all bonsai evergreens?
Bonsai literally means tree in a pot or tray. It does
not refer to a specific type of plant material. Evergreens
produce excellent bonsai material, as do many deciduous
outdoor materials (materials which lose their leaves
during winter), and subtropical and tropical materials
(plants and trees that are suitable for indoor growth).
tree died, what went wrong?
its winter, your tree is an outdoor tree, is outdoors
and has just lost its leaves for the winter.
that, what often looks like the ideal bonsai is not
suitable for your particular growing conditions. For
instance, if the tree was a conifer but was kept in
a typically warm house, its ideal growing needs were
not met. Even if it’s too cold for you outside,
these plants need the chill of winter months. If you
recently purchased an outdoor plant from a greenhouse,
it’s quite likely that it was not readied or
hardened for cold conditions. In this case the plant
should be kept in a bright, cool (below 50F, if possible)
room through the winter and should be brought outdoors
after the final frost.
tree could’ve died for any number of reasons.
Most likely it was an issue of improper care. Please
see our care guide for more information on the care
for your particular tree.
tree has wire on it, how long should it stay on?
recommend that trees remain wrapped with wire until
the wired branch or trunk can hold the bend that the
wire was used to shape. In some cases small branches
wired during the growing season (mid-spring to summer)
only need wire for a few weeks.
often are bonsai repotted?
the first 3 years the tree should be root pruned and
repotted annually. When repotting use fresh bonsai soil
and remove only enough root to get the tree comfortably
back into its pot. We suggest that beginners remove
no more than 1/4 of the roots during the first root
tree is loosing leaves. What’s wrong?
you moved your tree recently?
This often causes trees to shed older leaves while
adjusting to new light sources. It is important to
make sure that your tree receives the proper amount
of light. If you’re not sure check the lighting
conditions as outlined in our care guide. If you discover
that the tree needs more light, either move the tree
or supplement its light with an appropriate artificial
light source. We recommend fluorescent, mercury vapor,
and sodium lights. Incandescent lights have a limited
spectrum and produce heat that can damage your plants
when too close.
young leaves are dropping, it is often indicative
of a root problem.
In either case, we recommend that you back off on
your watering schedule. As trees lose leaves they
lose the ability to transpire (get rid of water),
and don’t need as much water.
do I know when to water and how much should I water?
make sure you know the trees’ watering needs.
For that, see our care guide and its watering requirements
section, plants are listed as either moist, moderately
moist, or dry.
tree that likes moist soil should not dry much below
the soil surface. Trees that prefer moderately moist
conditions should be allowed to dry to at least the
middle of the pot and can dry slightly below that.
Trees that require dry soil should be allowed to dry
to the bottom of the pot.
one can say exactly how frequently your tree will
need water. It is a living thing and its needs change
throughout the year. During the short cloudy days
of winter trees may not need as much water as they
do during long sunny summer days. It also helps to
remember that different soil mixes affect watering
an effective little trick. If you are unsure of a
tree’s watering needs, take a toothpick or bamboo
skewer and stick it into the soil, making sure that
it touches the bottom of the pot and is located halfway
between the base of the trunk and the edge of the
pot. Leave the stick in the soil and check it before
watering. The level of moisture on the stick will
tell you how much water is in the pot.
is fine. But only hit the foliage with a brief spritz,
don’t drench it. Drenching the foliage will keep
the topsoil too wet. If you’re misting because
the indoor air is too dry, a cool mist vaporizer set
on low can add extra moisture to dry air, benefiting
you and your trees without soaking their foliage.
just bought a starter plant. Should I pot it as a
you purchase or move a plant, it’s best to give
it two weeks of time to adjust to its new environment
before repotting it as a bonsai. This also gives you
some time to think about what you would like to do
with it. If you buy the tree during the winter season
it is usually best to wait until spring before repotting
or doing anything that might traumatize your plant.
It is best to repot in the spring when the tree is
beginning its growth cycle. During its growth season
the tree will root into its new soil and pot conditions
faster. The tree can be trained, wired, and pruned
in its growing pot. The growing pot and soil also
ensure more growth in a shorter period of time. Bonsai
soil mediums encourage slower growth habits.
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