How to take care of a Bonsai tree is one of the important concerns of bonsai lovers. You have to maintain the wilderness and vigor of the plant within a small container, which is quite a technical job. There’s no rocket science in taking care of a Bonsai tree and we’ll discuss all the important aspects that need to be considered for a healthy and beautiful bonsai plant. Likewise, if you have been fascinated by the beauty of bonsais and you want to learn Bonsai art and become a bonsai expert, this article will help you a lot to clear your mind to make your own bonsai.
What is a Bonsai Tree?
Bonsai means growing a tree in a container in its prettiest appearance and keeping the growth miniaturized. The word Bonsai originates from ancient Japan and it literally means “planted in a container”. The ultimate purpose of making Bonsai is to keep the natural and mature appearance of a plant or tree in small size. Making Bonsai is an artistic and skilled hobby for plant lovers.
How to take care of a Bonsai tree?
Bonsai tree or plant is a sign of sophistication, luxury, and love of the owner for all the creatures on the planet. There’s a long history of dedication and skills of Japanese people in developing the art of Bonsai. As compared to normal plants, Bonsai requires extra attention, care, and maintenance to look awesome continuously.
Experts have developed various courses on bonsai tree formation and maintenance. However, the most important aspects and consistent care practices are quite similar for all types of Bonsai trees.
These aspects include placement, irrigation, fertilization, training, and repotting of Bonsai plants. A Bonsai tree can last for generations and add value to the family traditions and heirship legacy.
Placing a Bonsai Tree
Placement is important for a Bonsai to get optimum light for its sustainability and growth. However, determining the right amount of light depends upon the type of tree grown as Bonsai.
The most popular Bonsai trees are of both indoor and outdoor nature. If you are a beginner and looking for the best tree suitable for your Bonsai needs, please have a look at this list.
The indoor trees which are suitable for Bonsai include Ficus, Jade, and Hawaiin umbrella trees. These plants originate from sub-tropical and temperate regions. Bonsai of these species are suitable for placing indoors and add life to bedrooms, living rooms, or terraces.
Whereas, most Bonsai species like juniper, spruce, and pine trees love the sunshine and easily grow outdoor.
These species are deciduous in nature and they shed leaves in winter while changing their appearance from autumn to spring and year-round. Ginkgo, elm, and maple plants are the best selection for making outdoor bonsai.
It is essential to keep indoor Bonsai trees in a well-lit places like windows or hallways where they can get sufficient light for photosynthesis during the daytime.
In addition to sunlight, the Bonsai should be positioned in a place protected from direct heat or injuries. Bonsai should be provided with ambient temperature and sufficient humidity for its excellent growth and shiny appearance.
Watering a Bonsai Tree
Water is the ultimate source of life for any living being. Usually, the Bonsai pots are small containers that can hold only a limited volume of water or moisture.
The roots of bonsai spread equally in the available rooting space in a pot or planter. And they love a moist condition instead of wet or dry.
You can easily check the soil moisture for determining the water requirements of your bonsai. Different observations can help in determining the moisture content of the potting mix. Simply dig up to 2-3 cm and if the soil is dry then you should water the plant. Therefore, watering or irrigation should be scheduled to keep the soil below 1 or 2 cm from the surface moist and soft.
Over-irrigation may lead to severe problems or even the death of your beautiful Bonsai tree.
The average duration for indoor Bonsai trees may extend up to a week or more for irrigation while for outdoor Bonsai it may reduce up to 2 – 3 days. However, it is recommended to regularly water the Bonsai tree to keep it happy and healthy.
Fertilization for a Bonsai Tree
The bonsai tree is a very delicate and miniature creation. It is potted in small containers, therefore, the fertilizer requirements increase greatly as compared to plants rooted directly into the soil.
The most appropriate method for fertilizing an evergreen Bonsai tree is to feed it with urea-free balanced and water fertilizers on every alternative irrigation (This practice is termed Fertigation).
However, you should stop the fertilization during fall if the Bonsai tree is deciduous. Because when it sheds the leaves because the plant is in its dormant stage.
There should be the availability of all 10 bio-elements in a balanced form for the good growth of the bonsai plant. There are various specified fertilizers available for Bonsai trees in the market.
But, you need to be careful about the safety of fertilizer from contamination. Likewise, the expired fertilizer should not be used as it may cause toxicity or deficiency of certain nutrients.
Training and Pruning a Bonsai Tree
Pruning and training are important to keep a Bonsai tree miniaturized and beautiful in shape. Regularly cutting off matured leaves and twigs strengthen the tree and expose the underlying sprouts to light.
This practice adds up to the lush green appearance of the Bonsai tree. It also allows for maintaining the shape or altering its design and orientation.
The training of the Bonsai tree is a gradual process that follows the natural growth of plants.
Pruning also helps in getting rid of unwanted twigs or branches. Regular and proper pruning helps the Bonsai tree in increasing its stem girth which enhances the beauty of the Bonsai tree. Sometimes, training wires may be required to create a shape diversity from different angles and viewpoints.
However, it is essential to use a sterilized cutter or pruning instruments to avoid any infection or disorder in the Bonsai tree. You can buy from our recommended tools for efficient cutting, pruning, and training of your Bonsai. It is good to keep the plant in the sunshine after pruning because it helps in activating the new growth buds.
Repotting a Bonsai Tree
It is very crucial to repot the Bonsai into new containers after several times. This practice helps in the proper rooting ability of Bonsai trees and avoiding choking up of plant to death. The vigor of a Bonsai plant reduces too much extent when the rooting soil becomes older and it requires new soil for its good growth.
It is essential to carefully take the Bonsai plant out of its exciting pot in order to avoid any injury in the root zone. The potting mixture should ideally be made from clay, peat moss, and small gravels because it helps in anchoring the roots. A good potting mixture is also essential for good nutrient uptake by plants.
When repotting plants care should be taken to avoid damage to roots. The pot should have a drainage hole in its bottom to avoid suffocation of Bonsai roots when irrigated.
If you like these tips or you want your specific query about Bonsai tree care to be answered by our experts, please comment below. We have compiled a list of the best bonsai trees for beginners to start this adorable hobby. For the beginners, we have also searched and gathered free learning resources for gardening.