About Bonsai Trees
Translating from Japanese as ‘planted in a container’, the Bonsai tree is one of the most popular plants on the market today! Originating in China, before spreading eastward to Japan and Korea, the Bonsai tree was the staple plant cared for by Buddhist monks in their temples and homes. Whilst the Chinese art of Bonsai care is now considered something of an ancient tradition, today’s age has seen the bonsai being a staple plant in Japanese households, alongside a steep incline in popularity with American plant owners. Bonsais have also been shown to help in reducing the incidence of throat, dry coughs, colds, and dry skin (Fjeld 2018) as well!
At Oxy-Plants, we’ve taken the liberty of producing this extensive bonsai tree care guide so you can keep your indoor bonsai tree happy and healthy.
Choosing An Indoor Bonsai Tree:
The first stage of your bonsai journey is to first choose the right tree for you. Along with many beginners, you may be mistaken in believing all bonsais are the same. This couldn’t be any further from the truth! When deciding upon your tree, bare in mind how it will look once it has been established and growing for a year or two. Here are some great questions you might want to ask yourself:
- How will my bonsai look when it flowers? – During the summer months, an established bonsai will often produce beautiful flowers. Whether they’re ornate white flowers of the Brush Cherry or the purple fruits of the Sweet Plum, it is certainly wise to consider your bonsai’s aesthetics a few months/years down the line!
- How will the bark look as my bonsai ages? – Many bonsais can be easily recognised by their bark. Whilst some of these indoor trees (like the Japanese Elm) produce a hardy grey bark, many growers are infatuated by the beauty of the Sweet Plum Bonsai’s flaky red bark. This tree not only blossoms but offers firey flashes of wood to the eyes of its owners.
- How is my bonsai supposed to look natural? – Before you even begin to think about pruning and plant-care, ask yourself how nature intended your bonsai to look. If you don’t believe us, have a look on our website! At Oxy-Plants, we sell a plethora of bonsai trees, ranging from those with short wide stems (Bonsai Fig Tree) to those with long winding stems (Brush Cherry), it’s so much easier to work with what you’ve got than what you’ve not! The same goes for foliage too! If you prefer bushy foliage, order yourself a bonsai that produces a number of leaves – like the Fukien Tea and the Sweet Plum Bonsai.
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Caring For An Indoor Bonsai Tree
This refers to how often you will need to water your plant. Some plants require a good soaking, whilst others do not need much at all.
Watering your bonsai is a really simple process! The key to consistent success is always keeping your soil mildly moist. If you underwater your plant, its foliage will begin to wilt, turn black, and fall off the tree. Equally, overwatering your bonsai tree can result in root rot and, ultimately, the death of your plant.Whether you give the plant a good soaking once a week or constantly top up your soil once a day, just make sure your bonsai is well watered. A great way of gauging if your bonsai needs a drink is to place your thumb in the soil. If the top half of your soil is dry, then it’s time to water! You can keep your bonsai, safely hydrated with our watering can.
Bonsais much prefer a humid than dry atmosphere. Be sure to keep your plant away from any radiators and harsh sunlight as this can quickly dry your plant out! If you want to go the extra mile, maybe give your bonsai leaves a quick mist with some water once a week and prune your tree to stimulate and nurture healthy growth. If you haven’t already, why not invest in one of our water misters?
As for soil, Bonsais are able to survive in many types of soil but really thrive with soil that retains water well. As such, it is recommended that a mixture of grit, peat, and loam should be used with your bonsai. Similarly, you can also add Akadama clay to your pot or tray as it has a great ability to release water slowly. On pH, your soil shouldn’t be too acidic or alkaline. Somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5 is just right!
As Bonsais are often grown in small pots or trays, it would definitely be helpful to invest in some good quality bonsai-specific fertiliser. This will help to make sure that your bonsai is getting the right amount of nutrients. During the growing season (spring and summer) it may be worth having two different types of fertiliser. In spring, be sure to have an NPK ratio of 10-6-6. Having a nitrogen-heavy fertiliser will really help in growing the leaves of your bonsai. Equally, as you get to summertime, it may be worth using an NPK 6-6-6 as this is much more balanced. During the growing season, you should look to use a small amount of fertiliser once a week.
Regularly repotting your bonsai should be a vital part of your plant care regimen. As the Bonsai begins to grow, it begins to use nutrients from the soil. If repotting does not take place, then healthy growth will cease and your bonsai may die. In order to stop this, smaller bonsais should be repotted every two years whilst more established trees should be repotted every three to five years. As a general rule of thumb, if you are able to see roots circling around the edges of your soil (near the pot), It’s time to repot.
Not a fan of your indoor bonsai’s pot? Have a look at our extensive range of indoor ceramic pots and get one delivered to your door!
Pests and Diseases
Finally, pests and diseases are rare in bonsais, but you can treat these easily with the regular application of a natural insecticide. At Oxy Plants, we sell neem oil that is specifically formulated to solve such issues. Be sure to check once a week, maybe when you’re watering, for any discoloration or dryness in your Bonsai’s leaves. This will help you diagnose the condition early and treat such problems accordingly.
If the problem doesn’t look too serious, the best course of action may be investing in a natural insecticide, Neem Oil. Equally, if the problem is proving difficult to remedy, you may need something stronger like our Baby Bio Houseplant Bug Killer.
Have you found this article useful? Why not head over to the Oxy Plants website, or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this further
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