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!