please log in or register to see it.

  • pipirto
  • pipirto's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 21
  • Thanks received: 0

Yellow leaves on Chinese Elm two weeks after repot 1 year 6 months ago #29036

Sorry but i don't know why the pictures appear with wrong rotation because the originals are ok. However i think it still ok to analyze this problem.
  • pipirto
  • pipirto's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 21
  • Thanks received: 0

Yellow leaves on Chinese Elm two weeks after repot 1 year 6 months ago #29047

Do the trees have any new growth? Sometimes they respond to changes pretty drammatically but many leaves grow back... that's what happened to mine when it was an "indoor elm"

Dormancy would mean that the leaves fell off and it stopped growing. This doesn't look like that happened. Where are you? What kind of seasons do you have? Reoptting is usually only a good idea at the right time of year and when the tree needs it..
The following user(s) said Thank You: pipirto
  • tubaboy
  • tubaboy's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Posts: 313
  • Thanks received: 78

Yellow leaves on Chinese Elm two weeks after repot 1 year 6 months ago #29049

I would have to agree with Tubaboy. That does not look dormant. It is best to wait until Early spring (when the buds are swelling or extending) to repot and do any root work. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere and are in the middle of summer you will probably be okay. Just keep it out of direct sunlight until you see new growth. Don't freak out and drown it either.
The following user(s) said Thank You: pipirto
  • Bonsai Bender
  • Bonsai Bender's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Posts: 271
  • Thanks received: 70

Yellow leaves on Chinese Elm two weeks after repot 1 year 6 months ago #29052

One of the trees looks very dry. How are you watering? It is quite normal for this species to lose leaves it after all a deciduous species.
If you re potted properly then it should be ok,
The following user(s) said Thank You: pipirto
  • m5eaygeoff
  • m5eaygeoff's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 1404
  • Thanks received: 301

Yellow leaves on Chinese Elm two weeks after repot 1 year 6 months ago #29060

Thanks for all the answers:

tubaboy wrote: Do the trees have any new growth? Sometimes they respond to changes pretty drammatically but many leaves grow back... that's what happened to mine when it was an "indoor elm"

Yes in the biggest one i see new buds, in the smaller one not really. It's my first repot for elm's and i just don't know if this a "normal" behavior. It seems strange that only after two weeks it started to turn yellow.

tubaboy wrote: Dormancy would mean that the leaves fell off and it stopped growing. This doesn't look like that happened. Where are you? What kind of seasons do you have? Reoptting is usually only a good idea at the right time of year and when the tree needs it..

I said that "i think" it's dormant because there was any grow or change in November, December and beginning of January. I am on North Hemisphere more properly Portugal, Lisbon.. The lowest temperature we have this winter was 2ºC so this is a very mild climate.
Both trees definitely needs the repot (mainly the smaller one that has a very small pot to it's size), and i think in our case the proper time to do the repot is end of January. I read some info like this: "In late January after the frost, before starting sprouting always with a strong pruning, or in summer with total defoliation."

Link to Info (Bonsai Store in Portugal)


Bonsai Bender wrote: I would have to agree with Tubaboy. That does not look dormant. It is best to wait until Early spring (when the buds are swelling or extending) to repot and do any root work. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere and are in the middle of summer you will probably be okay. Just keep it out of direct sunlight until you see new growth. Don't freak out and drown it either.

Answered above.
It's located on half sun spot now, don't know if it's important but it rains all week before the yellow leaves appear.

m5eaygeoff wrote: One of the trees looks very dry. How are you watering? It is quite normal for this species to lose leaves it after all a deciduous species.
If you re potted properly then it should be ok

It was watered right after the picture :) the other one was ok. Yes it's normal, but not suddenly as this. Also this has to be related with repotting because both repotted Elm's has the same behavior.


Thank you once more for the answers! I will update with pictures
  • pipirto
  • pipirto's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 21
  • Thanks received: 0

Yellow leaves on Chinese Elm two weeks after repot 1 year 6 months ago #29065

This is not normal behaviour. It indicates that you did too much work on the roots. The plant cannot provide and is shedding foliage rapidly to survive. Did you do the report with someone knowledgeable?

I am also wondering whether the soil is suitable. I would imagine this could get hard as a rock in summer. In any case. Keep it sheltered untill you see growth.
The following user(s) said Thank You: pipirto
  • leatherback
  • leatherback's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 4503
  • Thanks received: 1487

Yellow leaves on Chinese Elm two weeks after repot 1 year 6 months ago #29068

leatherback wrote: This is not normal behaviour. It indicates that you did too much work on the roots. The plant cannot provide and is shedding foliage rapidly to survive. Did you do the report with someone knowledgeable?

I am also wondering whether the soil is suitable. I would imagine this could get hard as a rock in summer. In any case. Keep it sheltered untill you see growth.


First of all thanks for your help,
I did the repot alone. I already made some repots and always works ok, however it's the first time with Elm's..
I cut very few root portion, about 1/10 of the root volume if such.. so i think this is not about the root's removed. Maybe the elm's don't like the quality of the new soil.
The new substrate is a mixture of akadama, peat, coco peat, volcanic stone and Quartz Sand. Maybe i should add a little bit more of volcanic stone and more inorganic, but the water run's quick trough the pot to the holes. At least while the soil is new..
  • pipirto
  • pipirto's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 21
  • Thanks received: 0

Yellow leaves on Chinese Elm two weeks after repot 1 year 6 months ago #29073

Do not fiddle with it now. Allow the plant time to recover. Roots will have started to heal, and, hopefully, resprout. Repotting into different substrate is not a good idea now.
The following user(s) said Thank You: pipirto
  • leatherback
  • leatherback's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 4503
  • Thanks received: 1487

Yellow leaves on Chinese Elm two weeks after repot 1 year 6 months ago #29075

leatherback wrote: Do not fiddle with it now. Allow the plant time to recover. Roots will have started to heal, and, hopefully, resprout. Repotting into different substrate is not a good idea now.


Yes, of course i will not "touch" it for now.. i forgot to mention one thing that might be important. I added Mycorrhizae (in correct proportion) into the new soil. Hope this helps roots to heal. However, i am still thinking.. what probably did i made wrong? the soil mixture?
  • pipirto
  • pipirto's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 21
  • Thanks received: 0
Log in Register