I noticed a few days ago my corkscrew willow had started wilting at the top of the newest growth.There were times when I saw the tops wilt because I know it needed water and it would perk up within a few minutes after watering it. Since then I've been watering it regularly and after the heavy rains it continues to droop so I don't think it's from lack of water. I'm wondering can you over water a willow? Or, maybe it needs repotting but is this the wrong time? Just a little background...I bought this tree at the auction over a year ago. It was very sparse with just a few leaves and two long skinny branches. I decided to repot it and saw that it had very little roots. Just a few long spindly ones and with no root ball to hold together and that was it. I was so worried about trimming them back but I did and it was mid-summer when I did this so doubly worried. It spent the winter in my barn and low and behold in the spring there was all this new back budding. I was so thrilled but wasn't sure it needed to be repotted? Once again...🙄 I was worried that it didn't have enough roots to repot and didn't want to disturb a good thing so I didn't repot it. It's been growing like crazy since the spring and putting out new shoots as you can see the before and after. I noticed that the drainage was slowing down when I watered it and started wondering if maybe the akadama was breaking down too fast? Or, maybe it was root bound? Maybe the roots aren't getting enough oxygen now and that's why the tops are wilting? I thought I would try to lift the tree out of the pot to see what's going on with the roots but that baby is tucked in tight! I used a pallet knife around the sides to try and loosen it but that did little. Worried if I tug too hard on the trunk the roots my rip. My options: I can break the pot to try and minimize damage to the roots and just up-pot it too a bigger pot with new akadama? I'm thinking it's too late in the season to do any root pruning? Or, maybe I should leave it alone for the summer and wait 'till next spring to repot and root prune? My gut is telling me the tree is in trouble and some measure needs to be taken. Since there is still is a lot of growing season left it may be more detrimental to the tree to continue growing in this state than doing nothing? But...really not sure so I'm in need of some advice. What do you think?
Hope you're all doing well and I really miss our meetings! Stay cool and safe.
Taken this spring
New back budding
Now July 4th
See the drooping?
most likely the dust from the akadama and the compost have blocked all drainage. i personally would never add any organic matter to bonsai soil. roots are drowning, not getting oxygen and most likely have root rot. 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water when u water will help. if you can add drainage holes and possibly poke some holes in the soil it would help. you can also try carefully up potting it but fo not mess with the weak roots it has. you might be able to pull it Through
it’s a root issue caused by overwatering if i had to guess. how big are the drainage holes if you tilt pot does water come out of bottom. also was soil sifted for dust when you orig potted it i assume its bonsai soil? i would have went to a larger pot to allow for growth than slimed it down in a few years . for now make sure it free draining tilt pot slightly to one side and mix peroxide with the water when u water which should be cut way back .
Hi, thanks for writing. I’m not sure about this type of tree. But in general turns, yes you can overwater. Put your finger down about an inch into the soil and see if it’s moist. Soil not drain well could be caused by a number of issues. If it’s over watered, root bound, soil mix being some. I don’t think it’s a rootbound after a few months. I would not repot now. My suggestion is keep out of direct sun and monitor the water. It’s been very humid so that won’t steal plant moisture. I’ve found my self watering less the past few weeks. You’ve done great with the tree, it’s picked up great growth. I will ask around to see if someone can give you a better answer. Take care. Jim