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Chinese elm yellow leaves

Chinese elm yellow leaves

Question: Chinese elm yellow leaves

Hi! I live in Piedmont at a height of 700 meters. I just bought a Chinese elm bonsai. I have placed it in the house near a window where it does not sunbathe directly. I water it every day, so the soil is always damp and every now and then I spray the leaves. I also put a saucer with water to give it moisture. I state that the earthen bread does not touch the water. Lately, however, the leaves are turning yellow. Where am I wrong? Thanks for your reply and best regards.


Chinese elm yellow leaves -">Reply : Chinese elm yellow leaves

Dear Sandra,

the Chinese elm is a very suitable bonsai for beginners, because it tends to be quite resistant, and adapts quite well to the climate present in Italy, both in summer and in winter. The care that he lavishes is decidedly assiduous, and also correct; but the fact that the foliage is yellowing is a clear alarm bell, which indicates that something is wrong. Chinese elms, or zelkove, are plants that love a good ambient humidity, and need to vaporize the foliage, and regular watering, as you do. But they do not like the soil to remain soaked in water for a long time, and therefore it is important that, between two waterings, the substrate has had time to dry out a little, or you risk favoring the development of fungi and rot in the soil, which attack quickly the roots. Therefore, it is good to water regularly, but this frequency cannot be stable and certain: in the sense, you cannot think of watering your elm every morning at 9; simply, every morning you can approach the plant, ready to water it; before doing so, however, feel with your finger if the soil is still damp from the previous day, and if so, postpone watering to the next day. Vaporizing is also very important, but if supplied in the evening, the droplets of water risk remaining on the leaves for a long time, favoring the establishment of powdery mildew; if, on the other hand, we spray the leaves during the hottest hours of the day, and especially at times when a little sunlight touches the plant, there is a risk that the droplets act as a lens, causing burns on the leaves. Hence, it is important to vaporize, but possibly early in the morning. Now, in Piedmont the climate is suitable for the life of the Chinese elm for most of the year; therefore your bonsai should find a place in the garden, or on the terrace, from March to October; only in the colder months can you move it indoors, in order to protect it from the cold. And if you have a small cold greenhouse (just a shelf and some non-woven fabric) you can think of leaving it outdoors for the whole year. Unfortunately, at home there is little ventilation, and this fact can favor the presence of insects, such as mites, which nest under the leaves; at the same time, very regular watering, provided in a place with poor aeration, often does not have time to evaporate, and the soil tends to remain soaked with water. In summer, the climate inside the house tends to be less pleasant than that outside; and if we have an air conditioning system, which creates cold drafts and very low air humidity, the plants suffer excessively, much better the garden.

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