Bonsai without leaves

Bonsai without leaves

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Question: bonsai without leaves

good morning, I have a ficus retusa that has lost all the leaves and now they start to grow back in the upper part, the rest of the branches are bare.
Are there possibilities that it will be full of leaves in all its branches?
besides the normal attentions is it necessary to do something in particular?
thank you.

Answer: bonsai without leaves

Dear Francesco,
leaf loss is always a worrying symptom with plants, and especially if this event occurs with a bonsai; to understand if it is possible that your bonsai comes back as before (more or less) there is to understand the reason for the loss of the leaves; typically in indoor bonsai, during the winter months, the leaves fall due to stress due basically to two main reasons:
- shortage or over-watering; in the first case the leaves first bend downwards, then lose their turgidity and consistency, then they dry up and fall; in the second case the leaves fall due to the formation of root rot, which spreads throughout the plant, the leaves turn yellow, often black and then fall.
- lack of humidity in the air; unfortunately in the apartment the climate is decidedly too dry for the plants, especially in winter, as the domestic heating drains most of the air present in the house. Even with ideal watering, correctly supplied, the plant takes on a ruined, sad appearance, and loses a few leaves; in such a case the plant hardly loses all the leaves.
If your bonsai has been subjected to a prolonged period of drought, with dry soil, which caused the leaves to fall, and despite this, when you started watering the leaves again they reappeared, it is very likely that it will recover completely and start again produce new leaflets, often even smaller than those it had before; in any case, avoid repeating the experience, which is not pleasant for your plant. If it was air drought, or general drought, due to both dry soil and dry air, remember to spray the foliage and branches at least every 3-4 days, in order to increase the environmental humidity around to bonsai; also in this case the leaves should start growing again. In the case of a problem due to excessive watering, to hope to save the plant, it is necessary to completely eradicate the fungus that struck it, possibly repotting it, removing all the damaged parts of the roots, and providing a systemic fungicide, which will enter the sapling tissues by killing the parasite. Once this has been done, the plant should slowly recover, but if some branches are completely unleashed, try them, so as to favor the development of new shoots. Again, avoid watering incorrectly in the coming months (even in the rest of your bonsai life, but especially in the coming months) because it is not said that your plant survives a second rot that develops a short distance from the first episode.