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The leaves of my bonsai tree are falling off

Updated February 21, 2017

Bonsai trees are typically grown indoors, where their care can be more specialised. These dwarf trees are highly sensitive to changes in their environment, and there are many reasons why the leaves may begin to fall off of a bonsai.

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Watering problems

Bonsai soils are specially formulated to dry out slowly, which is healthier for the tree. Watering the tree too frequently can cause it to become stressed and lose leaves, while infrequent watering can dry out the tree and kill it. Water the bonsai tree when the top 1 cm of potting soil is dry to the touch.

Environmental problems

Bonsai trees in unhealthy environments may begin to lose leaves. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves of a bonsai tree and cause them to fall off, while a total lack of sunlight will slowly kill the tree, beginning with the leaves. Use a grow lamp or ensure that the bonsai receives indirect sunlight throughout the day to keep it healthy.

Pest roblems

Indoor pest problems like mites can cause a bonsai to drop its leaves as the mites destroy them and weaken the tree. Signs of mites include dropped leaves as well as a white film on the leaves before they fall. Treat the bonsai with a gentle spray pesticide according to the directions on the bottle to control mite problems.

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About the Author

Bailey Shoemaker Richards is a writer from Ohio. She has contributed to numerous online and print publications, including "The North Central Review." Shoemaker Richards also edits for several independent literary journals and the Pink Fish Press publishing company. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Ohio University.

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