Bonsai care

Asked October 8, 2016, 10:25 AM EDT

Hello! I have a small olive bonsai tree, and have had it for about a year. During the winter, it lost most of its leaves, and has not regained them. The trunk appears to be alive, I'm just not seeing any new nodes. I've gotten a little more educated about bonsai care, and have been trying to keep it hydrated and misted, and for the last two months, have been feeding it every two weeks with a 1% N-P-K solution. I'd like to save the tree if possible, and try and help it develop new leaves. If someone can help, or direct me to a place that can treat bonsai, I would very much appreciate it. I'm attaching pictures--I'm pretty sure the white on the soil mix is deposits from the fertilizer (rather than say, mold.) Thank you! -Thea Chimento

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

It is a good idea to do some research on bonsai.
We do not have a lot of information on growing olive trees in containers and as bonsai. We are not experts. In general olives are native to the Mediterranean and like lean dry soils.
Based on your photos looks like you may have overwatered. Make sure the container has drainage holes. Also, you may be applying too much fertilizer to the plant. Knock the plant out of the pot. Make sure there are no black mushy roots. If so, prune off. Roots should be firm and white. Repot with fresh soil. Water when the top inch of soil dries slightly to the touch.

Contact some of the local Bonsai Clubs for more information. Check Google.

You may need to start over. There are some common houseplants such as Schefflera that may be easier to grow.