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How to Care for a Bonsai Tree

How to Care for a Bonsai Tree

  1. Where to put it.
  2. Don’t Over-water and Don’t Under-water.
  3. Applying Fertilizer and Soil.
  4. Root Pruning and Branch Pruning.
  5. Wiring.


A specialist Bonsai tree pot is essential for enviable presentation of your plant, as well as the proper medium for your roots to grip onto. Not many towns have the luxury of s specialist Bonsai tree shop, so buy online for the best range of choice.

Bonsai Tree. Chinese Elm 25-35cm in black ceramic pot

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Photo Credit: Designlazy.com


1- Where to put it. You should place your bonsai in an area that receives plenty of sunlight (by a window is a natural choice for most but ensure that the windowsill is wide enough to hold the pot properly so that it doesn’t get knocked over by mistake) Make sure that the room is neither too warm nor too cold (room temperature works well if the tree is given a good source of light but this can vary species to species) Also, make sure that the room is reasonably humid so the soil doesn’t dry out too quickly.

2- Don’t Over-water and Don’t Under-water. Watering is easily one of the most important elements in indoor bonsai care. Too little water and the tree will dehydrate and die, too much water and you will literally drown the tree. To ensure that you are correctly watering your bonsai tree you should wait for the soil to start drying out (but don’t let it completely dry) and then water the plant until excess water seeps out of the bottom of the pot. Don’t water the bonsai again until the soil starts to dry out.

3- Applying Fertilizer and Soil. To pick the right type of soil you should visit your nearest garden centre (or bonsai specialist if there’s one in your area) and tell them what exact type of bonsai tree you have. They will help you find the right soil for your needs. To correctly pick fertilizer you should ensure that you purchase a high quality, water-soluble fertilizer that contains a good variety of nutrients. Fertilizers should only be applied during the growing season and must be applied only when the soil is wet.

4- Root Pruning and Branch Pruning. This is what will set you apart as a Bonsai master! You prune both the roots and the branches. Root pruning should be done at the start of spring and only when the bonsai’s roots have become grounded in the pot. Simply select the roots you want to keep and get rid of the bad ones. Branch pruning should also occur near the start of spring. Pick the branches that you wish to keep and careful remove the others.

5- Wiring. Wiring allows us to shape the branches of our tree. Copper wire is stronger than aluminium wire but can sometimes cut into the branches. Choose a wire that’s roughly 1/3/ the width of the section of Bonsai that you wish to shape. Wire just before winter for pines and coniferous varieties, or just before spring for deciduous trees. Apply the wire at a 45-degree angle; making certain that it is wrapped neither too tight, nor too loose. Bending the trunk or branch, should be done using both hands. It is important to support the trunk or branch, as much as possible, as you proceed. Be sure to hold the wire from behind with your thumb, as you proceed forward bend the wire and not the trunk or branch. If you are wiring the entire bonsai it’s best to begin with the trunk and then move on to the largest branch and then to the next largest branch and so on. Also, it is imperative that you wire in the direction of yourself: You will be able to avoid wiring over any buds, leaves or twigs that may be hidden by your arms or hands and for pragmatic purposes you will be able to cut off the excess wire as you reach the very end of the branch.


If buying a Bonsai tree for a friend or loved one, make sure that they’re going to have the time to care for it properly! It’s a fairly big commitment.

Only wire a healthy Bonsai and make sure to check on a wired Bonsai every 2 weeks during growing season to ensure that the wire isn’t cutting in.

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