How to grow Bonsai Trees
How to grow Bonsai Trees
The Art of Patience – Grow a Bonsai
There are many ways to grow a bonsai. One is from seed, two, getting a pre bonsai , which is a germinated tree on its early stage, or three, buying a full grown miniature tree. In all three cases, good care is the only chance to keep your bonsai alive, healthy and beautiful.
When you grow a bonsai from seed, you will have to wait until the tree is germinated and strong enough to be treated as a bonsai. There are no “special” bonsai seeds. All miniature trees grow from regular seeds. This is a long process that can take months and even years.
As you will not see results right away, you must bear in mind that you will need to be very patient. If it is your first time with a miniature tree, we always recommend getting a pre bonsai and plant another by seed at the same time. That way you’ll learn both procedures. Of course you can skip all this and buy yourself a full grown bonsai. In this case the development of the tree won’t have much to do with growing but with caring.
The most important procedures when it comes to bonsai care are:
Miniature species have different characteristics especially when it comes to bonsai care. Some will need more irrigation than others. You should also think about the climate and weather that surrounds it. There are no specific schedules or routines for watering a bonsai.
The best way to know how often you should irrigate the tree, is to constantly check the soil.
It should never be completely dry. Try to keep it moist and wet, but be careful not to overwater it, as this can harm its roots. If the leaves of the miniature tree start to turn yellow, you could be overwatering it.
If your bonsai is outdoors, try not to use your regular garden hose to water it, as this will modify the composition of the soil. You can, however, put a sprinkler on it and spray your plant very softly. A plant mister is a good option.
As part of your plant care, collect rainwater to use on your miniature tree. You can use tap water as well. Try to emulate rain and irrigate the whole tree, from its leaves to the soil.
Watering is very important , and should be checked constantly.
Depending on the specie of your miniature tree, you should find out which is the best place to put it. There are indoor and outdoor bonsais. For the first case you should know that most trees do better with morning and afternoon sun. There must always be a source of sunlight near the bonsai . I f there are walls around your tree , you should consider moving its position once in a while, or it will start growing on the side in which the sun hits it directly. The temperature of the room must be constant as well.
If it is an outdoor bonsai, you should be aware of the typical climate of the tree. Check to see if it is tropical or template for example. Be careful to protect your tree from strong winds which could hurt its structure. If you live in a town where it rains constantly, you should check the bonsai soil, especially before watering. Bonsai care has a lot to do with the way your tree reacts to the conditions of the environment surrounding it. Always be aware of its development. If something does not look right, check carefully to see if it has to do with the spot where you have placed it.
Just like real trees, an important aspect on bonsai care is fertilization. This activity should be done throughout the whole growing process. Remember that the miniature tree roots are restricted to the pot containing it and cannot look for nutrients like trees in the wilderness, so it is your responsibility to feed it with the right ingredients to keep it healthy and strong.
As part of your bonsai care, you should fertilize it constantly during spring, summer and early fall.
These months are known as the growing season. There is special bonsai fertilizer available, but you can also use an average one. However, you must be aware that using too much can harm your tree. Also remember that tree species are different, so the way you feed them may differ from one to another.
Fertilizers have tree main elements, Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorous. Each one of them has a specific function:
Nitrogen focuses on feeding leaves and stems.
Potassium helps grow fruits and flowers.
Phosphorous supplies and feeds the roots.
During the year there are elements that are more needed than others when fertilizing. In autumn for example, Potassium and Phosphorous are needed. Nitrogen is not needed, as the tree needs to get ready for the winter. The opposite occurs during spring when you need more Nitrogen than the other elements, especially to help on the bonsai growing. Summer is the most balanced part of the year when it comes to fertilizer elements. Most fertilizing brands show the percentage of these components on their package. Most fertilizing brands have instructions on how often you should use their product on your tree. Usually it should not be more often than once every two weeks.
It is important to know that when you repot a bonsai, a month should pass without fertilization. Also, if your tree is sick, don’t try to cure it with fertilizer.
It depends on the size of the pot or container and tree species, how often a Bonsai needs to be repotted. Fast growing trees need to be repotted every two years , sometimes even every year, while older, more mature trees , need to be repotted every 3 to 5 years. Do not repot on a routine. Instead , check on your trees every early spring by carefully removing the tree from its pot. A Bonsai needs to be repotted when the roots circle around the root system. When the roots are still contained in soil, wait another year before checking again.
Re-potting work normally needs to be done during the early spring, when the tree is still in dormancy. This way the somewhat damaging effect of repotting on a tree is reduced to a minimum, as the tree does not yet have to sustain a full-grown foliage. Repotting in early spring will also ensure that damage done to the root system will be repaired soon, when the tree starts growing.
Choice of Bonsai pot
Choosing a pot that fits your Bonsai, both in size as in style, is crucial for the composition as a whole.
Do not be afraid to prune your Bonsai. It is important, especially in the outer and top areas, to prune regularly in order to force the tree to distribute growth more evenly and develop a dense foliage. As opposed to deciduous trees, pine trees and conifers should be pinched by hand.
When you remove branches of your tree make sure to put healing paste on the laceration. There are many of these curative products on the market. This will stop diseases and help the bonsai heal fast.
Just like real trees, bonsais can be affected by pests and diseases. You must check constantly for these uninvited guests. Viruses, fungus, insects and plagues are all common problems when you grow a bonsai. Some insects may be beneficial for your miniature tree, like worms and ladybugs. You must only remove the ones that affect it negatively, like grasshoppers.
Enjoy growing your Bonsai.
How to grow Bonsai Trees