Bonsai Trees are famed to be difficult to care for. In reality, if you buy a trained bonsai they are surprisingly easy little companions to care for. Here are a few things to think about when caring for your Bonsai.
A Bonsai is just a little tree, trained from a sapling and pruned to keep its miniature size. So your Bonsai will need similar care to a full-sized tree.
This will depend on the species of your tree, how much water it likes. Don't water on routine but check the topsoil every week. If it's dry, water and be sure to pour around the whole root system.
Living in a pot, a bonsai tree doesn't have all the nutrients available to a full root system, so they'll need regular fertilisation in the growing period. Over winter they won't need any.
Position and light
Your Bonsai can live inside or outside, depending on the species. If your plant is indoors, move it around according to the season (a great position in winter may have too much sun in the summer).
Repotting and pruning
As with any plant living in a pot, it will need to be re-potted at some point. This depends on the growth, keep an eye on the roots (are they coming out of the soil) and re-pot before it's looking really root bound.
Growing your own bonsai
From a sapling, you could have a small trained bonsai within three to four years (depending on the species of the tree. Bonsai are trained with careful pruning and using wire to train the shapes.
Technically, any tree will work, but trees with smaller leaves and flowers work best. There's lots of online information to help beginners such as Bonsai Empire, and societies such as the National Bonsai Society which run meetups in the UK.
Have you grown Bonsai? Do you have any tips? Please share them with the community using the tags #Bonsai #Tips
Here are some suitable trees...
Hawthorn 'Paul's Scarlet'
Crataegus laevigata 'Paul's Scarlet'
Cydonia oblonga 'Champion'