Bonsai near balcony door... did i just kill my bonsai?

MalcolmMc

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Hello,

I live in a small house and now have 5 indoor bonsai that I am really enjoying, one of which is a bilobed Grewia (Grewia Biloba) I got for Christmas.

So I set up a stand by the southern window, beside the door to my porch where the rest bonsai tools and pots are. In the past week I think I have gone out to the porch a few too many times because the leaves on the tree are turning yellow and all dropping. Since that happened, I have moved the tree away from the door and kept a close eye on the tree. The tree has had more and more leaves turning yellow and falling. Is there anything I should do? Did I just kill my bonsai?

#SaveTheBonsai
 

f1pt4

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Hello,

I live in a small house and now have 5 indoor bonsai that I am really enjoying, one of which is a bilobed Grewia (Grewia Biloba) I got for Christmas.

So I set up a stand by the southern window, beside the door to my porch where the rest bonsai tools and pots are. In the past week I think I have gone out to the porch a few too many times because the leaves on the tree are turning yellow and all dropping. Since that happened, I have moved the tree away from the door and kept a close eye on the tree. The tree has had more and more leaves turning yellow and falling. Is there anything I should do? Did I just kill my bonsai?

#SaveTheBonsai
No, Maybe, Yes.

You shouldn't keep indoor bonsai's near doors, or windows that you open in the cold months. The draft can kill them.

If you grow trees by windows or doors in the winter months that you don't open, they would benefit from bottom heat to keep the root system warm.

Now, as far as your yellowing leaves are concerned..

Some trees loose their leaves when they get moved from location to location if the spots are different in light/heat/humidty.

Some trees loose their leaves if they get over watered.

All trees will eventually loose their leaves if neglected and underwatered.

Post a photo of your problem trees, and possibly your growing location.

Also as mentioned include your location.

I have a bilobed grewia, and i've only really seen them in Southern Ontario because there's one nursery that carries them here, and it's pretty much the only nursery in the GTA that has a decent selection imported beginner bonsai.

So here's what I'm thinking.

Assuming you're from the GTA, and you got the Grewia from Kims, the consistent diffused natural light with supplimental, and warm temperature that their greenhouse provides is completely different to where you're growing yours: drafty area that receives light from 8ish until 5ish from one side only without any supplimental lighting. Since you're in a house most likely with forced air, your general humidity is low. Unlike the greenhouse which is high in humidity, as they grow orchids in it as well. So hopefully your tree isn't dead, and it's just shocked and adjusting to the light and temperature conditions. Don't over water it whatever you do. Don't leave it in a drafty location. If it's alive you should see some new growth popping out in about 2 weeks. Put it in a adequate position and don't move it. Let it acclimatize.

My bilobed grewia, if left dry for more than one day will shed half of it's leaves.. it's very very fickle. If left very very wet for more than a couple days, will start to shed. It has a thin bark, so is susceptible to rot. Mine doesn't like high moisture so I don't spray it as much as my ficus'.
 

Bonsai Nut

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a grewia that I grow outside in the summer months.
Grewia is deciduous. A quick look online suggests it is cold hardy to zone 6. It may just be going dormant in response to the cooler temps.

Have you kept this tree for more than a year? How did it respond in prior years to being brought inside?
 

MalcolmMc

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Grewia is deciduous. A quick look online suggests it is cold hardy to zone 6. It may just be going dormant in response to the cooler temps.

Have you kept this tree for more than a year? How did it respond in prior years to being brought inside?
Sorry, I should have said, some I grow outside and some I plan to move outside in the spring. The grewia and natal plum were christmas presents.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Sorry, I should have said, some I grow outside and some I plan to move outside in the spring. The grewia and natal plum were christmas presents.
I have never seen grewia as bonsai before... sounds interesting :) Lot of people have been talking about Natal plum here recently. We use it extensively in our community in landscaping - in both a low-growing groundcover as well as a larger shrub. I don't have any personal experience with grewia, but if you have questions about Natal plum, I can probably help out.
 

Carol 83

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I overwinter my natal plums and my grewia (lavender star flower) indoors, under lights. They don't seem to mind.
 
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MalcolmMc

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Post a photo of your problem trees, and possibly your growing location
Thank you for such a detailed response. It was very helpful especially on a species that isn't as common in the bonsai community.

And you were right about the GTA and Kim's Nature. Its interesting how it seems like they are almost single handedly bringing the grewia species into the bonsai community. The only other times I have heard of someone with the species has also got it from Kims.

I'll upload so pictures. I took record keeping photos of my trees so I should also have a before photo too.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Grewia is deciduous. A quick look online suggests it is cold hardy to zone 6. It may just be going dormant in response to the cooler temps.

Have you kept this tree for more than a year? How did it respond in prior years to being brought inside?
Sorry, I think you are thinking of Grewia asiatica, the Phalsa, as the one that is hardy through zone 7 into zone 6. This is the asian species that is used for fruit. The species G. biloba (or more current name G. parviflora) is native to South Africa, which only gets frost in the highlands, and would probably be counted as USDA zone 8 in the coldest areas. I would not test a Grewia biloba that I liked in a zone 6 winter. If you had extra cuttings, it would be worth testing, but my guess is that Grewia biloba (Grewia parviflora) is not winter hardy beyond a few degrees of frost for a few hours a night.
 

JoeH

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Outdoor trees that go to their vacation home in the winter.
A natal plum, 2 ficus and Brazilian rain tree and a grewia that I grow outside in the summer months.
ok, was just concerned that you may have gotten some bad info from a tag on a tree. A lot of them are sold as indoor bonsai and they aren't.
 

f1pt4

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This was the sign at Kim's nature
Bug me at the meeting next Monday. We can talk about your Grewia.

I've had mine for about 5 years? I nearly killed it every single one of those years.

Keep it outdoors in the summer. Indoors in the winter. Don't forget to water it. Mine flowers approx 4 times a year. It's a thirsty tree that likes fertiliser. Let it extend quite a bit and then cut back to two sets of leaves. It does respond to wiring well, but applying wire can be difficult due to the delicate leaves. Leave the wire on for about a full year for the branches to set. It doesn't thicken quickly, well atleast mine doesn't because it's always been in a relatively small pot. Clip and grow is a good technique. I've only had scale on it twice. It buds back extremely well.

Every time I almost kill it, is because I skipped a watering.

I'll take a photo of mine tomorrow when my lights are back on. And post it here. It's actually in flower. Flowers are teeny tiny and white.
 

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