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Troubleshooting Problems with a pair of bonsai trees

I have two Japanese Pagoda bonsai that have been giving me trouble. Not really their fault. And these two plants are not true bonsai yet. They are just seedlings and at the time of this incident they are about 9 months old.


The following picture shows the crux of the situation. Both these plants are exactly the same age. The Japanese Pagoda on the left is a healthy plant. And the one on the right has the discolored and yellowed leaves.

Two Japanese Pagoda Bonsai


Typically when you get yellowed leaves like this on house plants it is either an over watering or a poor drainage problem which pretty much amounts to the same thing.

The course of action I took to save this plant (and another suffering from the same problem) was first to reduce the watering. I did this for two weeks and no improvement was shown. Well, with a normal houseplant you could trim off the affected leaves but with this bonsai that was problematic because just about every leaf is affected.

The next thing I did was transplant the two bonsai into potting soil to invigorate them and encourage some new growth. And it worked. In the new container I was sure to put good stones for lots of drainage.

And the following picture shows the distressed Japanese pagoda after about two weeks. Yay! We have a whole bunch of beautiful green leaves and now I can trim off the bad leaves that are sapping the tree of its strength.

Yellowing bonsai leaves

So, when you are faced with yellowing leaves you have to watch the water and you have to check the drainage. If it doesn't improve you can transplant it to reinvigorate it.

I suspect this is also a function of using actual bonsai soil. It is poor in nutrients and is specially formulated for the drainage needs of bonsai. But things sometimes happen!


Moe yellow leaves

I mentioned I had two Japanese Pagoda with problems. This picture shows the other one after it too has been rescued. Its ready to be trimmed. Interesting to see how this one sprouted quite a bit differently than the other one. All part of the mystery :)








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