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. However I was only creating an even bigger problem. 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. Make sure, when you purchase your tree, you ask what type it is then you will be able to determine exactly what conditions it prefers. 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 kept inside your house or in a nice spot in your garden or on your patio – 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 tree doctor 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 re-potted every two to five years. Again it pays to get some advice on the pot size and soil. Re-potting 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.
Wire and pruning can be used to encourage your bonsai to grow into the desired, artistic shape. I did not find out all this information before it was too late to save my first bonsai. However I now have the right knowledge to ensure my replacement tree does not suffer the same fate.