is here, and as we watch our Bonsai grow in these warm summer months we must be
for problems. Many things
can affect the success of our "small tree in a pot" investments,
the attention paid to water, sunlight, and insect damage.
tender shoots at the tips of the plant's limbs will bow slightly (wilt) as water is needed, just prior to
plant damage occurring. A watering cycle
should be set so that bonsai don’t reach this point. And
sunlight needs are species-dependent: while excessive shade will cause long
internodes and yellowing
of leaves, too much sun on some plants (e.g. Japanese
Maples) may cause burn spots on the leaves.
presence of small holes in leaves usually indicates insect damage, with a call
measures such as an appropriate insecticide application. Lack of leaf luster, with tiny webs, says
"look for spider mites." To
find spider mites, hold a white sheet of paper under a plant limb and tap it,
firmly shaking the branch. Rub your
finger over the sheet and look for red smears.
If found, treat the
plant with a good miticide per the instructions. Further,
a plant's overall "yellowish look" with a weak appearance may be
the sign of a fungus, so in this case apply a fungicide.
A great source for more information is a local Bonsai group; join one and enjoy the
benefits of the
many years of accumulated experience. If you are
in the North Alabama area, come visit us
at our August meeting, where we will discuss Grafting techniques for bonsai.