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Outdoor Bonsai Trees

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 Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Juniper Bonsai Tree Turning Brown

The juniper bonsai tree, known to resemble plants of the cypress family, is a popular coniferous shrub. Some of its notable characteristics are its needle-like leaves and its beautiful foliage color, ranging from light green to a bluish dark green. Many consider the juniper bonsai to be one of the most beginner-friendly bonsai trees. However, failure to follow the care fundamentals for the juniper bonsai may cause plants to grow brown leaves, wilt, or even die. So, before looking at the possible remedies for the juniper bonsai tree turning brown, a quick check of the causes of its browning would be essential.

Causes of a Juniper Bonsai Tree Turning Brown

For a juniper bonsai tree to have its leaves brown, something must have gone wrong while caring for the bonsai. What are the most prevalent mistakes while caring for the juniper bonsai tree?

Overwatering Causing Leaves Browning in Juniper Bonsai

Different bonsai trees have different water requirements, with the soil used also playing a part in the amount of water needed. If the soil retains too much water over a long period, you have overwatered the plant. Juniper leaves tend to discolor when the plant is overwatered, with the color turning from green to brown or yellow. Other signs of overwatering include shrinking of the branches, softening of the trunk, and an unhealthy appearance.

Underwatering Causing Leaves Browning in Juniper Bonsai

On the other edge, underwatering may also cause the juniper bonsai leaves to turn brown. Notably, this may be caused by poor watering habits or the use of excessively low water-retentive soil for the plant. Lack of quick intervention in this area may lead the juniper to wither and die. Signs of underwatering include soil hardening, tiny creases on the trunk, and roots sticking out.

Low Light Causing Leaves Browning in Juniper Bonsai

How To Care For a Juniper Bonsai Tree

With the juniper being a tropical tree, it needs lots of exposure to light. For optimal lighting conditions for your juniper bonsai, I recommend considering both the local climate and season of the year.

Now you know what probably made or might make your juniper bonsai leaves turn brown. That doesn’t mean all is lost. There is still hope for the browning juniper to become a healthier green juniper bonsai.

How to Revive Juniper Bonsai from Browning

There are three basic ways to revive your juniper bonsai from browning. They include making corrections related to the mistakes listed above, as well as repotting. Let’s have a look at each procedure.

  1. Correct Watering

Watering your juniper bonsai is the most critical technique to master for the excellent health of the plant. The major rule here is to neither overwater nor underwater the plant. I recommend that you test the moisture conditions by poking a finger in the soil daily. If the soil feels dry, you should water the plant, ensuring you don’t leave the soil waterlogged. Depending on the season, the plant may need anywhere between a day to a week before watering again.

  1. Proper Placement of the Juniper Bonsai

When we talk about proper placement, this means positioning your bonsai to receive adequate sunlight and temperature. Many bonsai trees prefer outdoor weather, since they can obtain at least six hours of sunlight and a warm temperature. While indoors, always have your juniper bonsai in an area where it can receive adequate temperature and sunlight, especially by the window. At times, adjusting the position of the plant may be needed to have it obtain adequate sunlight and temperature.

  1. Repotting

The frequency at which repotting is done depends on the container size of the juniper bonsai. Most of the juniper bonsai trees require repotting anywhere between every year and every two years. Usually done during spring, repotting is the perfect time to check on the overall root health (bacteria presence), trimming them to get rid of some of the old and rotten roots. I recommend that one uses a quality potting compost mixed with pebbles and sand for optimal drainage.

Conclusion

juniper bonsai

Investing time in caring for your bonsai tree is vital for a healthy plant. While the juniper’s major issue is the browning of the leaves, there are several things you can do to prevent or revive your juniper bonsai from browning. With the above tips, your juniper can maintain a green, healthy color, a crucial characteristic for the juniper bonsai’s beauty.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Azalea Bonsai Leaves Turning Brown

Azalea Bonsai Tree

The azalea bonsai tree is an evergreen tree with deep red flowers that remain on the tree for weeks. It is a member of the rhododendron family. There are many species of azalea with different shades of pink or red flowers. However, there are a few species with white flowers as well. Out of all bonsai trees, the azalea is one of the most satisfying. It is popularly known for having a prolific amount of gorgeous flowers when in full bloom. The azalea also adapts well to cultivation and root pruning. 

As with any other plant, improper care of the azalea may lead to complications that will affect the tree. In this article, we will discuss detailed information on reasons why the leaves of the azalea bonsai turn their green color.

Over-watering Causing Azalea Bonsai Leaves to Turn Brown

There is a specific amount of water that is recommended when watering a bonsai azalea. The leaves and roots of rhododendron may rot due to excess watering. This water becomes trapped in the plant leaves, making them turn brown. 

Often, when over-watering is becoming a problem, it is because the bonsai is being watered more than once a day. The tree should only be watered once every day or two, when the soil gets slightly dry.

Under-watering Causing Azalea Bonsai Leaves to Turn Brown

Browning of the leaves of potted azalea may occur as a result of under-watering the plant. Too little water leads to browning of the leaves and a dried, wilted trunk.

Water your Azalea bonsai every day or two when the soil gets slightly dry. Do not wait until the soil completely dries out.

Low Light Causing Azalea Bonsai Leaves to Turn Brown

Azalea bonsai depends on various environmental factors to survive and to stay alive. The tree should be exposed to sunlight. Since the azalea tree is hardy, it needs to be placed outdoors, because its leaves will turn brown if left indoors for an extended period. When potted azalea lacks sunlight, its leaves begin to wilt. For at least part of the day, you should expose the tree to indirect sunlight to prevent the leaves turning brown. However, when the tree is exposed to the sun for too long, it can dry out and cause browning of leaves.

You should place your azalea bonsai in a warm, well-ventilated, and partially shaded area. The tree to be placed in such an environment to enhance the healing process of brown leaves.

Pests and Diseases Causing Azalea Bonsai Leaves to Turn Brown

When pests affect the potted azalea’s leaves, they usually go unnoticed, thus causing the leaves to turn brown. These pests prevent the nutrients from reaching the leaves by feeding off the liquid from stems. They also suck the moisture from the leaves; hence, browning of the leaves occurs, and leaves eventually die. To promote new growth of the leaves, you can spray a light pesticide on the bonsai tree and remove dead or brown leaves. You should also use water to wash away the pests with an insecticidal soap that will prevent the infestation of pests.

Nutrient Problems Causing Azalea Bonsai Leaves to Turn Brown

In order for the potted azalea to grow and develop, it needs proper nutrients. The leaves may turn brown due to nutrient deficiency, such as a lack of magnesium and iron. The potted azalea also needs fertilizers like any other plant. An incomplete energy cycle may occur due to insufficient nutrients, thus affecting the leaf’s color. Notably, excessive use of fertilizers may cause the plant to burn.

How to Revive Azalea Bonsai From Browning Leaves

  1. Trimming the dead spots

To encourage and nurture future growth and development, you can trim away the dead parts of your bonsai tree. It is helpful for survival and revival of the azalea bonsai to trim away any fallen leaves or brown and wilted leaves from the stem.

  1. Treating your potted azalea tree with an organic insecticide

 You can spray your azalea plant with insecticide if you have noticed your potted azalea is infested with any type of pests. To ensure that you buy the right treatment for each parasite, you should identify the symptoms of the plant before choosing the spray. It is essential to lightly spray the bonsai tree’s foliage to ensure that the chemical lightly coats each area.

  1. Checking the moisture levels

It is essential to check the soil’s moisture levels before taking any action. You can stick your fingers 1 to 2 inches into the ground to check the moisture levels. Severe dehydration of the soil may cause the browning of the leaves; thus, it is recommended to water your tree well.

  1. Placement of azalea bonsai in a clean temporary container

You should place your potted azalea in a clean temporary container filled with lukewarm water. The normal pot should be cleaned thoroughly when the plant is still resting. You should prepare a new bonsai mixture of soil that drains well but retains water effectively.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Black Oak Bonsai

Oaks are among the most common trees. Most of them are deciduous; however, some of them are evergreen. Oak trees produce characteristic fruits (acorns). Black Oak bonsai tend to be picky compared to other plants; furthermore, they require greater care than all popular maples and conifer. In this article, we shall be discussing the care of the Black Oak bonsai tree.

How to Take Care of the Black Oak Bonsai

When it comes to taking care of your Black Oak bonsai tree, there are several essential aspects you will need to keep in mind, including:

Where to Position the Black Oak Bonsai

When it comes to positioning your Black Oak bonsai tree, sunlight should be your top priority. A Black Oak bonsai tends to tolerate full sunlight better than other bonsai plants. Therefore, you should consider positioning your Black Oak bonsai in direct full sunlight. Morning sunlight is regarded as the best since it is not overly hot; however, in the heat of the afternoon, you should consider filtering the sunlight or providing full shade to prevent your Oak from drying.

When kept in full shade for an extended period, a Black Oak bonsai will develop abnormally large leaves or dieback. These large leaves are inconsistent with your goals for your bonsai.

When and How to Water the Black Oak Bonsai

It would be best if you watered your Black Oak Bonsai every time its soil runs dry. However, you should avoid constant soil wetness. This means that you should water less during winter, but you should avoid letting the root-ball from drying out completely.

Fertilizing Needs for the Black Oak Bonsai

Virtually every Black Oak bonsai requires supplemental fertilization during the growing season. Since there are no ornamental flowers on the Black Oak, the tree does not need as much nitrogen as a flowering bonsai.

Using a heavy nitrogen fertilizer is desirable for plants that you will be trying to coax in developing heavy trunks. However, Black Oak responds better to a weak solution of a well-balanced fertilizer, which will address top- and root-growing needs. A Black Oak bonsai may produce bonsai-sized acorns, or it may not.

How to Train the Black Oak Bonsai

The Black Oak bonsai, like the pin and live oaks bonsai, tends to respond well to wiring and training. However, when training your Black Oak bonsai, be extra careful not to damage its bark while bending or positioning its branches. When you start on the second year of training, you should consider repotting your bonsai with the utmost care, as well as pruning and grooming the roots. Continue shaping it by bending and wiring its branches until you attain the desired appearance.

Common Pests and Diseases that the Black Oak Bonsai May Get

Black Oak bonsai often suffer from powdery mildew. To take care of this issue, you should consider using 10g baking soda along with 10ml grapeseed oil, a drop of dishwasher detergent, and 1 liter of water. You will spray the mixture repeatedly every seven days.

Less often, bacterial leaf scorch, oak leaf blister, and pine-oak gall rust occur. You should consider looking for a professional gardener who will take care of the situation if it worsens. There are some mites and insects that cause galls, but they do not cause any harm to the Oak tree in most cases. In addition to that, scale, aphids, hookworms, and leaf miners are a bother to Black Oak bonsai. To get rid of these pests, you might consider using a jet of water rather than chemical pesticides. It would be best if you also watched out for caterpillars of the Oak Processionary moth, since they have toxic hair and are very dangerous for humans.

By taking good care of your Black Oak in its early stages, you will be able to grow a perfect bonsai with the utmost ease. Keep in mind the growing conditions, correct watering techniques, and supplemental fertilizer to help your Black Oak Bonsai thrive. The best part is that Black Oak bonsai responds well to wiring and training; this makes it relatively easy to work with. We hope that this article has been of great assistance when it comes to caring for and training your Black Oak bonsai.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Training Japanese Maple Bonsai

One of the main reasons why bonsai are so unique and beautiful is the training that goes into growing each tree. Training is crucial to not only the appearance but also the health of the bonsai. Japanese Maple bonsai in particular need maintenance pruning as well as structural pruning. Wiring is another crucial training technique used to shape branches and trunks. 

But there is no one way to train a Japanese Maple bonsai. Every bonsai grower is free to style their tree any way they choose. That being said, there are some classic styles which a bonsai grower can choose from. In this article, we will be going over some of the most popular styles for training a Japanese Maple bonsai. 

The Importance of Training Japanese Maple Bonsai

When you look at a Japanese Maple bonsai, the first thing you will notice is how beautiful it is. This beauty is achieved through training the tree. Pruning is used to evenly distribute leaves, decrease the size of the leaves, and more. Branches and trunks that have been bent through wiring present a more pleasing appearance. 

Pruning is not only important for the visual appeal but for the health of the bonsai as well. In nature, Japanese Maple trees’ leaves grow abundantly at the top of the tree. This causes the leaves located at the bottom of the tree to wither up and die, since light is not able to reach the leaves at the bottom of the tree.

How to Prune Japanese Maple Bonsai

Pruning is done by strategically removing leaves from branches. As previously mentioned, pruning is used to force leaves to grow further down and towards the center of the tree. While pine and coniferous trees prefer to be pruned by hand, the Japanese Maple is deciduous and can be pruned with shears or scissors. 

In addition to removing leaves, you can also take branches off the tree. Do this carefully and thoughtfully. You should remove branches that are dead, those that grow too far out, and those that hang too far down, rather than growing upwards. In the end, it is up to you to decide which branches aren’t needed.

How to Wire Japanese Maple Bonsai

Wiring your Japanese Maple can bend your bonsai’s branches or trunk. This is not an instantaneous event; the wiring process takes a few months before the branch will be in the position you want. The wire will need to be removed once the branch is bent. The wire will cut into the bark and scar the tree if it is not removed soon enough.

Begin wiring your tree at any time throughout the year. For Japanese Maples, aluminum wire is preferred. Simply wrap the wire around the branch you wish to bend. Once the branch is wired, bend it to the desired angle or shape. Then, wait!

Different Shaping Styles for Japanese Maple Bonsai

There are many different bonsai styles out there. Take what you will from these styles and leave the rest. Your tree can look exactly like a certain style, or you could take an aspect or two from one and make it your own. This is completely up to you! Experiment and have fun when training your Japanese Maple!

The first common Japanese Maple Style is the Broom style. Japanese Maple is perfect for this style since it works best with bonsai with fine branches with growth primarily at the top of the tree. The Broom style involves lots of growth rounded at the top of the tree. In this style, there is no growth at the bottom half of the tree.

Your Japanese Maple can also be styled in an upright, formal position. In this style, the bonsai’s trunk is straight up and its branches are evenly distributed throughout the tree. This style can be achieved by pruning the leaves and branches so that they grow at the bottom of the tree as well as the top. Their leaves should go out further than the trunk. A similar style is the informal upright style. The only difference is the trunk is not straight. Instead, it is curved into an S shape and the bottom of the trunk is thicker than the top. 

The last popular style we will talk about is the slanting bonsai style. In this style, the trunk is slanted to one side. The trunk’s base should be closer to the pot on the opposite side of which your tree is slanted. So, if your trunk is slanted towards the left, the base of the trunk will be off to the right.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Indoor Bonsai Trees, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

How to Care For African Boxwood Bonsai

Boxwood is a very hardy evergreen plant that proliferates well. It is popularly known due to its significant characteristics, thus making an excellent tree to be used as bonsai. The boxwood species includes over 70 varieties of trees. Japanese boxwood (Buxus Microphylla) and common boxwood (Buxus Sempervirens) are the most common boxwood species. Boxwood can be shaped into different designs and is often used as an ornamental shrub. The boxwood often grows with twisted trunks and branches in its natural habitat. These trees have greenish-yellow flowers that usually attract bees. There are several care guidelines that will help them to flourish. In this article, we will discuss how to care for potted boxwood.

Where to Position African Boxwood

During the summer, Japanese boxwood should be placed in a house with high light levels or kept outside with either complete or limited sunlight. A tree should be placed indoors when nighttime temperatures drop below 50 degrees. However, over the winter, you should bring your bonsai inside once nightly lows begin to approach freezing. The plant should be transferred to a north-facing doorstep during cold periods so it may go partially dormant. Boxwood should also be kept cool and away from sunlight. A boxwood plant should be placed outside after a period of dormancy, and its watering and feeding schedule should be increased once it is placed in a location with more light.

When and How to Water African Boxwood

You should never neglect the watering of your boxwood. When the tree’s soil gets dry, water it immediately and never allow the soil to dry completely. Until you get to know the requirements of a tree, you should use a moisture meter to determine the soil’s moisture level. A plant should be watered until water begins running out of the pot’s holes.

Fertilizing Needs for African Boxwood

For your bonsai to remain beautiful and healthy, fertilizing is always necessary. Fertilizer is essential to replenish a soil’s supply of nutrients periodically, since a shrub is growing in such a small amount of land. Liquid fertilizer is suitable for any general purpose and is available at most garden centers. Through cold seasons and dormancy, common boxwood should not be fertilized.

How to Train Your African Boxwood Bonsai

Since boxwood is a complex tree, training should be thoroughly studied or left for a professional to handle. Most potted boxwood is already trained and only requires pruning and wiring. When you are trimming the plant, you should leave one or two pairs of leaves on each branch.  Leaves should be thinned to let sunlight get in them if they become very dense. Thinning of leaves also helps to encourage back-budding, and it prevents inner twigs from dying.

It is necessary to keep your shrub miniature; trimming and pinching are required. A new growth should be pinched and cut from a safe point that is furthest. All new growth should never be removed, thus sustaining the tree’s health. It is vital to evaluate each tree’s growth rate and adjust your trimming and pinching, since different trees grow at a different rate.

Common Pests and Diseases that Affect African Boxwood

Like any other tree, boxwood bonsai should be treated for insects and diseases because the plant is miniature. However, when a plant is properly cared for, the risk of infections decreases. Fungal infections, such as box blight, can attack boxwood bonsai. Nematodes, boxwood mite, boxwood leafminer, or boxwood mite are pests that often affect the boxwood bonsai. Spraying of specific pesticides for most pests and diseases is essential. In severe cases, a professional gardener should be consulted.

Repotting African Boxwood Bonsai

When a bonsai root system has been filled, repotting should be done periodically. Repotting helps to supply fresh soil and to enable more compactness for a root system. You should examine your tree’s root system each year to determine if it has become pot-bound since trees grow at different rates. The potting process is easy and safe if performed correctly and at the right time in most cases. Repotting should be done in mid-summers. The soil and shrub should both be removed from a pot when repotting.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

How To Care For The Japanese Maple Bonsai Tree

Cultivating and taking care of bonsai trees can seem challenging and labor-intensive, but once you know what you are doing, it isn’t as difficult as it appears. It all comes down to keeping the tree alive, initially; then, once you’re used to watering and pruning it regularly, the more advanced activities are less overwhelming. This article will instruct you how to take care of a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) bonsai tree.

Japanese maples should generally be kept outside, including the bonsai variety. They like sunlight but should be moved to the shade in the heat of midday. A Japanese maple can even stay outside to fall into dormancy in the winter, as it is a hardy plant, but should be protected from temperatures below 14° Fahrenheit.

Watering Japanese Maple Bonsai

Japanese maples need to be watered daily while they’re growing, and sometimes more than once a day, depending on the drainage of the soil, according to Bonsai Empire. A general rule of thumb is to water once the soil is slightly dry. The soil should never be allowed to dry out completely, and when watering, be sure to soak it thoroughly so as to wet the whole root system. This means watering until moisture seeps out of the drainage holes. Rainwater is best, as it is slightly alkaline (which helps these trees thrive), but if you only have tap water, it won’t hurt the tree.

Fertilizing Japanese Maple Bonsai

Provide your Japanese maple with high nitrogen fertilizer in the early spring every two weeks, says Bonsai Outlet, as newly unfurling leaves need the nourishment. Later, fertilize with a much more diluted solution every other week in summer, but take care to not feed with the regular strength and frequency at summer’s hottest. In the late summer to early fall, use a nitrogen-free fertilizer and taper off before winter hits. Be careful not to fertilize too little or too much to ensure a well-proportioned tree.

Pruning Japanese Maple Bonsai

To keep your bonsai tree under control and in the shape you wish it to be, you must prune it. Bonsai Experience mentions pruning unsightly growths and protrusions and pruning the tips of the branches to keep them from growing. You may even snip away individual leaves or groups of leaves. While the top of the tree grows more rapidly than the lower branches, it’s important to observe the entire tree for growth regularly, as it can quickly get out of hand if pruning is neglected.

Wiring Japanese Maple Bonsai

Another technique for shaping your bonsai is wiring the branches. This involves wrapping wire around flexible branches and positioning them in the way you wish for them to grow. For Japanese maples, the perfect time for wiring is in the winter, when the cold has already stripped away the tree’s leaves, making the branches significantly easier to wrap. Branch growth during the spring and summer can also cause the wire to bite into the branch, causing scars. Use anodized aluminum wire. According to Bonsai Empire, starting out with 1mm, 1.5mm, 2.5mm, and 4mm thick wire should be enough to start with. It’s also best to purchase some raffia and soak it before applying it to larger branches to prevent the wire from damaging them. Once your tree is all dressed up in raffia, you can take two branches of similar size and wire them together in several places on the tree while wiring all other branches singly. Start by wrapping the wire around the trunk, and then wrap the wire around the branch or branches you desire from base to tip. Once wired, you can bend them into the preferred shape, making sure the wire will hold it. Once a few months have passed and the branches are set in their shape, and before the growing season, unwire them and remove the raffia.

Repotting Japanese Maple Bonsai

Repotting requires having the right soil and pruning the roots. Bonsai Outlet says to repot every one to two years for trees less than ten years old and every two to three years for older trees in early spring—before the buds open. Be sure to prune the roots so it fits in its container, but cut away no more than half of the root mass of young trees, and cut away even less for older trees. Most sources recommend using a soil mixture of akadama, pumice, and lava rock, but as long as the soil drains well, it should be fine. Also, refrain from fertilizing directly after repotting; wait for about two weeks.

Propagating Japanese Maple Bonsai Trees

The simplest way of propagating is growing the maples from seeds, but you can also take a cutting from a living maple in the summer. If you are propagating this way, all you need to do is cut a new branch from the parent tree, removing the lower leaves. Then place the cutting into a pot of soil, burying at least one leaf node, Agverra instructs. They also suggest putting the pot in an open plastic bag to keep moisture in, ensuring it remains wet at all times. Put the pot in a warm spot, but not in direct sunlight. When it begins growing new leaves, this is a sign that it has rooted.

Obtaining a Japanese Maple Tree

As mentioned above, you could propagate a new tree by asking around to see if anyone is willing to give you a few cuttings. However, local DIY stores, such as Lowe’s or Home Depot may already have a few for sale, or perhaps a local nursery. If all else fails, a simple Google search will produce many results, from seeds to seedlings, to even already trained bonsai.

Diseases and Pests in Japanese Maple Bonsai

Japanese maples are pretty hardy, but there are still a few things that you should watch out for. Japanese beetles, for instance, will destroy all leaf growth if allowed. Other pests include scale bugs, mites, and mealybugs, according to Gardening Know How. The damage will manifest as small bumps or “cottony spots” on leaves and twigs. Wilting, yellowing, or puckering leaves can indicate aphids, and borers will show themselves as clumps of sawdust. Taking care of pests is as easy as treating your plant regularly with pesticide. As far as diseases go, canker can attack the tree, presenting itself as sap oozing from the bark. Yellowing, prematurely falling leaves is a sign of Verticillium wilt, and leaves rotting and falling are symptoms of Anthracnose. Pruning appropriately and clearing fallen debris from the base of your tree should prevent these diseases. Keep a close eye on young trees, however, as they have a higher chance of succumbing to diseases and the attacks of insects than that or older trees.

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

How To Look After Your Bonsai Tree

The bonsai tradition is one that anyone can participate in. Bonsai growing is not hard, but there are some aspects to it that are unlike those of growing any other houseplant. The way we care for our bonsai is different because of one important aspect: the small, shallow container. Because they are housed in these containers, the trees’ nutrient and water intake is restricted. Soil is another special part of bonsai growing, because they are not planted in regular potting soil. Keep reading to learn how to look after your bonsai.

Bonsai Placement: Indoor or Outdoor?

Generally, bonsai are placed into two categories: indoor and outdoor. It is very important to your tree’s survival that you know what kind of tree you have. The care requirements are nearly identical for these trees, but they each grow best in their own climates. 

Indoor bonsai trees are tropical or subtropical species. This means they like high temperatures, high humidity, and lots of sun. Growing constantly all year, they do not have dormancy periods in the winter. Common indoor bonsai include the Ficus, Carmona, and Jade species. These trees should be placed in front of a window where they can receive as much light as possible, usually a south-facing window. 

Outdoor bonsai, on the other hand, are temperate, continental, Mediterranean, or maritime trees. Unlike indoor species, the outdoor variety goes dormant once a year to survive the winter and prepare for growth in the spring. Exposure to the four seasons is crucial to the tree’s survival. Winters must be cold enough for them to go dormant, but not so cold that frost damages the tree. They must be protected from frost in a greenhouse.

The Importance of Watering

There are some very important factors to consider when watering your bonsai. First, you should never water your bonsai on a schedule or routine. Always check the tree’s soil moisture before watering. Watering on a routine can cause serious issues like under- and over-watering. Both of these will prove fatal if done often enough. 

When your tree needs to be watered, do so with a fine-nozzle watering can to prevent the soil from being disturbed. Using rain water is preferred, but tap water can be used as well. Water generously until the water begins to drain out of the holes at the bottom or sides of the pot. Wait around 10 minutes, then repeat.

Providing Nutrients With Fertilizer

bonsai care

Since bonsai are planted in nutrient restricting pots, they require fertilizer in order to survive. Bonsai fertilizer is composed of three elements: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Each serves a different purpose but is equally important. 

Because indoor bonsai grow consistently all year, they should also be fertilized all year. Feed with liquid, balanced fertilizer. The rate at which you should fertilize depends on the brand, so follow the directions on the packaging. 

Outdoor bonsai should be fed during their growth season, from spring to autumn. Fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content should be used in the spring, balanced fertilizer in the summer, and lower nitrogen content fertilizer in the autumn. Do not feed in the winter.

Bonsai Soil and Repotting

The right soil is key in the health of your bonsai. Bonsai need a special inorganic fertilizer, rather than organic potting soil. Inorganic soil consists of Akadama, pumice, and lava rock. Good bonsai soil provides drainage, aeration, and water retention. Organic soil provides none of these crucial qualities and will cause your tree to die. 

Deciduous bonsai need a mix of Akadama, Pumice, and lava rock at a ½, ¼, ¼ ratio. Coniferous like the same mix at a ⅓, ⅓, ⅓ ratio. 

Every few years, your bonsai will need to be repotted. This is because new roots will grow, which takes up the room that the soil used to. Once the roots have circled around the root ball, it is time to repot. Old roots should be pruned off. Without repotting, your bonsai will become pot bound, meaning the tree will not soak up nutrients, and it will die. 

Caring for a bonsai tree may seem intimidating at first, but don’t worry! Participating in this beautiful tradition is very rewarding, because you aren’t just looking after a tree, you are embarking on a journey. When you first get your tree, you will either place it indoors or outdoors, depending on the species. Make sure you know what kind of tree you have! Watering should be done as necessary, not on a routine. Fertilizing needs varies from indoor to outdoor species. Repot your tree every few years as needed with inorganic soil. We know you will love caring for your bonsai tree!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

How to Care For Trident Maple Bonsai

Trident Maple bonsai are some of the most popular bonsai in the world. Anyone can take care of this hardy plant without too much trouble. They do require a decent amount of attention since they need to be watered frequently. You can be as creative as you want to be with these trees since they handle pruning and wiring very well. 

These trees can be distinguished by their dark green leaves that turn red and orange in the fall. The Trident Maple has three-lobed leaves as opposed to the five-lobed leaves of the similar tree, Japanese Maple.

Caring for Trident Maple Bonsai

Taking care of a Trident Maple bonsai is not hard at all. They prefer lots of light with afternoon shade. Watering should be done frequently so that the soil stays moist. Feed these trees from spring to summer using a balanced fertilizer. They take pruning very well but wiring should be done with some caution. Pests are rare, and diseases can be easily fixed.

Where to Position Your Trident Maple Bonsai

Trident Maple bonsai need to be placed outside all year long. These trees are in the outdoor category because they need to go into dormancy in the winter. While temperatures must be low in the winter, they need to be protected from frost. Placing them in a cold garage or in a greenhouse will work well in the coldest of winters. 

In the summertime, Trident Maples prefer lots of light. Set your tree in a spot where it can receive shade in the afternoons. Too much direct sunlight will cause the leaves on the tree to burn.

Watering Your Trident Maple Bonsai

Your Trident Maple bonsai’s soil should be kept moist. Watering should be done nearly every day. A well-draining soil is a must. This soil will help prevent over-watering, which is a common, deadly disease in these bonsai. In the winter, water less often since it will be dormant. 

Never water your bonsai more than once a day unless the soil dries out. Checking the soil before you water will help you determine whether you need to water your Trident Maple. Do not let the soil dry out completely, but do not soak the soil.

When to Fertilizer Trident Maple Bonsai

As you may know, bonsai are trees that are planted in shallow containers. The purpose of this type of container is to restrict growth and nutrients. Since the tree cannot receive the nutrients it needs as trees in nature do, fertilizer is needed to keep the tree healthy and strong.

Trident Maple bonsai have a dormancy period, which means they also have a growth period. Fertilizer is used to encourage growth, so it should be applied during this growth period. This is from spring to autumn, March to September. Use a balanced fertilizer once or twice a month. Do not fertilize in the winter.

How to Prune and Wire Trident Maples

Pruning and wiring practices are key to maintaining the shape of the tree. Heavy pruning at the top of the tree will encourage growth at the bottom of the tree. For every five to six leaves, leave two. Remove weak branches carefully in the summer. When roots die, prune them off. Roots are very tolerant when it comes to pruning. 

Do as much wiring as possible when the tree is still young. Do not keep the wires on for too long. Remove the wire during the same season that you applied it. Wire is known to bite into and scar tree branches when kept on too long.

Trident Maple’s Common Pests and Diseases

So long as your Trident Maple is properly cared for, it is unlikely that it will encounter any pests or diseases. If a pest is to attack your tree, it is likely an aphid. Apply a pesticide and your problem should be solved. 

Diseases are much more likely to occur. These include problems that arise due to light deficiency as well as under- and over-watering. All of these problems can be dealt with if discovered quickly. 

If your tree is not receiving enough light, consider moving it to a place where it can receive full sun and little shade.

Issues related to water can also be resolved easily. Simply water when the soil starts to dry out. Do not let the soil dry out completely. 

Those new to bonsai growing will love the Trident Maple bonsai. It is easy to care for, and is arguably one of the most beautiful bonsai species you can grow. You can let your creative side run wild when cultivating this tree by using pruning and wiring techniques. The care of this tree is simple. Water often, fertilize every two to four weeks, and keep the tree outside unless it frosts. Pests and diseases can be taken care of easily. We know you will love caring for your Trident Maple bonsai!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Evergreen Bonsai

Evergreen bonsai are trees that keep their foliage all year. Their leaves stay green all year as well (unless they are in poor living conditions, but we’ll get into this later in the article!). Common evergreen species include spruce, fir, pine, and cypress. These are perfect for those who can pay a good amount of attention to the tree. They need to be watered every two to three days and fertilized every week or so. In this article, we will be going over everything you need to know to properly care for your evergreen bonsai.

How to Care for Evergreen Bonsai

Your evergreen tree will thrive with plenty of water, lots of sun, and weekly feedings. Most of the evergreen species are very easy to care for, so they are perfect for those who are just dipping their toes into the bonsai world. Pests and diseases are relatively common but can be dealt with by using pesticides and improving the tree’s living conditions. All evergreens are outdoor bonsai, and they should only be brought inside to be protected from harsh light or to be given additional light through artificial light.

Are Evergreen Bonsai Indoor or Outdoor Trees?

In nature, evergreen trees grow in cold regions and in rainforests. As bonsai, they grow best in full sun outdoors. Some can survive in the shade, but full sun is always best for trees from the rainforest. Coniferous trees can thrive in very cold climates, while evergreens from the rainforest are used to warmer temperatures. 

All evergreen trees need to go through dormancy in the winter. This is so that the tree can survive the cold and prepare for growth in the spring. Evergreens may like lots of sun in the summer, but they need climates that are very cold in the winter.

Watering Evergreen Bonsai

All bonsai species are different when it comes to watering. In general, evergreen trees thrive with lots of water and moist soil. Over- and under-watering are some of the biggest evergreen bonsai killers. Avoid these fatal issues by only watering when the soil gets slightly dry. Do not water when the soil is wet, but do not wait until the soil is completely dry. 

Plant coniferous trees in well-draining soil, and plant rainforest evergreens (those found in temperate and tropical zones) in soil that will provide good water retention. Rainforest evergreens love constantly damp soil.

Fertilizing Evergreen Bonsai

Since bonsai trees are planted in shallow containers, their nutrient and water intake is limited. Fertilizer is required for evergreen bonsai in order for them to survive. When using organic fertilizer, you will usually need to apply once or twice a month, while liquid fertilizer is usually applied every week or two. 

We recommend using a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content one week, then a balanced fertilizer the next week. Repeat this process throughout the year, increasing the amount of fertilizer in the spring and beginning of the summer. Feed occasionally in the winter and fall.

Training Techniques for Evergreen Bonsai

Common training techniques used in evergreen bonsai growing include pruning and wiring. 

Pruning is not needed very often. Maintenance pruning should be done as needed as well as structural pruning. Instead of cutting off needles, it is better for the tree if you pinch off the foliage. It is best to prune in the fall right before the tree grows in the spring. Always sterilize your tools between uses to prevent infections. 

Wiring is done by wrapping wire around branches and trunks to bend them into a desired shape. Evergreens need to be wired with copper wires because of their thick branches. Always use caution when wiring your tree. Wire is known for cutting into branches and permanently scarring them if not removed in time.

Common Pests and Diseases in Evergreen Bonsai

Pests and diseases are fairly common in evergreen trees. Many of these problems are preventable and most are treatable as well. 

Common pests that you may encounter include spider mites and caterpillars. To rid your tree of these pests, you can apply pesticides and spray the pests with water. Ladybugs are also a viable option. These lovely little critters are not harmful at all to your tree and will eat away all those unwanted pests! Remember that when there is one bug, there are always dozens more hiding.

Diseases occur when your tree is not receiving proper care. These diseases include but are not limited to over-watering, under-watering, and complications related to insufficient light. To solve your over- or under-watering problem, you must only water when the soil is slightly dry, but not completely dried out. If your tree’s needles are browning, place your tree in full sunlight and out of the shade. 

The evergreen bonsai is the perfect addition to any garden. These trees are easy to care for and so beautiful. Water your evergreen every few days as needed. Fertilizer should be applied every week or so, switching between balanced and high Nitrogen fertilizer. Evergreens respond well to pruning and wiring. Pruning should be done in the fall, and wiring can be done throughout the year. Diseases can be dealt with by improving the tree’s conditions, and pests can be easily eradicated. We know you will enjoy bringing this amazing bonsai into your home!