Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Caring for your Bonsai

Caring for your bonsai plant can be quite a challenge. It takes a lot of patience, gardening skills and just the right amount of luck to perfect this art form. As with any other plant, it needs water and sunlight. Aside from that, careful trimming and pinching is needed to maintain the size and shape of the bonsai. Here are some practical tips for caring for your bonsai tree.

Remember that the bonsai is still a growing plant; thus, trimming and pinching are needed to maintain its size and shape.

Watering

Proper watering is important in the growth and development of your tree. This may look like an easy task, but this is a delicate art form and watering should be paid special attention to. In fact, watering too much or too little are the two most common causes for a bonsai’s death. 

A weekly watering schedule may be unreliable since drying time depends on the climate and humidity of your location. It is best to check your plant every so often to see if the soil is drying out. At this point, water the plant until the water seeps out from the tray’s bottom. This will ensure top-to-bottom watering and allows the soil to hold most of the water. Also, do not use too much water pressure as this may damage the arrangement and even ruin the soil around the plant. An adjustable spray nozzle or a watering can is preferred. 

Fertilizing

Since the bonsai plant is growing in such a limited environment, with little soil, fertilizing is essential for its growth and health. Get a high-quality, water soluble fertilizer from your nearby gardening store. Use only half of its recommended strength, and apply a liquid fertilizer by spraying your plant every other month. The soil should also be wet before you apply the fertilizer otherwise, it won’t take effect. 

Trimming and Pinching

Remember that the bonsai is still a growing plant thus, trimming and pinching are needed to maintain its size and shape. New growth should be trimmed and pinched only until the farthest safe point. By not completely removing new growth, you will keep your tree healthy. Evaluate your tree’s growth and adjust your trimming and pinching schedule to accommodate this. After all, different tree species have different rates of growth. 

Source: http://bonsaiexperience.com.


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