House Plant of the Month - Bonsai

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Practiced for many centuries, Bonsai is the art of growing miniature trees and shrubs.

Cultivated by the Japanese to bring harmony and nature into the home, bonsai trees are a little more delicate compared to the average indoor plant. By following a few basic rules, everyone should be successful in caring for their tree. The most important of these are watering, feeding and choosing the right position for your chosen variety.

Bonsai need regular watering, preferably with rainwater. Check your tree daily and water when the compost is becoming dry. The most effective technique is to immerse your bonsai in a tray of tepid water up to the rim of the pot. Let it sit for around 20 minutes, allowing the water to be drawn up through the drainage holes. Once complete, remove the pot from the water and allow to drain before displaying again.

The time to feed your tree is when it’s actively growing, usually from April to October. During this time, apply a feed formulated for bonsai every 7 to 10 days. If you have recently re-potted your tree, wait for 4 to 5 weeks before feeding again.

  • Use rainwater and a bonsai fertiliser for best results
  • Light shaping can be performed at any time of year
  • Perform major pruning and wiring from late autumn to late winter
  • Re-pot every 2 – 3 years and refresh with a bonsai compost
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More information

For more information on shaping and wiring your tree and how to care for different varieties, refer to our handy leaflet here.