by: Rob Mellor
If you are considering a Bonsai tree for that special person, there are a few things you should know to ensure that you end up with a nice healthy tree. First and foremost think about the conditions the tree will be in. Indoor Bonsai will generally need to be close to a window or be supplemented with artificial light. A small tray with gravel and a little bit of water under the tree will add humidity around the tree. It may not need to be watered every day but it should be checked daily as the small pots can dry out rather quickly.
Steps in bonsai care
Watering is the most important part in bonsai care. This is the crux of the art of bonsai. Most Bonsai tree that die are lost due to dehydration, either from lack of watering or from being kept in a low humidity environment (indoors) for too long. How often you should water is a common question people ask about bonsai trees. There is no hard and fast rule prescribed for the same. When the soil begins to dry out water your plant thoroughly until the excess water runs out of the bottom of the pot, signifying you're done. Remember, over-watering is as bad as under-watering, thus all the fuss about getting it just right.
Pots and soil
The soil you use affects rooting, feeding, watering and transpiration, it is where half your tree lives so this is the second biggest consideration in maintaining your bonsai. While the needs of individual species vary greatly a good rule of thumb is 30% grit, 70% humus for deciduous trees, and 70% grit with 30% humus for evergreen-needled plants. Bonsai trees should be fertilized with a water-soluble fertilizer once or twice per month during the growing season. However the choice of fertilizer may vary depending on the species you've chosen to miniaturize. Always apply fertilizer when the soil is wet. Bonsai trees are intentionally allowed to become root-bound in their containers, and the roots too, are pruned.
A bonsai plant is pruned in two ways viz. branch pruning and root pruning. Pruning of branches is performed in spring. Much, but not all of the new growth is removed. Branches are selected early on as the only branches to be allowed to prosper, while the excess branches are mercilessly pruned off. The main factor in maintaining bonsai is the removal of all but the most important parts of the plant. Bonsai is all about the reduction of everything just to the essential elements. Also Bonsai trees are intentionally allowed to become root-bound in their containers, and the roots too, are pruned. But root-bound plants won't thrive forever in that condition and, indeed, bonsai trees must be re-potted every two or three years to furnish the roots with fresh soil.
Changing the shape of the tree
Bonsai tree wiring is an advanced skill to grow the bonsai into an art form. Desirable branches are wired to control the direction in which they grow. Wiring can do a great deal to change the shape of the plant, but it can also do a great deal of damage to the plant if done incorrectly.
To sum up
This may seem like a lot to do to just to buy a little tree, but it's no different than any other informed purchase, just as you wouldn't buy a fish without having a special home for it you should have a special home for your Bonsai tree.
About The Author
Rob Mellor owns www.lost-bonsai-secrets.com. This website helps people find out more about the bonsai tree. Please visit the site for more information on bonsai tree care