Care of a Bonsai Plant

Overview

Bonsai trees are an art form. They add beauty and elegance to any home decor and provide a relaxing hobby for the owner. Bonsai are miniaturized trees that were started by the Chinese and are the result of extensive pruning and shaping. A bonsai tree can be created from any woody tree or shrub, but they are delicate plants and require a lot of care to get and maintain them into the shape that you want.

Step 1

Water your bonsai tree at least every other day. The soil should remain moist at all times and not be allowed to dry out. Too much water can kill your bonsai just as much as too little, so do not overwater. One way to ensure your bonsai gets enough water is by sitting the pot into a tray filled with water. Allow the plant to draw the water up as it needs it. Replace the water as needed.

Step 2

Apply a water-soluble fertilizer at half strength every two to four weeks. Use a 20-20-20 fertilizer, follow the directions on the container and cut the fertilizer quantity in half. Bonsai trees need a lot of nutrients to grow.

Step 3

Give you bonsai at least six to eight hours of light a day. The best place for your bonsai is a southern facing window. Be sure that your plant is free from drafts as this can kill your plant. If you do not have an area in your home that will allow your bonsai that much sun, you can use grow lights. Grow lights are special bulbs that are used specifically for indoor plants. Allow your bonsai to sit under the grow light for approximately 12 hours a day.

Step 4

Prune your bonsai by pinching off the new growth with your thumb and your forefinger. The whole idea behind pruning is to give the bonsai the desired shape. Remove only sections of the new growth at a time. Total removal can damage the plant and make it go dormant.

Step 5

Turn your tree periodically in the light so that it does not grow in one direction. Wiring the plant can also help aide in the plant growing into the desire direction. One the tree is in the desired shape you can remove the wire.

Step 6

Treat your bonsai with an insecticide if you see any pests. Aphids and mites will frequently become a nuisance on your bonsai. Follow the instructions on an indoor insecticide and treat your bonsai until there are no longer any signs of bugs.

References

  • Emperor's Bonsai: Bonsai Care Guide
  • Celestial Bonsai: Bonsai Care
Keywords: bonsai plant, bonsai care, bonsai growing

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree has a master's in business and is working on a master's in journalism from the University of Tennessee. She is a member of the Society for Porfessional Journalists and has been writing for five years. Works include publications with Hall County Crime Examiner, Player's Press and The Gainesville Times.