How much food and when - the balancing act of Bonsai...
Anyone who has planted a tree knows that after the first few weeks,
trees are generally self sufficient. They send out their roots deep and wide in the soil
so they can absorb the water and nutrients they need to grow large and tall.
Roots are a life line for trees that burrow futher and further in the constant search
for the water and minerals that are needed. But a
Bonsai tree cannot reach out into Nature's reservoir of water and nutrients, it must depend upon
you. This is one of the challenges that turns a gardener into an artist and a scientist.
Bonsai trees are self contained in a
bonsai pot. Part of the
special care and attention you provide will be to assure that they are getting the
nutrients that they need. Still you must not over feed or over water, for that can be
equally as damaging and may kill the tree.
Bonsai trees need a very special diet including plenty of
water and a feeding mixture of nitrogen, phosphates and potassium. They also
need vitamins and other minerals to flourish.
One way to provide nutrients to your Bonsai tree
quickly is to spray the leaves. And the best time to do this is when the temperature is below 85
degrees. This will help the leaves absorb the nutrients.
Another typical method of providing your tree with nutrients is through pills
or tablet. Bury a pill in the soil and over time water will break it down and the roots of the Bonsai will
absorb the needed food.
There are some variables to consider before deciding on the
type of nutrients to use. You need to take into account the age of the tree, the size and
type of tree, when the tree was last repotted, the drainage and the type of root
Do not be afraid to experiment with different nutrients and formulations of fertilizers.
Watch for spotted leaves or droopy flowers, as this will tell you
that there is something wrong.
Another aspect of feeding your bonsai is the time of year.
The trees natural cycle during the seasons will guide you in how much to feed the tree.
the growing season, for example, the tree will need more nutrients. But again you will need to
experiment. Start with low dosages so that you don't over do it and shock the
tree. Typically, a Bonsai tree should be fed every 2 to 4 weeks.
Bonsai trees need direct sunlight as well as adequate, but not too much, water.
Remember to regularly fertilize the tree as you trim and prune it for regrowth.
Be on the lookout for any type of bugs including spider mites which could kill the tree.
Also, it is very important to repot the tree every 2-3 years.
Over time your relationship with and understanding of individual Bonsai trees
and shrubs will grow. And your Bonsais will respond to your desires, forming little works of art.
There is a challenge in making them grow as you wish and to prosper as they wish.
The Bonsai tree needs extra special care and nurturing to thrive. Different species will respond
differently to the fertilizers you use. You may want to consult a local
horticulturist to obtain more information about the specifics of raising a particular
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