CARING FOR YOUR BONSAI
Where to keep and display?
Filtered or dappled sunlight is preferable, under a large tree, a patio or shade cloth. If indoors, it needs to be in a sunny north facing room (Southern hemisphere) with good ventilation. Never place in hot direct sunlight especially in the afternoon sun or on the ground, but on a table or a stand at eye level. Good lighting is however very important! Your BONSAI will NOT like cold, dark and damp conditions!
A BONSAI only looks as good as how it is displayed.
Note: Never keep in a room where you are not even prepared to sit in the middle of winter. Window sills are NOT recommended for several reasons, the daytime temperature is too hot, night time too cold and glass refracts Ultra violet light which all plants need for survival! If you are going to place your Bonsai indoors in a fairly dark room then try to invest in additional Ultra Violet Grow Lamps in order to supplement light conditions.
Using a small watering can or jug, saturate the soil until the water drains out through the screened holes in the bottom of the pot.
The water being drained through the holes at the base of the pot serves to draw fresh air from the top of the soil surface into the trees root area which is beneficial to the health of the tree. If placing your Bonsai in a saucer or drip tray ALWAYS place small pebbles or marbles in the saucer and then place your Bonsai on top of the pebbles. As the water evaporates from the saucer, humidity is created around the tree which also contributes to the general good health of your tree.
Dependant on the size of the pot, water daily in summer (on very hot days) and every second to third day in winter depending on ambient temperatures. Spray (mist) the leaves with water to keep foliage in good condition and to discourage pests. Preferably use collected rain water (in a plastic not metal container) rather than chlorinated tap water if you can. Never let the soil dry out or leave the pot standing in water. Realise that more regular watering is necessary the higher the ambient temperature, the more exposure to sunlight or the smaller the pot.
Frequent watering leaches out the nutrients from the soil, thus it is very necessary to feed a Bonsai with fertilizer during the growing season when in full leaf generally (August to May Southern hemisphere).
We recommend feeding your Bonsai on “BONSAI MUTI” ® which is available from ourselves. 100ml per plant per month during the growing season is all that is needed to encourage excellent growth and keep your BONSAI in tip top condition.
Note: Never feed a sick or dry BONSAI. Rather water well and place in shady location to recover.® Registered TRADE MARK
Pruning and styling?
Your BONSAI will grow out of proportion and lose its character if not regularly pruned and trimmed.
Styling is done in early spring to a specific style and to remove any unwanted growth. Pruning and leaf nipping is done all the time to maintain leaf size and to reduce their size which is so important to its ultimate appearance. Leave one or two sets of developed leaves, nipping the growth tip off only.
Landscaping the container (decorating) it in order to portray a natural environment for your BONSAI can be done using rocks, gravel, "Peace-in-the-home" or moss as a covering. The latter two are good indicators of sufficient water and UV sunlight absorption. Be however careful not to “overdo” the moss covering as this can inhibit a free flow of fresh air to the roots of your BONSAI which it needs in order to remain healthy. A good idea is to partially landscape the pot with some moss and alternate with pebbles etc! Moss is NOT a prerequisite to growing successful Bonsai, it merely adds to the aesthetic appeal.
Contact BONSAI BOYS for further information on the subject of re-potting.
Pests and diseases?
These must be identified and treated using a suitable insecticide e.g. CHLORIPIFOS®, MALATHION, FUNGINEX® as applicable etc. Apply strictly as directed on the container. Avoid using an aerosol insecticide.® Registered TRADE MARK
There are also many new ORGANIC pesticides on the market and these are always preferred by us to chemical or toxic pesticides.
The above basic guidelines should be sufficient, but for more in-depth information buy a good Bonsai book and or join a Bonsai club.