Bonsai trees are one of the most popular indoor plants and for good reason. They’re beautiful, easy to care for, and perfect for small spaces. If you’re new to bonsai tree care or want to improve your skills, this guide is for you!
What is a Bonsai Tree?
We have been taken aback by one of the most recent houseplant trends—how to care for Bonsai trees. Of course, they are trees, not plants, and once you learn about their long history, the boom in Bonsai makes perfect sense.
A miniature bonsai is a tree planted in a container. In Japanese, “bonsai” means “planted in a container.” Bonsai art originated in China around 700 AD, despite being frequently regarded as a Japanese tradition. Zen Buddhists used bonsai trees in their meditative practices for meditation and contemplation. This was because they represented harmony, balance, and patience. A bonsai is now an art form that people from all over the world enjoy. Previously, only the wealthiest aristocrats and high-ranking members of Japanese society were allowed to enjoy it.
It should come as no surprise that bonsais are experiencing a resurgence given the recent popularity of trees grown in pots, indoors and outdoors. Bonsai and its more mystical aspects have attracted a more modern audience as houseplants continue to gain popularity. The appeal of bonsai trees endures as an art form, a place to meditate, something to care for, and a solution for those who lack outdoor space. However, these miniature trees are not for the faint of heart. They take a specific measure of commitment to keep up. If you own a bonsai, you are responsible for its upkeep and must be willing to spend some time taking care of it.
Bonsai Tree Care
You can easily care for a bonsai tree by following these hints. Even though Bonsai trees are more delicate than the typical indoor plant, anyone should be able to properly care for them by following a few basic guidelines. Particular attention should be paid to where you place it and how you water it.
Where to Position Your Bonsai Tree
You will need to know what kind of tree your bonsai is and whether it is an indoor or outdoor plant to choose the best spot to display it.
Most bonsai, including juniper, pine, and spruce trees, are outdoor plants that, like their larger counterparts, should be exposed to the seasons. Additionally, there are deciduous trees in outdoor bonsai, meaning their leaves change with the seasons. Gingko, maple, and elm are among these.
Most indoor bonsai trees are subtropical species that thrive in consistent temperatures year-round including ficus trees as an example.
Whenever you’ve sorted out what kind of bonsai tree you have, the rest is genuinely straightforward. These general recommendations for bonsai tree positioning typically apply to all bonsai tree varieties.
- Positioning: Keep your bonsai away from drafts and direct heat.
- Lighting: Keep your bonsai in a region with a lot of daylight.
- Humidity: To keep their soil moist, bonsais need humidity.
Indoor Bonsai tree care
Finding an area with the required light intensity is a common challenge faced when growing trees indoors. If trees don’t get enough light, they won’t die immediately, but their growth will slow down, weakening the plant over time. That is why setting your Bonsai in front of a south-facing window is suggested while growing Bonsai inside.
If In Doubt
If you still are concerned about where to place your bonsai tree, remember that a north-facing window is going to be too dark, likewise with a west-facing window. Conservatories and porches are the best places to grow a bonsai as they get light from most directions. If you are concerned that the location may have strong summer sun, try to find a way to give some soft shade to still allow light in without blocking it completely.
Watering Your Bonsai Tree
Bonsais kept in small bonsai pots, primarily for an aesthetic look, require frequent watering. They will require significantly more watering in warm weather than in cold weather. When the top layer of soil appears dry, bonsai trees should be watered. The frequency of watering your tree can vary from once per day to multiple times per day, depending on its type, size, and soil type. As a result, it’s best to water each bonsai plant individually rather than following a routine.
When a tree has just been repotted, be careful because a lot of soil can wash away, so it’s best not to immerse the pot when watering.
Water From Above
Bonsai trees should be lightly watered from just above the soil level. This can be accomplished by gently pouring water onto the surface of the soil, or the soil may be washed away. Keep the tray full of water to maintain humidity, which helps the tree grow and stay healthy.
What is Over-Watering?
While overwatering is possible, underwatering kills trees much more quickly. Overwatering bonsai trees indoors is unlikely to harm smaller or bigger trees growing in higher-quality bonsai soil or smaller bonsai pots.
How to Prune and Shape Your Bonsai Tree
To keep your bonsai healthy and in shape, you must regularly prune it. Trim new shoots down to one or two sets of leaves with scissors. By removing branches, you can control the shape of your tree and encourage the growth of smaller branches. The thin branches are weakened by long shoots, which transfer energy to the tips. When buds are pruned away from branches, the leaf growth becomes more compact; this encourages the growth of smaller leaves. When you notice new growth that is beginning to change the shape of your bonsai tree in an undesirable way, you should typically prune it.
What Soil to Use
The best soil for your bonsai tree should allow water to drain away from the roots. To improve drainage and introduce air into the soil add large particles like stones to your soil mix. Adding clay can make the ideal soil mixture even better at holding water.
Repotting Your Bonsai
Repotting is necessary if there are a lot of roots and little soil. The fundamental steps for repotting your bonsai tree are as follows:
- Take the tree out of its pot with care.
- Utilizing sharp shears, cut back the external layer of roots.
- Trim the root mass as necessary to remove any areas of rot.
- Using a root hook, remove the long roots so that they hang down from the root ball.
- Using scissors, cut these off.
How To Feed A Bonsai Tree
Larger bonsai prefer granular feeds, whereas smaller bonsai prefer liquid feeds. The only reason for this is that granules from smaller bonsai can fall or be washed away more easily. Also, keep in mind that a granular feed may escape into the bowl if you water by submerging the pot in water.