Bonsai are absolutely delightful little plants and with the right amount of love and care they’ll last just as long as their full sized cousins! Caring for bonsai is not as difficult as you might think and here we put together everything that you need to know. To pick up all the tools you need or to get even more advice, just visit your local nursery
Bonsai Need to Spend Time Outdoors
When you see bonsai, you might see them displayed on a coffee table or on a shelf inside the home. While bonsai can spend time indoors, they must also spend a fair amount of time outdoors! The best place to keep your bonsai is in a protected outdoor spot that suits the requirements of the specific bonsai plant that you have growing. For example, a bonsai conifer needs full sun, while a bonsai maple will need dappled light.
Keep Your Bonsai Watered
One of the cardinal rules of keeping a bonsai is to make sure that you keep them watered! While you shouldn’t overdo it, it is important to keep the bonsai moist at all times, as the intricate growth of the tree is supported by a very shallow root system. At the same time however, you need to make sure the soil is well drained. Most purpose built bonsai pots cater for this as they have raised feet so water can escape. Check the moisture level in the soil daily, especially in summer, and top them up as needed.
Feeding Your Bonsai
Like any other plant, your bonsai will need fertilising. The best way to do this is by applying a quality slow release fertiliser in the start of spring, when the plant is showing signs of new growth. Slow release fertilisers keep the bonsai fed for the next three to six months. In the growing months, you can also apply a liquid seaweed based fertiliser monthly. If you use a liquid fertiliser, make sure the soil is pre-wettened.
How to Prune Your Bonsai
The key to the art of bonsai is all in the pruning! Pruning determines the shape of the tree as well as its health. The heavy pruning to control the shape and direction of growth should be done in winter when the plant is dormant. If you have a flowering bonsai, the main pruning should be done once the flowering period has completely ceased. During the plant’s primary growing season, the only pruning that you should do is to pinch out new leaves to keep the tree compact and in shape.