Beginner’s Guide to Taking Care of a Bonsai Tree

Because of its unique character, bonsai trees have been used for centuries as decor in many households in Japan, and around the world. Today, they still add a great touch for any modern home.

If it’s your first time owning one, don’t let the care and maintenance intimidate you – once you get past the initial difficulties, watching your bonsai tree can be a really fun experience.

Here’s how you can take care of your bonsai tree to make it last a long time:

Water it

One thing you should never do when taking care of the bonsai tree is to let the soil dry out completely. As much as possible, water the first 1 to 1.5 inches of the soil and let the water soak to the base of the pot. This way, the soil and the roots stay hydrated.

However, be careful not to overwater it. If its leaves start to yellow, you may be adding too much water. To avoid this, use a plant mister and sprinkle the plant from the leaves all the way to the soil.

Prune it

One of the greatest attractions of owning a bonsai is the simple act of trimming its leaves, so approach this calmly.

When pruning, keep in mind that your goal is to maintain its size and to keep growth elsewhere on the plant, which you can also decide based on how and where you want the miniature tree to grow next.

Whether it’s pruning for style or regular maintenance, make sure to use dedicated bonsai clippers when doing so and apply healing paste on stumps when you remove branches.

Choose the right soil

You can’t just choose any old soil for your bonsai – you want a soil type that drains quickly while still able to retain its water, as well as having small particles to make sure that the roots are well-aerated.

You can mix your own soil to achieve this, but there are also different kinds of specialty soil dedicated for growing bonsai trees. Just be sure to add fertilizer every few months to keep your bonsai healthy.

Consider the lighting

Lighting is extremely important for a bonsai tree, especially since there are many different kinds that require varying amounts of sunlight every day.

A simple rule of thumb you can follow is that most trees do well with morning and afternoon sun, and there must always be a source of direct sunlight. If you have walls around your bonsai, move it once in a while or it will start growing in the direction where the sun hits it.

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