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House Plants/dying Ming tree bonsai


I have a young Ming Tree Bonsai, has lost all foliage, believe that the plant got too much water (forgot it one day and there was a heavy rain). I just repotted and used copper fungicide in a small amount. Is there any chance on this plant coming back?

Hi Jeff,

You haven't given me much specific information here, so it is hard for me to give you a definitive answer. Mings lose foliage due to sudden changes in light and temperature, as well as improper watering - both under and over watering.

Ming aralias don't generally do well outside, especially if exposed to any direct sunlight or temps below 55 or 60 degrees. I am not clear if your plant has been outside all along or you just recently moved it outside.

Likewise, I don't know how you have been watering. However, a single episode of heavy watering is not enough to cause root rot. Only many weeks of constantly wet soil will cause root rot. However, a single episode of severe drought could cause the roots to die.

In any case, repotting and copper fungicide are NOT the answers. In fact, both (especially the repotting) are likely to aggravate the problem.

Whether of not your Ming will survive depends on the degree of damage done to the roots and your ability to prevent further damage. But the latter requires an understanding of what caused the root damage in the first place.

If you provide additional information, I may be able to help you further.

I have written detailed articles on Ming aralia and bonsai care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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