Hello. I have for years a ginseng bonsai suddenly started to lose its leaves and the lower trunk became full of a white mucosa that I have to do to save it?
unfortunately the loss of foliage, accompanied by the presence of spongy material at the base of the trunk, clearly indicates the presence of a fungus; typically, in the case of bonsai, they are root rots, caused mainly by a fungus called armillarie mellea; because plant rots and fungal diseases are caused by real fungi, and often if they attack trees, these rots become real mushrooms, like the ones we are used to buy from the grocer and to cook. The first thing to do is to protect the plant's still healthy tissues by supplying it with a systemic fungicide, which will circulate in the foliage and trunk; since the mushrooms are stimulated by large amounts of water, it avoids providing a fungicide that must be dissolved in the water used for watering, and you prefer a systemic foliar fungicide, which should be sprayed on the foliage and branches of the bonsai. In addition to this, it is good to prevent the fungus from developing again; considers that mushrooms love to grow in conditions of high humidity, poor brightness and poor ventilation. Then, repot the bonsai, using an excellent soil, consisting of two parts of akadama, and a part of chopped peat; if it seems too compact, add a handful of sand to improve drainage. When repotting, try also to remove the "body" of the fungus, which should break easily with your fingers, but avoid breaking the roots too much. Once repotted the ginseng, try to move it to an area not affected by the rays of the sun, but bright enough, and with a good exchange of air; in the coming months it avoids leaving the earth seemingly soaked with water, heavy and soaked; It is true that ficus ginseng love a good humidity, but very few plants survive if they keep a soaked, heavy and asphyxiated soil, because the roots are not able to have gaseous exchanges with the outside, and the great humidity favors the development of mushrooms. So water your ginseng very often, especially ine, but first of all if you can put it outdoors, until October or November (depending on where you live), so that it has good ventilation, and when you water it check as long as the ground is not yet wet from the previous watering; if you see the ground still dark and very damp, refer to it for a day. In the months you will send, when the plant is at home, it waters only sporadically, and rather vaporizes the hair, to increase the environmental humidity, since in the house the air is very dried up by heating.