Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bonsai Care Guide For Sub Tropical / Indoor Bonsai Trees

Story by: Ashley Jenner



NOTE: Within 2 weeks of getting your bonsai tree it's quite normal that some of the leaves will turn yellow and fall, this happens as your bonsai tree acclimatises to its new surroundings.

Flick any yellowing leaves off and they will re-grow. DO NOT pluck them as this damages the new buds.


Fill a bowl or sink with tepid water. Immerse your bonsai tree so the water comes over the rim of the bonsai pot and covers the soil, and leave for five minutes. Place it on a draining board and allow the excess water to drain away.

You must not let your bonsai tree sit in water after draining.

If you follow this method your bonsai tree will get the required amount of water.

For best results we recommend using a humidity tray and mist spaying twice a day too.

Your bonsai tree should be watered approximately every other day, more often during the hottest summer months,

Remember the soil should be moist to the touch at all times, if wet don't water, NEVER let your bonsai tree DRY OUT.


Your bonsai tree needs plenty of natural light but NOT blazing midday sun as the leaves will burn and die.

If your bonsai tree grows large leaves on long light green leggy shoots it's not getting enough light. Any warm bright area will do,

Window sills may not be the best place due to the constant fluctuation in temperature, however if a window sill is the only place you can keep your bonsai tree, be sure to rotate it every week.

Once you have found a suitable place for your bonsai tree, leave it there so it can acclimatise itself with its new environment.

You will know its in the right place as it will flourish and grow many new shoots.

If its in the wrong place it will loose its leaves.

Indoor bonsai trees will benefit from being outside in a semi shaded area during the summer months.


All bonsai trees need fertiliser to make up for the lack of nutrients normally available in the wild.

Either use a specially formulated bonsai feed or Phostrogen tomato feed.

We recommend that you feed once a week with half the recommended strength during summer and once a month during the winter.

Be sure to fertilise after watering and do not exceed the specified dose as over feeding will burn the roots and possibly kill your bonsai tree.


Your bonsai tree needs pruning all year round, more so during summer.

Just cut off the long shoots to one or two leaves to maintain the shape of your bonsai tree.

For more info see our Video "Practical Guide to the Care of Indoor Bonsai Trees"


You may need to repot your bonsai tree every other year and should be done in early spring.

This is done to maintain fine fibourous healthy roots.

To do this tease your bonsai tree out of the bonsai pot and loosen about 1 third of the soil from the sides and underside of the root ball and trim away the long hanging roots. (Use a clean sharp pair of root cutters)

Clean your bonsai pot or choose a new one.

Repot using a free draining soil mix (1 part fine grit 2 parts organic soil) or buy a pre mixed bag of bonsai soil.


*Brown crispy leaves - Lack of water. (Follow watering instructions above) *Sticky leaves - Your Bonsai could have Aphids, whitefly or greenfly. Check the underside of leaves for both insects and eggs, to treat place the Bonsai outside and spray with a contact insecticide and be sure to cover both sides of the leaves.

*Every leaf turning yellow - Over watering (follow the watering instructions above)

If your tree suffers any of the above conditions STOP fertilising immediately as this will do more harm than good.

You can start to fertilize only when new growth appears.

If you follow these simple instructions your bonsai tree will stay healthy and reward you for many years to come.

For more information or advice please contact us

About The Author

Ashley Jenner
Owner of Ws Bonsai

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