Bonsai Trees – Caring for these Miniaturized Plants

The Definition of a Bonsai

A bonsai tree is a miniature tree, which is of Japanese origin. Bonsai trees are grown in pots and pruned and honed into a specific shape. Actually, a bonsai is not a unique species as all kinds of trees can be formed into a bonsai. Therefore, bonsai trees can include such species as juniper, maple, pine, and Chinese elm. For ease of care, some people choose to buy artificial bonsai trees. For purposes of discussion here though, the bonsai tree will refer to the live variety.

Make Sure your Tree Gets Plenty of Indirect Light

For growing the tree, you want to have a place that receives a good deal of light although you don’t want to place your tree in the direct rays of the sun. Therefore, make sure your tree then gets plenty of indirect light as the tree does not thrive well when it is deprived of this important source of energy.

Watering your Bonsai Plant

If your bonsai tree is placed in a warm climate, then it will need to be watered more often. Like most plants, bonsais will wither and die without being sufficiently watered. To check the moisture content of the plant, touch the soil with your finger. If the soil is damp to the touch, then you don’t have to water your bonsai. Typically, you can get by with watering a bonsai tree every two or three days. So, when the soil on top feels dry, it’s time to water the plant. You can also make sure that your plant is adequately watered by buying a meter that measures the soil’s moisture content.

Misting the Plant

Also, make it a habit to mist the leaves of your plant. Don’t place bonsai trees near a drafty area, such as a vent, which can dry out or damage the leaves. It’s important that bonsai trees receive humidity in order to survive.

Fertilizing the Bonsai Plant

When you water bonsai trees, you can take away essential nutrients. Therefore, make sure that your tree receives a sufficient amount of fertilizer. The best time to start fertilizing bonsai trees is in the spring. Use an organic, liquid fertilizer that has been diluted to half its strength. Feed your plant once a month during the growing season as well as during the winter. It’s best to fertilize the plant after it’s been watered. Also, if you want to avoid burning the roots, never give a bonsai tree fertilizer shortly after repotting it.

Pruning a Bonsai

Pruning is another important activity to follow when caring for a bonsai tree. Use shears designed especially for bonsais. Prune your tree when new growth appears. Deciduous bonsais can be pruned during the growing season while other kinds of bonsais, such as palms and junipers can be pruned, when needed, during the year.

Wiring: A Careful Process

The shape of bonsai trees for sale has to do with the type of wiring method that is used to train the tree. Remember, if you are wiring a bonsai, never do so after you’ve just repotted the plant. Give the bonsai time to adjust to the soil and its environment. You don’t want to wind the wire too tight either as you can cause marks on the tree. Starting at the base of the bonsai, start wrapping the wire around the bole of the tree and continue the process around the branch that you want to train. Repeat the procedure until the branch is finally cultivated into shape. At that point, cut the wire from tree. Do not disentangle the wire from the branch as you may cause the fragile limb to break.

Repotting the Bonsai

It’s helpful to repot bonsai trees every now and then, especially when you can easily see the roots growing on the outside of the container. Repotting should typically occur in the spring after about a time span of two years. Do not fertilize a repotted bonsai for about a month.

Pest Control

Pests that normally bother bonsai trees include aphids and spider mites. To eliminate or prevent infestation of your bonsai tree, spray the tree with a non-toxic insecticide or soapy water about every month. If you use soap, rinse the residue off the following day. Make sure you don’t spray your plant if the soil is dry to the touch.

Care of the Indoor Bonsai Tree

Bonsai trees that like indoor habitats include the ficus, jade, schefflera, and Norfolk pine. Place an indoor bonsai in an east, west, or south window with indirect light. You may also want to use grow lights as well. In this sort of environment, it is recommended that you mist your plant frequently.

Caring for the Outdoor Bonsai

Outdoor bonsai trees come in such varieties as Chinese elm, juniper, maple, and pine. When the temperature is below 40 degrees, these kinds of bonsai do not need sunlight. If the temperature is expected to drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, then make sure you relocate your plant to a protected, unheated area, such as an enclosed porch. Should the tree become frozen, do not water it. Wait until the temperatures increase, or are rise freezing.

Bonsai Trees for Sale on eBay

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