Saving My Trained Olive Bonsai

by Greg
(Montclair, NJ)

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I received this trained olive bonsai at the beginning of July from Eastern Leaf as a b’day gift from my daughter. It had been doing well until recently when leaves started on certain branches starting turning brown and dropping. It seems to be spreading. I’ve tried to think of what may have changed recently. It was fed with Bonsai Fertilizer 20-9-9 in September and just after Thanksgiving, in accordance with the instructions. It was ‘misted’ maybe once every other week starting in September, but stopped at the beginning of November. A nearby 4-ft bahia (orchid) tree that I’m growing indoors starting having spider mites in October, which I tried to control with puffs of diatomaceous earth before Thanksgiving and an application of EIGHT after Thanksgiving. It’s doing better, but these applications may have very slightly hit the bonsai. I’ve given it a shower in the kitchen sink, hoping anything on the leaves was removed, but am concerned about the limitations of my amateur diagnosis and the proper remediation. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks! -Greg, 4 Dec 2012


Hi Greg,

It sounds like you've taken the appropriate steps to help the tree. If the tree is very sick I would suggest simply nursing it back to health in the manner you have, but by watering the soil. If the tree isn't too sick, you could repot it and check out the roots for disease or pests. The pictures display browning as you stated, which could come from over, or under-watering.

As they say, 'time heals all', and at this point your tree doesn't look like its at death's door yet, but keep a close eye on it and don't fertilise it until it's back to health!


Lee (admin)

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