The millenary art of cultivating Bonsai trees is one of the most beautiful oriental traditions. Today it’s quite easy to buy one of those precious miniature trees. But knowing how to take care of them is not that simple.
Here, you’ll discover the basic notions you need to know in order to take care of a Bonsai tree. In fact, it’s not as complicated as it may seem, and almost everything comes down to three key points: watering, fertilizing and repotting.
Once you manage these three points, you will make your tree live longer and healthily. And then you might want to move on to some more complex issues, such as pruning and changing the shape of its branches.
Start reading and find out how to take care of a Bonsai tree the right way.
How to take care of a Bonsai tree: watering
Knowing how and when to water your Bonsai tree is crucial, perhaps the most important thing. Briefly summarizing how to water a Bonsai tree is not easy, because it all depends on a series of factors.
The first and most important one is the type of tree. Remember you can find many different types of Bonsai trees. Maples, elms, cherry trees, ficus… each one has its own needs. The size of your tree also matters. Big Bonsais need more water than small ones. Finally, the place where you keep your Bonsai tree must also be taken into account.
First thing you must do is ask at the store where you buy it. They will tell you all about the basic needs of your Bonsai tree and help you choose the most suitable tree for you. Each tree must be analyzed independently. But there’s also some tricks to help you know when you need to water your Bonsai.
Big trick: look at the soil. It should never get too dry. If it does, its watering time. Ok, but, how to water it correctly? Think of a shower. You must do it softly but abundantly. That is to say, don’t pour a couple of glasses of water on the soil. You should water your tree from up above. Using the shower makes it easier. And keep watering until the soil is soaked.
Your tree must fell as if a gentle and soft rain was falling on him.
How to take care of a Bonsai tree: take care of the soil
The soil is where your tree obtains the nutrients it needs to survive. Bonsai pots are usually small so that the trees don’t grow much. But this means there’s not a lot of space for the soil. So pay attention to it. And fertilize it whenever it’s necessary.
Soil fertilizing is usually carried out between spring and fall. This is particularly important for outdoor Bonsai trees. Buy your soil in a specialized store where they can suggest the best one for your tree.
Once you have the right fertilizer, using it is easy. Solid fertilizers are perhaps the best ones. Place some fertilizer on top of your tree’s soil, and put some fertilizer covers (which look like little baskets) on top. These will make sure the fertilizer stays in place when you water your Bonsai.
How to take care of a Bonsai tree: time to repot
Repotting is the trickiest part. For young trees, you will have to do it at least once every 2 or 3 years. For older ones, once every 5 years will be enough. Even though your tree doesn’t seem to grow, its roots do. And quite fast.
If they grow too much, they use up all the space in the pot, leaving nothing left for the soil. And your Bonsai will not get enough nutrients. Take your tree out of its pot and look at its roots. If you can barely see the soil, it’s time to repot.
You will need some scissors to cut out some of the growing roots. And a chopstick to remove the old soil from the tree and its roots. You will also need some wires to anchor the tree to the pot at the end, and to attach the mesh you must put in the drain holes.
Add the new soil in layers, then put your tree in its place, anchor it and cover it with some more soil. Water it thoroughly and wait for a couple or three weeks to pass. Your tree should look beautiful by then.