6 Tips For Bonsai Care

6 Tips For Bonsai Care

Bonsai are trees and shrubs that are grown uniquely small in containers.  Originally it was meant to bring art and nature together and was a religious experience.  Bonsai plants are not typically dwarfs but are regular trees and shrubs which are grown small using specific gardening techniques.   The following are 6 tips for caring for this wonderful plant.

1.  Light

Bonsai need light to grow.  The type of plants will help you to decide the amount of light needed.  Usually flowering plants require more light than conifers.  Check for the lighting needs of your specific bonsai plant.  Natural light is generally best, so put your bonsai in a spot that will receive plenty natural light.   During the winter months you will want to augment natural light with artificial light.   You can install a timer to allow the optimal amount of light on the plants.

2.  Humidity

The majority of bonsai plants are tropical or sub-tropical.  They are accustomed  to a humid atmosphere and have a tendency to grow best with more humidity.   In dry conditions the leaves and flowers may shrink.  You may also want to spray the leaves with a fine mist to give additional humidity to the plant.  Do not spray it in direct sunlight.  You can provide humidity to the bonsai by placing the entire plant, including the pot, on a gravel-filled container that you have moistened with water.

3.  Temperature

Most bonsai are used to mild temperatures and thrive best in these conditions.  Specific species of bonsai plants need  different temperature ranges.  Research this when choosing your plants.   Remember that the temperature will be affected by the quantity of light your bonsai gets.

4.  Watering

The amount of water a bonsai needs will differ throughout the year.   This is because the bonsai go through periods of growth and non-growth periods.   They generally require less water during dormant periods and more water during their growth period.  Flowering plants need more water and food just before and during the time it blossoms.  Each type of bonsai plant have varying water requirements which you should check when buying your plants.

5.  Pruning

Keeping them properly pruned is a big part of the enjoyment of bonsai.  Always use sharp pruning shears when making the cuts.  Be careful that you do not prune too much.   Envision the total shape and look of the bonsai when you begin the pruning process.  Thinning is typically done to avoid thick shapes and is usually done on the bottom third of the plant.

6.  Repotting

Bonsai need to be repotted frequently.  The roots start to become entwined and impacted.  When the roots become too dense there generally is not enough soil around the root system to keep it moist.  The bonsai will not continue to grow in these conditions.   The decision on how often to repot depends entirely on its growth.   Some bonsai grow faster than others so when you decide to repot remove the plant and root from the ground.  Clip away any of the smaller root system and repot the plant in a larger container.