So you’ve got your fantastic new Bonsai home and given it pride of place for all your friends to see! What next?
Here are 10 things that you should consider when caring for your new Bonsai
- Watering. This is the single most important factor in maintaining healthy, thriving bonsai trees. Due to the porous nature of bonsai soil it cannot retain moisture and so needs regular watering. Lack of water can cause the tree to die. Test the soil daily during the growing season and water as required. In winter, outdoor bonsai require less frequent watering but still need to be checked.
- Feeding. Bonsai trees require a regular supply of nutrients in the growing season. Three key elements (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) are applied at 4 times of the year. Jade Bonsai recommends a slow release fertilizer and a regular watering with a liquid fertiliser.
- Species. Different species have different care requirements; Jade Bonsai will supply as much information as you want about your particular species.
- Time of year. Trees require more care in the growing season than the dormant season. Some species e.g. tropical trees that are often grown indoors require constant care throughout the year. During the winter some outdoor bonsai may require protection from extreme cold or heavy rainfall. All of the trees supplied by Jade Bonsai are grown outdoors and are suitable for most outdoor environments.
- Location. Some trees prefer sun whilst others prefer shade. Species such as Acer palmatum (Japanese maple) require protection from strong wind. Indoor bonsai need plenty of light.
- Temperature. Tropical trees e.g. Ficus (fig) thrive in hot conditions and some varieties need a dormant period in cold conditions every year. Jade varieties are suitable for your round outdoor conditions in south-east Queensland.
- Pests and diseases. These affect bonsai trees just like other plants but can be treated using traditional organic or inorganic treatments. But prevention is better than cure! Adopt good horticultural practice to minimise the risk of diseases.
- Repotting. This needs to be carried out on a regular basis. The frequency will depend on the species and the stage of development. The roots need to be pruned when the tree is repotted to ensure that the tree remains healthy. Various factors will influence the degree of pruning required but as a general guideline you should aim to remove about a third of the roots every 2-3 years.
- Pruning / wiring. These techniques enable bonsai trees to be styled to the desired style and size. Bonsai trees are not special dwarf varieties – they remain small because they are pruned regularly. After wiring check the tree regularly to avoid damaging the bark.
- Soil. Bonsai trees are totally dependent on their roots within a confined pot to provide all the moisture and nutrients they need to thrive. The soil is therefore very important and needs to be porous and free draining. Ordinary compost is not suitable.
If you consider these 10 things when caring for your bonsai trees you will be well on the road to growing healthy, thriving bonsai trees. Jade Bonsai offers a wide variety of services to help your plants thrive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contacts us.