How to look after your bonsai

Everything you need to know.

The ancient art of bonsai has been traced back to the sixth century when wealthy Japanese would decorate their homes with these miniature trees. Today, bonsai are popular in Australia and throughout the world for their quirky looks and calming effects. 

If you’re thinking about adding a miniature tree to your own home and have done the research to decide which bonsai tree is best suited to your home and environment, then it’s time to move on to growth and care. 

Mastering the ancient art of growing a bonsai is no easy feat, and once accomplished the hard work doesn’t stop there. Angie Thomas, Horticulture consultant to Yates, has put together her 4 top tips on how to care for your little bonsai. 

Top tips for caring for a Bonsai

1. Add a little bit of sunshine

Ensure your bonsai gets the right amount of sunshine. Most outdoor bonsai plants should be placed in a sheltered position that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Indoor bonsai plants prefer a brightly lit spot indoors that’s protected from direct sunlight.

bonsai tree
(Credit: Getty)

2. Moisture is key

Bonsai like to be kept consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Bonsai plants have a very small root system that can dry out quickly, so it’s important to keep plants well-watered, particularly during hot dry weather. 

3. Unleash your creativity – get shaping

Bonsai can be pruned and wired into beautiful shapes. Use small sharp secateurs or scissors to remove any dead or unwanted branches and wires can be wrapped around stems to train them into living works of art.

4. Don’t forget to give your Bonsai a feed

Ensure you fertilise your bonsai, especially during their growing season from early spring to mid-autumn.

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