10 Tips For Caring For A Bonsai Tree

Close up shot bonsai on bokeh background, nature background

Once you’ve got your Bonsai tree, taking care of it is essential. But what do you need to do? Keep reading for 10 tips on bonsai tree care.

Are you considering buying a Bonsai tree? They need to be cared for in a very specific way, which can at first be intimidating. But they’re also beautiful and make a great addition to any home.

Anyone can learn to care for this kind of tree, you just need to know the basics first.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Bonsai tree care.

The Basics

Before we get into our top ten tips for caring for a Bonsai tree, let’s first cover some important background information.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Bonsai trees are traditionally kept outside since that is their natural environment. However, there are several varieties of indoor bonsai trees, including Ficus and Chinese Elm.

If you’re looking for an outdoor species, consider Japanese Azaleas or Japanese Maples.

Required Tools

Whether you choose an indoor or outdoor variety, you will need the following tools to help you in caring for a Bonsai tree.

  • Shears: Make sure they’re sharp and only used for trimming your tree.
  • Concave Cutters: These make it possible for you to leave a concave wound, which heals faster than a straight cut when you cut off branches.
  • Copper Wire and Wire Cutters: These will help you properly position and train the branches of your tree.
  • Bud Scissors: These are ideal for cutting smaller buds and branches.
  • Root Cutter: You will need this for pruning the roots of your tree.
  • Root Hook: Use this to untangle the roots when repotting the tree.

Ten Tips for Caring for a Bonsai Tree

Now that we’ve covered types of trees and the tools you will need, it’s time to explain what you need to do to ensure your Bonsai tree lives a long and healthy life.

1. Placement

When it comes to caring for a Bonsai tree, setting it up in the right place is crucial for its growth and development.

If you have an outdoor tree, it best to place it in a bright spot where it will receive direct sunlight for about half of the day. You’ll also want to make sure that it’s protected from the wind.

An indoor tree should also be placed in a bright spot. Many experts recommend placing the tree on a windowsill, although you’ll need to make sure the sill is wide enough to hold the Bonsai pot and try to avoid placing your tree near a radiator.

2. Soil

It is important to invest in high-quality soil. A few things to ask about when choosing your soil include:

  • Water-retention: Good water-retention is crucial to ensure that the tree gets enough moisture in between waterings.
  • Good drainage: At the same time, you don’t want the soil to be too wet, or else the roots of your tree will rot. Soil with good drainage will allow excess water to immediately leave the pot.
  • Good aeration: Soil with good aeration will allow tiny air pockets between each particle of soil. These air pockets provide the roots with oxygen and help the roots of the tree better absorb nutrients.

3. Water

Bonsai trees have very specific watering needs.

It will take time for you to establish a watering routine with your tree. Bonsai trees should only be watered when the soil is slightly dry, so you will have to observe and learn about how long it takes for your soil to reach this point.

Water your tree with a watering can that has a fine nozzle, which will prevent the soil from getting washed away. Collected rainwater is ideal since it won’t add any extra chemicals to the soil, but tap water is also fine.

4. Light

As stated above, your Bonsai tree needs bright light. Depending on the layout of your home, this can be hard to achieve for indoor trees.

If you can’t get an intense enough light in your home, artificial light can help. Shining fluorescent light or light-emitting diode on your tree for about 10 hours a day can help make up for a lack of sun.

5. Pruning

There are two types of pruning for Bonsai trees: branch pruning and root pruning.

Branch pruning should take place when spring begins. Root pruning, for indoor trees, should only be done once the tree’s roots have bound themselves into the pot.

6. Fertilising

Bonsai trees require a water soluble fertiliser. Apply the fertiliser once, twice, or four times a month during the growing season – information on the relevant sales page or in the Care Guide that accompanies each tree purchased. The fertiliser should be applied when the soil is wet in order to see results.

It is important that you invest in a high-quality fertiliser and avoid mixing brands. Once you find one your tree responds to, stick with it.

7. Humidity

A Bonsai tree requires a certain level of humidity in order to thrive.

If you live in a dry climate, you can help your tree continue to grow by placing it on a humidity tray filled with water. You can also mist it with a spray bottle a few times a day to make up for a lack of water in the air.

8. Temperature control

Indoor trees need to maintain a specific temperature, especially during the Winter.

The ideal temperature for an indoor Bonsai tree is 64 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 57 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Most homes are typically heated to these temperatures during the Winter, but be sure to check your thermostat just in case.

9. Repotting

Indoor plants will need to be repotted in early Spring before they show any signs of growth.

When repotting your Bonsai tree, remove excess soil from the roots and cut any roots that are thicker in width than a pencil. This will decrease the chance of girdling the roots (roots wrapping around the plant and cutting off water and oxygen). The entire root ball should be trimmed, then returned to its original container with fresh soil.

10. Winter care

During the winter, outdoor plants need to have a dormancy period where they are placed in a cold room — between 33 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. An unheated garage works well for storing these trees, or they can be buried outside in their pots.

When the weather begins to warm up, gradually bring the plants outside and start exposing them to moderate amounts of sun.

Get Your Bonsai Tree Today

Now that you know all about properly caring for a Bonsai tree, it’s time to get your own!

Tiny Trees offers a number of indoor and outdoor Bonsai trees for sale. Buy at our secure site or order by telephone on 01952 327898. Call us now!

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