When your Bonsai tree starts to lose its colour and turns brown, you start to panic and ask yourself: “How do I revive a bonsai tree with brown leaves?”
A bonsai tree with brown leaves is not a happy plant. And neither are you when it happens to one of your prized bonsai trees.
Your tree requires a specific amount of water to survive and thrive. One of the causes of brown leaves is underwatering; it can also be caused by overwatering, leading to root rot and causing the leaves to turn brown.
Water is essential to your Bonsai tree because it keeps it hydrated. Furthermore, it serves as a medium wherein fertiliser nutrients and soil are sent to the roots. That said, watering your tree regularly to ensure it will not dry out is important. However, the specific amount of water you use will depend on the type of Bonsai species you have.
Taking care of Bonsai trees may be a bit tedious, and the environment they’re in can be impactful. Most trees don’t need direct sunlight to survive, but that doesn’t mean they are indoor plants. Some Bonsai trees thrive better outdoors.
The lack of sunlight can harm your tree, especially when you keep them indoors. When it’s not getting enough sunlight, brown leaves may occur.
Keep in mind that Bonsai trees may be hardy, subtropical or tropical. Hardy ones are usually placed outdoors, which means placing them indoors may turn their leaves brown. Subtropical and tropical trees, on the other hand, can survive with partial sunlight. The bottom line here is all Bonsais need sunlight exposure for at least a part of the day.
Another environmental factor is the climate. Winter injury may occur in spring, wherein single or multiple branches may start to get brown leaves and eventually die due to the winter wind—the winter wind stripping water in the plant that causes the leaves to turn brown.
If you’re not aware of the specific species of Bonsai tree you have and the amount of sunlight it needs, the best thing to do is to keep it outdoors with indirect sunlight exposure. If indoors, keep it close to a window where it can get the most sunlight.
Avoid fertiliser in the later summer to prevent the development of new shoots that are usually injured come wintertime.
Finally, to prevent browning leaves due to environmental factors, spray an anti-desiccant solution in the fall. Doing so will prevent it from losing too much moisture in the winter.
Pests & Diseases
Pests often go unnoticed, and they can turn the Bonsai tree’s leaves brown. You can prevent pests by spraying a light pesticide on the tree and pinching off any brown or dead leaves to encourage new growth. Make sure to prune away leaves that are infected. If the infection is too advanced and has spread already, it’s best to destroy the Bonsai plant and sterilise the soil.
Using water to wash pests away is helpful as well. You can make it more effective by coating your Bonsai tree with insecticidal soap to prevent infestation.
Prevent Browning Leaves on Your Bonsai Tree
Sometimes, things go wrong and you end up with brown leaves on your Bonsai. Knowing what causes them and how to address the issues can help prevent brown leaves on your Bonsai tree.
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