If you are in the process of growing a bonsai tree, or you’re a beginner who is thinking about starting this fantastic hobby, you will want to know exactly what you need to do in order to maintain your tree and get it to the point where it is looking fantastic.
Of course, if you are a beginner then you will want to start with an indoor bonsai tree. This is because this type of tree is easier to look after and easier to maintain when compared to an outdoor bonsai tree.
The indoor version basically doesn’t need much more upkeep than a regular house plant, although in a different way; on the other hand, an outdoor bonsai tree needs to be sheltered from extreme weather, either too hot or too cold, and that’s not always easy to do!
We will assume therefore that you are going for an indoor bonsai tree version, and in that case, we need to talk maintenance. We’re going to go over the basics here, but it’s always a good idea to read up a little more, to give you a real overview – check out the videos at Balcony Bonsai for further information.
Placement of your bonsai tree
First things first, you need to know where to put your bonsai tree whilst it is growing or once it is grown. This should be in a southern facing area, particularly near to natural light. A windowsill is a great place to put your tree, however certain types of bonsai do not like direct sunlight all day long, so just in the mornings.
Think about lighting
We just touched upon this, but it’s also a good idea to put a certain amount of artificial light in the direction of your bonsai tree. Certain fluorescent lights are a good idea, and the general recommendation is for around 10 hours per day, especially during the growth process.
Humidity needs to be created
Bonsai trees are used to living in humid, hot conditions, so it’s a good idea to make it feel at home! Place your tree in another planting dish, a larger one, and fill that with water to sit your original tree pot inside. Additionally, you could spritz your tree with water a few times per day to create that damp, humid feel – don’t overdo it though!
Temperature should be constant
Again, bonsai trees are used to being in warm climates, so you need to keep your temperature constant. The general living room temperature is enough, but you need to avoid massive drops or spikes in temperature, as this could upset the tree and its growth.
Pruning needs to be done
Obviously, a bonsai tree is a stylish affair, so it’s not simply going to grow in the direction and style that you want. You need to prune, and there are two different types of pruning – maintenance and structural. Maintenance pruning is just removing the dead ends really, whereas structural pruning is more about the design you want to create.
Know that every tree type is different
There are countless different types of bonsai tree, and that means there are countless different types of ways to look after them. Generally speaking, these rules are what you should adhere to, but there could be subtle tweaks needed according to the species and type of bonsai tree you choose.
Actually planting the tree is really only the beginning of the story, because a bonsai tree is an investment of time. Of course, this means you need to know how to maintain the tree in order to make sure it grows properly and effectively.
There should be a huge amount of emphasis placed on getting everything ‘just right’, because otherwise there may be issues which could damage the final appearance of the tree you have tried so hard to cultivate and design.
Pruning is certainly something you should practice before you actually set yourself free on your tree with a pair of clippers! Check out videos online and arm yourself with the right equipment, as well as the correct twist and snap technique, which is well known amongst the bonsai tree community. This is the only way you will successfully grow and maintain a beautifully serene bonsai tree.