Friday, October 5, 2007

Important First Steps In How To Care For Bonsai Trees

The care for bonsai trees is a great hobby. However, for a lot of beginners, they find their newly acquired bonsai dead within the first couple of weeks after bringing them home. Bonsai trees are very sensitive to their environment. Following below are a few tips to remember in how to care for bonsai trees.
Bonsai pot
The pot or container to hold the plant is very important. They can range from cedar boxes, to earthenware pots to glazed porcelain. But make certain they have a drain hole so that excess water can drain away. The shape of the container is selected dependent on the style of the plant, from wide and shallow to tall and compact. The plant is usually planted off-center in the pot to give it that aesthetic effect.
Both root pruning and branch pruning is necessary to maintain good health of the plant. Trimming or pruning of the tree branches is important to maintain the shape of the tree, while pruning of the roots, usually done when the tree is transplanted, is important in keeping the tree as a dwarf plant The shaping of the plant is also aided by the proper use of wiring the branches to the desired shape.
Watering is critical to the proper care of bonsai trees. Bonsai plants must be watered thoroughly when they become slightly dry. Any excess water will drain out through the drain holes in the container. Usually this means every other day in the summer, and every week or so in the winter. But don't submerge the plant in water. And the soil does not hold nutrients very well, so be prepared to fertilize regularly..
Winter care
If your bonsai is an outdoor plant, it already is a hardy species and can survive the winter weather conditionally.
If the winter temperatures normally stay above freezing, simply mulch the plant to just below the first branch. If your plant is potted and the winter temperatures normally fall below freezing, it would be best if the plant is brought into a shed or cold-frame for the duration of winter.
Just follow these few important steps in how to care for bonsai trees and your bonsai trees will stay healthy and attractive for many years to come.
by Gary Machado

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