Not everyone is able to have a full-grown apple tree in their yard. But anyone can grow an apple bonsai tree! Apple bonsai trees will grow the fruit you love but won’t take up lots of space. Because it is a bonsai tree, it will of course be miniaturized. The fruit, however, will grow full sized. Its dense form, many leaves, and beautiful flowers make apple trees perfect for bonsai.
How to Turn an Apple Tree into a Bonsai
Buying an already grown apple bonsai will ensure that you can start training the tree immediately. Because it will take 8 to 10 years on average to bear fruit, this option is better for those that want to be able to grow and eat fruit very soon.
Growing an apple bonsai tree from seeds can be a long process, but it is worth it if you want to witness the entire process.
A very important part of growing from seeds is that you must plant two different kinds of apple trees in the same pot. This is because apple trees need another kind of tree to pollinate with; they are not self-pollinating. So, one of the apple seeds you plant should be the kind you like to eat, and the other could be any other kind of apple’s seeds.
You can also grow your tree from cuttings. These cuttings are taken from another, preferably healthy, apple tree. This method takes longer than buying a ready-made bonsai but doesn’t take as long as growing from seeds.
Step by Step Guide to Growing From Seeds
- Collect two different kinds of apple seeds
- On a dry paper towel, place the seeds and let dry until there is no longer any moisture on the outside of the seed’s shells.
- Cover your seeds with a paper towel that has been wetted and dried until damp.
- Place the seeds in a sealable plastic bag or tupperware container.
- Place the seeds in the refrigerator so that they are exposed to the cold and can sprout and grow roots.
- Let the seeds rest in the refrigerator at 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit for 70 to 80 days.
- If possible, do this in the wintertime to align the seed growth with the changing of the seasons.
Step by Step Guide to Growing From Cuttings
- Find a healthy apple tree
- Use a clean cutter to harvest your cutting. Harvest your cutting with a diagonal cut
- Immediately after harvesting, plae the cutting in water
- Wait for the cutting to develop roots while in the water
- Once the roots have become healthy and thick, you may move the cutting to its own pot
- Water daily and keep the roots moist
How to Take Care of Apple Bonsai Trees
Caring for any bonsai tree is not as hard as some may think, and apple bonsai are no exception. These trees are not picky about where they are placed. They can be placed indoors and outdoors. Watering should be done pretty much every day, as they like pretty constant moisture. Feed with a balanced fertilizer. Pruning should be done regularly and wiring can be done, but watch the tree carefully so that it doesn’t scar.
Positioning Apple Bonsai Trees
Apple bonsai can be placed inside or outside, depending on your local climate. They like lots of sun with a little bit of shade. Indoors, place your tree at a window sill where it can get plenty of light with afternoon shade. Outdoors, it should also be placed in full sun or semi-shade in USDA zones 11 to 12. When temperatures drop, protect your tree’s roots by mulching them.
Watering Apple Bonsai Trees
Water apple bonsai generously when their soil gets slightly dry. While you should always check before watering, it is likely that you will have to water every day, and even a few times a day when the tree begins to fruit. You may use tap water if you know it is free of chemicals, meaning, if you can drink it, you can water with it. Be sure to use a well draining soil.
Fertilizing Apple Bonsai Trees
Use a balanced fertilizer with Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Fertilizing is recommended to be done at least twice a month, even once a week. Never apply fertilizer when the tree is bearing fruit. Follow the directions on the packaging of your fertilizer before applying.
Pruning and Wiring Apple Bonsai Trees
Pruning should be done in the spring, right before leaves emerge.To prevent mold or disease from occuring, use sterile pruning shears. Leaves may need to be pruned to allow for air and light to circulate around the tree. They also tend to grow very thick, so leaf pruning should be done to thin out leaves.
As for wiring, you should also do this in the spring before leaves and buds grow. Make sure the tree is dry before wiring. Remove the wire during the same season to avoid scarring or injuring your tree.
Growing a bonsai apple tree is an amazing experience that anyone can have. You can get an apple bonsai either by buying a ready-made tree, growing from cuttings or seeds. These trees can be grown indoors or outdoors, depending on your climate. Water every day because they do not like soil dryness, and water even more when the tree is bearing fruit. Feed often, at least every two weeks, but not when the tree is bearing fruit. These trees take both pruning and wiring well. Happy growing!