Gifted Bonsai from neighbor who moved

swamprat69

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I was gifted this Bonsai when my neighbor moved. Is this a maple? Height is about 20 inches with multiple trunks. Are multiple trunks normal? Have noticed that there is some slight browning at a small number of leaf edges. Was instructed to water with 1/4 cup of water once a week? Live in the Las Vegas area where humidity is normally 10-20 %. Was also told to keep it in a low light area. Are any of the instructions given to me counterproductive?
 

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Redwood Ryan

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Looks like a Ming aralia, a common houseplant. Not suitable for bonsai, unfortunately.
 
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As said above it's tough for bonsai - but a fun houseplant to cut and style. Have on in my office.

You have lots of foliage competing for light. Thin out a little then you can see what you're working with on trunks.

Browning doesn't seem too bad, but can be from a lot of different things: watering technique, insufficient light, compacted soil / root health:
  • without knowing when or what that was potted in, you might need to evaluate soil change in the spring (i use inorganic indoor).
  • water it when the top inch or so gets dry, but not with a quarter cup. Fully wet the soil, let it drain, put back.
  • they like lots of medium indirect light - solve for that wherever you are in the world
  • they back-bud well, but can drop foliage (~ couple weeks) if you cut a lot away at once.
 

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