Category: Gardening

How to Grow a Bonsai Tree – The Worst Mistakes You Can Make When Growing Your Bonsai

August 21, 2018


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It is a sad fact but beginners, when trying to grow a bonsai for the first time, can end up killing their trees. Bonsai is an art, a skill and a science. Here’s the worst mistakes you can make when growing a bonsai tree.


While it is true that pretty much any tree can be shaped into a bonsai tree, you have to pick a plant that will thrive in your home conditions. Talk to your local garden center or nursery gardener and make sure the tree you pick is suitable for the soil, sun, wind and humidity conditions in your own garden.


Watering a bonsai might seem like the most basic and easiest part of training a bonsai, but under watering or over watering can kill or badly damage many trees. The key tip is to check your bonsai’s water requirements daily BUT only water if required. Look to see if the surface of the compost is starting to dry out before watering. It may be 12 hours to up to 7 days before they need water depending on the temperature, wind, climate and humidity levels.


Pruning back to shape is necessary but do not start snipping at every leaf that looks out of place. To keep your bonsai plant healthy and vigorous, it needs to be able to grow freely at times. Bonsai trees also need enough leaf for photosynthesis to occur.


Do not carry out big jobs such as repotting or major restyling at the wrong time of year as this can lead to poor health in the tree.


It is important not to cause undue stress on the tree by doing several operations at the same time. Let the tree rest between wiring and replanting for example. Plants are living things. Just as a human needs time to recuperate from surgery, as does a bonsai. A good of rule of thumb is to wait one to three months after a transplanting before your start working on the tree again. And keep a watchful eye on your bonsai, make sure you see clear signs of vigorous growth and good health before you start your next major job.


It is such a temptation for beginners and even hardened pro to continually fiddle with their bonsai creations. Cutting off bits and piece here and there, continually watering, misting, moving, re-potting etc. Regular checks for water and health problems are necessary but if everything looks okay, resist the temptation to muck around.


Sometimes it’s the hardest thing to simply allow your bonsai to grow and ‘do its thing’. Get used to the fact that it takes time for bonsai plants to grow. You’re not talking weeks but years, even decades.


Although things may not go to plan, do not give up. Generally bonsai trees are hardy things and they can take the odd over-prune, over-water and other mistakes. Follow our instructions on growing a bonsai and avoid the common pitfalls often made by newbies.

Remember, that this is a hobby of trial and error. With patience and experience, you will grow a beautiful bonsai that you can enjoy with great satisfaction for years and years to come.

The Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Bonsai Trees

August 21, 2018


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Bonsai trees are in essence miniaturized trees that are made this way by the powers of nature for the wild bonsai varieties, or have purposely been made this way by specific pruning of the crown and roots on a constant and regular basis. The size of these miniature trees also depend on the size of the container in which they are grown in as the size of their roots are constantly kept in check. Ordinarily the plants used for bonsai use are trees but most of the bigger shrubs and plants can also be used to make bonsai plants.

Bonsai trees are indeed very beautiful works of art and have in many instances been manipulated to resemble some animals or figures. These bonsai trees are usually classified as either outdoor bonsai trees or indoor bonsai trees. The outdoor bonsai variety can usually stand a cold winter while the indoor bonsai trees usually come from the tropics and must be kept in climate similar hence their use indoors. Indoor bonsai trees can be beautiful focal points inside houses or offices and can easily be considered for use as decorative art pieces.

The Ideal Plants for Indoor Bonsai Trees

Larger plants can be used for bonsai planting however there are some that are recommended or more ideal for beginners simply because they grow quite easily and do not die quite as easily. These indoor bonsai trees are the schefflera, sago palms, aralias, gardenias, serissa, fukien tea, bougainvillea, bush cherry including some types of elms. These trees are the most ideal indoor bonsai trees for first time bonsai enthusiasts or beginners; some other bonsai trees may be better off being grown outdoors primarily due to a couple of factors that affect the plants in some way such as their need to shed leaves during the winter.

The indoor bonsai trees that are ideal for the indoors are from the tropical and sub-tropical regions, so they will have more of a need for the morning and afternoon sun. Making sure that they also have sufficient exposure so that they will grow steadily and uniformly despite being grown indoors is a prime necessity. These particular types of indoor bonsai trees are not likely to do so well if left exposed to the cold during winter (if grown in cold and temperate regions) since they originate from the tropics, and exposure to cold winter weathers may lead to their easy deaths.

It is common knowledge that most indoor bonsai trees can easily be treated pretty much in the same manner as most house plants, being indoor plants after all. Similarly the most common need is to just water when the soil in the pots starts to feel dry and in addition they should be exposed to late or early sunlight often. The use of fluorescent and incandescent lights should be sufficient to meet this need for some indoor bonsai trees.

Bonsai need to be re-potted at least every two years, usually around spring and during these times some maintenance steps need to be taken. Roots need to be pruned during re-potting to keep the bonsai relatively small and not allow it to grow more than it needs to. The new pot will need to have the same drainage holes as the old one, or you can re-pot it in the old one if this is desired. Drainage features needs to keep the roots from water rot which is common in potted plants.

The indoor bonsai tree itself will need pruning and pinching to keep its original shape or to the shape that is ideally needed. These maintenance steps are normally done during and throughout spring seasons within the locale in order to keep the trees growth under control.

A Few Simple Tips To Ensure You Get The Best Out Of Your Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Without a doubt many people are very interested to take up the hobby of growing miniature bonsai trees for indoors simply because of the benefits that it provides in terms of simplicity and for the reasons of decoration, however there are some people that would much rather grow their bonsai trees out door as they tend to find this a much more appealing activity.

There is in fact actually no great difference between the indoor and outdoor bonsai trees, and even the style is also pretty much the same; what differentiates them though, is the scale, which is larger and the difference in the environment that they grow around. In fact there are two types of outdoor bonsai trees, namely the evergreens (such as junipers and pines) and the deciduous varieties (such as oak trees) which lose their leaves during the fall or autumn seasons and re-bud during the spring. The ability to be able to pot them in any outdoor pots makes them an easy choice for many.

Precautions to be taken during the Winter for Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Yet another distinct feature of outdoor bonsai trees is their inability to grow indoors for long or extended periods of time but must also not be allowed to freeze during the cold winter months. This, in addition for the need to properly water and maintain outdoor bonsai trees is a very important aspect that needs to closely followed. Many beginners can quite easily be fooled by the look of top soil that looks dry but in fact still holds moisture in them. The moment the outdoor bonsai trees are planted, it is important to keep a close eye on the water level and this will require that you poke the soil with your fingers at a depth of about an inch to be able to determine how much moisture the soil really has in it.

It is a must that dry soil is not be allowed, and it is a requirement that you immediately water it thoroughly while you may need to measure the water levels every two weeks which should be enough to ensure that there is proper moisture in the soil. However, during the winter months you can quite safely relax on the watering periods, but you should ensure that watering is only done when the temperature is hovers at at least forty five degrees or more.

While maintaining your outdoor bonsai trees, there is also it is also important to note that your trees need to be fertilized and depending on the types of fertilizer used, the quantity and frequency should be sufficient enough to make sure that the trees growth is maintained in line with the recommended norms. By fertilizing every fortnight this should suffice for keeping your trees within the growing parameters, however you should also take note that fertilizing during the winter is a big No-No. The type of fertilizer to be used does not make too much of a difference for most varieties of trees but the use of liquid fertilizer on the foliage can be considered by most as the ideal course action during the fertilization process.

Other than the need to fertilize the soil of the outdoor bonsai trees, it is also a requirement to prune and trim the trees using the specialized tree trimmers or sharp shears for deciduous trees, and this always be kept in mind. Careful grooming and maintenance of your bonsai trees should be kept in mind as this will help improve the health and look of your outdoor bonsai trees.