Cherry trees are known not only for their delicious fruit but also for their magnificent beauty. While cherry blossoms were made popular in Japan, they actually originated in China. Cherry bonsai trees are a beautiful addition to any home that anyone can care for. In this article, we will be going over how to get a cherry bonsai and how to care for your tree.
How to Turn a Cherry Tree into a Bonsai
There are a few ways you can acquire a cherry bonsai tree. Buying a ready-made bonsai tree is one option that will allow you to start training your tree immediately. Ready-made trees are a few years old and are usually able to bear fruit. Sour cherry trees are able to bear fruit at three to five years of age and sweet cherry trees are at about four to seven years of age. You can also grow a cherry bonsai from seeds or cuttings
How to Grow Cherry Bonsai From Seeds
Before cherry bonsai can be planted in a container, their seeds must germinate (a process in which the seeds open up and allow the taproot to emerge) and grow into seedlings. Once the taproot emerges, next come the leaves, and then the stems. During germination, the seeds need full sun and moisture.
Only fertile seeds are able to germinate. To determine which seeds are fertile, put the seeds in a tall, transparent glass filled with tap water. Throw away the ones that float, and keep the ones that sink. Those that sink to the bottom are fertile.
Here is how to germinate your seeds:
- Get a large, shallow pot that can hold up to 4 seeds at a time.
- In the pot, place peat seed sowing mix.
- Place the cherry seeds on top of the mix. Leave a few centimeters of space in between each seed.
- Do not cover the seeds. They need lots of sunlight in order to germinate.
- Water the soil regularly so that it is constantly moist.
- Place the seeds outside to ensure they will get full sunlight.
- This process will take a few weeks. Keep the soil consistently moist.
Taproot will emerge once the seeds have opened and dig into the soil as leaves and stems appear. Once the seedlings are strong and in good health, you may transplant the cherry tree into its pot.
- First, acquire a pot. This should be shallow, with drainage holes at the bottom and/or sides of the pot.
- Place a layer of aggregates at the bottom of the pot to allow for good aeration and drainage.
- The next layer of soil should be inorganic bonsai soil.
- Place the seedling in the soil and place another layer of soil. Lightly compact the soil.
- Water the plants to keep the soil moist.
How to Grow Cherry Bonsai by Cuttings
Using cuttings is another great way to grow a cherry bonsai. You can harvest cuttings from any healthy cherry tree. In this method, you don’t have to wait as long to train your bonsai as you do when you use seedlings.
- Choose the cherry bonsai tree that you would like to get your cutting from.
- Be sure the tree has no health issues.
- Get a sterile or clean cutter or a sharp knife.
- Using a diagonal cut, harvest the cutting.
- Place the new cutting in water directly after harvesting.
- Let the cutting soak in water to develop roots.
- Once the roots have thickened, it is ready to be planted.
How to Take Care of a Cherry Bonsai
Cherry bonsai trees are fairly forgiving trees. They can be placed inside or outside and don’t like full sun. They like to be constantly moist, and you should fertilize them every few weeks. Pruning can be done as needed.
Positioning Your Cherry Bonsai
Cherry bonsai trees prefer a warm, but not hot, climate. They can be grown indoors and outdoors. When placed indoors, place the tree directly in front of a south facing window so that it can receive plenty of light. When placed outside, these trees do not like full sun. They prefer afternoon shade.
Watering Your Cherry Bonsai
As with all bonsai trees, cherry bonsai trees’ soil should be checked before watering. Overwatering is a big bonsai killer, which is why you must always check to make sure the soil is slightly dry. They should be watered quite regularly, often daily. The soil should be constantly moist. During the summer, water more frequently. Cherry bonsai prefer distilled water opposed to hard water.
Fertilizing Your Cherry Bonsai
Because cherry trees are prone to depletion of nutrients, they should be fertilized every two weeks during their growth period. Once growth has ceased in the winter, feed once. Use a fertilizer with a balanced ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Follow the directions on the packaging.
Pruning Your Cherry Bonsai
Cherry bonsai take pruning very well. You can prune off their leaves as needed. Pruning will encourage healthy leaf and stem growth.
Re-pot these trees every two years in the spring.
Taking care of a cherry bonsai is an amazing journey. You can watch the tree grow from day one by starting off with seeds, or you can buy an already grown tree. You can place these trees outdoors with partial shade or indoors with plenty of sun. Watering should be done quite regularly as they like their soil damp. Fertilize every few weeks and prune when needed. With proper care, your cherry tree should live a long, healthy life.