Things you Need to Know about Bonsai Care before Getting One

Asia is home to many distinct types of tiny trees, all of which appear to be unique. Even just glancing at the Bonsai tree is fascinating because, up close, they resemble large trees almost exactly yet are in their small form. It is similar to an art form, therefore if you fell in love at first sight, the bonsai facts that we’ll discuss in this article must be for you.

What are Bonsai?

Trees and plants that have been created to look even more lovely than those that would naturally grow in the wild are known as bonsai. Growing bonsai is therefore both a classic Japanese art form and a wonderfully imaginative pastime. Growing these tiny trees has been a part of Japanese culture since the early 14th century. In the past, only the wealthiest lords and influential members of Japanese society could appreciate bonsai as a form of art. Nowadays, anyone may enjoy bonsai.

Bonsai Tree Care

Bonsai tree, Bonsai tree outside

Even while bonsai trees are more delicate than the usual houseplant, following a few simple guidelines can help anyone take good care of their tree. Pay close attention to its placement and watering requirements. Our article’s section on basic and advanced bonsai care procedures explains them. Additionally, it’s crucial to adapt these tree care instructions to your particular variety of tree.

1. Placement

It might be challenging to choose the best location for your bonsai trees because a variety of criteria such as the local temperature, the season, etc. must be taken into account. The type of tree, and specifically whether your bonsai is an indoor or outdoor tree, is what really matters.

Indoor Bonsai

A South-facing window is typically the only location in a home where an indoor bonsai will thrive because the tree needs a lot of light to stay healthy. When placed even a short distance from a window, the light intensity will significantly decrease, restricting growth and ultimately killing your bonsai. Indoor bonsai are typically tree species, such as the Ficus or Carmona, therefore they also require a high level of humidity. The Bonsai will benefit from being set on a humidity tray. Put indoor trees in an area with a consistent temperature all day.

Outdoor Bonsai

The majority of trees must be left outside all year long, depending on where you reside. Most trees need the annual cycle to stay healthy; for example, overprotecting your tree in the winter will make it weaker. Place outdoor bonsai in a bright area with abundance of light as a general guideline. Your trees will benefit if you provide midday shade if your summers are particularly hot.

2. Watering

Watering is the most important aspect of caring for your bonsai trees. Several factors, such as the tree’s type, size, container size, season, soil composition, and habitat, affect how frequently a tree needs to be watered. Without knowing what kind of tree you have, we can’t advise you on how frequently to water your bonsai. But knowing a few fundamental rules will help you comprehend and recognize when a tree needs to be watered.

How often should you water your Bonsai?

Watering a bonsai, Watering a bonsai tree

As previously said, there are many variables that affect how frequently a bonsai has to be watered, thus it is impossible to give a precise recommendation. You must instead examine each tree separately. You can learn what to watch out for and how to determine when to water your bonsai by referring to the following instructions:

Water your trees when the soil gets slightly dry

If the soil is still wet, be careful not to water your tree, but also be careful not to let the tree become too dry. To assess the soil moisture as a novice, stick your fingers in the ground approximately one centimeter (0.4″) deep. Water your tree if it appears to be a little dry. As you acquire experience, this will become clearer. When your tree requires watering, you’ll be able to see it rather than feel it.

Never water on a routine

Keep a watchful check on each of your trees to know when it’s time to water them. Till you are certain of your actions, hold off on regularly watering all of your trees.

Use the right soil-mixture

How often trees need to be watered is largely influenced by the soil composition. A typical mix of 12 akadama, 14 pumice, and 14 lava rock is what most bonsai trees require to grow. To utilize a mixture that retains more water, add additional akadama or even compost to your potting mix if you are unable to water your plants on a regular basis.

3. Fertilizing

For bonsai to survive and flourish, fertilizing frequently during the growing season is essential. Trees may typically stretch their root systems in search of nutrients, but since Bonsai are constrained to the relatively tiny pots they are planted in, they require proper fertilization to restore the nutritional content of the soil.

Basic Components of a Fertilizer

Nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK) are the three fundamental components of fertilizers. Nitrogen promotes the growth of leaves and stems, or above-ground growth. Fruits, flowers, and healthy root growth are all aided by phosphorus. Potassium improves the general health of plants. Growers commonly use a variety of NPK ratios for different trees and seasons of the year. However, experts are increasingly advising maintaining the same NPK ratio throughout the bonsai growth cycle. Fertilizers can also contain a variety of micronutrients like Iron, Manganese, Boron, Molybdenum, Zinc, and Copper in addition to the three macronutrients (NPK).

When to Fertilize a Bonsai Tree?

Most bonsai trees require fertilizer from early spring through mid-fall, which is the entire growing season. Older and more mature trees are usually fed less frequently, depending on the species, season, stage of development, and health of the tree. All year long, indoor trees can be fertilized. 

Depending on the fertilizer you purchase, you may use different amounts and apply it at different intervals. Make careful to feed your bonsai according to the directions on the fertilizer container. To avoid a salt buildup, make sure your bonsai is planted in suitable, well-draining bonsai soil.

4. Pruning and Shaping

For bonsai trees to stay small and retain their compact structure, pruning is crucial. Maintenance pruning and structural pruning are the two basic types of pruning. By promoting new growth, maintenance trimming fortifies the tree. Young branches and leaves are removed, which strengthens the tree and improves its general health by exposing the leaves beneath to air and sunshine.

The branches, buds, and leaves are among the parts of the plant that need maintenance pruning. By removing branches, you can alter the contour of your tree and promote the growth of smaller branches. Buds that are pruned away from branches have more compact leaves, which promote the development of smaller leaves. The typical time to prune a bonsai tree is when you notice new growth that is beginning to alter the tree’s shape in an unfavorable way. To promote more flowers to grow the next year, pruning should be done on flowering bonsais in the spring.

Only use structural pruning, a more sophisticated approach, when the tree is dormant. In order to assure that the tree may recover, it needs cutting off the main structural branches, which calls for professional expertise.

Bonsai tree, Bonsai with wires

Wiring the branches of your bonsai tree is another method for giving it the right shape. Wrapping a small wire around select branches will allow you to control their form and growth pattern. The optimum time to wire a bonsai tree is in the winter, when the leaves have dropped. Keep an eye on the branch’s development and take out the wire as needed. The branch may grow into the wire and leave scars if it grows too quickly.

5. Repotting

Repotting is essential for keeping your bonsai tree healthy. Repotting is done to get rid of extra roots that could starve the tree or prevent it from getting adequate nutrients for its mass. Repotting also makes guarantee that your tree can survive in a small pot and continue to grow. Depending on how quickly your bonsai tree develops, bonsai trees should be repotted every two to five years.

Repotting, Repotting a bonsai

Steps in Properly Repotting your Bonsai:

1. Carefully remove the tree from its pot.

2. Trim away the roots’ outer layer using a pair of precise shears.

3. Examine the root mass for decay and remove any affected parts as necessary. These regions may be an indication that the bonsai is not receiving adequate drainage.

4. Remove any brown or green stains from the pot itself by cleaning it.

5. To stop soil from escaping the drainage holes, cover them with mesh squares.

6. Place the tree on top of the dirt layer at the bottom of the pot.

7. Soil should be used to fill up the gaps and holes left by the root.


They claim that bonsai is a way of life rather than merely a type of plant. Regular upkeep and care are necessary for bonsai trees. Get a bonsai tree now that you are aware of how to take care of one properly, and you’ll soon be on your way to mastering this art!