Need help on this Premna repotted!

IIppon

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Hello everyone, I’ve seen many topics of this kind from beginners after having repotted their trees.

Here’s my premna, was in a huge pot, just repotted in a smaller pot, I trimmed a huge root pad, and few big roots I think I removed at least 50% which seems to be ok for this specie as they are rooting heavily.

I just don’t know if I have to be worry of how it is turning now.

Here you have a leaves comparison of a small premna that I have (on the left) and the bigger one just repotted 5 days ago ( on the right )
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I Forgot to mention that I am using the exact same soil on both premna as it is working very well on the first one I had.

A close up on the leaves
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Should I be worry concretely? Where should I place it ? Should I mist it few times per day ? And about watering I shouldn’t water before having a dry top soil right ?

Thank you for your help !
 

sorce

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The moon was wrong.

Best to Repot closer to the full moon.

Sorce
 

Forsoothe!

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Cut all the leaves off now. Clip them individually at the base of the leaf and leave the petiole in place on the mother stem. It protects the follow-on bud growing in the axil. The new bud will kick the old petiole out of the way when it expands. The existing leaves are a burden and not contributing anything positive and the plant will refoliate that volume and size of leafs that the roots can support in a few weeks. Put the plant in the appropriate light exposure and water/treat it as asleep, not dead.
 

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There's always a next time.:cool:
 

IIppon

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Cut all the leaves off now. Clip them individually at the base of the leaf and leave the petiole in place on the mother stem. It protects the follow-on bud growing in the axil. The new bud will kick the old petiole out of the way when it expands. The existing leaves are a burden and not contributing anything positive and the plant will refoliate that volume and size of leafs that the roots can support in a few weeks. Put the plant in the appropriate light exposure and water/treat it as asleep, not dead.
Thank you very much ! As it was a premna, pretty similar as a Ficus I thought I shouldn’t defoliate it. When you mean Clip them it means prune the leaves right? Just leave the petiole ?
 

Forsoothe!

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Prune=trim=cut=clip. Yes, leave the petiole, it is an important sign that the bud has not been mechanically damaged.
 

IIppon

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Ok I will do it them, the leaves seems to not get worse today, not really drying out completely. I contacted Robert Steven on Facebook who knows premna and many tropical species. He also told me to defoliate and put it in a shady place or to put a bag on it until new shoots appear.
It is a bit frustrating but also a nice way to learn.

The root pad was huge but very similar as what we saw on repotting videos. But on healthy tree like I realized that over this root pad there is a lot of small roots ramifications, not really on this one. The soil wasn't great to allows this. Next time when I get this kind of trees for a none reputable nursery o would be more careful and remove as less roots as possible. Hopefully for me this specie is even more vigorous than a Ficus and Hopefully I can find help here from growers answering the same questions on beginners mistakes all the time ahah thank you again
 

IIppon

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I have a small question, when would be a better time in my location ( bangkok, Thailand) to repot it and prune the roots ? We are in the beginning of summer and raining season I think now, I guess it is the time of the year when tropical species give more energy to produce new leaves right ? I am Wondering which time of the year or which climate they are producing new roots ? If I refer to internet it is during the Autumn that they are developing new roots to "resist" the winter ?! So in fact I should better prune the roots before the Autumn right ?
 

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I speculate that the beginning of the height of the growing season is the best time to do major work. The tree is naturally ready to grow best at that time. But, remember that you want to only do one major insult at a time, -either the canopy reduction or root reduction. Also, you mentioned that the roots were not well prepared for as much reduction as you did. Every step in bonsai or any other operation has to be modified by the conditions that actually exist rather than what is expected or wished for, so it's always going to be, "take a look and use some judgement". Pre-bonsai always has fewer surprises and that's why we pay someone to cultivate plants for a few years and get them ready for us. That takes a level of skill only found in a specialized nursery, and we have to expect to pay for it, or do ourselves. Time is money.
 

IIppon

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Yes I've learned, when I did this root pruning I was very confident, not in my skills but in my judgment that "it will be ok". But mistakes gives experience so nothing bad if I didn't kill this tree.
I've defoliated the tree now and put in a shady place oustide with opaque white bag on it ( the only big bag I had.

About watering should I water it with a normal cycle? By waiting a dry top soil and water it or should I just water everyday even if the soil is still wet ? Also is it a good or bad (or useless) idea to mist the defoliate tree 1 or 2 times per day now that he doesn't have leaves anymore?

And last question, sorry for that but all your advice are precious to me, I have some biogold fertilizer on the soil, may I use some HB101 to boost the root development even more or will it be too much ?
 

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I'm not crazy about the bag or the shade. Since there are no leaves, it should take all the sun that the species takes in your climate. The bag routine is usually reserved for places with low humidity, which leaves you out unless you're on a mountaintop, or in your dry season. Misting, same reaction. Water it in the normal cycle, just using less water. Since you are acting in a man-made emergency you can feed, but when I defoliate to reduce leaves I don't feed before the leaves are finished expanding to keep the leaves smaller: resources in the roots divided by the number of leaflets expanded = net amount of leaf surface. When you see the results, you may want to do this every year.
 

IIppon

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Ok perfect I will follow your advice as it is the raining season there's a lot of humidity this time. I will take care of it watering gently and leave it until I see new shoots.
Thank very much again for your help and your time I really appreciate 🙏
 

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Bangkok Weatherspark tells us that you have very high humidity right now plus very high temps. You should almost be able to leave it outdoors and have the daily rain take care of business. Water every day it doesn't rain, and that's probably too much. Please describe the soil media you used in the repot?
 

IIppon

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It is a common non organic mix of wet soil for bonsai that I used to buy and use for an other premna that i have and it is thriving on it, I also had some 3-5mm pine bark on it. Lot of water retention so I do not water it often. It has a good drainage too. The soil used before was like a muddy/clay like soil.
I also have a very light sphagnum moss and green moss mixed top dressing to help suck water from the bottom and decrease evaporation ( technique from BonsaiMirai).
My tree does not sit directly under the rain, I am growing it on a balcony with morning sun and afternoon shade.
I water my trees when I see the top dressing turning in a light color and dry.
 

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OK, I'm sticking to charging you with letting it dry out. It is almost always true that a newly repotted plant needs its' moisture levels monitored so that they never suffer from drought until the replacement roots can do the normal job. That usually means a little too continuously wet by ordinary standards. The best sign to look for that the roots have adjusted is new buds expanding, at which time the plant can be put in normal exposure of sun and watering. If you can't get rain on the tree on the balcony, you have to adjust your schedule to water it at the peak heat of the day, like 3 to 4 PM.
 

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