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boxwood bonsai tree

How To Care For A Boxwood Bonsai Tree

With over 70 species in its family, the Boxwood bonsai tree is the ideal tree for intermediate bonsai growers. Every part of this tree is poisonous, and should be kept away from any and all pets. Contact with human skin will cause minor irritation for a few days. 

Its naturally twisted branches and trunk make this tree excellent for bonsai growing. The yellow-green flowers attract bees. Their tolerance to shade and excessive pruning also make for god bonsai qualities. We will be talking about how to care for these magnificent trees, including where to place them, how often you water and fertilize them, and more!

How to Care For Boxwood Bonsai

Boxwood bonsai aren’t considered low-maintenance, but they aren’t high maintenance either. Most of these trees are outdoor, but there is one species, the Chinese boxwood, that is considered an indoor bonsai in most climates. Constant soil wetness is not preferred, but occasional, short dry periods are okay. Feeding should be done once a month with solid fertilizer, or once a week with liquid fertilizer. Pruning is handled well, but use caution when wiring as it will cut into the branch very quickly. Pests and diseases are quite common, but can be dealt with. 

Do You Keep A Boxwood Bonsai Tree Indoors or Outdoors?

Boxwood bonsai are outdoor trees that should never be placed inside for prolonged periods of time. The only exception to this would be the Chinese boxwood, which can be placed indoors in the winter in a cool room at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit and plenty of light, but prefers to be outdoors in the hot summer months. These trees like a sunny spot with afternoon shade. Because they are sensitive to frost, they should be placed in a greenhouse for protection in the winter. 

Watering A Boxwood Bonsai Tree

Always check the bonsai’s soil for wetness before watering. Lots of water is prefered, so water generously, but use a well draining soil; Boxwood’s do not like constant wet soil. And while these trees can live through short dry periods, it is not recommended that these trees go without water very often or for very long. The use of normal tap water is fine. If you can drink it, you can water your bonsai with it. 

Fertilizing A Boxwood Bonsai Tree

Since these trees, with the exception of the Chinese boxwood, are true outdoor trees, they need to be fertilized during their growth season. The growth season for these trees is from spring until autumn. When using an organic fertilizer, feed once a month, but when using a liquid fertilizer, feed every week. Chinese boxwood bonsai should be fertilized every month in the winter seasons. Follow the directions on the packaging. 

Training Techniques For Boxwood Bonsai Trees

Every new shoot should be pruned so that there are one or two pairs of leaves left on the branch. The leaves are very dense on these trees and should therefore be thinned out to let light in. Thinning of the leaves will allow for the inner branches to thrive. Boxwoods handle pruning very well, so it should be done regularly, and deadwood sculpturing can also be done. Wiring, however, is a bit different. This should be done very carefully as it is easy to damage its delicate bark. Marks left by wires will be visible for a long time. 

Common Pests and Diseases Of The Boxwood Bonsai Tree 

Boxwoods are very prone to diseases and pests, so it is crucial that you are caring for them properly and checking for infestations regularly. Fungal diseases such as root rot and box blight are common, as well as scale, nematodes, boxwood leafminer, boxwood mite, and boxwood psyllid. Pesticides can treat these pests quite well in most cases, but a professional should be contacted in extreme cases. In Europe, boxwood moths have become an increasingly bad problem. The caterpillars will skeletonize the tree very quickly. Neem oil based pesticides will help. 

Commonly sculpted into fine pieces of art, these trees are a perfect addition to your home! Boxwood bonsai are forgiving when it comes to placement, as they can be placed in full sun or semi-shade. They do not like to be over-watered, while occasional under-watering is tolerable. Fertilizing should be done consistently for Chinese Boxwood, but every month or week, depending on the fertilizer, for common Boxwood. Pruning is taken very well but wiring should be done with caution. Pests and diseases are common but treatable. These trees are perfect for those who want a beautiful, leafy bonsai tree in their home!

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