Category

Bonsai Care

Bonsai Care, Indoor Bonsai Trees

How To Care For A Bonsai Tree Indoors

Indoor bonsai trees are beautiful tropical or subtropical trees that can only be kept outdoors in a few climates. Unlike outdoor bonsai, these trees do not go into dormancy in the winter. Instead, they grow consistently all year. Indoor bonsai thrive in the high, stable temperatures of a standard living room. Because of the differences between indoor and outdoor bonsai, they have different care requirements. We will be going over the basics of caring for your indoor tree, including light, humidity, watering, and fertilizing requirements.

Caring For an Indoor Bonsai

Because bonsai trees are housed in such shallow containers, they have limited nutrient and water storage. So, caring for a bonsai tree is different from caring from a regular house plant. Taking care of an indoor bonsai is also different from caring for an outdoor bonsai. Outdoor bonsai have different light needs, as well as different watering and fertilizing preferences.

Light and Humidity

Tropical and subtropical bonsai trees like lots of light and high humidity. To get the best light intensity, place your bonsai tree directly in front of a south-facing window at all times. Moving the tree even a few feet away from the window will decrease the light intensity significantly. Eventually, this will weaken and kill your tree. 

Even when your tree is in the perfect position, it may not be receiving enough light. Grow lights can help provide your tree with enough light. Leave the artificial light on for around 10 hours a day. You can leave the light on for less time during the winter if you would like to mimic the changing of the seasons, but this is optional. 

Indoor trees also like high humidity levels. This can be hard to achieve indoors, especially if you use air conditioning or heating. Filling a humidity tray with water or wet gravel and placing it under your tree will help increase humidity. You can also try misting your tree a few times a day and opening a window during the day to allow air to circulate throughout your house

Watering

bonsai watering

While every tree has different watering preferences, there are some guidelines you can follow for every bonsai. The most important rule to follow is to never water on a routine. Instead, check your indoor tree’s soil every day and water only when the soil gets slightly dry. Watering on a routine can cause you to over- or under-water your tree, both of which could kill it. 

If your bonsai’s soil is dry, it is time to water your tree. To water, get a fine nozzle watering can and fill it with water. The fine nozzle will prevent the soil from being disturbed. Water generously until water starts to drip out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the container. Then, after about 10 minutes, water once more.

Rain water is the best water you can use when watering your tree, but tap water will work just fine.

Fertilizing

bonsai care

Since indoor bonsai trees grow consistently all year, they also need to be fertilized constantly. It doesn’t really matter what kind of fertilizer you use, so long as it contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The fertilizer you use can also include other micronutrients, but nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium must be the main three elements. A balanced liquid fertilizer is recommended for indoor bonsai trees. A balanced fertilizer simply means that the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is 1:1:1.

Taking care of indoor bonsai trees is not as hard as one may think. Your indoor tree should be placed in a spot where it can receive lots of light, and a humidity tray can help with humidity levels. Under-watering and over-watering are big bonsai killers, but can be avoided as long as you water when the soil gets slightly dry, instead of on a routine. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer as often as the directions suggest; usually it will be once every few weeks to a month. Once you get the hang of how to care for your tree, watering and fertilizing will become much easier. With proper care, your indoor bonsai should live a long and healthy life!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Indoor Bonsai Trees

How to Revive a Jade Bonsai with Leaves Falling Off

Jade Bonsai is currently a popular plant in many households across the world. It is quite simple to care for as it only requires minimal conditions to thrive. Jade Bonsai, scientifically called Crassula ovata, is a succulent plant species with its origin traced back to Africa. Many households have these plants in their living rooms because of their beauty and appeal. The branches are fleshy and shiny, with the leaves perfectly rounded, and the trees are quite small in size (less than five feet).

Succulent plants are usually popular for their capability to survive in harsh conditions. For instance, they can thrive well in dry areas with minimal water and sunlight exposure. However, just like all plants, they bloom best in certain optimal conditions. Failure to provide these conditions usually results in undesired consequences, such as withering of the Jade plant. Instead of the normal shedding of old leaves, the plant may start to exponentially lose leaves, a process which might eventually kill it.

Therefore, to stop your Jade Bonsai from abnormally shedding its leaves, you will first have to determine the actual cause of the problem. This usually depends on several factors such as watering, humidity levels, sunlight, temperatures, pests and diseases, soil type, and others. To fully revive the plant, you will need to implement some of the following guidelines.

Watering

The Jade Bonsai plant needs to be carefully watered to prevent any negative results. These plants require a certain amount of water to grow healthily; under-watering may imitate the conditions of a severe desert. This will result in the plant losing some, if not all, of its leaves gradually to reduce the rate of water loss during photosynthesis. Therefore, as soon as the top layer of the potting soil dries up, you should consider watering the plant. This time period usually averages between 15 to 30 days, depending on the season and environmental conditions of a place.

Similarly, over-watering the Jade Bonsai may also cause the plant to lose its leaves. Too much water makes the roots of the plant vulnerable to rotting, and the damp soil will make the leaves turn yellow and start falling off at an exponential rate. The plant may even develop soft sections on the branches and trunk. This problem requires cessation of the watering routine until the potting soil dries up; then you can resume the proper watering routine. You may also re-pot the plant altogether to a new, drier soil.

Lighting

You should also monitor the lighting environment of the plant. Limited light during the winter will cause the leaves to fall. Similarly, too much light will cause similar consequences. Jade plants require optimal lighting conditions to photosynthesize, without which they start to wither lose their leaves.

Therefore, when your house is not receiving appropriate lighting, you should move the plant near a window where it will be properly illuminated. You may also install artificial lighting systems using specialized bulbs near the Jade Bonsai plant’s pot as this will provide enough light throughout all seasons.

Temperatures

You should maintain optimal temperatures within the habitat of your Jade Bonsai. Temperatures ranging between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit are healthy. Any temperature above this range might prove too warm for the survival of the plant, causing it to lose its leaves and wither. 

Similarly, temperatures below this range might be too cold for the plant. Therefore, to prevent your plant from losing its leaves, you will always need to pay attention to the temperature, making sure it does not deviate from the provided range. You may even employ artificial equipment such as fans and radiators to control the heat level.

Pests

Just like other plants, the Jade Bonsai is usually susceptible to pests. Some of these include mealybugs and aphids, which usually affect the plant in different ways. For instance, some of these pests usually feed on the leaves, deforming them and causing them to fall. Also, some of these pests leave behind secretions, which usually promote the growth of mold and fungus on the plant. 

Therefore, to safely revive your plant, you will need to remove these pests by carefully using a cotton/paintbrush with rubbing alcohol. If this is inconvenient, you may introduce parasitic pests like ladybirds to consume the damaging pests. Finally, you may use carefully selected insecticides to kill the pests. However, this is sometimes a harmful process and thus not recommended.

Care Products

Some of these plants also wither due to the products used on them. Some individuals apply leaf shine products on their plant or even clean the leaves using household cleaning detergents and chemicals.

These products are very harmful to your plant, and continued use will result in the loss of leaves. Therefore, under no circumstance should you use these chemicals and products on your plant.

In conclusion, properly knowing the root cause of the problem to your Jade Bonsai is vital as a first step in reviving your plant. You may then follow any of the guidelines provided depending on the cause of the problem. Within no time, your plant will again be thriving and healthy, lighting up your room and environment.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Indoor Bonsai Trees

Should I Use LED Grow Lights for My Bonsai Trees?

Bonsai tree growing has become quite popular in recent years. Although many people have adopted this trend, not all of them understand the importance of lighting. Contrary to what you may believe, light is more than just a source of energy. Light provides key signals related to your plant’s well-being.

Indoor bonsai need proper lighting, and one of your best options for bonsai care is an LED grow light. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at why you need bonsai LED grow lights and how to make the most of them.

The importance of a good lighting environment in bonsai cultivation

Light gives your bonsai essential signals related to development. It all starts right from germination and should not be taken for granted. Proper lighting signals your plant when it is the correct time to switch to budding/flowering from vegetation growth.

It is also light that helps your plant decide when to secrete protective substances. The importance of lighting to your bonsai trees cannot be stressed enough. So, how does this all happen? Let’s take a more detailed look at how bonsai trees receive important light signals.

How your bonsai plant receives the important light signals

Your bonsai tree takes advantage of light wavelengths known as Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR). Your plant needs a blue spectrum light during the vegetation stage and red spectrum during the bearing stage. Compared to the plants, the human eye is significantly limited when it comes to light range

Why LED grow lights?

LED light technology has grown immensely over the years. NASA researchers first brought LED lights to the attention of hobby gardeners, and the lights have since gained wide popularity. When compared to other forms of lighting such as HID lights and fluorescent lights, the LED lights emit a high-quality wavelength that benefits your bonsai trees more.

LED grow lights are an eco-friendly solution with low energy and heat output. Controlling the high-heat emitting HID option can be rather frustrating if you have tried it before. With fluorescent lights, on the other hand, you get poor penetration with less heat.

The Do’s and Don’ts of LED Grow Lights

Quality

Always ensure that you provide high-quality LED light for your bonsai trees. With a high-end LED light, you won’t need an extra fan, since they come with built-in fans. All you need to do is plug your LED light and switch it on.

Ensure that you buy your LED grow lights from a trusted dealer. Since LED lights have been introduced in the market recently, many people are rushing to produce them, and there is a high risk of getting a low-quality product that isn’t long-lasting.

Positioning

Proper positioning of your LED grow light is an important consideration. Distance will influence the light colors that emerge and penetrate your bonsai plant. Be careful not to place the light too close to your tree, however, or you will risk burning the leaves.

You will need to monitor your tree to help you determine the correct positioning of the LED light. Take your time during this stage until you find the right position for your LED grow lights. As a bonsai grower, you have likely already realized that you need patience!

LED Bulb Rating

Use an LED bulb with a 6500K rating, which produces a blue spectrum, when you need to stimulate the growth of foliage. However, you will need a LED bulb with a 2700K rating, which produces a red spectrum, during flowering seasons.

If your bonsai plant requires plenty of light, then you will need LEDs with high lumens. A high voltage does not necessarily mean high lumens. When buying an LED light, check the description to determine the lumens.

Conclusion

Using an LED grow light for your bonsai cultivation is a simple procedure with few complications. Ensure that you get a LED light that suits your plant’s needs, and your tree will flourish! Remember that bonsai cultivation is an art, and you are always free to experiment on your endless journey.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Indoor Bonsai Trees, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

How Much Light Does A Bonsai Tree Need?

Bonsai trees need a certain amount of light each day in order to thrive, just as normal trees do. Bonsai need around 10 hours of light each day. This need varies from species to species, and indoor and outdoor trees have different needs as well. One important thing to remember is that every individual bonsai is different. Getting to know your tree’s needs will take some time.

Indoor Bonsai

Indoor species are tropical or subtropical trees that need lots of light, high temperatures and high humidity. When placed indoors, it can be hard for these trees to receive enough light. Place these trees directly in front of a south facing window at all times. Moving these trees away from the window will be harmful, as light intensity will decrease significantly. 

Even at a south facing window, it is likely that your tree isn’t receiving enough light. This problem can be solved with artificial lighting. Also consider placing your indoor bonsai outdoors during the day in the summer. Bring in the tree when temperatures start to drop at night.

Growing Lights for Indoor Bonsai

Your indoor bonsai tree needs lots of light in order to be healthy and strong. Natural habitats for tropical and subtropical trees are very sunny and hot. It can be hard to meet your tree’s light requirements in your home. 

Artificial lighting will solve your light problem. Also called growing lights, these devices will provide the light your tree needs without any damage or hassle. Simply turn on these lights for around 10 hours a day. Fewer hours are needed in the winter.

Outdoor Bonsai

The amount of light an outdoor bonsai needs differs with each bonsai species. In general, outdoor trees prefer lots of light during the summer and don’t need much light in the winter, since they are in dormancy. 

Some species, like the Juniper bonsai, prefer to be placed in full sun all day. Species like these do not thrive in shade. Around 10 hours of constant light is preferred. Some trees will even tell you when they are receiving enough light, such as the jade bonsai. This tree’s leaves will turn red at the edges. 

Other trees, like the Japanese Maple, like lots of morning sun and afternoon shade. The shade during the day provides protection from the harsh sun so that the leaves are not damaged. 

And finally, trees like the Chinese elm can grow in full sun or in partial shade. They can be grown indoors with lots of light, or outdoors with sun in the afternoons.

Shading Nets for Outdoor Bonsai

Many bonsai leaves are very sensitive. The hot sun blazing down on your tree may very well damage its leaves. Luckily, there is a way to prevent damage: shading nets.

Shading nets are used to filter the amount and intensity of the light that bonsai trees receive. In very hot temperatures, a tree’s leaves may dry out, and the tree may require constant watering in order to stay alive. Nets are not always needed, but if you notice these symptoms on your tree, consider putting up a shading net. 

The material is categorized by how much light is infiltrated. Usually, the nets range from 40% to 80%. Nets with a 40% range are best for temperatures in the upper 80 to lower 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In climates with temperatures that get into the mid 90’s to lower 100 degrees Fahrenheit, 60% range nets work best. Finally, for desert-like climates with temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, we recommend using an 80% range net. 

While every bonsai tree is different, following these guidelines should give you an idea of how much light your bonsai needs. Indoor bonsai trees need lots of light all year round. Artificial lighting is often needed to help your bonsai thrive. Outdoor species have more diverse needs. Some prefer lots of light all day long in the summer, while others like afternoon shade during the hottest hours of the day. Shading nets may be helpful in protecting your tree from the harsh sun. Nets range from 40% to 80%. You will be able to tell when your tree isn’t receiving enough light because leaves will start to drop. Your tree will look much happier when it is getting enough light!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Indoor Bonsai Trees, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

How Much Light Do Bonsai Trees Need?

Providing your bonsai tree with enough light is crucial for the tree’s health. The placement of your bonsai tree depends on species, climate, time of year, and many other factors. You first need to determine whether your tree is an indoor or an outdoor bonsai. This will affect how much light the tree needs and other necessary growing conditions. In this article, we will discuss light requirements for indoor and outdoor bonsai, how to determine whether your tree needs grow lights (artificial lights), and how to decide whether your tree needs a shade net outdoors.

Indoor Bonsai

Indoor bonsai trees are either tropical or subtropical trees. This means they need high temperatures and high humidity levels throughout the whole year. These trees can only survive outdoors in certain climates. 

Because they are grown indoors, it is often a struggle for these trees to receive enough light. Place your indoor bonsai tree directly in front of a south facing window or another window where it will receive as much light as possible. During the summer, many of these trees can be placed outside for a few hours during the day, but there are some trees that should not receive direct sunlight. 

Artificial lighting is often required for these trees to thrive. We will be talking more about grow lights a bit further down in this article.

Outdoor Bonsai

Outdoor bonsai trees are trees that need to be exposed to the seasons and experience dormancy periods in the winter. During these periods, it is perfectly natural for the tree to stop growing and not be exposed to high temperatures or excessive light. 

Each tree species likes a different amount of light and prefers different climates. Trees that like full sun, like juniper species, will not be happy in maritime climates. Imported Japanese species grow best in temperate climates, along with subtropical and mediterranean trees. 

If your tree likes shade and does not like afternoon sun, place it in a position where it will receive good morning light and afternoon shade.

Grow Lights

Many indoor species need artificial lighting, even if they are placed in the perfect position indoors. Sometimes sunlight through a window just isn’t enough. If your tree is showing signs of not receiving enough light, such as weak leaves falling off the tree, it may be time to invest in a grow light.

Grow lights can be used for around 10 hours a day to help your tree thrive. You can also mimic the changing of the seasons by leaving the light on for around four hours a day in the winter and longer in the summer. There are also smart grow lamps that will mimic the changing of the seasons automatically.

Shading Nets

Many trees like to be in partial shade, but there may not be areas of your yard or balcony that will suit your tree. In many particularly hot areas, shade nets may be used to protect against potential sun damage. Shading nets allow your tree to receive light while protecting it from harmful direct sunlight.

Shade nets are graded on how much light is allowed to infiltrate. Nets range from 40% to 80%: 40% nets are generally used for lower temperatures, and 80% nets are used for desert climates. For temperatures in the upper 80’s to low 90’s (in Fahrenheit), use 40%. For hotter climates in the 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, 60% range is recommended. Finally, for desert climates above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, we recommend using the 80% range. 

Each net will lower the temperatures underneath it by about 10 degrees Fahrenheit.  

While bonsai trees are all very different, there are some general guidelines and suggestions when dealing with how much light they will need. When growing your tree in the proper climate, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not it is receiving enough light. If the sun’s direct light is too much for your trees, consider moving them to a shady spot in your yard or balcony or adding shade nets above the trees. Indoor bonsai trees are different. Even if indoor trees are placed correctly, it is still likely that they aren’t getting enough light. Adding growing lights (artificial lights) should help significantly. You should be able to tell if your tree is receiving enough light – it will be thriving!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Indoor Bonsai Trees, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Do Bonsai Trees Need Direct Sunlight?

Light is crucial to the health of your bonsai tree. But does it matter whether the light these trees receive is direct or indirect? The answer to this question depends on several factors. Some bonsai trees only need direct sunlight, while others do very badly in direct sunlight. In this article we will be going over whether outdoor bonsai need direct light, whether indoor bonsai need direct light, and the difference between direct and indirect sunlight.

Outdoor Bonsai

Outdoor bonsai trees need to be exposed to the seasons in order to survive. Therefore, most of them need lots of direct sunlight throughout the day. On average, outdoor trees need about 5 hours of direct sunlight per day. 

An example of a tree that needs lots of direct sunlight would be the Juniper bonsai. Juniper bonsai are not able to live indoors because the light intensity is too low for them. 

Japanese Maple and pomegranate trees are examples of outdoor trees that do not like direct sunlight all day. These trees like to be placed in shade in the middle of the day when temperatures grow hotter. This will ensure that the tree’s leaves are not damaged from the sun.

Indoor Bonsai

Many varieties of tropical or subtropical bonsai trees grow best indoors. These trees will usually need some form of artificial lighting, but they can also benefit from being placed outdoors for a few hours a day in the summer. 

Trees like the Jade and Ficus bonsai can be placed outdoors in higher temperatures. When placed outside, they do not like a shady position. Direct sunlight is very favorable to these trees.

In contrast, Dwarf Umbrella and Sageretia bonsai trees do not like direct sunlight outdoors. The dwarf Umbrella tree does not like to be taken outside at all. This subtropical tree is only an indoor tree, never an outdoor tree. Sageretia trees also do not like direct sunlight when placed outside. They like to be placed in shade.

Direct vs Indirect Sunlight

Knowing the difference between direct and indirect sunlight can help you grow your tree the right way.

Direct sunlight occurs when sunlight hits your tree directly, with no barrier between the sun and the tree. This ensures your tree is getting the most intense light possible. Some trees need lots of direct sunlight to survive, while others will dry up under this amount of light.

Indirect sunlight occurs when sunlight is not directly hitting your tree; there is a barrier between the sun and your tree. An example of this would be light hitting your indoor tree through a window. Indoor bonsai trees can survive on indirect sunlight, but this is rarely enough. These trees will usually need help from artificial lighting as well.

Artificial lighting, another type of lighting, can be as intense as direct sunlight, but it is used indoors. Artificial lighting can be used on indoor bonsai trees that are suffering from low light intensity. To increase light intensity, turn on this light for around 10 hours a day every day. It may be helpful to mimic the changing of the seasons with this light. For instance, you can run the lights for longer in the summer, up to 16 hours a day, and shorter in the winter for around 5 hours a day.  

Light intensity can make or break a bonsai tree. Some trees are more tolerant than others, but some specifically need direct or indirect sunlight. Most outdoor trees need direct sunlight all year, even in the summer, while others are sensitive to hotter days and should be placed in shade or partial-shade in the summer. Direct lighting can cause leaves to dry out on some trees. While indoor trees need to be placed indoors in order to survive, it is still possible that they need at least some direct sunlight during the day to thrive. It also helps to provide indoor trees with artificial lighting if they are not receiving enough light. You should be able to visibly see when your tree is receiving enough light: it will look healthy, happy, and strong.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Deciduous Bonsai

When you think of a bonsai tree, the image that pops into your head is likely a deciduous bonsai tree. Deciduous bonsai are some of the most beautiful bonsai trees available, and they are easy to care for as well. These trees shed their leaves in the winter, grow outdoors, and go dormant in the winter. In this article, we will discuss the most popular deciduous bonsai species and how to care for these trees.

Popular Deciduous Bonsai Species

There are hundreds of different kinds of deciduous trees that you can bonsai. Apricots, maples, elms, and ginkgos are the most popular kinds of trees.

Not only is the apricot tree beautiful, it also bears edible fruit. These trees can grow to be about seventeen inches tall, but with pruning and wiring, they can be much smaller. Your apricot bonsai will flower in the winter and ripe fruit will grow in the summer. 

Maple bonsai are not only popular deciduous trees, they are also commonly grown by those who are new to bonsai. Common maple species include Japanese maple and Trident maple. Their beautiful leaves fluctuate between red and gold throughout the year. 

Trees in the elm family are some of the most popular bonsai trees among beginners and experts alike. The Chinese Elm is the most popular elm bonsai species. These trees are very forgiving and can be kept indoors or outdoors, depending on your climate. When kept indoors, they will keep their leaves, but when housed outdoors, they are truly deciduous.

How to Care for Deciduous Bonsai

Bonsai growing is an amazing art that anyone can do. Caring for deciduous bonsai is not hard at all! These trees should be placed outdoors all year long and moved to a greenhouse if temperatures fall especially low in the winter. Water as necessary when the soil gets a little dry. Feed throughout the growth season. Pruning can be done throughout the growth season as necessary, and wiring should be done before the leaves grow back in the spring.

Indoor or Outdoor?

Deciduous bonsai are outdoor trees. They need lots of light from spring to autumn. Some prefer to be in partial sunlight in the afternoons of the hottest days of the summer. Bonsai are often brought indoors for decoration when guests are over. You may do this for only a few days before putting the tree back outside. 

Since they are outdoor species, deciduous bonsai need to go dormant in the winter to survive and prepare for growth in the spring. In the winter, move your tree to a cold environment like a garage or a greenhouse. Winters need to be cold enough so that they can go into dormancy but not so cold that they are exposed to frost. Keep the tree out of light during this time.

Watering

Watering your bonsai is a crucial practice that should be done carefully. Some of the biggest deciduous bonsai killers are over- and under-watering. Let the soil dry out slightly, but not all the way, in between watering. Trees that are placed in direct sun will likely need to be watered more than those that are placed in partial shade. 

Water until the water starts to drip out of the drainage holes at the bottom or side of the container in which your bonsai is planted. Water again after 10 minutes so that the roots are thoroughly soaked. Rain water works best, but safe tap water will work just fine.

Fertilizing

Bonsai trees need to be fed because they are planted in shallow containers that limit their nutrient intake. Feed your tree with a solid fertilizer every month or a liquid fertilizer about every week. Each fertilizer brand is a bit different, so be sure you read the directions. 

Some experts recommend feeding with a balanced fertilizer, but fertilizing with different nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium ratios is another option. In the spring, use a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content; in the summer, use a balanced fertilizer; and in the fall, feed with a low nitrogen content fertilizer. Do not use any fertilizer in the winter; your bonsai will not be growing until spring.

Training Techniques

Important aspects of bonsai growing include pruning and wiring. Deciduous bonsai need their leaves pruned from March to September. Pinch or cut away any overgrown leaves. Pruning can also reduce the size of the leaves. Aggressive structural pruning should be done just before the tree goes into dormancy or right after. 

Wiring is another technique that helps create the style and shape you wish to create. By using wire, you are able to bend branches. Do this with copper or aluminum wire in the wintertime, just before leaves grow back.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Supplies

Best Japanese Bonsai Tools

boxwood bonsai tree

When you grow bonsai trees, it is essential to use the right tools for the right purpose. By choosing the right tools, you can train, clean, and style your tree appropriately. 

The best Japanese bonsai tools are fairly expensive because of the stainless premium-grade steel used and the skills used to craft the tools. Because of their high-quality craftsmanship, the tools should be used only for the intended purpose to reduce risks of damage and to increase their lifespan. The following list includes the best Japanese bonsai tools for your bonsai craft.

Bonsai Wire

Bonsai wire is the best for styling and training your bonsai tree. The cables vary in sizes and diameter depending on the shape and branch size of your bonsai. Smaller bonsai wires are used mostly for shohin bonsai. Aluminum bonsai wire is best for novice bonsai growers because it is easy to wind around branches and trunks.

Bending Japanese Bonsai Tools and Protective Materials

Bending tools are used for heavy bending of trunks and branches. The protective elements are essential to prevent wood breakage and bark tearing. Moreover, these tools facilitate faster healing of minor fissures without trunk damage.

Cutting Tools

Cutting tools are essential for the bonsai grower. The tools should always be kept sharp to ensure easy cutting and less hand straining. Additionally, the cutting tools should not hit on a hard surface. The best Japanese bonsai tools for cutting include but are not limited to the following:

Shears and Pliers

bonsai supplies

Shears and pliers help in the cutting of bonsai twigs, young branches, leaves, and roots. If the bonsai tree is budding, small or medium shears are a good choice. Standard shape shears, which are stable, are suitable for use on thick twigs and branches.

There are also narrow and long shears that work efficiently in between the dense canopy of a bonsai tree. Also, small shears make it easy to trim or remove wilted flowers in shohin bonsai.

Concave Cutters

When you want to achieve deep cuts without leaving a protruding fissure, concave cutters are essential for cutting branches off the trunk. These concave cutters are available in varied sizes and blade types, including straight blades, knob cutters, or semi-round blades (which cause deep cuts on trunks).

Saws and Knives

An appropriate saw is essential for cutting trunks, branches, and roots that are too hard for pliers or shears. It is important to push the Japanese saws smoothly to prevent saw blades from breaking. Moreover, to smooth the rough scars left by the saws, grafting knives are most helpful.

Best Japanese Tools for Working on Roots and Repotting

Sickle Knives and Saws

You will require special sickle knives and saws to cut along the pot in order to remove the root ball from the potting media.

An Angular Plastic Bowl

A bowl is suitable for working on the roots or mixing soil because it makes the work easier and cleaner.

Root Hooks and Root Rakes

These tools are available in varied shapes and sizes. They vary from one or two to three teeth. Root hooks and rakes are useful in opening the root ball neatly by combing the roots and removing the older soils between the bonsai tree roots.

Sieve Sets

A sieve is essential in separating the grain particles from the dusty and small particles in your bonsai’s soil, especially if you are using the granular components of soil. These filters are made of stainless steel material with varied mesh sizes.

Scoops

Scoops of different sizes are excellent for putting soil into the bonsai pot. These scoops have a unique shape designed for pouring soil below the low hanging twigs.

Bamboo Sticks

Bamboo sticks are of great help for pushing soil in between the bonsai roots. Take care not to injure the roots through poking.

A Tweezers Spatula

A tweezers spatula helps with weed removal and moss applications, as it helps compress wet moss into the soil.

Carving Knives for Deadwood

Carving knives are excellent in working the deadwood. You should use a carving knife to split the dead branches and stumps.

Conclusion

The best Japanese bonsai tools are likely to be expensive. However, these high-quality materials are worth the price and will work excellently for any bonsai grower. Stainless steel materials, along with proper care and maintenance, make the tools resistant to rusting. Furthermore, if used appropriately for the right purpose, these tools can serve you for many years without breaking. Bonsai tools with blades should be kept sharp for comfortable and safe use. You should invest in the Japanese bonsai tools discussed in this article in order to achieve proper training and styling of your bonsai trees. You can find all of these tools online.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Indoor Bonsai Trees

Indoor Bonsai

An indoor bonsai tree is the perfect tree for you! These trees are beautiful and easy to care for. Most bonsai trees are kept indoors, but certain trees are particularly able to thrive indoors. While there are thousands of species of indoor trees, this article will go over the most common indoor trees. We will also discuss the differences between indoor and outdoor bonsai trees, and how to care for your indoor tree.

Best Indoor Bonsai Trees

Indoor bonsai trees are popular for being generally low-maintenance. The top three trees that we will be talking about in this article are the Ficus, Carmona, and Jade bonsai trees.

There are between 800 and 2000 species of Ficus bonsai trees. Of those species, the two most common are the Ficus Retusa and the Ficus Ginseng. The Ficus Retusa has dark green, oval shaped leaves and an S-shaped trunk, while the Ficus Ginseng has a thick trunk, with roots similar in size. These trees may also grow flowers.

The Carmona, or Fukien Tea, is most common in China, but it has become increasingly popular in Western countries. These trees have dark green, shiny little leaves. On the top of the leaf, there are little white dots, and there are hairs on the bottom of the leaves. Red-yellow or dark berries may also grow on these trees.

Finally, the Jade bonsai is a succulent plant, which means it holds large amounts of water in its trunk and branches. Its thick trunk supports thin branches and green oval-shaped leaves. These trees may produce tiny white flowers, but only if the tree has experienced a drought in the last season. Its bark is green when young and ages into a red-brown color.

The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Bonsai

The main difference between indoor and outdoor bonsai trees is the dormancy period. A dormancy period occurs when a tree stops growing in order to survive the winter and prepare for spring. Outdoor bonsai go dormant during the winter, but indoor bonsai do not. Outdoor bonsai trees need to be exposed to the seasons and go into dormancy in the winter. Without a dormancy period, outdoor bonsai trees will not grow properly, and they may die. Indoor bonsai trees are either tropical or subtropical, meaning they do not have these dormancy periods; they grow consistently all year.

Caring For Indoor Bonsai

The care guidelines for indoor bonsai trees are different from those of outdoor bonsai trees and regular potted plants. Here we will go over everything you need to know to properly care for your indoor bonsai.

Watering and Fertilizing

bonsai care

Watering is a crucial part of the bonsai growing process. One big rule in watering is to never water on a routine or schedule. Watering on a daily basis may be too much for some trees, and this can lead to over-watering. Watering on a routine may also cause under-watering. Over- and under-watering are both big bonsai killers. Water your bonsai tree when the soil gets slightly dry. Water generously until the water stops dripping out of the drainage holes, then repeat.

Use a balanced, liquid fertilizer all year. Apply as much as the packaging directs.

Humidity and Temperature

(Sub)tropical trees need high humidity all the time. The humidity levels in your home may not be high enough for your plant. To increase humidity, try placing a humidity tray filled with water underneath the plant’s container. Make sure the plant’s roots do not touch the water as this will rot the roots. 

Indoor trees also need high temperatures. The temperatures in your standard living room will do just fine. Subtropical trees, however, prefer lower temperatures in the winter.

Light

All bonsai trees need lots of light to survive. Indoor bonsai trees in particular need lots of light all year, no matter what the season is. In order to get the highest light intensity possible, place your tree directly in front of a south facing window at all times. Your plant won’t die immediately if it does not receive enough light, but its growth will decrease and can eventually die. If your plant is not receiving enough light, you can add artificial lighting for around 10 hours a day.

Indoor bonsai trees are perfect for every bonsai grower: beginners, experts, and everyone in between!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Indoor Bonsai Trees

How to Care for an Inside Bonsai

indoor bonsai on desk

Having an indoor bonsai tree has been a true joy for me. Nothing brings a breath of life into my dull workstation like my bonsai tree. Today I want to talk to you about caring for an inside bonsai tree and share information that has worked for me. We will also talk about the different individual needs of inside bonsai trees compared to the needs of outside bonsai trees. I hope you are as excited about these beautiful trees as I am!  Some of my favorite inside bonsai trees are Gardenia Bonsai, Juniper Bonsai, Jade Bonsai, Evergreen Bonsai, and Azalea Bonsai trees. These are hardy little trees, and just like their names, several of them are flowering trees.

There are so many differences between inside and outside bonsai trees, including the pots they are planted in and whether you need a pot to hold water in or one that drains well, lighting differences, soil types, watering and pruning, and the best way to train them and how your particular bonsai will respond to training methods.

Pots For Indoor Bonsai Trees

There is a large array of choices when it comes to a pot for your inside bonsai tree. My preference is ceramic pots because they are durable and beautiful to look at, coming in almost any color and pattern you would desire. Ceramic pots can be glazed or unglazed, depending on what you’re looking for. Next, we have clay pots, also known as unbreakable mica. These are a nice choice for outside bonsai trees. These pots are available in plastic as well and will weather just fine. My favorite pots are the self-watering pots because they are so convenient.

Ceramic Bonsai Pots – Japanese Jmbamboo Brand – Black Ceramic Pot Is 8×6 x3”

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Soil Types For Indoor Bonsai Trees

Now let’s talk about different soil types for indoor bonsai trees. You can start out with a simple general purpose soil that is relatively inexpensive. My favorite is Akadama, which is a soil mix including black lava, pumice, haydite, and charcoal. My bonsai does well with this mix. There are also topsoil mixes that are specific to the needs of certain bonsai trees, such as the following: Juniper, Japanese Black Pine, Cedar, and Cypress. There are many other specific topsoils as well.

Fertilizer For Indoor Bonsai Trees

bonsai fertilizer

To keep your bonsai healthy and looking its best, I recommend using a good fertilizer/plant food on a regular basis. These are available in many forms; here are a few I like. I use fertilizer pellets and super food spray because they are mess free. I also like liquid plant food that comes in the form of little sticks. Most bonsai trees should be fertilized during the entire growing season of the tree, from early spring till mid-autumn. Indoor trees can be fertilized throughout the year. It is often recommended to use a fertilizer with a relatively high nitrogen content in spring, such as NPK 10:6:6, which is a balanced fertilizer.

Watering Schedule For Indoor Bonsai Trees

The watering of your bonsai must never be neglected. Apply water when the soil appears dry. Never allow the soil to become completely dry. If your bonsai is receiving full sun, it may be necessary to water it once a day. This schedule will vary with the size pot, type of soil, and type of bonsai tree you own. Water your bonsai with room temperature tap water, since cold water has the potential to shock its roots. My favorite way to water my bonsai is to collect rainwater – they seem to thrive on it! If you can’t use rainwater, simple bottled water is fine. You only need to use bottled water if your tap water is hard, and has a lot of lime in it.

Lighting For Indoor Bonsai Trees

Lighting for your bonsai can be a little confusing at times. Generally, your bonsai needs about 5 hours of direct or indirect sunlight per day. Certain species of bonsai do best in winter if they receive most of their light from indirect sources. When using a grow light for your bonsai, the best bulbs to use are Full Spectrum fluorescent, which output the natural UV range that sunlight contains.

Training Techniques For Indoor Bonsai Trees

where are bonsai from

There are several different types of training for your bonsai tree; wire training and jin are my favorites. Wire training is difficult and tedious but well worth the effort. I find most bonsai trees respond well to this whether they are indoor or outdoor trees. I’ve been training my bonsai with practice and patience, and it has turned out beautiful!