HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR BONSAI
There are several different kinds of Bonsais, but generally they are easier to grow than you think. We’ve split them into two different categories to keep things simple.
INDOOR TROPICAL BONSAIS
Most indoor tropical bonsais are treated the same way as the tropical plant itself is. One of our most popular tropical Bonsais is the Ming Tree. It already has a miniature tree look to it so little pruning is generally needed. Keep all bottom leaves growing on the main trunk pruned off to expose and keep the trunk clean looking.
One of the other very popular Bonsais kept indoors in the Ficus or Fig Tree. These trees are grafted onto a very large root stock to give the appearance of age. Its very important to remove any stems that grow below the graft. Allowing those branches to grow will eventually kill your grafts above. You can cut back top growth slightly when it has gotten too big, or wire the stems to create a ‘wind swept’ shape, or weeping tree effect.
Keep the soil moist during active growing season, usually in the spring to early summer. after the new growth has set, cut back on the watering and allow your plants to dry out in between watering. Soil should never be bone dry, nor should it be wet. Always try to maintain a moist to dry soil in the winter months. Occasionally misting the plant will help keep insects and disease away.
There generally is no need to fertilize your plants, but it they seem off color and starving, you can give them a 10 to 1 ratio weak fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Never during the resting season.
These bonsais do not need transplanting often at all. If you suspect it needs a new home, carefully pull it out of its container and check room size. Put it into a new pot using brand potting soil.
Keep your Bonsais in indirect sunlight. Because many of the different varieties have a season, its not unusual to see some degree of leaf drop.
Evergreen Bonsais prefer a naturally more dry environment. Water will, but let your bonsai dry out completely in-between waterings
Pruning on an evergreen bonsai can be a little tricky, as unlike a tropical, once a cut is made on the stem, it doesn’t grow from that point again. Remove whole stems if you feel its necessary to maintain the miniature tree appearance. Again, wiring and weights added to the tree can change the look of it to create a weeping or wind swept look.
Generally fertilizer is not needed for your evergreen bonsai. Lack of fertilizer helps to create the stunted look.
Evergreens may need transplanting every couple of years, however, keeping it in a tight position adds to the aged small tree appearance. Roots can be slightly pruned back over a period of time.
When keeping an evergreen in the house, provide bright indirect light in a cooler part of the house. Keep it in a shaded position during the summer months if kept outside.
Occasionally we will bring in small maples that have been shaped into trees. These belong outdoors for best success. Keep in a shaded location, and after leaf drop, the plant can be stored in a dark location kept just above freezing during the winter months.
Keep your deciduous bonsai moist but not wet. Allow to dry out during dormant periods, then begin watering more as growth picks up again.
Pruning is used to control the speed of growth on your deciduous bonsai. You will need to allow some growth to keep your tree alive, but minimal. Therefore, simply trim back new growth to only a few new leaves each season.
Minimal fertilizer is used, but if you decide you need to fertilize, only do so in the spring after the new growth has begun. It’s imperative that you use a very diluted amount.
Repotting can be done on a yearly basis. If you prune the top of the tree, you can prune the roots slightly also to maintain a small container.
I hope you have found this information helpful with the purchase of your new Bonsai. Please feel free to contact GLASS EARTH INC. for any other questions that you may have!