Common Bonsai Problems

In a way, a bonsai tree is an artistic effort to mimic nature, the grandness of a full-grown tree in miniature, says the Alabama Life & Culture. Most people have the impression that bonsai trees are hard to maintain. The thing is, they merely take somewhat different and a little more delicate care than most other potted plants. Once you understand this, caring for bonsai trees becomes a whole lot more fun, delightful, and, yes, simpler and easier!

Bonsai Care

Bonsai is the Japanese art of miniature tree cultivation. With the proper maintenance and styling procedures, almost any tree or plant can be transformed into a bonsai. The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that a bonsai is a tree with a natural tree requirement. Trees adapt to your treatment and thrive when you pay attention to them! 

Tree Maintenance for Bonsai

Despite the fact that bonsai trees are more delicate than your typical indoor plant, following a few simple guidelines should allow anyone to properly care for their tree.

It is not nearly as tough as it may appear to care for it. However, because most bonsai trees are grown in small pots, there are a few basic rules to follow when it comes to positioning, watering, and repotting them. Paying close attention to where you put it and how to properly hydrate it is very significant in order to prevent common bonsai problems from arising.

Common Bonsai Problems

Bonsai trees, like pets and children, are subject to disease and other health issues. Unfortunately, unlike them, bonsai trees have no means of communicating their issues. One of the most difficult aspects of bonsai stewardship is getting to know your tree well enough to detect when it is in trouble.

The good news is that if you keep an eye on your bonsai on a daily basis, you will generally always be able to notice abnormalities before they become very damaging to the tree.

So, if you’re new to bonsai, we’ve put together a quick introduction to some of the most common signs that your tree is not thriving well.

Leaves Discoloration

Chlorophyll, a substance that the plant produces to feed itself, is responsible for the characteristic green color of plants. The color of the green becomes lighter, even yellow, when this nutrient is insufficient. This absence of chlorophyll on leaves is referred to as Chlorosis.

What if chlorophyll is lacking? The afflicted leaf dries out and falls off as a result of the lack of photosynthesis. Another point to note is that a leaf with chlorosis is more vulnerable to pests. 

Leaves With Visible Spots

Small-dark colored patches on the leaves of a bonsai usually indicate fungal disease. In order to treat this, you will need to spray the foliage with a fungicide that can be purchased in garden centers.

It is critical to spray as specified on the packaging. If your bonsai has black spots, you will see spots on all of the leaves, both new and old. However, if the stains are just on the old leaves, this could simply be a sign of growing older. This might be the case if there are no spots or patches on the newer or younger leaves.

Irregular Tips and Loose Tree

Overwatering in indoor bonsai frequently results in brown or black tips on the leaves. This is frequently linked to the bonsai losing its grip on the pot or becoming unsteady.

Overwatering is a slow, debilitating issue that decomposes the roots and causes wilted leaves. Because the roots get weak and stop working correctly, this happens.

Branch Wilting and Drooping

There are a variety of issues that can drive your bonsai to wilt. Poor soil and nutrients, undersized pots, and fungal infections are all examples. These environmental factors can be identified early on to help your bonsai remain healthy. 

Root Rot

Roots can become discolored and mushy due to poor drainage. The leaves may darken, the branches may wilt and snap off, and the growth will be hindered. Affected roots must be trimmed out, and the bonsai must be replanted in new soil. Make sure that the container and medium you choose provide adequate drainage so that the plants are not overwatered.

Remedies for Bonsai Problems

When you include this in your daily practice, you will be able to detect problems far more quickly and address them before they become unsustainable. Here are some of the most common issues that people face, as well as their remedies for taking care of their precious bonsai.


When it comes to diseases, prevention is the best form of protection, and there are various things you can do. Cleaning the leaves, branches, trunks, soil, container, and drip tray of the tree is always an excellent starting point. Maintaining a clean atmosphere for your tree also requires proper ventilation. Applying fertilizer and repotting or planting as needed also aids with disease prevention. Finally, pruning with the proper tools and techniques lowers the chance of infection and contamination.


Pests can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on your climate and surroundings. The perpetrators are usually easy to recognize, but if left unchecked, their efforts can be extremely worrisome. Leaf damage, browning, withering, and infection are all possible signs. The very first step is determining which pest is involved and the scale of the issue. If you have any other plants nearby, it might be worth checking them out as well. You can then choose whether to treat the problem with an organic or synthetic pesticide. Before using in rage and frustration, remember to always read and follow the product’s instructions!

Suitability of Soil

For optimal drainage, the best bonsai soil should have a loose gravel consistency. This benefits the roots while also preventing rotting and infections caused by excess moisture. Although premixed bonsai soil is available, some individuals choose to make their own, adjusting it precisely for their tree’s needs. When repotting, the soil should be changed to assist in revitalizing the roots and maintain everything free of illnesses and contaminants.


Examining the soil is the quickest way to determine whether your tree requires irrigation. When the soil is dry, most species want to be watered right away. The most accurate approach to checking this is by using a moisture meter. This will give you an accurate estimate of how much water is present in the soil and whether or not you need to water it. Having this kind of heavy-duty plastic humidity/drip bonsai tray is also highly recommended. 


It’s a great way to explore the best methods for your specific tree species, as some want to be pruned more and others are more delicate. Never make any massive cuts if you’re doubtful, and always prune at the proper time of year. Use the right equipment for the job, and never trim with regular scissors. It’s also a good idea to use grafting paste to help the tree mend after any cuts.

Save Your Bonsai! 

Problems that affect bonsai trees can be highly dangerous, even fatal. You can improve your chances of recovery and help avoid infection spread by detecting the indications and treating the problem early. Because certain trees are more sensitive to specific diseases or fungi than others, it’s valuable to evaluate your species and learn about the most common illnesses that affect it.

It is very crucial to tailor maintenance instructions to your tree species. The basic and expert care procedures for the species of bonsai in your place are also covered in our website. Learn more about bonsais by visiting our blog section.