Last week I introduced you to the tranquil splendor of bonsai; now it is time to learn some care methods which promote the health and benefit of these artful specimens. My care focus will rest primarily on indoor bonsai, though, given my orientation about the Urban Jungle scene.
Choosing the right tree variety can make any Bonsai Hopeful wary and fill them with questions. However daunting the decision may be, various professional sources exist to offer care help. Bonsai Empire suggests that only tropical or sub-tropical tree varieties be brought indoors because of the low humidity levels and warm temperatures characteristic of indoor climates. Common tropical species include Crassula, Carmona, Ficus, and Sageretia.
Water-soluble fertilizer is best for indoor bonsai, as the nutrients remain in the soil for a longer duration. All Things Bonsai notes a relationship between watering form and fertilizer type: granular fertilizer is more easily removed from the soil if one waters with an immersion watering style whereas liquid fertilizer will permeate the soil (if added to the watering vessel) and remain in the use of this same form. However, if one does choose to use granular fertilizer, it should be incorporated into the soil so that the tree can readily absorb it via its root system.
As per usual, the dilution of any form of plant fertilizer is most favorable for any specimen; these dilute solutions should be applied bi-weekly to monthly.
Light & Temperature
Bonsai, like any other photosynthesizer, require sunlight in order to survive. South-facing windowsills which receive daylight sun are wonderful locations for these pot-bound trees due to the quality and intensity of the light they provide. If you haven’t got one of these locales to spare, east- and west-facing windows take a strong second-best option for tree housing. But be wary: north-facing windows, unlike their comely tri-part relatives, are not suitable for tree habitation, as they fail to receive adequate sunlight.
In regards to temperature, indoor bonsai types (being tropical or sub-tropical) are receptive to warmer temperatures which are constant in value. Bonsai Tree Gardener poses that the proper range for such indoor inhabitants includes daytime values between 64 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime values between 57 and 61 degrees Fahrenheit.
Further light and temperature requirements depend on the particular tree species being cultivated; therefore, it is pertinent that one complete research pertaining to their bonsai’s care requirements!
Bonsai Empire provides a splendid article on the particular substrates used in bonsai cultivation, entitled “Bonsai Soil.” For lack of my own comprehension of this topic, I will direct you there for further details!
There are two primary methods for bonsai watering: immersion and top-watering. In immersion watering, the bonsai’s pot is inserted into a water-holding vessel and submerged, the tree being removed after a period of five to ten minutes. Top-watering involves the gentle wetting of the tree by fine spray so that all of the soil is dampened.