Bought around 10 years ago on a discount in a local garden center. It grew fine with each year flowering and fruit production. Each year the production decreased regardless of my fertilizing (then I still didn’t start with bonsai hobby). Last year sometime in September the plant was in a very bad shape, after the whole year of producing flowers which would fall off almost immediately. I then decided to make a bonsai out of it.
The tree has the broom shape as usual with citrus plants in garden centers but didn’t have a very visible grafting thickening like nowadays I see those have. Very ugly to be honest. After taking the plant from the pot I realized the reason for degradation was nothing else but old soil, overgrown roots and difficulty for water to reach all roots as the soil got too packed.
Trying to remove old soil showed that the poor plant didn’t have almost any roots alive, remained just one hair from the thickest part of the trunk.
I planted it into bonsai soil mix (grit, cat litter and some orchid bark chips which I don’t use any more) which was a mistake because the plant didn’t get any food from the soil and it made all things worse. The plant continued deterioration with leaves falling off on a daily basis.
When only 1 leaf remained I didn’t have any hope any more so I took the plant from the soil mixture seeing still only that 1 root and put it directly into ground, packed it into transparent nylon bag and put under artificial lights (all was happening during September-November 2014) into a warm place.
What happened was almost a miracle. Th only leaf remained for some weeks and suddenly lots of new leaves started popping out. During the winter in the same place the pant recovered substantially.
The whole summer I left the plant in the same ground, fertilized strongly and left on the soth faced balcony to recover. Lots of new growth appeared, long branches, lots of leaves. No flowers yet.
Unfortunately, due to such a bad autumn-winter at least a half of the tree died and I had to remove all of it as it was ugly and just being on the wrong place. That left scars which will probably be visible forever.