Hi, intro-new to site & to bonsai-& help!

ShivaWolf

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Hi all,
I would like to thank Graydon for his introducing me to this forum and for the japanese black pine that I purchased from him which is doing well.
I have been in love with the art of Bonsai since, well for many years. I do have a past of unfortunately killing a couple with kindness around 5 years or so ago. That was enough to scare me away for awhile.
Recently I purchased some really cool well written books and have been educating myself through those and the web. I have (according to family and friends) a green thumb, my house is full of plants.
Through that success and the knowledge gained from the books, I have taken the leap back into the bonsai world. I am going with indoor and outdoor bonsai. The indoor includes a really cute looking desert rose that I purchased as half price because it was half dead. I have new leaves, and new growth and will soon transplant into a more appealing pot. I have a cute baby ficus, low branches and a nice crown of leaves which I will let mature a few years before attempting to train.
For outdoor (which is living in the basement at this time due to being in Zone 3) a 3 year old stick which is a japanese maple. A norwegion spruce, which is my first attempt in training. I got carried away with this one and messed up the no. 2 branch, but if successful has nice above ground roots which imho makes up for the weak branch. This is my FIRST so I forgive my mistakes. ;)
And now a wonderful looking black pine.

My big question, my cry for help involves my newest acquisition which i received in the mail yesterday. It is a 26'' TALL ROOTS OVER ROCK FICUS.
Below is the picture of the plant prior to it shipping to me. After opening it last night I immediately watered well and will be transplanting it to a comfortable pot until it settles in and spruces up. I looked really wilted when I took it out. This morning I was hoping to see it perked up a bit. It looks worse!!
HELP
Its leaves look dark (they did last night but I thought it was just poor lighting and I could not see it well) they are curled up, there is leaf drop page, which I expected, but not this much.
So all leaves are curled, most are dark in color, the roots appear to be almost moldy? I need to change container and get a good look at the roots.
I need to know the best soil type to put it in and what is the best next move. I feel if I do the wrong thing today it will not make it
Help! :( :eek:
 

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Bonsai Nut

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Do you have any photos of it currently?

A few quick suggestions prior to photos:

1) Don't overwater. Only water when the surface 1/2" of soil is dry. Make sure the roots are not sitting in soggy soil - ensure that all drainage holes are unplugged and the pot is draining well.

2) Careful about transplanting anything at this time of year. You are better off waiting until Spring - even for indoor plants (unless you have a greenhouse or other suitable location with high light and high humidity all year).
 

Tachigi

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Laurie, Welcome to BNut......the wise old sages here will solve whatever questions or problems that pop up.
 

ShivaWolf

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Thank you- more pics

Thank you both for your reply
Here are some photos
1. where plant will most likely live an s eastern window.
2. curled dark leaves
3. few nice leaves next to curled brown
4. very tight roots. I do not see how they could get any air. I would think they would stay too wet this tightly packed
5. bottom of container with good holes and also the nice big hole in pot I created to get a look at the roots. :eek:
hmm I hope there are not too many photos to post
ok here they are in the order above
 

ShivaWolf

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more pics

one shows above soil roots with what appears to be mold.
the other shows looking down at ficus with a branch of one of my plants next to it to help give a color comparison.
 

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Re-potting a already stressed tree is never wise.

First, don't baby it trying to save it, this kills more trees than anything else. Get it into as much light as possible, water only when partually dried out, hold off on the feeding, and don't do anything like pruning, wiring, or re-potting until it regains its health.

The only exception would be if you are 100% certain the roots are unhealthy now, but judging from your photos, they look fine. How does the root ball smell?

As to soil, I have gotten great results with ficus using a mix of 50% lava rock and 50% uncomposted fir bark, particle size of 1/8" my ficus loves it.

Relax, ficus are strong and they often lose leaves occassionally when moved, they usually bounce right back in a few weeks as long as you don't kill it by trying to save it.


Will Heath
 
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rlist

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Ignoring IM's idiot posting that will most likely be deleted - does the advice above fall under the category of good internet advice or bad internet advice??? I wonder if the tree currently alive or dead?
 
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Good question. Since the post was in January, and she lives in zone 3, and the thing just came in the mail (!), what would be a deduction from anyone with a bit of experience with ficus? This looks suspiciously like freeze damage to me. I, too, am wondering what became of said tree, and what how it was treated in the meantime.
 

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