Bonsai Blog

Category Archives: Advice & Techniques

Happy Holidays!

All of us here at Dallas Bonsai Garden wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday!

Our main goal at Dallas Bonsai Garden is to provide you with all the information and supplies needed for your enjoyment of this wonderful Hobby of Bonsai.

We feel it’s extremely important to provide you with personal service along with what we offer over our website. We’ve been in this Hobby for 43 years and have met many very fine hobbyists during that time. During that time we have always been striving to find and offer you the very best of all things Bonsai that Japan has to offer.

We are extremely proud to offer you our extensive list of high quality Japanese Bonsai tools. It has taken many, many hours of time and much effort to assemble this huge array of tools and supplies for our loyal customers. By specializing in Japanese products we can concentrate all our efforts on finding you what you can consider the very best value for your money. After all, that’s what it’s all about. 

Quite honestly, that is why we sell Fujiyama Brand Tools. They are higher quality than all the other brands (besides Masakuni) and since we buy so many at once, we can offer them at lower prices than anyone else can.

Can you tell I’m passionate about our products? 🙂

Again, Happy Holidays to Everyone! It is our sincere wish to all of you that the year coming will be the happiest, most prosperous year of your lives!

Here are some quick gift ideas for the Bonsai Hobbist:

Gift Certificates are an easy alternative to finding just the right gift and alieviate the problem of having two of the same gifts given to someone.

Books…You can never have enough of these. I figure that if I get just one idea from a book then it’s paid for itself. Anything above that is a plus.

Whats happening at Dallas Bonsai Garden this month?

We just received a container of Japanese supplies and have many new items that we will be showing you in the next few days. We’re busy filling orders now for tools, tool sets and supplies, but hopefully will have time very soon to gets these items up for you to see.

Just today we got in a container of Chinese Figures that we will have up after the Christmas Selling Season. It’s always amazing to us to see these beautiful items at such low prices!!!

The plastic pots will be arriving next week and we will have our full group rounded out again. 

All this means that we keep on striving to have for you the very best quality for the very best prices.

We thank you for shopping dallasbonsai.com and making us the largest Bonsai Supply in the world! Because of you, we are your Bonsai Supply Superstore.

January is hard for bonsai

We do hope you’ve included in that New Year’s resolution’s list a few items concerning your Bonsai. They certainly can be easier for us than some of the personal ones we address each and every year and somehow always fail to achieve.

This time of year is the hardest for our Bonsai. With extremely low light, humidity problems and temperatures you must be much more vigilant and focus on them for the health and well being of your Bonsai.

You may need supplemental light if your Bonsai is inside. These bulbs can be purchased at any of the big box stores. These bulbs need to be about 12 inches away from your Bonsai and need to be on about 18 hours each day. You can get a timer to help you with this programming.

Indoors we must check to be sure that your Bonsai is getting enough water. With the heating units working a lot more now your humidity will be low. This will affect the foliage and the soil of your Bonsai. Check daily to be sure your Bonsai is getting enough water. To alleviate the low humidity problem you can use a humidity tray filled with nachi rocks. This arrangement will give your Bonsai some much needed moisture. Another idea is to utilize the mist sprayers we have to give your Bonsai a much needed shower of water.

May we wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!

As we look back on 2006 we are gratified to think of all the people we have met, either by email or in person, and helped along the way to enjoy the wonderful hobby of Bonsai. After all that’s what its all about. Helping you by offering you a selection of products available no place else in the world. You might say that we are fanatics in this respect. We want to be able to offer you everything Bonsai from A-annealed copper wire to Z – zeolite. We do appreciate your feedback and try to answer each and every email that we receive.

We have been in the business of Bonsai since 1965 and find each day filled with experiences that are in every way a compounding of appreciation for instructing new enthusiastic Bonsai hobbyists along with the more experienced in the field. We fully anticipate that this year of 2007 will build upon this.

Don’t Forget your Bonsai!

Of course this is a busy time for all of us. From Thanksgiving Day until the dawning of the new year we have a double load of activities. But—Please don’t forget your Bonsai.

Let’s think of our Bonsai as you would a Dog or Cat. You don’t forget to feed and have an adequate water supply for them. And so it goes with your Bonsai. Don’t forget to water, fertilize and check for pests this time of year.

We apologize for lecturing, but want to emphasize the watering regimen that is so necessary this time of year. Remember that when we turn on the heat in the house, we are also lowering the humidity into desert conditions. This means that the soil will dry out much more quickly than during the Spring, Summer and Fall months. You need to check your Bonsai daily and realize that your watering regimen must change during the heating season.

Also you need to be more vigilant during the heating season for foliar pests. Spider Mites can wreak havoc on your Bonsai in just a few short days. These critters multiply even more rapidly in warm, dry conditions. Check the foliage/needles of your Bonsai for their presence. One easy way to catch them in their early state of inflicting trouble is to take a plain piece of white paper and hold it under a branch of your Bonsai. Then “thump” that branch so that any particles will fall from the leaves/needles. Take a close look at what’s dropped on the paper. If you see little spots, no bigger than a period on a printed page moving around, then you’ve got Spider Mites. Run your finger across the paper and see if it smears some orange color. That is also a sign of infestation. What to do? Go to your local nursery and ask for Spider Mite spray. Tell them you need a spray for either the conifer type or leafy type of plant. Don’t tell them it’s for a Bonsai because that usually causes more hesitation and reluctance on the part of the employee in offering you a good Spider Mite Spray.

A few caveats:

  1. Don’t spray your Bonsai while it’s in the sun. Some of the sprays have an oil that will allow the pesticide to burn your Bonsai’s foliage.
  2. Be careful with some of the leafy types of Bonsai. The Serissa/Snow Rose/Plant of a Thousand Stars and Fukien tea tree will sometimes lose all their leaves because of the spray that you are using. We don’t want to alarm you with all of this. Just be vigilant.

With just a quick routine of watering and checking you can get through this busy time and have your Bonsai in excellent shape. Take good care of your Bonsai and it will reward you for many years to come…

What’s new at DallasBonsai.com?

We just got two huge shipments of Chinese Figures into our warehouse.

We will get all these new and beautiful items up as quickly as we can. Also this week we are getting in a container from Japan with a lot of exciting stocking stuffers. As soon as we get them sorted out we will post them on our New Items Page.

New Items:
The complete inventory of all of Masakuni tools, new fertilizer accessories and a wide array of new Bonsai supplies that only Japan can produce for the Bonsai Hobbyist. We are excited about these items and know you will be too.

Do You Feed Through The Leaves?

Even if your a beginner in bonsai, surely by now you’ve gotten to the point where you know that if your going to have a bonsai that not only is alive, but you also want it to look alive, that is healthy and happy, then your going to have to feed it, and not just water it.

Of course the normal regimen for feeding any plant is through its root system, be it with chemical liquid, or organic which comes in both dry and liquid form, depending on which organic you prefer to use.

Another method which many people swear by, but which also has many naysayers, is a method called “foliar feeding”. Those that do the foliar feeding, myself included, don’t use this as an alternative to root feeding, but as an added benefit to our all around feeding program. I must also add that the naysayers say they see no added benefit to this method, and is the reason why they don’t use it. You will have to determine for yourself if after trying this method, it was worth your time or not.

I’ve been foliar feeding for a number of years now, and do it primarily in the heat of summer when it’s too hot for both me and my trees. Here in Texas, the summers are murder on our bonsai trees. Everything just shuts down with the 100+ deg. heat day after day for months on end. But I go by the belief that even though the trees are in some what of a dormant state for a while because of the heat, they still need something to keep their resistance up to keep them going, and to me a light feeding at this time with a foliar spray, not to mention the cooling effect of the liquid itself on the foliage, can and should be beneficial.

Most people that foliar feed, use an organic type feed, although I’ve heard of those that even use a chemical fertilizer for this.

The most widely used organic foliar feed, and the one that usually gets the most credit for being acceptable as a foliar feed, is a product called Liquid Kelp, or Liquid Seaweed.

Many people will also make compost or manure teas, and use this for their foliar feed.

The liquid seaweeds are known to be very rich in trace elements, and are supposed to even be good for both heat and cold protection to some extent.

For the most part, foliar feeding will be done by using a simple sprayer applicator. They come in all different sizes and types. Below are three different spray applicators. Anyone of them will do a good job of applying a foliar spray solution, usually by mixing a Tbs. of solution, to one gallon of water.

Pumping the sprayer up good and hard and your on your way.

The trouble is, if you have quite an assortment of trees, this may be a little time consuming,with all the stopping and pumping that will be necessary.

Here’s a little something I came across while purchasing an item for car washing:

The bottle is a premixer for soap when washing your vehicle, but can also be used the same way for foliar feeding. The picture below shows a small amount of liquid kelp added to the bottle to begin the feeding process.

Notice how it automatically begins to mix with the water. Since this is an organic mixture, a perfect amount of mixture isn’t that critical. A little more or less won’t hurt either way. In fact the only drawback to using this device, is that you will find yourself going through more solution than if you were using the pump up type sprayer. But for those of us who must be out in the heat for any amount of time, the quicker the better, and this is by far the quicker method.

Different dial settings on the spray head.

There are two settings that would probably be best for use for foliar feeding, the “mist” and the “cone” setting.

The mist setting, and its light spray pattern
The “cone” setting with its more aggressive spray.

So, to sum it all up, if you have time, do a quick internet search on liquid kelp, or liquid seaweed. You’ll find some interesting facts, such as how they are rich in cytokinin, a growth hormone, and also in trace elements, vital in many enzyme systems, especially where photosynthesis occurs. When sprayed on the leaves, it goes right to the nucleus and allows cells to grow.

I hope you’ll give foliar feeding a try as I did, and hopefully you’ll see the results and become more interested in not just the styling of your trees, but of their optimum health also. Although this foliar spray won’t make yellow foliage return back to green, it should stop it from continuing, and the results should be fairly quickly. You should also notice a more greener color to your junipers and chinese elms as shown below.

For those not familiar with where to purchase Liquid Seaweed, or a small spray bottle like the one shown below, Dallas Bonsai Gardens has both of these items for purchase.

Note: Some informational websites on foliar feeding will caution foliar feeding at temps above 80 degrees, and when the weather is hot and dry. Some will say do it when there is plenty of sun to dry the plant off before sunset, and some say to wait until just before sunset while the stomata are most active. I have had no problems whatsoever foliar feeding as I stated above with the hot and dry conditions in my area, and doing it about two hours before sunset. All the same, please keep this in mind if you plan to foliar feed, or do a little research on your own for all practical purposes. With all Bonsai techniques, it could vary depending upon your distinct Climate or Micro-Climate.

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