Houseplants: Simple Bonsai Tree Care

Bonsai is an interesting hobby which involves growing and training trees in small pots. The end result is a miniature tree that can be enjoyed as a houseplant.

Bonsai is an interesting hobby that involves growing and training small trees in shallow pots. The training process involves pruning and pinching the branches as well as keeping the tree slightly root bound to keep the growth of the tree to a minimum. The end result is a miniature tree or shrub that can be enjoyed indoors as a houseplant then placed outside in warm weather to be enjoyed in your yard or garden.

The bonsai tree does best in a warm environment of about seventy five to eighty degrees. The location you choose is also very important. Place the bonsai tree in a window that receives several hours of filtered sunshine in the morning. It should never be placed in direct sunlight as the leaves can be sun burned easily. If you put the bonsai tree outside it should be placed in a shady area and care should be taken to protect it from hungry insects.

When choosing a pot to plant the bonsai tree in, keep in mind that the bigger the pot the bigger the tree could become. If you want to keep your bonsai indoors, plant it in a small pot. Another important part of the training of the bonsai tree is that it should end up slightly root bound in the pot that it is in. Choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the root ball.

Water the bonsai tree only when the soil is completely dry. If the soil is damp do not water. Over watering can cause insects to invade your bonsai as well as providing a perfect environment for mold and fungus to grow. The bonsai will need little or no water in the winter.

The bonsai should be fertilized with a slow release fertilizer in the spring. Continue to fertilize all summer. Never fertilize in the winter.

There are many insects that will attack your bonsai tree. Aphids, mites and fly larvae are just a few of the insects that will get into your bonsai tree and eventually destroy it if they are allowed to remain there. If there are only a few insects on the tree you may want to just remove the insects instead of applying chemicals right away. If this doesn't work you may have to apply chemicals. There are many chemicals and insecticides available to treat insects on houseplants but some are toxic to the bonsai. Read the label directions and be sure that the chemical that you choose is safe for bonsai trees. Any reputable nursery can help you when choosing such chemicals. There are also some insect repellants that you can make in your kitchen from ordinary ingredients. One such repellant is made from mixing one quart of warm water with ½ teaspoon dish detergent. Pour into a spray bottle and apply to your bonsai tree.

Another problem that you could encounter is discoloration of the leaves of the tree. Leaves that are turning brown or yellowish are a sign that your bonsai is not doing well. There are many reasons why this can happen. Perhaps your bonsai needs to be transplanted or maybe it needs more frequent watering. Speak to an expert in the art of bonsai or your nursery staff for advice.

It is important if you want your bonsai tree to remain small that you keep it trimmed. Cut back new growth in the spring. Some people enjoy trimming their bonsai into interesting shapes.

Bonsai is a fun and interesting hobby that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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