I bought a very luxuriant olive tree last summer about 20 years old. Unfortunately x my absence he spent the winter in a very warm place receiving, I presume, little water and light resulting in loss of leaves and excessive elongation. Now he’s back home what can I do for recovery? Repotting pruning fertilizers help !!! Thanks for any help

Olive tree bonsai

Dear Bonvo,

Unfortunately, it often happens that some plants are grown in an unsuitable climate, especially when it comes to bonsai, which by many are considered excessively delicate, and therefore kept in the apartment even when it comes to outdoor plants. Now that your plant has received an unsuitable climate it will manifest typical problems: the fall of the leaves is often due to the excessively dry climate present in the house, or often also in the greenhouse, especially if heated; the excessive elongation of the branches is called etiolation, and consists in the elongation of the space between two internodes, due to a strong and persistent lack of light. So your plant was not only kept warm, but also in the dark and with little ambient humidity. The first thing you can do, to run for cover, is to keep the plant in a cooler and more humid climate, often vaporizing it with demineralized water, or by placing the pot in a large pot holder, with gravel, and with at least a couple of centimeters of water, which will evaporate increasing the humidity of the air (the pot must not touch the water, and the gravel must keep it raised, to avoid having a soil that is always too wet). In addition to this, it would be advisable to bring the plant back to the right brightness, that is, since it is an olive tree with a few hours of direct sunlight; only that, if your olive tree has been a few months in a too dark place, you cannot move it directly in full sun, it would be advisable to do it gradually, so that it is not subject to sunburn; even moving it outdoors is possible only gradually, especially if the plant has remained in a very warm place, such as at home; in the sense: you cannot move a plant to 10 ° C that until yesterday was at a constant average of 20 ° C. If it was in a cold greenhouse, you can immediately move it outside, where it will enjoy a naturally cooler climate and more humid air. As for too long branches, prune them as soon as possible: consider that most of the treatments offered to a bonsai are done to reduce the space between the internodes; if your olive tree has produced very long and thin branches, has “spun” as they say in the jargon, in essence years of remodeling as a bonsai may have gone up in smoke, and you will need to repot it at least two or three times before things get back to normal previous state. Another tip, before leaving the plants to someone, it is advisable to explain very well how they will have to keep them; also because now you are back in possession of your plants, you must necessarily thank those who kept them for you all winter, you cannot insult those who did you a favor because they did it in an inappropriate way.

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Olive – Bonsai Questions and Answers

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