Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info

Bonsai Trees: How Long Do They Live?

old ficus

Every living thing both plants and animals have a life cycle and a life expectancy they are naturally subjected to follow. The Bonsai tree is not an exception to this fact. The bonsai too has its own life duration and cycle.

Although, its existence in different species has given rise to varying longevity. Generally, the Bonsai plant has a life expectancy as its parent plant.

The oldest known Bonsai plants grown in Sanai-Shogun-no-Matsu, Japan before the second world war in the seventeenth century has lasted for over two hundred years since its cultivation.

This ancient plant was originally part of a white pine tree with a life expectancy of five hundred years and has survived in good health since its germination.

Many bonsai trees can live for a very long time, while others for just a couple of years. However, the lifespan of any living thing depends greatly on the care and affection tended towards it.

Planning a bonsai tree from the seed level is can be a very long process, that requires lots of patience and consistency. The process is slow, but you actually get rewarded. When planting a Bonsai, you will have to allow it to take enough time to grow its root and grow strong before you can begin training and trimming it. The bonsai tree has different species thereby creating different longevity for the tree.

For beginners, here are the ten best bonsai tree species;
 Juniper
 Maple
 Pine
 Elm

 Redwood
 Azalea
 Ficus
 Yew
 Dwarf umbrella
 Bald cypress

The type of bonsai species you pick should depend on the environment where you’ll be keeping it. Your regions climate should also be considered. Try to choose species that can grow to full size in your region.

If you would like to grow your bonsai tree outdoor, deciduous species such as magnolias, oaks or Japanese elms are excellent options.
The bonsai tree has an age range from a hundred years to five thousand years, Species like bangan, peepal, acacia, birch, field maple, gingko, cryptomena, mesquite, cotton tree, and common alder are likely to live beyond 100 years when grown in the wild. Species like the European beech, common hawthorn, hornbeam, holly live and natural ash live up to 400 years. The scot pine species live up to 500 years.

The Yes species can outlive all other species with a life expectancy of 5000 years. When the bonsai trees are cultivated, the life expectancy of the tree species is expected to be greater, since they were more pampered and protected from elements. When a tree is protected, its lifespan is prolonged for decades.

Continuous pruning and nice ideal growing conditions can ensure excellent vigor and health. Here are some examples of old bonsai trees and their location;

 Ficus bonsai tree at cresol Italy which is over 1000 years old.
 Old juniper bonsai tree at mansei-en Japan which has been proven to be over a thousand years
 Japanese white pine that survived Hiroshima.
 Old bonsai tree at shunkaen which is 800 years old.

Proper trimming of a bonsai tree is the key to maintaining its small stature while keeping it healthy.

Trimming diseased or sick leaves and branches increase the health of the tree. It’s true that any plant can be trained to be a bonsai. When choosing or selecting a plant for longevity, try to choose a variety that is known for its strength and adaptability.

Ensuring that the plant is well catered for and free from diseases and stress, can help prolong its natural lifespan. The bonsai is indeed an art all must practice but growing a species with less care and dedication ruins the pride of the art and tells poorly of the groomer’s reputation. Hope we could help you with the information you needed, thanks for reading through.

Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Species

How To Care For A Black Olive Bonsai Tree

black olive bonsai

One of the best bonsai trees available in today’s market is the Black olive bonsai tree; this is as a result of its lovely flowers, beautiful green leaves as well as dense form. Just like a normal black olive tree, an black olive bonsai tree flowers and produces fruits as well. With this Bonsai tree, one will be able to enjoy its gorgeous pink and white flowers along with fantastic scent
which is often high during summer seasons.

Turning a Black Olive Tree into Bonsai

One of the best tree that can be turned into bonsai is a Black olive tree. This is because they have many opportunities to allow new shoots plus branches and also blossom beautifully and cultivated to allow the production of many fruits in variation to their sizes.

When it comes to a growing black olive bonsai tree, not so many materials are required. In addition to that, some of the basic material you will need include; soil, a coarse substrate which is ideal for enhancing drainage, pruners which are perfect for use when it comes to trimming as well as cutting branches along with roots. Once you have these essential tools, you will be ready to commence on the process. Note that, the type of soil used will profoundly have an impact on your black olive bonsai tree; therefore, you will need to consider it significantly. Moreover, the type of soil used in this process will determine aeration and drainage.

Soil For Black Olive Bonsai Trees

The soil remains an essential factor whether planting on pots or in the garden. Soil assist in nutrients available for the tree, also in consideration to allow water drainage and aeration and not to dry very fast, this helps to harden soil in order to keep water for long and not taken quickly by roots. As a reason of Bonsai roots being very shallow; hence the soil used must be
brought into consideration.

You may choose to use a pre-made Bonsai mixed or may choose to use a mix of grit, Akadema Pumice, organic soil and also Lava rock. Akadema is usually a baked clay that after its mixed with other varieties of substrates it can be of great help in providing slow water drainage that’s required to help deny water from crouching on roots which usually cause rotting. The mixture is also very crucial to the decision of root appearance. If need roots to get divided as they develop a lot of attention, reduce tree in a way which may enable crouching. This moreover empowers bigger ground space which comes with the uptake of a lot of nutrients and water thus giving an advantage of helping in feeding top of a tree which remains my major interest part.

Seed and Seedlings

This is a critical step that requires a lot of consideration on whether you need by either commencing from seedling or seed for your plant. They all give you a small plant; the advantage part is usually to owe it as younger as possible. Owing to your plant from seedling stage requires a lot of patience until it reaches an averaged height of 5 cm after that put it in a pot and commence the procedure shaping and training while it grows.

There are several conclusions that matters a lot on the decision on the type of containers that can be used depending on the plant type decided to use, this may include on the choice for the container comprising on the glaze, shape and color. Usually, bonsai are best in minor containers which help with the balance of the unfinished heights plus growth, container plays a
significant role and crucial as a tree itself.

Generally, the container must always remain of a similar length like the trunk stands width and rapidly must be placed above-ground roots. If decided to use an oval or rectangular containers, this must be 2/3rd of the height of the tree. In consideration, if square containers must be a 1/3rd of the tree height if containers become broader if extremely, there is the presence of a big canopy.

Trees that bear fruits must be brought into consideration and be given containers which are deeper; this will enable and ensure that all nutrients are sufficiently supplied to the fruits.

Black Olive Bonsai Tree Care

There are so many ways and methods that have come up throughout the years in helping to create and enabling getting a healthy plant. One of it is the use of soil mixing method, which is illustrated above, container size matters a lot in nutrient supply thus becomes productive, blossoms and leafage. By providing excellent large holes from the bottom, this will help maintain nutrient on the soil, which will make it accessible by the root. The holes will enable water drainage and will not wash away other organic substances and fertilizers, which are in the soil. Akadema clays are known for binding nutrients, thus enabling water drainage.

Majority of Bonsai are usually indoors thus ensure proper lighting and sunlight is available this will ensure the growth of trees, for black olive tree Bonsai they do best outside in full sunshine. By placing outside will enable photosynthesis to take place hence creating gorgeous blossom fruits preferred and greenery

Watering A Black Olive Bonsai Tree

Always ensure that the tree receives sufficient water supply; this is because of the condition it is growing in just like all other plants. In addition to that, ensure that the tree does not dry up completely and also do not water a lot so that there will be no excess water at the root; thus, drainage consideration is vital. Watering can be done from the bottom or top and ensure to water regularly at least twice a day.

Fertilizing A Black Olive Bonsai Tree

Always add the fertilizer for at least twice in the month of summer with bonsai fertilizer {nitrogenous fertilizer} or as recommended by the owner instructions. Pellet fertilizer may also be used since they are also advised. Ensure that fertilizer is also balanced.

Black Olive Bonsai Training Techniques

The looks of your miniature tree will highly be determined by bonsai training; usually, this involves pruning and wiring.

Black Olive Bonsai Pruning

Black olive tree Bonsai are known for growing very quick mostly in its small trees; thus, the overgrown shoots can be trimmed during summer or its resting stage. The flower buds can be best trimmed during June and July this is in case you want to have increase flowers the following year avoid cutting small shoots when it’s already late. Usually, Black olive bonsai tree
also referred to as pitch-black olive tree grows and looks like a normal black olive tree.

Just like a normal black olive tree, an black olive bonsai tree flowers and produces fruits as well prunes with Bonsai scissor to avoid having small shoots unattended.

Black Olive Bonsai Wiring

The wire must stay in the tree for a longer period because black olive tree Bonsai branches are always soft, and when you removed the wire, they basically go back to their first shape. Always apply the wire in early summer reason being the tree grows in density accordingly and gradually
weakens and the wire can stay for a longer period of time. The disadvantage of wiring during summer the leaves may infringe with the branch exploration because of its smooth bark always use aluminium wire

Repotting Your Black Olive Bonsai

When it comes to maintaining the bonsai’s health, reporting plays a significant role. The primary goal of reporting is getting rid of excess roots that are often associated with the starvation of the tree. Here is how to perform reporting for a bonsai tree:

· Remove the tree from its pot carefully.

· Use a sharp shear to trim the outer layer of the bonsai’s tree.

· Assess the mass of the root within the area you will shade. Usually, the rotted trim indicates the area in which the bonsai tree experiences enough drainage.

· Clean the bonsai pot and get rid of any green or brown spots.

· A mesh square should be placed over a drainage hole; this will aid in preventing the soil from

Black Olive Bonsai Pests And Diseases

Some of the common pests and diseases among an olive bonsai tree include:

· Yellow leaves

Olive trees might have yellow leaves since they are not deciduous; however, whenever the majority of leaves are yellow is often as a result of nitrogen deficiency. Yellow leaves with brown spots, it is usually as a result of olive peacock spot.

· Olive fruit fly

The olive fruit fly also referred to as bactrocera olea does not have to affect the health of an olive bonsai tree; however, it can ruin the crop.

· Verticillium wilt

Bonsai tree with a poor drainage system has high chances of suffering from this infection. The verticillium wilt is often caused by verticillium dahliae.

Owning A Black Olive Bonsai Tree

A black olive bonsai tree is an incredible type of bonsai tree that you might consider having. As we come into a conclusion, we hope that this article will of great benefit when it comes to handling your bonsai tree or choosing the best bonsai tree.

Bonsai General Info, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

How to Display Bonsai Outdoor

how to display bonsai outdoors

Bonsai are beautiful. There are meant to be seen. There are two stages to working with bonsai. The first is in the cultivation; the second is learning the art of displaying your bonsai outdoors. Having said this, the art of displaying your bonsai doesn’t have to be complex. But, there are some issues to be considered. In this article we will touch base on these issues, as well as looking at some of the best ways to display your outdoor bonsai.

Indoor and Outdoor Bonsai

As we said above, there are a few things you need to learn about Bonsai before you can get started. One of these is that you should never display an indoor bonsai outside. There is in fact a common misconception
that all Bonsai should be kept outside. What you need to distinguish here are outdoor and indoor bonsai.

Outside bonsai need to be exposed to all the four seasons like all your trees and plants. The only type of plant or indeed bonsai that will survive inside is a tropical or subtropical one.

Displaying your Bonsai: A Fine and Delicate Art

When displaying a bonsai, your plant should always be the critical element of your display. It should be the primary focus. This many seem obvious, but it is important to note. So, colorful ceramic plant pots are not the best way to display your miniature trees; all the emphasis should be on your bonsai and not on anything else surrounding it.

The three basics of displaying your Bonsai are a pot, a space, and the furniture piece it will stand on. Once you get more confident with your displays, you can then go on to add companion objects too; these include scrolls, smaller and less dominant floral plants, and mountain stones. The relative placement of each of these objects is extremely important; an asymmetrical triangle that creates a natural scene is very popular.

Basics Of Displaying Your Bonsai Outdoors

To display bonsai correctly, there are some basics you must remember. One of the most important of these is to display your bonsai somewhere where they will get a lot of natural light. This may seem obvious, but it is far more important than with other plants and trees in your garden. This is why you will find bonsai displayed on shelves and raised platforms, and never right down on the ground.

Choosing your Bonsai Stand

Your bonsai display could incorporate tables, shelves, or raised platforms, or a combination of all of them. The best level to view bonsai is at eye level, average size tables generally being too low. Floor stands and table stands are ideal for the purpose, the color of pot you choose being in harmony with the plant. This will ensure that all focus in on the bonsai and not on the pot.

Where To Place Bonsai Displays Outdoors

The area you use for your display should provide a natural frame, preferably it should have three sides. The background for your display should be as neutral as possible; this is to ensure that the focal point of your display is your bonsai or bonsai. A neutral colored background is the perfect and most obvious choice. If you are going to incorporate companion objects, ensure that you choose ones that will enhance but that won’t take over your display. For example, if you are going to display smaller plants alongside your bonsai, choose a plant or small statue that you would find naturally alongside a bonsai.

Importance Of Display Tables and Shelves

The table or shelf that you display your bonsai on is no less important than the stones, pots, or drip trays you use. They are essential, as they protect the ground or flooring underneath. They also complete the “whole look” of your bonsai display. Each and every shelf or table adds a sense of formality to your bonsai garden. The tables and shelves you use also add a meditative
aspect to your arrangements. The very best tables to choose for your display are hand carved tables. Carved by Chinese artisans, these tables are carved by people who truly understand the origins of the bonsai. Staining the finished tables allows them to be protected from water and moisture, adding life and a rich shine to your display. Choose carefully the shape and size of your tables, complementing your living Zen art display, but at no point detracting the viewer from the natural beauty of the scenes you create.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species

How To Care For Juniper Bonsai Tree

How To Care For a Juniper Bonsai Tree

One of the most popular bonsai trees is the Juniper bonsai. These coniferous shrubs have over 50 species in its family. The looks of these trees are pretty diverse, with foliage ranging from lighter greens to dark blue greens, and needle- or scale-like foliage. Usually junipers will start off with needle-like foliage and grow scale-like foliage later in its life. Its original needle-like foliage can grow once again if the tree is under some sort of stress, like over watering, heavy pruning or wiring. After a few years this foliage can be removed and its scale-like foliage will grow again.

Their cones are berry-like and very small – ranging from 2cm to 3mm- and are either round or oval shaped. After a year or two, they will ripen, but it is very common for birds to spread the cones through their droppings. Junipers are also commonly used for creating deadwood. 

Identifying Your Juniper Bonsai

As previously mentioned, Junipers are divided into two categories: needle-like and scale-like foliage. 

There are many popular Junipers with needle-like foliage. One example of this is the Green Mound Juniper Bonsai. This Juniper from Japan has short, compact, blue-green foliage. The Japanese Needle Juniper has stinging needles that are dark green and have a white line down its length. Native to North America, North Africa, Europe, and Asia is the Common Juniper. Unlike the Japanese Needle, their needles are small and delicate.

Common Junipers with scale-like foliage are the Japanese Shimpaku and the Chinese Juniper. These Junipers are particularly diverse in color, ranging anywhere from yellow-green, green-blue, and green-gray. Emerald-green, delicate foliage makes the Itoigawa Shimpaku very popular.

Many of the Chinese Junipers look so similar, that it is very hard to distinguish one species from another. Savin Junipers, which originated in North Africa, Europe, and parts of Asia, have either fine or coarse foliage, and range in shades of green depending on where it’s from. Keep in mind all Savin’s are poisonous! California Juniper’s have blue-gray foliage, and are native to -you guessed it- California. Sierra Junipers are insidiousness to western United States. These trees are dark green or gray in color and are pretty dense.

Caring For Your Juniper Bonsai

Junipers are pretty picky bonsai trees. They are very particular about the amount of water they recieve and need lots of light. These trees are also sensitive to frost and cold weather. With proper care, your Juniper shouldn’t face too many problems with pests and diseases, but it is possible for problems to arise anyway.

Positioning A Juniper Bonsai 

Junipers are outdoor bonsai trees and need lots of light with no shade. While some trees are able to survive indoors or outdoors, Junipers are not. Protect these trees from temperatures below 14 degrees Fahrenheit. If your tree turns purplish brown in the winter, this is normal. This is to protect itself from frost. In the spring, its normal color will return.

Watering A Juniper Bonsai

These trees are pretty particular about their water intake. These trees do not like soil wetness, so avoid watering too much. Junipers respond to leaf misting very well as this will boost its air humidity.

Fertilizing A Juniper Bonsai

During the growth season, fertilize once a month with organic fertilizer, or once a week with liquid fertilizer. To encourage growth, use a fertilizer with high Nitrogen levels.

Wiring A Juniper Bonsai

Junipers take to wiring very well. Because of this, dramatic shapes and twists are often associated with the Juniper bonsai. When acquiring a bonsai, you may notice that many Junipers are wired heavily at the start of their lives. While their branches can be bent rather strongly, you must be very careful when wiring deadwood. If the deadwood is old and large, deadwood can be split off and bent into the more flexible parts of the tree. Wire foliage pads when necessary in order to let air and light in and prevent the foliage’s inner parts from dying. In addition to this, dense pads can increase the risk of pest infestation. 

Pruning A Juniper Bonsai

Throughout the growth season, if development of foliage pads is desired, you can pinch or cut off the long shoots that grow out of the silhouette. Trimming these trees like a hedge by removing the growing tips will turn their needles brown and will weaken the tree. Thin out dense foliage pads at the base with sharp scissors. Once a tree part has no buds left on it, buds will not grow again. So, if you want a branch to stay alive, keep some foliage on it.

Juniper Bonsai Diseases and Pests

So long as these trees are properly cared for, you shouldn’t have many problems with diseases and pests. If foliage gets too dense, pests will want to live in it. Junipers are also susceptible to pests in the winter, so you will need to provide them plenty of light and check them for pests regularly. Common pests your tree may become infected with are juniper aphids, juniper needle miners, juniper scale, spider mites, and webworms. While insecticide or miticide sprays or sticks can help, finding the reason your tree became vulnerable to pests in the first place. Fungal rust diseases are another common problem in certain Junipers. The degree at which they are resistant varies from species to species. Yellow-green junipers are not as resistant to rust fungus as green-blue junipers. Some are even resistant to this disease, and others, like Japanese junipers are rarely infested. This disease is, unfortunately, permanent. Brown galls emerge from the swellings that develop on the infected tree. During rainy spring seasons, these galls will form big orange tendrils that are filled with spors that will infect pear trees or other hosts like crabapples. Removing infected parts of the tree does not guarantee that the diseases will not come back. It is best to burn or throw away your tree in the gargabe.

Bonsai Care, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

How To Care For Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Outdoor Bonsai

Most bonsai trees should be kept outdoors just as regular trees are. They need to be exposed to the seasons and go through dormancy in the winter. Indoor bonsai trees are tropical or subtropical, and can only survive outdoors in certain climates. There are thousands of outdoor bonsai species, but we will just be going over the top three. We will also go over how climate may affect your tree and how to take care of your bonsai tree.

Popular Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Just about any tree can be turned into a bonsai tree. It is recommended that you grow a tree indigenous to your area, but any tree that can grow in your climate will work. Some of the most popular outdoor bonsai trees are junipers, pines, and Japanese maples. If fruit is grown in your area, you can also try growing a fruit tree as a bonsai. 

Outdoor Bonsai Tree Climate 

Outdoor bonsai trees can grow well in most climates, but in some climates you may need to take certain precautions. 

Trees imported from Japan grow best in temperate climates. Mediteranian and subtropical trees can survive well in this climate but they will need to be protected from frost in the winter in a greenhouse or something similar.

In climates with cold winters and hot summers, your tree will need to be able to receive shade throughout the day. Protection from frost will also be required for your trees in the winter. In these continental climates, it is best to grow a tree that is native to your area. 

In maritime climates, a well-draining soil will help your plant thrive. Trees that prefer full sunlight will not thrive in these climates.

Caring For Your Outdoor Bonsai 

Taking care of a bonsai tree is different from taking care of a regular potted plant. These trees are planted in shallow containers that limit their water and nutrient storage. Outdoor bonsai also have dormancy periods in the winter. This means the tree stops growing at lower temperatures in order to survive the winter and prepare for the spring. 

Outdoor Bonsai Lighting

All bonsai trees need lots of light. Most outdoor trees need to be placed in a spot where they can receive as much light as possible. Other trees may need partial shade. If your tree does not get enough light, its leaves and internodes will grow too large. This will cause your tree to be susceptible to diseases and pests. Place conifers in all sun at all times.

Outdoor Bonsai Humidity and Temperature Requirements

These trees need relatively high humidity. If your yard is paved, it is likely that your tree is suffering from low humidity. To increase humidity, you can place a humidity tray filled with water underneath the plant’s container. Make sure the plant’s roots do not fall into the water as this will rot the roots. You can also try wetting the concrete areas around your tree or misting the plant daily. These trees need high temperatures in the summer and cold temperatures in the winter, but need protection from frost in the winter.

Watering and Fertilizing Outdoor Bonsai

Never water your tree on a routine. Check it’s soil every day, or two times a day in the hotter months. When your tree needs to be watered, water generously until the water drips out of the drainage holes. Once the water stops dripping, water once more. In the winter, your tree may not need to be watered as often as it does in the summer. 

The fertilizer you use should have Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). Use a balanced fertilizer all year as often as the directions advise.

Having an outdoor bonsai tree is a rewarding process that anyone can do. There are so many trees to choose from! Some trees thrive better than others in certain climates, but with some extra care and precautions, almost any tree can thrive right in your yard! Taking care of an outdoor bonsai tree is different from caring for a regular potted plant, but that does not mean it’s any harder. Simply water when needed, fertilize as directed, and keep humidity up. So long as you take proper care of your tree, it will thrive.

Bonsai General Info

What Does A Bonsai Tree Represent?

what do bonsai trees represent?

While the literal definition of a bonsai tree is a tree planted in a shallow container, there is so much more to this art. The bonsai tradition is over a thousand years old. Bonsai, a Japanese art form, transcended from the art of Penjing, a Chinese art form. 

The goal of growing a bonsai tree is to create a replica of the tree as it is found in nature. This is done by incorporating harmony, balance, simplicity, and age into the tree. Many symbols can be seen in bonsai trees that are not so obvious to people that are unfamiliar to the art of bonsai growing. 

Bonsai Trees Represent Harmony

The Japanese philosophy of something having less power can have a great effect is seen in bonsai trees. Unity is seen in the textures and shapes all over the tree. The sense of harmony seen in nature is a dominant theme in the bonsai art. Symbols that represent coexistence of elements in nature are seen in the fluid lines on branches and in the curves of the bark. Life’s more difficult moments can be seen in the jagged edges and crooked corners on the tree’s branches and bark.

Not only is harmony found in bonsai, but it is also present in the conflict-avoidant culture of Japan. The laws, customs, rules, and manners all emphasize the anti-conflict culture. Group harmony is a priority of those that live in Japan. An example of group harmony at work is the extremely low crime rate in their country. Japanese people tend to get along, and anger is rarely expressed between individuals. The different elements of bonsai trees are often used to represent different people’s opinions. 

Bonsai Trees Represent Balance 

The aspect of balance is very important and may be one of the first things you may notice about a bonsai tree. The triangle is often used in bonsai design. This shape symbolizes stability and strength.

Equilateral triangles that are often used in Western cultures are not used, instead, bonsai uses isosceles triangles. The asymmetry seen in the unequal sides of this triangle is desired for the look of deliberate imperfection. This deliberate imperfection is seen as a more natural sense of balance and is valued greatly in Japanese culture.

While equilateral triangles look motionless and passive, isosceles triangles give a sense of movement. This movement represents the continuation of life, which is significant in not only Japanese cultures, but other cultures as well.

Bonsai Trees Represent Simplicity 

In Japanese cultures, simplicity is found in much of their lives. Offices, homes, buildings, gardens, art, architecture, and their way of life all are based on simplicity. Simplicity embodies respect for nature as well as their sensibilities.

Both the tree and the container that the tree is housed in have simplistic elements. The color of the bonsai’s container should be a neutral tone, which expresses simplicity in nature. The container does not need to be excessively decorated. The showpiece should be the focus point of the tree. The principle of aesthetics is very important in bonsai growing. This simply means that any unnecessary ornamentation should be avoided in this creation. 

No matter how simple or extravagant a bonsai tree is, there is always a sense of simplicity there. The tree is usually centered and the bonsai grower uses artistic skills to draw the viewer’s eyes to the simplistic aspects of the tree. 

Bonsai Trees Represent Age 

Age can be seen in all aspects of the bonsai tree. It is common for trees to have aspects of both young and mature ages. Roots, branches, and trunks can be manipulated to show different stages of life.

Older age can be seen in exposed roots, giving the appearance of erosion. Trunks breaking the surface and growing at an angle also give the illusion of age that symbolize triumph over nature, like dry seasons, severe weather, and pests. Gnarled, scarred trunks can be interpreted as old age, while smooth trunks with no blemishes are seen as youthful. Dead tree trunks placed in the tree can symbolize the tree’s evolution. Branches growing upwards are seen as youthful, while thick, downward facing branches are seen as older, more mature. Sparse growth also represents old age, while luscious, full growth is seen as youthful and vivacious.

The elderly are treated with much respect in Japan. The mixture of youthful and mature aspects of a bonsai tree are based on many Japanese families. Having several generations in one household is very common in Japan. It is believed that this may be one of the main reasons why the eldery live longer in Japan than in other countries.

All aspects of bonsai trees, including harmony, balance, simplicity, and age, are all vital in achieving the look of a bonsai tree. No aspect is more important than another, and no aspect should be ignored. The beautiful combination of these elements is what makes the art of bonsai growing so unique. As a bonsai grower, you have the opportunity to reflect your own life and experiences onto your bonsai.

Bonsai Care, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Can Bonsai Trees Live Outside?

Outdoor Bonsai

Bonsai trees are just regular trees housed in a shallow container in order to limit its nutrient and water storage. Because of this, bonsai trees grow best in the climates that their full-sized counterparts grow in. Some trees grow best outdoors, while others grow best indoors. Here we will talk about the trees that grow outdoors. Different trees grow better in certain climates than others. We will also go over the best and most popular outdoor trees as well as how to care for outdoor trees. 

Is Your Local Climate Good For Outdoor Bonsai

Just like regular trees grow better in some climates than others, bonsai trees are the same way. In general, outdoor bonsai trees need a climate that gets cold enough for it to go into dormancy and stay that way for a few months in the winter. Some prefer lots of sun, others prefer a few hours of sun and lots of shade. 

Many bonsai trees can be grown outdoors in subtropical and mediterranean climates. Trees that cannot survive through frost are a good fit in this climate. Some species may need protection from the constant direct sunlight. Some trees that can survive in this climate are pomegranate, Chinese elm, Japanese black pine and olive trees. Certain mediteranian Junipers will thrive as well. Japanese maple and trident maple trees will do fine so long as they are able to go into winter dormancy. Trees that will not thrive in these climates are cherry and apple trees because they prefer cooler climates.

The trees mentioned above will love subtropical and mediterranian climates. Those trees will also survive in temperate, continental, and maritime climates so long as special precautions are made.

Imported Japanese species grow very well in temperate climates. Subtropical and mediterranian trees will also grow well so long as they can be protected in a greenhouse or something like that. 

In continental climates, growing native trees are common, but you may also grow other trees if you can provide semi-shade in the summer and frost protection in the winter. 

Maritime climates have hot summers, so well draining soil is recommended for your trees. Bonsai that prefer full sun will not thrive here.

How to Care For Outdoor Bonsai 

Because of the shallow containers these trees are planted in, their nutrients and water intake is limited. Therefore, caring for outdoor bonsai trees is different from caring for a regular houseplant. Always remember that all outdoor bonsai trees need to go into dormancy in order to survive. This dormancy allows the tree to survive for the winter and prepare for growth in the spring. 

Light and Humidity For Outdoor Bonsai 

Outdoor bonsai trees need sunlight for at least a few hours a day. Conifers need to be placed in full sun in order to thrive. Some trees prefer to have afternoon shade to prevent their leaves from burning in the intense sunlight. 

Without the proper amount of light, their leaves and internodes will grow very large and will become susceptible to diseases and pests.

Watering and Fertilizing Outdoor Bonsai

Check the bonsai’s soil every day, or a few times a day in the summer. If the soil is dry, you need to water your tree. Watering on a routine can cause over- or under-watering, which can be fatal if it happens frequently. When watering, water with a fine nozzle watering can generously until the water starts to drip out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the container. Wait a few minutes, then water once more. 

Since the tree isn’t able to get nutrients like regular trees, fertilization is required. Your fertilizer should include Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Other micronutrients can be included as well, but they are not necessary for the tree’s survival. Apply a balanced fertilizer during the entire growth season as often as the directions advise. 

Many may think that bonsai trees can only be grown indoors. This is untrue! Many trees can be grown outdoors as bonsai trees. The only trees that do not do well outdoors are tropical trees and some subtropical trees. The rest grow very well outdoors, depending on your climate. Some trees need protection from harsh light, while others thrive in full sun. Some need to be protected from frost, others will survive just fine. So long as you are taking any precautions necessary, your outdoor tree will thrive!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

How To Care For A Boxwood Bonsai Tree

boxwood bonsai tree

With over 70 species in its family, the Boxwood bonsai tree is the ideal tree for intermediate bonsai growers. Every part of this tree is poisonous, and should be kept away from any and all pets. Contact with human skin will cause minor irritation for a few days. 

Its naturally twisted branches and trunk make this tree excellent for bonsai growing. The yellow-green flowers attract bees. Their tolerance to shade and excessive pruning also make for god bonsai qualities. We will be talking about how to care for these magnificent trees, including where to place them, how often you water and fertilize them, and more!

How to Care For Boxwood Bonsai

Boxwood bonsai aren’t considered low-maintenance, but they aren’t high maintenance either. Most of these trees are outdoor, but there is one species, the Chinese boxwood, that is considered an indoor bonsai in most climates. Constant soil wetness is not preferred, but occasional, short dry periods are okay. Feeding should be done once a month with solid fertilizer, or once a week with liquid fertilizer. Pruning is handled well, but use caution when wiring as it will cut into the branch very quickly. Pests and diseases are quite common, but can be dealt with. 

Do You Keep A Boxwood Bonsai Tree Indoors or Outdoors?

Boxwood bonsai are outdoor trees that should never be placed inside for prolonged periods of time. The only exception to this would be the Chinese boxwood, which can be placed indoors in the winter in a cool room at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit and plenty of light, but prefers to be outdoors in the hot summer months. These trees like a sunny spot with afternoon shade. Because they are sensitive to frost, they should be placed in a greenhouse for protection in the winter. 

Watering A Boxwood Bonsai Tree

Always check the bonsai’s soil for wetness before watering. Lots of water is prefered, so water generously, but use a well draining soil; Boxwood’s do not like constant wet soil. And while these trees can live through short dry periods, it is not recommended that these trees go without water very often or for very long. The use of normal tap water is fine. If you can drink it, you can water your bonsai with it. 

Fertilizing A Boxwood Bonsai Tree

Since these trees, with the exception of the Chinese boxwood, are true outdoor trees, they need to be fertilized during their growth season. The growth season for these trees is from spring until autumn. When using an organic fertilizer, feed once a month, but when using a liquid fertilizer, feed every week. Chinese boxwood bonsai should be fertilized every month in the winter seasons. Follow the directions on the packaging. 

Training Techniques For Boxwood Bonsai Trees

Every new shoot should be pruned so that there are one or two pairs of leaves left on the branch. The leaves are very dense on these trees and should therefore be thinned out to let light in. Thinning of the leaves will allow for the inner branches to thrive. Boxwoods handle pruning very well, so it should be done regularly, and deadwood sculpturing can also be done. Wiring, however, is a bit different. This should be done very carefully as it is easy to damage its delicate bark. Marks left by wires will be visible for a long time. 

Common Pests and Diseases Of The Boxwood Bonsai Tree 

Boxwoods are very prone to diseases and pests, so it is crucial that you are caring for them properly and checking for infestations regularly. Fungal diseases such as root rot and box blight are common, as well as scale, nematodes, boxwood leafminer, boxwood mite, and boxwood psyllid. Pesticides can treat these pests quite well in most cases, but a professional should be contacted in extreme cases. In Europe, boxwood moths have become an increasingly bad problem. The caterpillars will skeletonize the tree very quickly. Neem oil based pesticides will help. 

Commonly sculpted into fine pieces of art, these trees are a perfect addition to your home! Boxwood bonsai are forgiving when it comes to placement, as they can be placed in full sun or semi-shade. They do not like to be over-watered, while occasional under-watering is tolerable. Fertilizing should be done consistently for Chinese Boxwood, but every month or week, depending on the fertilizer, for common Boxwood. Pruning is taken very well but wiring should be done with caution. Pests and diseases are common but treatable. These trees are perfect for those who want a beautiful, leafy bonsai tree in their home!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

How To Care For A Jade Bonsai Tree

jade bonsai tree

The Jade tree, also called the Crassula ovata, originated in South Africa. This tree is a succulent, meaning it retains water in it’s stems and leaves. Jade trees thick stems and deep green, thick, glossy oval leaves. The tree’s bark is soft and green when it is young, and ages into a reddish-brown. Jade’s can produce little white flowers in the fall, but only if the tree has gone through a drought that season. Beginners will love this bonsai tree. It is very easy to take care of, but still a beautiful tree.

Positioning A Jade Bonsai Tree

Jade Bonsai’s can be grown indoors in any climate. However, it can be grown outdoors in certain climates that have high temperatures and lots of sun all day. Jade’s need to be in temperatures above 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) at all times. This tree needs full sun, especially when kept indoors. You will know your tree is receiving enough light when the leaves’ tips or edges turn red.

Watering And Fertilizing Jade Bonsai Trees

As a succulent, this tree is able to hold lots of water in its stems and leaves. These trees do not need to be constantly watered. Allow for the plant to dry out between watering. In the winter, your tree may need to be watered as seldom as once every three weeks. We still recommend checking the soil every day, even in the winter. This tree is not particular about over watering. Feed once a month in the growth season, which is from spring to autumn. Use a balanced fertilizer.

Training Techniques Used On Jade Bonsai Trees.

As mentioned before, these trees are succulents, which means that they hold water in their trunk and branches. Because of this, their branches often bend from the weight. Jade’s respond quite well to pruning. You can use pruning to force the branches to grow on the lower portion of the trunk.

Stay away from cut-paste as this may cause rotting when used on Jade Bonsai tree. Jade’s also respond well to wiring, but be careful, the bark of
the tree is very soft, and the wire will bite into it fast.

Pests And Diseases Of Jade Bonsai Trees

The Jade Bonsai tree is very resistant towards pests and diseases. So long as the tree is properly cared for, you shouldn’t have any problems. If any problems do arise, there are ways to fix them. For example, mealy bugs have been known to attack these trees. To treat this pest, you can use a rubbing alcohol soaked cotton swab to treat the affected area. Other pests you may encounter are aphids.

Aphids damage the tree’s fungal growth development as well as the tree itself. Ladybird beetles are aphid’s natural predators. Simply introduce the ladybird beetles to the affected tree, and the beetles should take care of the pest. If this does not work, you can also try using an insecticide specifically used to treat aphids.

Soil and Repotting Jade Bonsai Trees

Having the proper bonsai soil mixture is crucial to the health of your plant. Your bonsai soil should have good drainage, water-retention, and aeration. Bonsai trees need to have soil that holds enough water to keep it thriving between watering, while providing good drainage so that the excess water doesn’t cause the plant to rot, while also providing little gaps of air so that the roots can breathe.

For these reasons, organic soil, which is regular potting soil, should never be used. A blend of Akadama, Pumice, and Lava rock at a ½, ¼, ¼ ratio is recommended.

Every other year in the spring, repot your jade bonsai tree using well-draining soil. After repotting, avoiding watering your tree for about a week in order for the roots to dry. Watering right after repotting can cause root rot, which will kill your plant.

The Jade bonsai is the perfect bonsai tree for everyone, beginners and experts alike. This tree is not only beautiful, but low maintenance as well. Jade’s hold water in their branches, so watering is not a big issue. Fertilize every month only during the growth season. These trees take pruning and wiring very well, so this can become part of your bonsai routine. And while it is unlikely that your tree will get any pests or diseases, there are ways to rid of any pests that may occur. Having a properly mixed soil blend
will ensure that your tree is healthy and strong. Happy growing!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Watering Your Bonsai

watering bonsai

The Importance Of Watering Bonsai Trees

Watering is a crucial part of caring for your bonsai. There are a few things you need to know before watering your tree. You need to know when to water your tree, how to check the soil, and, of course, how to water your tree. Every bonsai tree is different, and therefore has different watering needs. These are some guidelines you can follow each time you water your bonsai. 

How Often Should I Water My Bonsai?

One big rule to follow when watering your trees is to not water on a schedule. This can lead to under- or over-watering which can kill your plant. Water when the soil gets slightly dry. Do not wait until your plant is completely dried out and do not water when your tree’s soil is still visibly wet. Instead of just guessing when your tree needs to be watered, you need to check the plant’s soil.

Checking Your Bonsai Soil 

Checking the soil of your plant is the only way to really know if your plant needs it. There are a few ways you can check the soil, including using your finger, a chopstick, or moisture meter.

The first way you can check the soil is by using your finger. Simply insert your finger about 1 inch into the soil and feel whether the soil is wet or not. This method is not as effective as the methods below. Sometimes it may be hard to tell whether the soil is wet or just cold, and if you are checking multiple tree’s soil, your sense of whether the soil is wet or not may be off. 

Another way to check your tree’s soil is to use a chopstick. For this method, you take a chopstick and stick it an inch or two into the bonsai’s soil. The placement should be the midpoint of the rim and the trunk of your tree. After about 10 minutes, remove the chopstick and look at it. If the chopstick is discolored, your soil is still damp and does not need to be watered. If the chopstick is not discolored and is dry to the touch, it is time to water. Clean after every use and store in a dry place.

Using a moisture meter is another great way to check your bonsai’s soil. Moisture meters measure the amount of moisture in your tree’s soil on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being the driest and 10 being the wettest. To use, insert the probe into the soil at the root level. If the moisture level is three or under, you need to water your tree. At levels 4 and up, the soil is still damp and does not need to be watered. Clean after every use and store in a dry place.

When Should I Water My Bonsai?

So now you know when to water your tree, but what about the time of day? In short, it really doesn’t matter what time you water your plant. Some experts suggest not watering your outdoor bonsai with cold water in the afternoon, but this will not affect the health of your bonsai. As soon as you see that your tree’s soil is dry, you need to water it, not matter what time of day!

How To Water Your Bonsai Tree

Now that you’ve checked your bonsai’s soil, it is time to water your tree! Take a fine nozzled watering can filled with water – tap water is just fine – and water your tree’s soil until the water starts dripping out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Stop watering once this happens, and wait for the water to drain completely. Then repeat this process once more. To ensure that your tap water has no chlorine or other chemicals in it, you can leave the water out overnight before watering.

So long as you follow these guidelines whenever you water your bonsai trees, you should have no problems with watering. Check the soil every day, or multiple times a day in the summer. If your soil is dry, water generously twice. Your tree’s watering needs will vary from day to day, and will vary from tree to tree. Happy growing!