Pruning is an important part of bonsai care. With that said, it’s not uncommon for a tree to lose some leaves in the process. It can also happen without any visible indication whatsoever.
Many of us ask Why Is My Bonsai Turning Yellow? If your tree has lost many leaves and you’re wondering why, there are a few possible reasons why this could be happening…
Reasons Why Bonsai Leaves Turns Yellow (Why Is My Bonsai Turning Yellow?)
A bonsai tree is supposed to be trimmed regularly. This is important because it keeps the tree small or prevents its growth entirely, and will also create a more dense canopy; which means that there won’t be as many leaves exposed on the branch’s end.
However, this can lead to some of those leaves falling off in the process. It might happen during pruning, or after. Sometimes, it might even be due to environmental factors.
Let us look into the reasons why your bonsai’s leaves are turning yellow and if they are even curling.
1. Overwatering OR Underwatering
As bonsai trees are small, it can be easy to forget about watering them. But no matter how expensive your bonsai soil is, the plant will eventually die if you don’t water it properly.
Overwatering is one of the most common causes for bonsai leaves turning yellow. Most beginners tend to over water their plants because they think it will make them grow faster. In reality, overwatering will only rot the roots and kill the plant.
On the other hand, under watering is also a common problem. This happens when people forget to water their plants for weeks or even months. The lack of water will cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually die. Also, if the soil is left dry for too long it will begin to crumble.
2. Fungal or Bacterial Diseases
One of the most common diseases that affect bonsai trees is root rot. It usually happens when the roots are exposed to water for a long time. To make sure this doesn’t happen, make sure that the roots of your bonsai trees can breathe and you can do this by making sure that there is enough room in the pot for the roots to grow.
Another one is leaf blight. This happens when there is a bacterial or fungal disease that affects the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and eventually fall off. A common cause for this is overwatering.
3. Poor Nutrition – Light and Fertilizers
Just like any other plant, bonsai trees also need the right nutrients to grow healthy and strong. If your tree isn’t getting the right amount of light, water, and air, it will start to show signs of distress. This might include yellow leaves, stunted growth, or even death.
The best way to prevent this is by using a good quality bonsai soil and by fertilizing your tree regularly. You can also add organic matter to the soil to help improve its nutrient content.
Light is a very important factor in a bonsai tree’s life. It will help the plant grow strong and healthy, but will also cause it to start yellowing if it is not enough. Look for a place in your house where the plant gets at least 6 hours of sunlight daily, but make sure that it doesn’t get too many hot or cold drafts.
Fertilizers are also important for a bonsai tree’s health. There are specially made fertilizers for bonsais, but you can also use organic fertilizers like coffee grounds, compost, or aged animal manure. Just make sure that you use it in moderation to avoid overfertilizing your plant.
4. Environmental Stress
Bonsai trees are very sensitive to changes in their environment, and one of the most common causes for this is temperature. When the temperature is too low, or high for that matter, it causes the leaves to turn yellow. It happens because these extremes of temperature cause dehydration.
The best way to prevent this from happening is by using a heater and an air conditioner depending on the season. Also make sure that your tree isn’t exposed to direct sunlight or wind.
5. Wrong Bonsai Pot
The pot that you use for your bonsai tree can also affect its health. You need to make sure that it is the right size for your plant. If the pot is too big, it will cause the roots to stay wet and rot. But if it is too small, there won’t be room for the roots to grow, causing the tree to die.
You also need to make sure that the pot has drainage holes so that the water can escape and the roots can breathe.
The best way to avoid these problems is by choosing the right pot for your bonsai tree. You can find a wide variety of pots in different sizes and shapes, so you should be able to find one that is just right.
Reviving a Bonsai With Yellow Leaves
The leaves of a bonsai can tell you a lot about the health of the tree. If your bonsai has yellow leaves, it might be struggling with a lack of light, too much water, or insufficient fertilizer. Bringing your bonsai back to health can be tricky, but it’s worth it to see those beautiful green leaves once again.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Increase the amount of light your bonsai receives. If it’s currently in a shady spot, move it to a place where it will get more sunlight.
2. Make sure the pot has proper drainage so the soil doesn’t stay wet for extended periods of time.
3. Feed your bonsai with nitrogen-rich fertilizer. To determine the right amount of fertilizer to give your bonsai, follow the instructions on the label or ask an expert at your local garden center.
4. If you notice yellow leaves near the bottom of the tree, it means that your bonsai is probably getting too much water. The soil should be moist but not wet.
5. If the leaves look wilted or shriveled, they have been weakened from lack of water. Water your bonsai well and then wait a few days to water it again so the soil has a chance to drain properly.
6. Check for pest infestation. Aphids, scales, and mealybugs can all cause yellow leaves. If you find any pests, treat the tree with an appropriate pesticide.
7. Prune off any dead or diseased branches. This will help improve the overall health of the tree.
Once you’ve addressed the issues that are causing your bonsai’s yellow leaves, be patient and give it some time to recover.
Special Tools to Use When Reviving a Bonsai Plant with Yellow Leaves
There are a few special tools you can use when trying to revive a bonsai plant with yellow leaves. The tools include; a knife, a toothbrush and a toothpick or needle.
- The first thing you will want to do is get a good look at the roots.
- Once you have done that, check the plant over very carefully for more yellow leaves.
- If there are some more leaves on the tree, cut them off before starting with your bonsai care routine.
- Now it is time to start cleaning the roots. Use a knife to cut away any dead or rotten roots. Be very careful not to cut any of the healthy roots.
- After you have finished cutting away the dead roots, use a toothbrush to clean the remaining dirt off of the roots.
- Be sure to get in between all of the roots.
- Use a toothpick or needle to dig out any dirt that might be in between two of the roots. You also can use a fork instead of a pick to poke and prod the dirt clump and loosen it up before using your brush to clean it away.
- After you have cleaned most of the dirt off, pour some water over the roots to help remove any stubborn dirt.
- Make sure the tree is in a well-draining potting mix before you begin to replant it.
Remember to be patient, it might take a little while for your bonsai to start looking healthy again.