Bonsai plants were developed in Japan and China, and grow well indoors. GivingPlants.com bonsai plants arrive with a lovely shape, plus a beautifully designed container and plantscape. Here are the secrets to successful bonsai, courtesy of GivingPlants.com:
Light and Temperature
A bonsai needs good indoor sunlight. Morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal. It should be in temperatures of at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and will be okay down to 45 degrees or so overnight.
Bonsai needs a lot of water, but your planter should never be set in a saucer or tray with standing water. The roots will rot. Water in gravel under the pot works well to improve drainage. The container should always have drainage holes so over watering will drain off.
A Bonsai needs moderate watering when the soil appears dry – never let the soil dry out around the roots. In full sun, some Bonsai need watering daily, but every two or three is often okay. Watch your bonsai plant closely when new, establish a regular watering routine and check that as temperatures and sunlight change with the seasons.
It is happy when its leaves are moist. Spray the leaves or needles with generous amounts of water, and do that often. Umbrella bonsai trees have large leaves that act as a canopy over the pot, table or desk.
From table top to eye level is the best display height. Zen Reflection Bonsai trees are ideal for the work place and a desk as the relaxing image of a large shade tree invades the mind and introduces peace.
Prune or pinch back your bonsai to keep its original shape, or, if you get adventurous, the redesigned shape you choose (do this carefully and bit by bit). Start pruning in early spring, and trim when needed throughout the fall growing season. Check the Web or a book for pruning the type of bonsai plant you have. Remove all the plant bits – leaving them on the soil is likely to cause fungus.
Fertilize your plant from spring through fall, but not winter. Because the container is flat, use a mix at half strength and fertilize only every three to four weeks. Again, check the needs of your kind of bonsai plant.
Other Important Care
Most bonsais – particularly the Juniper bonsai prefer to be cleaned with a small brush rather than washed. An art brush works. Be gentle.
Bonsais attract some pests – most likely aphids, caterpillars, red spider mites and ants. Watch for them, especially if you bring plants from outside, and treat with a pesticide.
Powdery mildew is the main disease concern – it looks like white flour on the leaves and stems. If leaves get rust spots (orange) you may need a rust spray, or may need to find low-potassium fertilizer or potting soil. Yellow leaves or needles, as on other plants, tell you your bonsai needs more iron.
Bonsai needs repotting only every one to two years. Spring works best. Trim the roots when you repot, cutting off 1/3 to 2/3 of each root to give it new energy. Use a pot similar in shape to the original – shallow, rather than a traditional flower pot. That also best compliments the lines of the Bonsai plant.