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Advice on Caring For a Bonsai Tree

Bonsai which is an interesting technique of growing the adult trees in a miniature form was originated in Japan a long time ago. In fact when you see a banyan tree that looks like a 50 year old one with all its long branches, shoots and cylindrical roots but at the same time the height is just 4 to 5 feet then this becomes very unusual and exciting.

This is the reason why many people take keen interest in decorating the most exposed corner of their house with a Bonsai tree. But there are few things that are essential when it comes to taking proper care of a Bonsai tree. The most important elements are water, light and fertilizer.

Watering the Bonsai Tree

Water is the main component that a tree uses to prepare its food. A bonsai tree might die within its tub if you do not water it for continuous 48 hours. But then again excess water can act like poison to a bonsai tree. Now this is a fact that you will need to identify the right time to water your bonsai tree.

You can do this by judging the soil. Dig the upper surface of the soil and look at the inner part. If it is moist enough then you do not need to water it anymore. If it is dry then do not delay in watering them.

Fertilizing the Bonsai Tree

The soil that surrounds the roots of the bonsai tree contains very little nutritional value. Moreover the slightest bit of the minerals and other nutritional particles simply wash away when you put water everyday. But they need regular supply of food in order to survive and the bonsai trees just like other normal trees collect their food from the soil.

This is the reason why fertilizing the soil on a regular basis is very important. The most important elements required for its survival are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. You should apply the fertilizers which are rich in these 3 mineral contents. In fact the type of fertilizer will also depend on the species of the bonsai tree.

Keeping the Bonsai in Light

The rays of the sun are the basic necessity for any plant. There are many people who keep their bonsai plants at one corner of the room as a part of decoration and completely forget about taking them out regularly in the sun. This is the reason why the bonsai trees often become weak and gradually die.

So always place your bonsai tree in the sun-light for several hours in a day. But scorching heat of the sun and high temperature is harmful for the bonsai. Hence it is always advisable to keep them under some kind of shade which will shield the bonsai tree from the stark light but benefit them equally.

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Caring For Bonsai

Indoor bonsai requires constant care and attention to establish a rhythm and routine that will not only benefit the plant, but also the grower, whose increasing knowledge and experience will create a stronger awareness of the plant world in general

Both you and your bonsai tree will benefit if you draw up a routine tree care schedule, such as daily maintenance checks of light, water, temperature and humidity, along with regular feeding, pruning, checking for spider mites, re-potting etc

It’s easy enough to follow the instructions regarding watering, feeding and pruning, but understanding a little of how a bonsai tree functions will increase your enjoyment of bonsai and give you more confidence for caring for your own trees.

Bonsai root pruning is an important part of the care of bonsai plants. Because the roots are out of site it’s very easy to overlook the importance of a healthy vigorous root system.

As in the wild, the bonsai root structure provides the anchorage and absorbs moisture and soluble nutrients from the soil. Therefore it is essential to check every day if the bonsai is in need of water.

More often or not when a bonsai begins to look sickly, it because it has some form of root disorder. If the root lacks vigour or is decaying it will not hold the tree firmly in the pot

For indoor bonsai care, it’s also a good habit to check the fertilizer and soil in the bonsai pots every day. Baring in mind that the bonsai tree should always be watered before it dries out completely

But however dry the soil may appear to be, take care not flood it. The soil should be watered slowly, with brief interruptions, to allow for complete permeation.

To guarantee that the watering has been successful you should watch for water seeping out of the drainage hols in the bottom of the bonsai pot. If the soil is too dry, the water will not be absorbed and spill out over the rim of the pot

Do not spray the bonsai with water. It’s far better to use a long spouted watering can, which will reduce the force of the water and promote better permeation to the soil for bonsai

At the base of the trunk, healthy growing roots show plump and white at the tips. This is the most active part of the root system. Behind the white part, the root is clothed in minute root hairs.

Although water can be absorbed by other parts of the root it is through these tine root hairs that the water and most importantly nutrients are more readily absorbed due to their enormous combined surface area

Older thicker roots on more mature trees develop bundles of sap conducting cells, which are also present in the trunk and branches. These cells conduct the sugars from the leaves and distribute them to all parts of the bonsai plant, wherever they are need for growth, including the roots

Every bonsai variety needs a different amount of water; for this reason, as a grower, it’s in your own interest to familiarise yourself with the type and habits of each individual plant

A final piece of advise on watering your bonsai. Never use water that is too hot, since this will limit the ability of the plant to absorb the all-important nutrients for healthy new growth

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