It likes sunny situations, and lots of light. They should ideally be turned at least once a week to ensure they grow into evenly balanced specimens. If the stems are growing really long with not many leaves the plant may not be getting enough sun.
Watering is the most important factor of growing Bonsai. The tree should be watered every 4-7 days. If the moss ball becomes light and dry, water it. Spraying the moss daily with water can help keep the moss fresher. MAKE SURE TO FULLY SUBMERGE MOSS BALL UNDER WATER SO IT BUBBLES.
Do this once a month except in winter months. Feed with liquid Bonsai feed or Baby Bio throughout the growing season. The frequency of feeding is dependent on the type of feed used, all of which will carry detailed instructions on how to use it. Simply add the liquid feed to the bowl of water.
Your tree will need pruning in the Spring, Summer and Autumn months. You can do this with bonsai scissors to trim the leaves. Make sure the plant doesn't grow more than 5 leaves on a stem, they like to be pruned. Your Bonsai can lose half its leaves in winter, it is behaving like it is in hibernation but it is fine.
If roots come out of the moss ball which is rare. You can:
Leave them as it won't effect the plant and adds an arty Orchid style effect.
Plant the whole moss ball in a pot or,
Ask for a re-moss service. This is not seen as a fault or defect.
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Why are my leaves yellow? This is very common and is expected to happen over the lifetime of your plant,. It happens a lot with Chinese Elms. This is because it has either not been watered enough, your plant is a little bit stressed or it has not had enough daylight (sunshine). We recommend that you run your fingers over the plant to brush off the yellow leaves - they should easily come off. Check that your plant is being watered in line with the care guidelines and give it a little bit more sun. It just needs some TLC. If your plant has more than 30% yellow leaves, then please contact us.
Why are my leaves dry and crispy? Your bonsai has not been watered enough. We recommend that you fully submerge the moss ball in the water until it bubbles. Wait until it stops bubbling, then water it again 4 days later. If it bubbles again you need to water your bonsai more regularly. Make sure your bonsai is not getting too hot and drying out e.g next to a radiator.
Why do I have black spots on my leaves? Your plant has 'black fly', which is very common in roses. We recommend that you remove the leaves with black spots on them and throw them away. Hopefully this will resolve the issue. If not then spray them with 'Rose Clear' which you can get from most garden centres.
My bonsai has really long stems, with only a couple of leaves. Why is it really tall and long? The bonsai doesn’t have enough light and it is growing as far as possible to find it. Chinese Elm should have at least 1-2 hours of direct sunlight per day. If you have a stem that is very long, give it a good trim back. You have to keep continually trimming your bonsai so that you have a maximum of 5 leaves per stem. This will keep it small, healthy, and bonsai-like.
Why is my moss brown? It is because it has had too much water and it is drenched, or the moss has not been kept moist. Moss doesn’t like to be drenched but it needs to be kept hydrated - using a water mister on your moss ball will help. Feel the moss, if it is dry give it a spray so water hangs on the moss like morning dew.
Why are my leaves pale green? The reason is your plant needs fertilising. Plants need food and although your plant will arrive well fed, we recommend that you fertilise your plant once a month with Bonsai liquid feed during spring, summer and autumn. Just add it to the water when you fully submerge your moss ball. It is very important that you do not fertilise your plant in winter between November to February as your plant will hibernate during this time.
Also make sure you read Moss ball plant care with watering guidelines on this site.
Here's to a happy Tranquil Plant!
Autumn/ Winter Extra Care - for Chinese Elm
With it being autumn, your bonsai can lose over half its leaves, which normally go yellow first, then drop. This is normal and new growth will come back in springtime.
Make sure that you shake off and remove the yellow leaves.
During the winter, please ensure that your bonsai gets at least 1 hour per day of direct sunlight. You may need to re-position it.
With the temperature lowering and the central heating turning up, please make sure that your bonsai is getting some fresh air, as bonsai's are outside plants and need to breathe. Please make sure that your bonsai is not too close to the source of heating.
Please do not fertilise your bonsai during the winter months as it is not the time for growth. Fertilise your plant when you start to see new growth in the spring.
Please note that your watering schedule may change with internal heating, or if your bonsai is in a cool place it may need less.