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How to care for a Bonsai

We all love little plants right? Do you love them small?

Bonsai’s are beautiful. Bonsai plants originated in China and means “planting in a tray”. Back in the early days people of China collected naturally stunted trees from the wild and grew them in dishes. This hobby was quickly adopted by the Japanese and they have really mastered the art of Bonsai.

Bonsai art is to recreate a miniature version of a mature tree as it might be found in nature. Taking care of a Bonsai is pretty easy and lots of fun but there are some interesting individual requirements that you will need to know.

The position of your bonsai must be for the most part outdoors, fresh air, sun and rain. In summertime it is important that your bonsai is shaded and not in the hot sun in the afternoons. For the most part they are outdoor plants but every now and then for display you can bring them inside.

When it comes to watering your bonsai you need to be aware that they need to be kept moist. Most bonsai plants die due to a lack of water. Bonsai dishes can dry extremely quickly and so you must check them daily. In summertime and in windy conditions daily watering is critical. In the hottest times water twice daily is necessary.

What about pruning and wiring your bonsai? Pruning is the real pleasure in up keeping your bonsai. In this process you are creating your very own bonsai and it then becomes an individual bonsai just for you. If you like the current shape of you bonsai simply pinch out the tips of new growth to outward facing buds. Only wire when you want to bend a branch into shape but make sure you remove the wire before they cut into the branch and leave a scar on your bonsai.

When do you need to re pot your bonsai plant?

This is only to be carried out after 1-3 years for fast growing plants, 2-5 years for conifers. Do not do that often as it will impact on your bonsai. Re-potting is carried out to refresh the soil and to prune the roots if they have grown into a solid mass. Remove your bonsai and wash away the soil off the plant roots. Cut off 1/3 of the roots and replace in the pot with new soil.

Use top soil or potting mix. If you want your bonsai a bit bigger plant it in a bigger pot.

Re pot your bonsai plant in winter when your plant is dormant.

As you bonsai grows it feeds from your soil, in order to maintain good health you will need to replace this with food. Organic fertilizers are best for bonsai – fish emulsion or a slow release product like osmocote. Remember your bonsai is small and requires you to half the recommended dose. In Spring and Autumn do the fertilizing and don’t do it if the soil is dry or a few weeks after potting. Bonsai plants do not like it.