It was too late to call in the bonsai doctor.
My dwarf juniper is dead. I’m now trying again with a second bonsai but have this time ensured I know the easy tips needed for care of bonsai trees.
Who would have thought, when the leaves on my tree began turning brown, it was not a lack of water, but an over abundance. Little did I realize I was only making the problem worse. A Juniper likes dry soil. I was drowning the poor thing.
Bonsais can be created from a countless variety of trees and each different type prefers quite different care. So one of the first things you must know in order to provide proper care of bonsai trees is just what type of tree you have. It should then be a relatively simple matter of choosing the right environment to keep your plant healthy and happy. Some, like my juniper, thrive in almost drought conditions, others like damp soil.
Bonsais can be grown indoors or out – Outdoor plants do not always thrive well when brought indoors as the temperature and amount of light they receive may not be suitable. It is often a good idea to mist your indoor bonsai with water as many like a humid atmosphere. Again – what suits one plant may not suit another, which is why it’s important to know the name of your particular tree.
While watering is crucial to the care of bonsai trees, so too is the type of soil. Again it is important to know what type of tree you have so you can ensure it’s potted in the right soil and know you’re feeding it the right sort of fertilizer at the right time.
Generally speaking, experts recommend a mix of around 30 percent sandy grit and 70 percent humus for deciduous trees and vice verse for evergreen needle plants. Hopefully, if you’ve bought your plant from a specialist or garden shop they’ve got the soil mix right. It does pay to check, however, as staff in some non-specialty stores may know less about the care of bonsai trees than you.
Bonsais generally need to be repotted every two to five years. Again it pays to get some advice on the pot size and soil. Repotting is also the time to do your root and branch pruning. This is where your artistic flair comes to the fore. Regular pruning for the care of bonsai trees can be done through pinching off new growth with your thumb and forefinger.
You can also encourage your tree to grow into the desired shape by pruning the branches and using wire to force them to grow into windswept images.
It’s too late for my poor little juniper but I’m trying again with a Japanese maple and this time I’m certain I’ve found the right place to go to for the simple steps to ensure the proper care of bonsai trees.
Written By: Christine McKinnon