Bonsai is an outstanding art form to create miniature natural trees in a pot. At the time of selecting any bonsai tree, check the amount of attention they require.
It varies from species to species. Still, Whichever species you choose means a commitment of your time. To enjoy the stunning beauty of your bonsai, you have to ensure the regular checking and watering of the plants.
Taking care of bonsai plants is not very difficult. Just you need to know the basics of how to care for bonsai tree indoors.
By paying some attention to the 9 most important points such as Position, Light, soil, Repotting, watering, temperature, humidity, pest control, and pruning and shaping you should be able to maintain the environmental needs of the plants.
Here is a nine point checklist that looks at indoor as well as outdoor specimens.
- Pest control
- Pruning and shaping
Best Position for a Bonsai tree
Deciduous indoor trees, leafed trees that lose their leaves in the winter until spring, should be kept in a cool room. Check the soil carefully and keep it slightly damp, which means watering once a week in most cases.
keep checking the soil and watch for dryness. Also, watch for tiny buds developing on the twigs, since that indicates that the tree is ready to burst back into life.
In some cases, I have seen a bonsai lose all its leaves over the course of a week, then sit for a week, and then start to grow again.
Keeping in a shaded or sunny place should not be fruitful for them. And make sure that you have the water source to give the water whenever they need it.
Do not keep in an elevated position where a bonsai can be lifted by the wind. Be sensible about displaying your bonsai in a position that can be seen by other people outside your garden. They could just get stolen!
Bonsai light requirements
Do bonsai trees really need sunlight?
Light is one of the most important factors governing your tree’s health. Photosynthesis proceeds at the appropriate rate if your tree is in the amount of light proper for that species of plant.
Too little light will slow down the rate of photosynthesis. The lack of nutrients will damage the tree’s health, affecting the production of new growth as well as the nourishment of existing foliage.
These leaves will lose their rich green color and become pale. From too much light the foliage will press down, as though pushing away from light and heat.
Do bonsai trees need artificial light?
Artificial lights can provide light to your tree during the winter. Incandescent bulbs also give off too much heat, which means you cannot place trees too close to that type of lighting.
Fluorescent tubes, the coolest lighting available, are your best indoor light source. They are readily available and are also the least expensive to operate.
Comparing to the sunlight, plants can use the benefits of fluorescent lights also. In terms of the color spectrum, the blue rays keep plants healthy and compact, and the red and far-red rays promote flowering.
There are several lengths of fluorescent tubes available, with the four-foot and eight-foot models being especially popular.
Prices vary greatly. Some fluorescent “plant tubes” are expensive and do little more for plants than cool white or a combination of cool white and warm white.
If space is available, use two four-foot tube fixtures and a reflector. The light intensity drops off greatly two to three inches from each end of the tube, no matter what kind of tube you use.
With artificial light, there are no dark, gray days; instead, everyday is full of light. Artificial light allows you to do the following:
- Provide strong, consistent light.
- Control the light of the day, and thus the flowering of trees by providing longer days.
- Set up trays under the lights, thus making watering easier. This is especially true if there is a bed of stones in the bottom of the tray for excess water to drain into.
- Group trees, thus making them easier to care for.
The distance between the top of the tree and fluorescent yube should be five to six inches. If the new growth is overly large or leggy, consider placing the trees closer to the tube or lengthening the hours is a good starting point that should keep your trees healthy and compact.
If flowering does not occur, increase the light time by several hours. As the consistency of the light is important, consider purchasing a timer to turn lights on or off.
Bonsai potting Soil
The problem is many beginners try to use too many different soil types. Remember Every number of changes you make on different soil types for each bonsai means the number of amounts for maintenance and care increased.
When you feel ease with a soil mixture, then it’s easy to grow your bonsai with that. Knowing which soil mixture your plant is potted in help take some of the mystery out of bonsai.
Keep a record of when a bonsai was last potted and the amount of new soil added so you can anticipate root development.
Repotting a bonsai tree
As with all bonsai, the indoor varieties cannot exist indefinitely in the same soil. In order to have a healthy and thriving plant, the soil in the container must be kept chemically balanced and rich in nutriment.
To avoid the plant wasting away the soil must be changed. In this instance of two or three years, a new container with soil should be substituted especially when the bonsai is a young plant, and growing rapidly.
Turning now to the rules for repotting, it is important to remember:
The younger quick-growing trees should be transplanted every year, while the older slow-growing trees can wait for every two to three years.
However, the need for this operation is obvious when the roots start to push the soil slightly upward, as they occupy the whole of the soil area.
The right time for repotting is the beginning of spring.
How often to water a bonsai tree
Many bonsai experts believe it takes years to learn to water bonsai properly. Unfortunately, your trees cannot wait years for you to learn this skill. Right?
And no one else will be able to give you a useful watering schedule. If you are given one, view it not as information but as misinformation.
It’s all about implementation on your own bonsai species and learns from it. Watering is an art that can be learned because most plants are lost to overwatering, and many others dry out, usually because their pots are too shallow.
Teach yourself proper watering by learning all you can about the needs of your bonsai, and by seeking out information from other bonsai people, horticultural societies, and your garden center.
Experienced gardeners can tell you how to water a camellia, even if they have no experience with bonsai camellias.
Always water a plant from the top, as this allows water to come out through the holes in the bottom of the container. The plant will receive the water it needs, and salts and chemicals that have built up in the soil will be washed out of the pot.
With a tree that is planted high, with the soil mounding upward from the edge of the pot, the water often runs off, missing the container. Go over the tree three or four times with the watering can until some water has come out of the bottom of the pot.
Variations in watering
Obviously, plants from a rain forest have different water needs than plants from a desert. Also, plants’ water needs to change with temperature. The warmer the air, the more water a plant needs.
Dormant plants should be watered less, but even dormant plants need enough water to keep the root ball from drying out. During active growth, plants use more food and water and need to be watched more closely.
Junipers and pines require dryness between wherever they are, in the ground, in a nursery, or in a bonsai container.
The important difference is that juniper in a container does not have extra soil to act as a buffer if the tree does not receive water on time. Water it at the first sign of dryness.
Moss used as ground cover is another factor affecting watering. When moss covers the soil, the soil is not exposed to the air and does not dry out as quickly.
Moss often feels dry when the soil is not. Pick up a corner of the moss to feel the soil before watering. Water if the soil is dry, but not if only the moss is dry.
A newly potted bonsai, one with new soil around the root ball, will dry out more slowly than when it was rootbound. With bonsai in need of repotting, the roots fill the pot.
There is no extra soil around the roots, and the tree requires more and more water. When you notice a plant needing more water, you should root prune and repot the plant.
Overwatering which causes roots to rot can be a long, slow process. The decline of the tree is gradual and often not visible for a long time. One sign of too much watering is large weak growth.
Another sign of overwatering is dry foliage that appears over a long period. Because the foliage feels dry, you may think it is due to a lack of water.
However, the key is that the dryness has occurred over an extended period, usually because of the slow rotting of roots.
How to maintain the temperature for a bonsai tree
Some trees grow in all temperatures but others are much less tolerant. Your selection should be made according to your ability to provide temperatures needed by those species.
This is especially important when you grow indoor bonsai during the winter. A sunny window is usually fine for subtropical and tropical material.
Humidity for a bonsai tree
Humidity is an important factor in growing tropical bonsai indoors specially in winter. There are various ways to adjust the humidity to improve your plant’s chances of survival:
- Use a humidifier.
- Mist foliage daily with tepid water. Mist lightly, and be careful that you do not allow drops of water to form on the foliage and drop into the soil.
- Group trees together.
- Grow trees on a tray with a layer of stones lining the tray. Keep bottoms of the bonsai containers dry, and do not let them sit in excess water. However, keep water in the tray, as it will evaporate around the tree and increase humidity.
Bonsai Pests and diseases
The same pests that harm other plants also harm bonsai. Avoiding pests is the best policy, since it is easier to prevent problems than to save plants infested with insects.
If you develop an insect problem, segregate the tree. Wash the infested tree, then wrap the pot to the trunk level in aluminium foil or plastic, and spray the foliage with any kind of liquid soap and water.
Avoid the pest problem by shopping in places that are clean, bug-free, and where all material looks healthy. Especially check the backs of leaves for insects and make a selection carefully.
Generally chewed foliage is a sign of bugs.
Upon arriving home with a new plant, go to the hose and wash the foliage. Each time you water the plant, also wash the foliage carefully.
There are many products on the market to deal with insects, but you have to choose wisely according to your bonsai species. However, if trees are kept clean by frequenting washings, you may never have the pest problem.
To keep your collection clean and healthy, do not introduce new acquisitions directly into the area of your trees. Keep them segregated for several weeks, as you observe and wash them.
Bonsai pruning and shaping
All that food will cause the tree to grow and become very healthy, and it will become bushier. You will now need to keep the tree in shape by trimming and pruning.
It is really easy. Get a sharp pair of bonsai pruning tool designed not to tear the twigs.
Hairdressingbtools can be used because they do not have a flat edge on one side, but two sharp edges.
On most shapes you simply cut back to the first set of new leaves at the top of the tree, then the second set around the middle of the tree, and the third set of leaves at the bottom.
What I mean about the set of leaves is that you count up one, two, or three sets of leaves and cut off the rest.