The most important steps in caring for your bonsai are watering, placement, fertilizing, trimming and repotting.

WATER: It’s extremely important to keep your Bonsai tree moist and never let it dry out. How often Bonsai need to be watered depends on a wide range of factors, but monitor it and water it once the soil gets slightly (but never completely) dry. When watering, do it thoroughly by either carefully watering from the top and/or by sitting the pot in a tub of water so it reaches half way up the sides of the pot and let the water soak up from the bottom. A good soak during the summer is highly recommended.

Not the ideal position!

PLACEMENT: Apart from those trees designed to be indoor bonsai, bonsai need to be found a position outside with good light and protection from the heat of the day. Most bonsai do best with morning sun and afternoon shade, even indoor bonsai trees. Remember that a tree’s natural habitat is outside so don’t be tempted to move your Bonsai tree indoors apart from a few hours for a display.

FERTILIZING: Your Bonsai tree will appreciate an occasional feed to keep it healthy. We use a good liquid fertiliser every 2-3 weeks during the spring and summer. Add some to the tub (quantity according to the instructions on the packaging) when watering by the soaking method.

PRUNING: Regular trimming and pruning of branches and leaves maintains the desired shape of your bonsai. Fresh bright green growth will appear at the tips of the branches, especially during the Spring and Summer. If the new growth results in a pleasing shape, leave it; if you prefer, nip some new shoots and buds to keep the tree the way you think it should look. In nature, branches growing from the underside of larger branches will not survive as they don’t receive enough light. To keep the tree looking natural these can be removed.

REPOTTING: Once a year, usually at the beginning of spring, repot your tree with fresh good quality potting mix to which has been added additional drainage material such as scoria or pumice. Some species of trees are better done earlier, the internet and library are good sources of more information on this. As Bonsai trees do not have tap roots to anchor them into the ground, they are often tied into the pot with wire. Take care when removing the tree from the pot to remove this wire. If necessary trim the roots back lightly. Water the tree well after repotting by the soaking method.

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The internet has lots of information on caring for bonsai, a good site to start from is: