Bonsai trees are not genetically dwarfed trees. Instead, they are regular trees that are planted in small containers in order to limit their water and nutrients storage, and pruned to stay miniature. While many bonsai trees are flowering trees, there are also a great many fruiting bonsai possibilities. Bonsai trees do require more maintenance than a regular houseplant or a full-sized tree, but the reward is so much greater.
Popular Bonsai Fruit Trees
Any fruit tree can be made into a bonsai tree so long as it is done properly and is properly taken care of. Popular fruiting bonsai trees include apple, cherry, and citrus trees.
Apple bonsai trees can grow a few regular sized apples at a time. Apple trees like cold and wet climates. Cold winters followed by cool spring and summer seasons with lots of light are preferable.
Cherry bonsai trees look fantastic all year round. Typically, they will fruit in the summer and foliage will follow in the winter. These trees like low humidity and mild temperatures. Tart cherries will grow well in cooler climates
Citrus bonsai trees are tropical trees, so they should usually be grown indoors unless your climate has high temperatures and high humidity all year. Citrus trees include oranges, lemons, and limes.
How to Grow a Fruiting Bonsai Tree
Growing a fruiting bonsai tree is the same process as growing a regular bonsai tree. First you need to decide what kind of tree you want, and acquire a tree. The tree you grow must be able to survive in your climate, so it is recommended to grow a fruit tree that grows in your area. You can get a pre-bonsai or use a cultivation method to make a bonsai tree.
Once you have decided what tree you want to grow and how you want to grow it, it is time to actually get your tree! Buying a ready-made bonsai from an online store is one viable option. These trees will be pruned and wired already. You could also buy a prebonsai, which is a raw tree that has not been pruned or wired yet, which will let you create a bonsai tree essentially from scratch.
Cultivating a tree is another option, and while this method is much less expensive, it can take 3 to five years before you are able to style and shape your tree.
How to Care for Fruiting Bonsai
Once your fruiting bonsai tree is three to five years old, you can begin styling and shaping it. Styling and shaping techniques include pruning and wiring. Usually, pruning should be done in the spring or summer, depending on the tree. Wiring can be done any time of year, but the wires will cut into the trees very quickly, so check on them often so that they don’t scar.
Each bonsai tree has their own care preferences, but there are some guidelines you can follow for all trees. Important care aspects include watering, repotting, and fertilizing.
The frequency in which you should water your bonsai depends on factors like tree species, soil, climate, and container size. Never water your bonsai on a routine, instead, check the tree’s soil every day, or twice a day in the hot summer months. If the soil is moist, your tree does not need to be watered, but if it is slightly dry, you need to water your tree. Watering on a routine can cause over-watering, which will cause the roots to rot, or under-watering, which will cause your tree to dry out. Both will eventually kill your tree. When watering, water generously until you see water dripping out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Wait until all the water stops dripping, then water once more.
Every two years on average your fruiting bonsai tree will need to be repotted. Without repotting, trees will become pot-bound, making it very hard to soak up water and nutrients. Repotting is crucial to keep your tree healthy and strong. Older trees can be repotted every three to five years, younger trees every one or two.
Fruiting Bonsai trees are planted in shallow containers that limit their nutrient and water intake. Because of this, the trees do not get enough nutrients on their own, so fertilization is necessary to keep it healthy. Each tree species has different preferences, but applying any fertilizer that contains Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium will work fine. Follow directions on the packaging.
Growing a bonsai tree is a very rewarding experience, and having a bonsai tree that bears fruit is an added bonus! The care requirements are pretty much the same for these trees. Taking care of your tree properly will ensure fruits will grow for a long time!