How to Take Care of a Bonsai Tree

The beauty of the bonsai around the home or office cannot be overemphasized. For this reason, it has become one of the most sought after trees to have in your home. Have you even seen your neighbor’s garden and wonder how they got it all beautiful and trimmed? There are bonsai plants that are suited for either outdoor or indoor. If you have a bonsai tree or planning to get one, here are important tips on how to take care of a bonsai tree.

Location of the Bonsai Tree

This is the first thing you would need to consider when you decide to have a bonsai tree. In simpler terms, it is a make or break factor on how well your bonsai tree will survive. Like any other plants, sunlight is a key factor necessary for the growth and survival of the bonsai tree. If you place the tree outdoors, then it would have direct access to uninterrupted sunlight. If you plan to put the tree indoors, then you should look towards placing it close to a window.

Soil Requirement

The soil acts as the house or sitting ground of the tree. Few plants or trees are able to adapt and thrive in any soil – the bonsai is definitely not one of those. The best type of soil for a bonsai tree would be one that has good draining ability but at the same time, has a unique water retention property. You can get this specialty soil in the market or manufacture yours by yourself.

Watering Requirement

Obviously you know the importance of water to plants. The bonsai tree is yet another plant and would need optimum water to survive and grow. To keep the tree all healthy and fresh, you have to place it in a place with optimum humidity. Occasionally, let’s say about once a week, you would need to place the indoor tree in water. This should be done when the topsoil layer is relatively dry.

Fertilization

Fertilizers add additional nutrient to the soil. The bonsai tree will need all the fertilizers it can get. Planting a bonsai tree in a soil with high nutrient helps the tree grow bigger and stronger.

Pruning

As a growing tree, the bonsai would need regular pruning to help it grow in a certain way. To this end, you would need to get yourself a small pruning tool. With this tool, you would cut off buds, leaves and branches. Pruning in itself may cause growth but it has to be done at the right time. The best time to prune bonsai trees is the time of the year in which nutrients are heavily stored and available. In other words, pruning should be one more in spring or autumn.

Repotting

The bonsai tree starts out by being pot bound and would need repotting to fully achieve its desired growth. Many people have the fear that repotting would affect the growth of the tree. In actual fact, repotting allows for continuous supply of nutrients to the bonsai.

Temperature

Many people do not take this into consideration with plants. This is because most plants or trees tend to adjust itself to its location and sunlight availability. Since plants and trees need sunlight to grow, you should bring your bonsai tree outdoors during summer. If night temperature decreases to anything below 40 degrees, bring the tree back indoors. This means the bonsai tree would need to be indoors during the winter. If you bonsai tree has spent more time outdoors, it is best to acclimatize it slowly. You would have to bring the tree indoors each day to spend more time. This is a gradual process and should be done way before winter sets in.

Seasons

To further buttress the above tip, you have to understand the effect seasons have on the bonsai tree. Just like you would find in any other plant or tree, the bonsai plant reacts to season changes. It tends to stay dormant in the winter, uses stored up nutrient in spring, continues to grow in summer, and experiences reduced growth and starts storing nutrients in autumn.

James G. Craig
 

James G. Craig is a gardening enthusiast who splits his spare time between growing vegetables, preening his flower gardens, and blogging about his experiences at the Gardener Corner.

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