Beautify Your Home, Garden And Office With Bonsai Art!
Cultivating a bonsai tree provides spiritual, mental and physical relaxation while improving the appearance of your home, garden or office!
If you have house plants, you are already used to caring for plants. If you do not currently have house plants, do not worry, for raising your new tree is not as difficult as it may seem.
Caring for your new Bonsai Tree is similar in many ways to caring for house or garden plants and yet there are distinct methods that are different. As you may remember from reviewing our Products Page, our trees are in a "Finished Form" and do not require extensive experience in maintaining them.
When you finish this brief tutorial on bonsai care, you will be well equipped to maintain the beauty and longevity of your tree!
So, let's begin with some of the most important principles in caring for your new tree. Healthy life requires water, light and consistent care!
Your tree is somewhat like a newborn child. It is totally dependent upon YOU. With consistent care your tree will flourish and bring beauty to your surroundings.
We teach three different techniques of watering your tree.
#1 With a regular plant sprayer thoroughly moisten the soil around the base of your tree. It is not always necessary to spray the foliage during this process. Then with the soil moistened and the pores of the soil now open, use a regular garden type watering can and "gently" apply a steady stream of water to the base of the tree. Pouring the water directly on the trunk base works well in saturating your tree. When the tree has been thoroughly watered, it will begin dripping the excess from the holes in the bottom of your planter. Be sure to tip the planter to permit the excess water to drain out. Too much water in the soil is not good for the tree. When all water has drained, your tree can be returned to its former home.
#2 As you did in the first watering technique, first moisten the soil with a plant sprayer. Then if the tree is outside or in a sink, use a "gentle" spray from a garden watering wand or the attached hose sprayer at your kitchen sink. Water until the soil has been completely saturated and you see water dripping from the planter holes. Again tip the planter until the excess water has drained out.
#3 As in technique 1 & 2, moisten the soil with a plant sprayer. Then fill your sink with cool water to a level that is above the height of your planter. With this step completed, then slowly lower your entire planter into the water so it is completely immersed up to the trunk base. Your tree will be "soaking" for a few minutes while the water displaces the air in the soil and the soil becomes thoroughly wet. You will see many small bubbles come out of the soil during this step. We use this last technique for the very small Bonsai Trees (the Mame class: under 4").
Also if you are going away for a weekend and want to know that you have "totally" watered your tree, use this immersion technique. Just be sure you also tip the planter afterward and drain all the water. Then take a regular plastic bag and place the planter in the bag and tie it tightly around the trunk base. Now you have created a "mini" greenhouse for your tree and it will hold the water longer. Remember not to leave it directly in the sun for it could overheat.
So, you may now be wondering how often do I water my tree? There is no universal formula that you can apply to the interval of watering. Because there are many variables that affect how quickly you tree will begin to dry out, we must take a few moments and review them.
Placement of the tree (i.e. direct sunlight, semi-shade, indirect light, indoors or outdoors, etc.)
Size of the soil mass that your tree is in
Amount of air circulation (i.e. placed outdoors or indoors, near an open window or near a closed window)
Now you probably are thinking: "see I knew that raising a Bonsai Tree was difficult." "Look at all the many factors I need to consider in the care of my tree." Yes, there are many factors you will learn to consider but there is one simple means of knowing when to water your tree!
As you pass by your tree, simply feel the soil. And to do this properly you must "scratch" below the topsoil line to determine if the soil is no longer moist. If you find that after this step the soil is somewhat dry then use the previous technique that you like best in watering your tree. You will soon learn the average interval between waterings for your tree based upon the many factors we previously covered.
Cottoneaster Bonsai Tree being tuned up by Myrla
If you do place your tree on a tray filled with small stones and water for humidity reasons, be sure the water level does not reach the base of the pot for this may prevent proper drainage and cause the roots to rot. New "bonsai artists" think they can save some time on watering by using this procedure.
A word about 'NEGLECT'......a very meaningful word in Bonsai culture! Your tree will not be happy if it is neglected and very shortly thereafter it will depart from the planet!
Remember our guiding principles: water, light and consistent care
You need to begin to think about your new Bonsai Tree as a new friend who needs attention to keep your relationship strong and to survive.
TRIMMING CARE TECHNIQUES
As your tree is a "living" form of art, it will change over time. If you like the initial appearance of your tree when it arrives, you can perform "maintenance" trimming to keep the original shape.
Simply use a fine tipped pair of scissors and cut off the extended branch tips as they grow beyond their original shape. It is a good idea to take several pictures of your tree when it arrives and use these photos as your base line for its design.
HOUSEKEEPING FOR YOUR TREE
As your tree matures some leaves will die and drop off to make room for new leaves. Keep the soil free of these dead leaves and any dead twigs by using a small light bristle brush. An inexpensive new paint brush will work well for this purpose!
If your tree has been inside during the winter months be careful as you transition it outside to a deck or patio area. When temperatures reach 50 F and above on a consistent basis you should be safe to leave your tree outside if you so desire. Do monitor the night time temperatures though as many tropical trees do not like temps below 50 F.
Also it is critical that you transition your tree to an outside environment....gently! You want to place it for the first few weeks in a semi-shaded area that does not receive direct sunlight. After a month or so depending on the variety of your tree, you can expose it to direct sunlight. Please call us or e-mail us concerning your particular tree and your geographical location and we can review this step further.
Likewise the winter care for the different varieties of Bonsai is very specific. It is best if you contact us and we can review the details of winter care for your tree.
You can enhance the look of your tree if you so desire by finding local moss and removing a thin layer from the ground and then "transplanting" it around the base of your tree. Be sure to mist spray this moss between regular tree waterings so as to establish its growth. Also you may find some interesting small stones to accent your tree and improve the overall presentation.
We trust these "Care Guidelines" have been helpful to you as you begin the journey into Bonsai Art! If further questions arise about matters we did not cover, we are always here to help you keep your tree beautiful and healthy and to improve the look of your home or office!
We thank you for your visit and your interest in Bonsai Art.