Bonsai Tree Care Instructions

Caring for your Bonsai involves carefu watering, prunning, re-poting, insect and pest control, pinching, winter storage, fertilizing and perhaps wiring. With proper bonsai tree care instruction most bonsai should outlive their owners.

Spring Care

Spring is the time when new bonsai are started. It is the time for any pruning and training of last season’s bonsai. The plants then have a whole growing season to readjust to these changes.

Summer Care

Bonsai are very sensitive and thrive best in localities that offer cool nights, sunny days, and mist or rain almost daily. Extremes in light, rain, and wind are to be avoided.

Place your bonsai on a platform or table in your garden where the plants can receive 3 to 5 hours of direct sunlight a day. The site should be shaded, preferably in the afternoon.

If the area is subject to drying winds, put up screening around the plants to protect them. Screening also serves to provide the plants with shade.

Water the entire bonsai — plant and soil — daily. If you skip even 1 day you can permanently damage the plant.

Make sure your plants are located where rain can fall on them. However, plants should not remain wet or waterlogged for long periods.

Fall Care

During this period bonsai must be prepared to endure the approaching cold. Plant growth must be slowed.

Water plants less frequently to slow growth, and, when growth slows, reduce applications of fertilizers.

Do not prune or cut any branches after mid-August. Do not use artificial night lighting on plants after August 1.

Winter Care

A major problem in winter is to protect bonsai against low temperatures and drying winds. Bonsai can only be left outdoors in climates where temperatures drop no lower than 28 F degrees. If this is not the case, a greenhouse, pit, or coldframe is necessary.

Winter frosts will seldom bother bonsai that are sheltered under the foliage of a spreading tree. Watch out, however, during the frost period for drying soil.

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