Bonsai Blog

back-to-basics

Back to Basics – Bonsai Growing Tips

Bonsai trees are sometimes difficult to grow for some people. Often times, someone gets a bonsai tree as a gift from a person who does not really know a lot about them either. While there is nothing wrong with this, it makes it all the more imperative that the person who has received this gift do some research on the plant. With some knowledge about your tree, you can grow a bonsai tree on your own with no problems. That said, Bonsai trees will take a certain amount of work that some other plants will not. Many people who receive these trees as gifts simply put them next to a window to get some sunlight and do not bother with them afterwards, except to water them once a week or so. A bonsai tree in this situation will die quickly. The truth is, when taken care of properly, a bonsai tree can live for hundreds of years or more. Seriously!

The first thing you must do to take care of your bonsai tree is to find out what species it is. This is so important because every species has different needs. Finding out what species your tree is can sometimes be a daunting task because there are hundreds of species of bonsai trees. But finding the general name of the species will suffice because then you will know the type of environment it prefers to live in. After you find out what species your bonsai is, you will more than likely be sitting it outdoors unless it is a species of tropical bonsai, which will need special care. Of course, if you live in a tropical climate, it would be fine to sit your tropical bonsai outdoors. Bonsai trees can usually not survive indoors for a number of reasons such as lack of humidity and light.

The next important step is learning how to water your bonsai properly. Watering your plant properly is crucial to its survival. Unfortunately, this is one of the most difficult parts of bonsai cultivation. Every species will need a different quantity of water. Too much or too little could quickly kill your bonsai tree. Bonsai trees are usually in a smaller pot, which will have a smaller amount of pourous soil. Bonsai should have a rocky or pourous soil by the way. Not the loamy soil gardeners usually prefer. This smaller amount of soil will cause the bonsai tree to dry out quicker or suffer from other temperature fluctuations very easily. Using the right size pot is also important to your plant’s health because the roots of the tree dictate the pot size. Most bonsai trees will have to be watered every morning and evening in the summertime. I’ve heard that watering the plant during summer mornings will adversely affect the tree. I’ve also heard the same thing about watering in the evening. A good rule of thumb is to check a couple times a day if your tree is thirsty. If it is, give it some water. My thinking is that it rains whenever it rains and I don’t see a lot of trees with fungal growth and rot in the wild.

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