Bonsai Plants Leaves Fell Off

I was given a bonsai plant from my daughter for Christmas. I placed it outside in the shade and all its green leaves fell off and now its a brown color. Its still got strong roots so hopefully I haven't killed it. Please help. What have I done wrong?

Debbie

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February 6, 20090 found this helpful

Almost any type of tree can be made into a bonsai, and it's hard to know, not knowing the type of tree it is. My thought is simply that a lot of plants are sensitive to their surroundings, and taking it outside gave it a shock; my weeping fig loses lots of leaves every spring when I put it outside for the summer, but they always grow back.

Another thought is that it dried out. Outside breezes will dry potted plants faster than inside air will. Bonsais are usually potted in very shallow containers, allowing the soil to dry quickly. If it wasn't dry too long, it will probably regrow its leaves. If it went without water for too long, it may die completely. I'd move it back inside and baby it. Even if the top is dead, if the roots are still alive, it may regrow another top. Unfortunately, bonsais grow really slowly, so it may take a long time.

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February 6, 20090 found this helpful

Some bonsais need a dormant period just like deciduous trees outside. The only bonsais that don't need a dormant period are the ones that are like evergreens. I don't know anything else about that, but that you probably haven't killed it. I think you need to find out how to treat the dormant period.

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