Tips for Bonsai Care
Now that you have chosen a bonsai, it is the time to select a nice spot for it, and learn more about watering and care!
1. Finding a spot for your bonsai:
Summary: Place your bonsai in a bright window, but avoid overexposure of direct sunlight in the summer.
The best location for your bonsai will be the brightest window in your home. Place your bonsai close the window. When placed 1-2 meters from a window the light intensity will drop significantly and it will slow down growth.
In the summer time, however, over exposure of direct sunlight can quickly dry out your bonsai and cause the browning of leaves. Therefore make sure to water your bonsai more often. It is also suggested to move your bonsai to somewhere with bright, but indirect sunlight. Using a sheer curtain can also effectively block excessive direct sunlight.
Indoor Bonsai are usually (sub)tropical tree species, therefore somewhere in your home with higher humidity will be ideal for the bonsai. Avoid placing the bonsai near the radiator.
For the placement of outdoor bonsai, put your bonsai in half-shade in the summer and avoid overexposure of direct sunlight.
2. Watering your bonsai 💦:
Summery: Water your bonsai when the top layer of the soil feels dry. Water your bonsai thoroughly until water is dripping out of the bottom drainage holes.
- When to water: It is hard to determine the exact number of times you need to water your bonsai, since it all depends on factors such as the temperature, the amount of sun, and humidity.
In general, a medium sized bonsai needs to be watered at least twice a week, while for a large bonsai, sometimes once a week of thorough watering is enough. The frequency of watering should increase in the summer months.
Before you decide to water a bonsai, it is always important to place your fingers on the soil, and feel if the bonsai is dry. Often when the soil of bonsai looks darker, it is still moist. If the soil turned into a lighter brown, then the bonsai is likely dry.
Avoid overwater: when the top layer of the soil is still wet, do not water your bonsai yet. The soil of a bonsai should be kept slightly moist, not overly soggy but also not dry.
- How to water: When the soil is slightly dry and you have determined that the tree needs water, make sure to thoroughly and evenly soak the soil of the bonsai. Water your bonsai until water runs out of the bottom drainage holes, and possibly repeat the process again once more.
One tip is that you can place your bonsai in the sink and water the tree thoroughly with a watering can, before placing it back. Filtered water or rain water would be better for the health of the tree, but using normal tap water is fine as well.
Another of watering the bonsai is submerging the entire bonsai pot. Instead of filling the watering can, fill a bucket with water. Submerge the bonsai pot until the level of water goes above the layer of soil. Take the bonsai out of the bucket after 5-10 minutes.
During the growing season, fertilizing is important for your Bonsai to survive and thrive. Make sure to select special plant food for bonsai only. Click here to view the bonsai plant foo on our webshop
- When should I apply fertilizer:
Fertilizer is important during the entire growing season for the Bonsai trees, from early spring through mid-fall. During these months you should apply bonsai plant food to your bonsai every other week. In the winter months you can decrease the frequency of fertilizing to once a month, or skip it altogether.
- How much fertilizer do I use: mix your bonsai fertilizer in the watering can. The amount to apply is specified on the bottle of your bonsai fertilizer. It depends on the amount of water you use to water your bonsai.
4. Pruning your bonsai:
Even though pruning is not as essential to the health of your bonsai, it is an important step to maintain your bonsai's shape. Indoor bonsai can be pruned year-round, and especially during the months of growth.
Pruning is a creative process which you can trim not only the leaves, but also the old branches and create your own shape.
During the pruning process, focus pruning the top and outer portions of a tree more thoroughly. This way you can encourage the tree to redistribute its growth to the inner and lower parts. It would gives us control over the growth and design of the tree.
We recommend using a special scissor designed for bonsai pruning to create a cleaner cut, click here to view the bonsai scissor on our webshop