How to Revive a Bonsai Tree

Is your Bonsai tree starting to look a little bit tired? Perhaps you received your Bonsai as a gift or maybe you bought it from a garden centre? The point is, unless you correctly look after your miniature tree then things can go wrong, and all too quickly!

If your Bonsai tree is starting to look past it’s best there are certain things you can do to give it a new lease of life.

It’s a good idea to think about re-potting your Bonsai tree every couple of years or so, and early spring is an ideal time to do this. You will need some good quality potting compost with a mix of grit or sand to help drainage.

Also consider trimming the roots if your Bonsai tree looks really confined and compacted down there. The roots maybe getting too big for the pot, so a quick root haircut can often work wonders. You will obviously need to remove the old soil first to expose the roots. An ideal tool to help you do this is a humble ice-lolly stick.

Like any tree a Bonsai tree is most suited to its natural habitat, and therefore should be outdoors. If your Bonsai tree is located somewhere inside your house, try moving it outside for a while and see if it recovers.

Don’t be afraid to move your Bonsai tree outside during the winter months either. Most trees are dormant at this time and well adjusted to the cold. Just make sure that you pick a well sheltered spot, and ensure that the compost doesn’t freeze.

When it comes to watering your Bonsai tree you need to keep the soil moist all of the time. Never let your tree dry out and never let it get waterlogged. Trapped water will likely rot the root system and kill your Bonsai tree quicker than anything else. Therefore you need to make sure your Bonsai pot or container has enough holes to allow adequate drainage.

Bonsai trees need pruning, so if yours is getting too big, simply cutting the top off will stop it getting any taller. Just make sure you use a sharp pair of scissors or secateurs as you don’t want to cause any infection. Also, this will cause your Bonsai tree to grow new branches and therefore will appear wider and fuller. When pruning branches, always cut back to a bud, any new branch will then follow that route…

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