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Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Flowing Bonsai Trees, Fruiting Bonsai Trees

How to Grow Cherry Blossom Bonsai

Few plants are as beautiful as the cherry blossom bonsai. This plant has existed since ancient times. Japan is the primary host of these plants since they are popularly grown there. Cherry blossom bonsai are also grown all over the world, so you need not reside in Japan to enjoy all this beauty. If you want to know more about the cherry blossom bonsai, keep reading this article.

How to Grow Cherry Blossom Bonsai from Seeds

If you want to grow cherry blossom bonsai, it is better to use seeds. However, this will result in a longer period of tree development. Ensure that you choose the appropriate type of tree. Note that the kind of tree you choose plays a vital role in planting from scratch. Most trees take approximately 4-5 years to develop a tree trunk of 1 inch with a diameter of 25cm. Therefore, it is appropriate that you make a wise decision regarding choosing the type of tree. For example, statistics show that the Citrus variety does not deliver remarkable performance in Toronto; thus, if you are a Toronto resident, you should avoid choosing Citrus.

It is essential to consider the climate at your home. This is possible if you check the type of trees grown at your residence. You can also opt to purchase online, but remember to go through customer reviews to select the best. 

When you obtain seeds, go ahead and create a standard layer of bonsai soil. After this, place the seeds in the soil, ensuring that there is space between the seeds. Note that this is a long process.

How to Grow Cherry Blossom Bonsai from Cuttings

There are only two ways for you to grow cherries: seeds or cuttings. However, growing cherries from cuttings is the easiest way to go. So, how do you grow cherry blossom bonsai from cuttings?

Before growing cherries using cuttings, you must note that there are two types of cherry blossom bonsai. These are:

Sweet cherries (Prunus avium)

Tart (Prunus Cerasus)

This is the stone fruit family. In this case, to get a duplicate of your tree, you need to grow it from a cherry cutting. You must note that sweet and tart cherries’ transmission is through hardwood as well as semi-hardwood cuttings. During the summer season, try to get semi-hardwood cuttings, especially when the wood is not mature enough and soft. On the other hand, you can get hardwood cuttings in dormant seasons, where the wood is mature and hard.

When you have acquired the plant, make sure you fill your plastic pot of 6 inches with clay, mixing it with ½ sphagnum peat moss as well as perlite. Choose a cherry branch with leaves and about 2 to 4 leaf nodes. It should be below the age of 5 years. Cuttings that you make from old trees should be from young branches that have just developed. During this process, use a sterile and sharp pruning shear to cut 10-20cm from a horizontal angle. After this process, dip the end of your cutting in a hormone for rooting. Use your finger to make a hole, put the end of your cutting into the hole and cover it up. Put a plastic bag over the container. Ensure that the container gets sufficient sun with an appropriate temperature. Moreover, keep the soil moist by using a spray bottle twice a day.

After 2-3 months, remove the plastic bag from your container and examine your cutting if it has developed roots. If there is any resistance, repeat the entire process until the roots fill the whole container. When the roots develop fully, transfer your cutting to a gallon container full of soil. Expose the cherry tree to outdoor sunlight and temperature before you do the transplanting to ensure proper germination. Carefully select your area of transplanting. Dig your hole twice the tree size but not deeper. Remove it from your container and make sure you support the trunk using your single hand. Fill the gap with sufficient soil and water it to do away with air pockets around the root balls, and fill it until you cannot see the roots anymore. Moreover, make sure you level the soil to the ground level.

How to Care for Cherry Blossom Bonsai

  • Repotting Your Cherry Blossom Bonsai

After 2 to 3 years, repot your cherry blossom bonsai. You can achieve repotting in late winter when your plant is not flowering. Repotting allows your plant to develop compact, strong roots.

  • Sunlight Needed for Your Cherry Blossom Bonsai

Cherries require maximum sunlight with reduced wind. During winter, it is appropriate that it goes dormant for three months. Additionally, it should also be kept fresh without frost. Place it in a garage to protect it from frost.

  • Fertilizing Your Cherry Blossom Bonsai

Make sure you fertilize your tree each month once using an organic or liquid fertilizer. You can achieve this efficiently during the period of development. However, do not attempt it during winter when your plant is dormant.

  • Watering Your Cherry Blossom Bonsai

Watering is necessary for any plant. Ensure that your plant gets sufficient water. If you grow your plant where there is direct sunlight, water it well, until water leaks out of the pot.

Conclusion

Based on the above information on how to grow Cherry Blossom Bonsai, you now have a clear understanding of how to plant using seed and cutting. Furthermore, you also know how to care for and maintain the tree. I hope that this information will be of benefit to you in learning how to grow cherry blossom bonsai.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

How Long Do Bonsai Trees Live For?

Most people have asked this question, since bonsai trees are not easy to look after. Some bonsai trees live for 100 years. Furthermore, the oldest bonsai tree is over 1000 years old! Your tree can only leave this long if you provide continuous maintenance and care. These trees live longer compared to similar species in nature. Therefore, this article will inform you how long your bonsai tree can live.

Top 4 Oldest Bonsai

Some of the oldest bonsai worldwide are over 800 years old, which is a result of hard work and a lot of patience. Below are the four oldest bonsai on record:

Japanese White Pine

This bonsai has survived for approximately 400 years. This has been achieved due to generations of patience and hard work by the Yamaki family. It is unique since it managed to survive in Hiroshima during the calamity of an atomic bomb in 1945. Its survival led it to be donated to Penjing and National Bonsai Museum located in Washington.

800-year-old Bonsai at Shunkaen

This is one of the costliest bonsai trees. Moreover, it is a perfect tree that is popular due to its maximum age of 800. Kunio Kobayashi is the bonsai’s primary artist; this artist is famous and has managed to win the prestigious Prime Minister award four times in Japan.

Old juniper Bonsai Tree

This tree is located at Mansei-en, Japan; it has been proven to be 1000 years old. Furthermore, it has maintained its sturdy material; if you want to see it, you can visit the Mansei-en Bonsai Kato family nursery in Japan.

Ficus Bonsai Tree

Ficus Bonsai is one of the oldest trees worldwide, living for more than 1000 years. It is the primary tree displayed at the Italian Bonsai Museum at Crespi.

Bonsai Species that Live the Longest

Any plant has the potential to be a bonsai. Therefore, whenever you select a plant for longevity, it is ideal to choose a variety with sufficient strength and adaptability. This means you can choose from either evergreen or deciduous species. Your basic skills play a vital role when it comes to growing a bonsai tree. For evergreen species, opt for cedar, cypress, Azalea, Fig, Holly, Pomegranate and pine, while for deciduous species, you can select cherry, beech or maple. When you opt for this species, you will get a beautiful bonsai plant with an extended lifespan.

The Importance of Care for Longevity

Did you know that any species of a tree can be shaped to become a bonsai? The answer is yes; you can achieve this perfect shape if you implement discipline as well as excellent skills in your work. You will not have a bonsai tree if you plant your tree in a container and develop with just pruning; it will not result in a bonsai tree. Ensure that you trim and prune each twig, root and branch continuously to achieve a perfect shape of a bonsai tree.

Bonsai trees require proper care and maintenance for them to have a longer lifespan. The environment is an essential key to a healthy bonsai. Different varieties of trees will succeed either indoors or outdoors. It is also vital to note that outdoor species become dormant during the winter.

Outdoor species are likely not to survive if put indoors for a long duration. During the summer season, keep your outdoor bonsai indoors for approximately a week. Preserve your indoor bonsai under the temperature of 50 to 80 degrees. Make sure you do not expose them to extreme cold, as they might die.

Another consideration is the watering of your bonsai tree. This is an essential factor. You should closely monitor your soil moisture to ensure that it receives a sufficient amount of water to grow appropriately. During summer, you will be forced to water it more frequently compared to rainy seasons.

Potting is necessary when it comes to a bonsai’s proper growth. Most bonsai artists usually come up with their own soil mix or opt for a potting mix. On the other hand, there are many varieties of bonsai soil mixes. However, the only variation between potting soil mixes and the bonsai mix is the minimal fertilizer quantity. Fertilizer plays a crucial role in the growth of healthy plants. For proper growth of your bonsai tree, potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen are necessary.

How to Prune to Extend Bonsai Lifespan

Every plant has a regular cycle for growing; this applies to the bonsai tree too. The stunted appearance of the bonsai tree does not mean it lacks the potential to grow. Therefore, if you prune your bonsai tree appropriately, you will keep it healthy and extend its lifespan. A bonsai tree can respond well to pruning if it is appropriately trimmed. Ideally, you prune developing growth during winter and old-growth in the fall season. For trees such as cedar and pine, use your fingers for pruning through a twisting motion to maintain a natural impression. Prune diseased branches and leaves to maximize your tree’s health. When you are through, make sure that you examine which branches are responding more effectively than others. This will encourage the growth of healthy leaves.

Conclusion

Based on the above information, you are now familiar with how long bonsai trees can live. Therefore, you can choose a species that is likely to have an extended lifespan. I hope this article helped you to understand how long bonsai trees live.

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Bonsai Tree Brown Leaves

Over the years, bonsai cultivation has become quite popular, with more beginners venturing into the art every day. Although these miniature trees make excellent indoor decorations, they can be quite challenging to care for. Bonsai trees need the same nutrients and environmental factors as larger trees.

Without proper care, bonsai leaves start to turn brown or wilt. Once you notice brown leaves, you need to pay close attention to your miniature tree. Most of the time, your bonsai tree will die if you don’t get to the bottom of the problem.

There are many reasons why the leaves or stem of your bonsai tree may be turning brown. In the next section, we will take an extensive look at the common reasons why your bonsai may have brown leaves. We will also take you through the options for remedying the situation.

Improper Watering Causing Browning Leaves on Bonsai

To survive, your bonsai needs a specific amount of water. Underwatering will lead to the browning of leaves, and eventually, the trunk will start wilting. Overwatering, on the other hand, will lead to root rot and thus browning of leaves.

bonsai watering

Most beginners make the mistake of overwatering since they are always checking up on their bonsai. Different tree species have different watering needs making it impossible to have a standard watering timetable.

A great example is when you start noticing the trunk part of your bonsai getting soft. This is usually an indication of overwatering, which causes the roots to rot. Reduce the watering frequency and let the soil dry up completely. Then start watering your bonsai only when needed.

Only water your bonsai when you notice the soil starting to dry up. Constant supervision should help you identify the specific water needs of your bonsai.

Insufficient Light Causing Browning Leaves on Bonsai

When bonsai trees are kept indoors, then they are hugely affected by a lack of sunlight. Your miniature tree could either be subtropical, hardy, or tropical. The sturdy tree varieties need a lot of direct sunlight, which means that the leaves will turn brown quite quickly when kept indoors.

The bonsai in the subtropical and tropical category can survive quite well in partial sunlight. As a rule of thumb, your bonsai needs at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Identify a position in your room that receives several hours of direct sunlight.

Move your bonsai to the identified location and monitor for a few days. The leaves should start regaining their elegant color and shape. 

Diseases and Pests Causing Browning Leaves on Bonsai

When it comes to bonsai, pests and diseases can cause massive problems. Most of the time, pests can go unnoticed for several weeks and months. Your bonsai leaves will, therefore, turn brown before you notice that the entire tree is infested with pests.

Pests such as spider mites and aphids feed on the nutrients in your bonsai’s steam and leaves. Because the nutrients don’t reach their destination, the leaves gradually start turning brown. In such situations, remove all the dead and brown leaves before spraying a light pesticide.

Nutrient Problems Causing Browning Leaves on Bonsai

Your bonsai tree needs proper nutrients to develop and grow. Nutrient deficiency while leading to the browning of leaves quite quickly. Lack of magnesium, iron, and nitrogen are the common reasons why your bonsai leaves may turn brown.

The browning of stems and leaves simultaneously is a common sign of nutrient imbalance. It would help if you used the right fertilizer mixture to ensure that your bonsai gets a sufficient amount of nutrients. Carry out extensive research to figure out the exact nutrient requirement for your bonsai tree.

Fertilizing needs to be done all year round when you have a weak bonsai tree. However, the best times to fertilize a healthy bonsai are usually at the start of spring and end of summer.

Conclusion

The browning of your bonsai’s leaves can be caused by several factors, including watering schedule, nutrient issues, insufficient light, and more. Ensure that you diagnose the problem first before carrying out a remedy. With time, you will grow into a skilled bonsai cultivator that can identify the different issues quickly. The beauty of bonsai cultivation is the fact that you get to experiment and develop your skills.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

How Hard Are Bonsai Trees To Take Care Of?

Taking care of a bonsai tree seems like a lot of work. However, this is not entirely true once you understand the basic guidelines. Bonsai cultivation is a rewarding art form that simply requires you to master a few basics.

How hard are bonsai trees to take care of? This is quite a common question among many individuals who plan on venturing into the bonsai business. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at basic bonsai care guidelines.

The Easiest Bonsai to Care For

Bonsai trees are rather delicate when compared to other trees. Since bonsai trees are miniature versions of the regular trees, you need to handle them with care. The easiest bonsai to care for is the Ficus bonsai.

The Ficus tree can withstand a lot of harsh climates, including lack of sunlight and low humidity. The Ficus bonsai is, therefore, a great option when you are a beginner in bonsai cultivation.

However, don’t just limit yourself to the Ficus bonsai. Other easy bonsai to care for include Jade, Fukien Tea, Sweet Plum, and Hawaiian Umbrella. Pick tree species that can tolerate harsh conditions, because they tend to be more resilient.

The Hardest Bonsai to Care For

The Pine tree bonsai is considered among the hardest bonsai to care for, due to its growth pattern. Cultivating pine bonsai can be quite difficult because they are among the hardest tree species to turn into bonsai.

You will need to carefully study aspects such as growth patterns and appearances before you can successfully turn a pine tree into a bonsai. However, this doesn’t mean that beginners can’t do it. Sometimes all you need is a little determination and patience.

Bonsai Care Guidelines 

There are a few care guidelines that you need to follow when you decide to venture into bonsai cultivation. The most important aspects include fertilization, watering, and positioning. In this section, we will take an extensive look at the basic bonsai care guidelines.

1. Watering Your Bonsai

Watering is undoubtedly one of the most crucial aspects when it comes to bonsai cultivation. Every tree will have different watering needs depending on several factors. Some of these factors include tree size, pot size, tree species, time of year, climate, and soil mix.

However, you should only water your bonsai tree when it needs it. You need to ensure that the soil doesn’t dry out entirely while avoiding overwatering. Too much water will lead to root rot, so you have to be careful.

2. Fertilizing Your Bonsai

During the winter, you need to fertilize your bonsai tree quite regularly. Since your bonsai is placed in a small pot, it isn’t able to spread its roots in search of nutrients during the winter. Ensure that you fertilize your tree regularly to replenish the nutrient content in your soil.

3. Repotting Your Bonsai

Regular repotting is vital since you don’t want to starve your bonsai to death. To avoid making your tree pot-bound, you have to repot it every two to three years. Repotting is beneficial to your bonsai since the practice ensures that your tree always has sufficient nutrients. Bonsai trees, just like regular trees, need nutrients for growth.

4. Bonsai Soil

You must use the right bonsai soil mixture for your tree. Soil ensures that your bonsai has plenty of nutrients throughout the year. The soil has to drain appropriately while providing sufficient aeration and water retention. You could always purchase ready-made bonsai mix from the local stores. However, learning to create your soil mixture will save you a lot of money.

5. Location of Bonsai

It would help if you found a suitable position for your bonsai tree. Start by considering whether your bonsai is indoors or outdoors. You can then determine the best location for your bonsai to thrive. With indoor bonsai, you might have to get artificial lights, especially during winter.

Conclusion

Taking care of bonsai is not a difficult task once you get the basics right. Follow the above care guidelines to help you on your journey in bonsai cultivation. It might seem difficult at first, but you will find it easier as time goes by.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Species, Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Indoor Bonsai Trees

Easiest Bonsai Tree To Care For

Bonsai care includes meeting specific needs that common plants do not have. For example, did you know that most bonsai trees are bred to be outdoor plants like their full-size counterparts? If you bring bonsai in the sun indoors, be prepared to give it about 14 hours a day of fluorescent light. However, some bonsai plants don’t need a lot of light, and these types can be perfect if you need to do bonsai care indoors. This article offers a list of the easiest bonsai trees for beginners to care for.

Ficus Bonsai

Ficus is one of the most popular types of indoor bonsai. There are over 800 varieties of ficus, but two specific kinds make good beginner bonsai trees. Ficus neriifolia is a willow-leaved fig known for its delusional leaves, hard root propagation, and twig shoots. Ficus benjamina is a rapidly evolving evergreen tree with rich foliage and roots. It can be best formed in a formal or informal straightening, or in the style of a weeping fig tree. It heals quickly and does not easily recover from massive pruning wounds, so it is better to plant these trees from smaller trees rather than taking cuttings from larger trees.

Ficus bonsai is famous for the milky sap that extends from slices or wounds. Some can also produce small flowers; however, these can only be inoculated by a specialized trace. These bonsai can have aerial roots, but to thrive in this way, they must be placed in approximately 100% humidity.

Chinese Elm Bonsai

Chinese elms are lovely indoor trees that are among the easiest trees for bonsai beginners. Their fast growth, small leaves, wooden stumps, and short knots make it very easy for beginners to grow a healthy and attractive bonsai, even inside the home or office. The Chinese elm is more tolerant of overwatering and underwatering than most types of bonsai. It responds well to cable training or can be prepared with directional pruning. It can grow in good or harsh soil, as long as you don’t let it sit in water or dry out completely. It is easy to grow from cuttings. If you have grown a whole Chinese elm in your neighborhood, you can germinate a bonsai productively from new seeds.

Japanese Maple Bonsai

It has particularly sensitive leaves and can easily burn due to sun exposure. Therefore, it would be good to expose it to moderate sunlight and shade it from exposure during midday and summer. Autumn and spring are good times for sun exposure because sunlight is mild, but winter should be a time of full protection from wind and cold. The Japanese maple bonsai is generally formed through careful and discriminating pruning. 

It is advisable to avoid pruning in the spring to avoid damaging the plant. You can schedule leaf pruning in mid-summer. The roots and branches should be trimmed in the fall. One rule to remember is that you don’t have to remove all the leaves if you are replanting the Japanese maple bonsai. Check the wounds after pruning and be sure to monitor all of them.

Jade Bonsai

This tree likes to be kept indoors at a warm temperature so it can get a lot of natural sunlight; however, jade can also withstand low light intensity. The jade bonsai is a very popular houseplant due to the variety of places that can be kept indoors. Jade should be repotted every two years in a bigger pot. Be sure to trim a third of the root system to avoid restricting the root every time you repot. When repotting, you must use new soil and peat dung. You can trim the leaves at any time of the year, but don’t cut them all at once. 

If you prune your jade bonsai, the leaves will still be small. Pruning new leaves will stimulate new growth toward the bottom of the tree. Do not prune or trim the bonsai repeatedly within one month to avoid excessive shock. When shaping a jade tree, you should use aluminum wire to avoid bark scars. Jade bonsai substructures are stiffer compared to other bonsai trees, so the branches can separate if they bend back immediately.

Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai

This tree contains thick leaves that form a green crown. In spring it blooms with red roses in a beautiful display of colours. This bonsai is strong and adaptable, and therefore easy to maintain. You can grow the Hawaiian umbrella bonsai from cuttings or seeds. When starting a plant, you must provide it with full sunlight to grow thick, dense foliage. Once this is done, you can move it inside to a window or light spot. You may find that the tree tends to drop leaves after moving inside; don’t worry, as this is just a way to get used to the new environment. 

Water is also essential, and your tree should be sprayed or watered every other day. Never let the soil dry up, as this can have harmful effects on plant health. Also do not overwater it! The soil should be soaked and allowed to drain. If you see the leaves turn black, this indicates that you are watering a lot; if tips appear, you are not watering enough.

Conclusion

Bonsai trees can last a long time if cared for properly. Many people don’t stop at a single tree, and you can collect and grow many different varieties from your mini garden. There are many groups dedicated to this hobby where you can share your experience and learn from others.

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Bonsai Grafting

Many bonsai cultivators carry out grafting because they get to combine the strengths of different plants into a single plant. However, grafting can be rather difficult and is considered somewhat experimental. One of the best parts of bonsai cultivation is the fact that you have a lot of room to try out new things.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at bonsai grafting to help you get started. We need to start by taking a look at some of the reasons why you might need to use grafting techniques.

Purposes of Grafting Bonsai Trees

In bonsai cultivation, grafting is used for various reasons, including the following: to cultivate a new tree with different characteristics, to add a branch, or to add roots. Whatever your reason for bonsai grafting, we have you covered.

Before we take a detailed look at bonsai grafting, you should understand that the entire process is somewhat tricky. It is, therefore, vital that you start with inexpensive material so that you can gain a little bit of experience. It might take awhile before you get the perfect bonsai tree, but you will get there with a little bit of patience.

Grafting a Bonsai Tree

The simple fact is that grafting will only work when the tree and graft belong to the same tree species. However, junipers and pines are an exception since they blend quite well despite belonging to different plant species.

There are three techniques usually used for bonsai grafting: approach grafting, scion grafting, and thread grafting. Let us take a closer look at the three methods that you could use for your bonsai grafting.

Grafting Bonsai Using Scion Grafting

In scion grafting, you need to remove a small branch or shoot from a parent plant, then insert it into the recipient plant. Scion grafting is applicable in broadleaf and deciduous trees, including pines. It is a great technique when you need to replace foliage or add branches to your bonsai.

However, you need to ensure that both the receiving plant and donor plant are in peak condition. You should fertilize the two plants before you carry out scion grafting.

1. Identify the terminal shoot that you need from the donor plant first. Cut off the branch or stem and remove any foliage at its base.

2. Use a sterile knife to make two cuts at the base of the scion that you just cut. Use alcohol to sterilize your sharp blade during this step.  The first cut needs to be long, while the shorter cut needs to be short.

3. Identify where you need to graft your scion and use a grafting knife to cut. The cut needs to be long enough to fit the bottom end of your scion. Then slowly insert your scion into the created flap.

4. Use grafting tape to attach your scion to the receiving plant. Be careful during this step because you don’t want to crush the foliage by pulling the tape too tight.

5. The shoots should start pushing the end of your grafting tape once the graft takes hold. The first growing season will tell you whether you were successful or not.

Grafting Bonsai Using Approach Grafting

In the case of approach grafting, you attach the entire donor plant, including its roots, to your receiving plant. You need a whole donor plant to carry out approach grafting because it aims to change foliage or add branches.

1. You should start cultivating your donor plant years before you carry out the grafting process. The attachment could be done on either a branch or on the trunk.

2. Use a machine to prepare a Die Grinder or Dremel that is slightly smaller than your donor whip in diameter. Slide your whip into the created groove while ensuring that the two cambiums align perfectly.

3. Use a piece of wire to attach your whip to the recipient plant. You can then proceed to attach pre-stretched grafting tape.

Grafting Bonsai Using Thread Grafting

Thread grafting is usually performed when the deciduous plant is dormant, and all the buds have not started swelling.

1. Check the size of the graft branch to help you determine the bit size that you need. Insert the bit using a drill through the trunk. It needs to go through one side and exit through the other for better results. The hole should, therefore, be straight and clean.

2. Use an aluminum wire to ensure that you bend the thread graft accordingly. You need to exercise a lot of caution during this step because you might end up damaging the thread graft.

3. Leave the graft untouched for the entire season. You can then remove the cut paste the following spring and check on the progress.

Conclusion

Bonsai grafting is quite experimental, and you will experience numerous setbacks. However, with a lot of practice, you will get it right. Ensure that you exercise precision during grafting to get you the desired results.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Bonsai Cutting/Cloning

One of the most inexpensive and effective ways of propagating new trees is from cuttings. Bonsai growers love using cuttings because it reduces the amount of time needed to grow your tree. It takes about a year to get a seedling when you decide to cultivate a bonsai from seeds.

Many bonsai cultivators also use cutting since you get to pick the characteristics that you need. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at bonsai cutting, including when to grow from cuttings, how to harvest cuttings, and growing bonsai cuttings.

When to Grow Bonsai from Cuttings

Summer and spring are the best times to plant cuttings. However, some hardwood trees can be cut off and prepared after the growth season. Late summer is an ideal time when dealing with numerous types of trees.

Generally, a cutting is a piece of stem or branch that is cut from an existing plant and stuck into a growing medium. Now that you understand when to grow from cuttings, you need to understand the benefits of growing from cuttings.

Benefits of Using Cuttings to Grow Bonsai

When you use cuttings, the roots usually emerge from the same level and move outwards evenly. You, therefore, get a massive advantage since you get to have great surface roots. The rooting system is essential when it comes to bonsai cultivation.

Your bonsai will have identical characteristics to the ‘mother plant’ where you obtained the cutting. You, therefore, get to choose the kind of features that you need.

Some plants take years to flower when they are cultivated from the seed. In such cases, however, getting cuttings from a flowering specimen will ensure that your bonsai begins flowering almost immediately.

Using cuttings is budget-friendly since you only need to get a medium and rooting hormone. On the other hand, growing from seeds can be rather expensive since you need pots and tools.

How to Harvest Bonsai Cuttings

Harvesting bonsai cuttings is not as difficult as it sounds. It will help if you start by identifying the plant that you want for whatever reason. If, for example, you want a hardwood cutting during autumn, then you need to begin by removing the leaves.

Proceed to cut the selected twig or branch close to the buds in sections of about 12 cm in length. Use a sharp scissor to get you a clean cut that won’t damage the cambium tissues. Place your cuttings in water and keep them moist during the entire process.

Growing Bonsai Cuttings

Step 1: Apply a coarse layer like grit or lava rock

In your pot, pour a layer of draining substrates such as grit or lava rock. Doing this will ensure that your bonsai has a proper drainage system, which is essential in root development.

Step 2: Add bonsai soil

You can then proceed to add bonsai soil to your planting pot. Do not fill up your container with bonsai soil, but rather leave a little bit of space at the top.

Step 3: Dip your cutting in rooting hormone

Take your cutting and dip it in a rooting hormone. You could either use a powder or liquid rooting hormone, depending on your preference.

Step 4: Planting

Push a stick into your already prepared medium to create a hole. You can then proceed to insert your cutting into the hole. Mold the potting medium around your cutting. Merely shoving the cutting into your prepared soil is not ideal, since you may end up removing most of the rooting hormone.

Step 5: Watering

You need to water the cutting frequently, keeping the medium moist. Soon enough, you will notice new leaves emerging. The new roots cannot withstand dryness, making watering essential.

Conclusion

Using cutting to cultivate bonsai ensures that you get all the characteristics that you need. However, do not introduce your cutting to the medium immediately after watering. The water may wash away most of the rooting hormone, which is not ideal. Proper drainage is also essential because you don’t want your roots to start rotting before your plant starts emerging. Finally, you should understand that bonsai cultivation requires a lot of patience.

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Are Bonsai Trees Hard To Take Care Of?

When most people think about bonsai growing, they immediately start picturing a lot of hard work. However, contrary to popular belief, taking care of bonsai trees is not as complicated as it seems. All you have to do is follow a few simple bonsai care guidelines.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at some of the basic bonsai care guidelines. We will also walk you through the easiest and hardest bonsai to care for. Let’s get started on your fantastic journey in bonsai cultivation!

The Easiest Bonsai To Care For

Although several trees make good bonsai for beginners, the easiest to care for is the Ficus bonsai. This is because Ficus can withstand a lot, including low humidity and lack of sufficient sunlight.

Most beginners in bonsai cultivation usually start with indoor bonsai. Most plant species do not do well indoors, due to a lack of sufficient sunlight. However, Ficus bonsai is quite tolerant when exposed to harsh conditions.

Other easy-to-care-for bonsai include Carmona (Fukien Tea), Crassula (Jade), Sageretia (Sweet Plum), and Schefflera Arboricola (Hawaiian Umbrella). However, these bonsai become dormant during winter and growth resumes at the start of spring.

The Hardest Bonsai to Care For

Although quite popular, pine trees are among the hardest bonsai to care for due to their growth pattern. What makes pine bonsai quite challenging to cultivate is that they are quite hard to turn into bonsai.

You, therefore, need to study the appearance and growth pattern of your pine bonsai carefully. Turning pine into bonsai can be rather tricky, especially when you are a beginner.

Bonsai Care Guidelines

Taking care of bonsai can be rather simple once you understand the basic guidelines. Below are some specific bonsai care guidelines to help you get started on your transformative journey.

1. Light for Your Bonsai

You must provide proper lighting for your bonsai. Bonsai trees are similar to regular trees that require sufficient lighting.  The low intensity of light indoors might not be adequate for your bonsai tree, and you might need artificial bonsai lighting.

Outdoor lighting is best for the growth of bonsai trees. Only keep your bonsai indoors when you don’t have sufficient room outdoors. Generally, your bonsai tree needs about 8 hours of light per day.

2. Watering and Fertilizing Your Bonsai

bonsai watering

Only water your bonsai when necessary. You mustn’t underwater or overwater your bonsai tree. Although many people often give you a watering timetable, each tree is different.

You have to carefully observe your bonsai to determine the amount of water it needs and frequency. Understand that overwatering might lead to root rot, which is quite difficult to remedy. Underwatering, on the other hand, will cause your tree to dry up and die.

Fertilization is vital in the development of your bonsai tree. Your bonsai needs just as much fertilizer as a regular tree does. Weak bonsai, however, need to be fertilized all year round until they regain their form.

3. Temperature for Your Bonsai

Bonsai trees will perform quite well in standard room temperature. It would help if you kept your bonsai at room temperature at all times. Doing this can be rather challenging, especially when you are a beginner.

However, different tree species have different temperature requirements. It would help if you carried out extensive research to determine the optimum temperature for your bonsai. With outdoor bonsai, however, you don’t have to put a lot of thought into the temperature requirement.

Conclusion

Taking care of bonsai is not as difficult as it might seem. All you need is patience and determination, since it takes a lot of time. However, the end result of bonsai cultivation is usually worth the effort. Follow the care guidelines provided above to help you get a healthy bonsai.

Starting bonsai cultivation can be rather challenging, especially when you are a beginner. Choose the right tree species to ensure that you start on the right track. Start with the most natural tree species to care for and slowly move to the harder tree species. With bonsai cultivation, you get to experiment, which means you will learn from your mistakes.

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

Ficus Ginseng Bonsai Dropping Leaves

Beginners in bonsai cultivation usually start with the Ficus plant species, since they are resistant to many issues. Since this is a naturally sturdy plant variety, most growers get concerned when Ficus trees start dropping leaves.

However, the good news is that there are steps you can take to revive Ficus Ginseng bonsai dropping leaves. Bonsai cultivation is a continual learning process, and you shouldn’t get frustrated.

In this article, we will focus on reviving your Ficus bonsai from losing leaves. You will need to monitor your bonsai closely while following the right steps. Let’s dive right in!

Why Your Ficus Ginseng Bonsai Leaves Are Falling Off

Different factors may cause your Ficus bonsai to start losing leaves by interfering with its natural growth cycle. Your bonsai has unique preferences and needs, since it is a living creature.

You must understand that there is no magic formula to revive your Ficus bonsai that keeps dropping leaves. Each plant is unique, and you will need to take different measures depending on several factors. The good news, however, is that there is a shortcut to handling this problem.

All you need to do is identify the source of the problem. It would help if you learned the top reasons for dropping leaves in Ficus Ginseng to help you determine what your particular problem might be.

Improper Watering of Ficus Ginseng

Improper watering may involve either overwatering or under-watering. Most people tend to overwater their Ficus bonsai without even noticing it. The golden rule is to only water your bonsai when the soil gets slightly dry at about an inch deep.

Beginners in bonsai cultivation are most affected by improper watering, because they don’t realize that plants suffer water stress.  It would be best if you had a proper watering schedule to ensure that your bonsai gets the right amount of water.

Indoor Ficus Ginseng bonsai are usually affected by overwatering when you plant them in poor quality soil. This soil will retain too much water, leading to root rot. Start by reducing the watering frequency and then replant it to better quality soil after your bonsai regains its strength.

However, if your Ficus Ginseng bonsai is suffering from under-watering, then it is probably too late. The leaves dropping is an indication that the roots have died off, and there is little you can do. It would be best if you never forgot to water your Ficus Ginseng bonsai tree.

Poor Lighting of Ficus Ginseng Bonsai

Indoor Ficus Ginseng bonsai are usually affected by poor light access that leads to the loss of leaves. Outdoor Ficus bonsai rarely get affected by poor light since they are generally placed in ideal locations.

To stop your indoor Ficus bonsai from dropping leaves, you need to transfer it to a different location with proper sunlight. You could either place your plant in front of a window or buy indoor lights. Most people have found a way to integrate both options for healthier growth.

Your Ficus Ginseng bonsai tree needs a lot of light for the photosynthesis process. Poor light will lead to the dropping of leaves within a short period.

Pests on the Ficus Ginseng Bonsai

Identifying whether pests are affecting your Ficus bonsai is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is inspect the stem, branches, and leaves. You should be able to spot any invaders almost immediately. Issues like fertilization, watering, and environmental changes can be challenging to identify when compared to pest infestation.

You can use treatment solutions readily available in local stores to get rid of pests. There are also some DIY solutions that you could employ depending on your level of expertise. Ensure that you inspect your Ficus bonsai regularly to identify pests and get rid of them early.

Incorrect Fertilization of the Ficus Ginseng Bonsai

Inaccurate fertilization is usually to blame when you notice a slow but steady loss of leaves. Plants need some balance to grow appropriately. Too little or too many nutrients will usually lead to a problem.

Measure your soil’s PH level to determine whether you need to decrease or increase the amount of fertilizer.

Conclusion

Your Ficus Ginseng bonsai needs a balanced environment with the ideal conditions for proper growth. It would help if you had an appropriate routine of watering, sufficient light, and adequate fertilization to ensure that you get a healthy Ficus bonsai.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Why Is My Bonsai Turning Yellow?

Bonsai means ‘tray planting.’ It is a form of art that originated in East Asia centuries ago. A bonsai tree is a replica of a full-grown tree as it would be in the wild, but scaled down so as to be grown in the comfort of your household. As with any tree, it requires set conditions to grow and thrive well. Yellowing of bonsai leaves is not an uncommon occurrence, and it is natural for some types of trees to change the color of the leaves. Sometimes it is not natural, however, and it indicates that something is wrong. This could be due to insufficient lighting, too little water, or a mineral deficiency, among other factors. Here are some of the reasons that may cause yellowing on bonsai leaves.

Watering Your Bonsai Incorrectly

Without a doubt, water is the most vital requirement for any plant to grow. Water provides the plant with all the nutrients it needs from the surrounding soil. Not only is it detrimental for a plant to be under-watered, it is also undesirable for it to be over-watered.

  1. Underwatering

When a plant is given too little water, it begins to wilt and dry up. This will be accompanied by yellowing of leaves, as the plant lacks what it needs to grow properly. You will know a plant is under-watered when it shrivels up and has droopy leavesl yellowing of the leaves soon follows. The soil is also parched.

  1. Overwatering

Just like anything else, water should always be administered in moderation. Too much is poison, since it imposes still water inside the pot. This is a harbor of deadly microorganisms that could potentially kill the plant. Still water surrounding the roots may cause them to rot and ultimately kill the plant. You should take note of any presence of mold, as this means rotting has begun.

Providing Your Bonsai With an Insufficient Amount of Light

The other main necessity for any plant to grow is light. Light is so essential that plants growing in light-deprived areas tend to grow toward the light. Like any tree, the bonsai requires a great exposure to sunlight to grow to its full potential. Light provides the plant with the energy to create its food to sustain its life. Also, chlorophyll found in the leaves of the plant gives the leaves its green color. With more sunlight, the plant produces a greater number of chlorophyll cells, which in turn bring about a vibrant green color. When a bonsai is underexposed to light, yellowing of leaves is inevitable and will lead to an unhealthy looking tree.

Type of Bonsai

You also must familiarize yourself with the nature of the tree you are rearing. Evergreen trees can remain green throughout the entire year, given their growing conditions are met. Tropical trees and conifers may be seasonal, hence changing the color of their leaves and dropping them at certain times of the year. This is hardwired into the system of the tree and no amount of care may change this. So before you panic, know the type of tree you have.

Stresses on the Bonsai

A tree is a living thing, and as with any living thing, stresses in the surrounding environment affect the tree’s general health. The plant’s environment may include the atmosphere, the soil, or features of the plant itself. Changing the soil and altering the temperature may adversely affect how a plant grows. The change in color means that the plant has not acclimated to its new surroundings and may take time before it adjusts. Hard pruning is another way you could lead your plant to ruin. When you snip away too many leaves, you limit the amount of sustainability it can generate for itself. This may lead to depleted resources and the yellowing of leaves. Always make sure to prune the tree when and only when it is healthy.

Bonsai Lacking Minerals

All plants require certain minerals to thrive to their maximum potential. This is the same case with a bonsai. When it lacks specific minerals in the soil, its leaves may turn yellow to indicate a deficiency.

Fertilizer is the needed boost required for the plant to grow healthily. It provides the plant with all the necessary nutrients which make the plant thrive. However, excess fertilizer will scorch the plant and cause it to change the color of the leaves. Fertilizer should be approached carefully and knowledgeably.

Type of Bonsai Pot

From the definition of the word bonsai, it is evident that the pot used will affect the tree. The type of pot will not only serve as the habitat of the tree but will also be aesthetically pleasing to all those who see it. A good-looking pot elevates the overall style of a tree and should be carefully considered when growing a bonsai tree. If the pot used cannot let out excess water, you will waterlog the plant and potentially kill it. Also, the roots may grow too big for the pot and require repotting.

Improper Bonsai Placement Causing Browning of Leaves

Some plants do better outdoors than indoors. The intense sunlight, humidity, and wind all work hand-in-hand to aid trees that grow outside. If these plants were to be planted indoors, it would be problematic and cause a struggle for growth. This will be indicated by the leaves turning colors. You should know the type of tree you are growing to know which conditions best suit it. Indoor bonsai trees include Jade and Ficus, while outdoor trees include the Elms and pine.

How to Revive Yellowed Leaves on Bonsai

If your bonsai tree has turned yellow and you are attempting to restore the leaves to their normal state, you should first know that this is not a process that will happen overnight. Patience is key. Keep a close eye on subtle changes and try to combat them as soon as they appear. Troubleshoot and try to find out what the likely cause of the problem is and deal with it.

Give your bonsai just the right amount of water. Do not be tempted to add water in excess as this is detrimental to the plant’s health. Only water the tree if the top of the soil is parched. Add water till it drains out the bottom, and do not add any more till you are certain the soil is dry.

Always expose the tree to enough light to continue to grow healthily. Sunlight helps in building the plant and so positioning of the plant is quite key.

Get to know your tree so you can understand why it sheds leaves. In a matter of weeks, the tree’s leaves are bound to revert back to the green you are used to. 

Make sure the soil you use is well aerated with all necessary minerals. A bonsai tree typically needs phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium for good growth.

Add fertilizer with care and make sure it is not in excess, as this will only make the problem worse. Research the type of tree and what nutritional supplement it may require for healthy growth.

Keep the tree in fairly stable conditions. Avoid drastic changes in the environment so as not to stress the plant.

You shouldn’t over-prune your tree. Make sure you prune the tree when it is healthy to avoid putting too much strain on the plant.

Growing a bonsai tree is a soothing endeavor and quite rewarding if done right. It requires your constant attention so make sure to take time out of your schedule to look after your plant and prevent yellowing before it gets out of hand.