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General Guide To Bonsai Care
Watering: The goal is to not let the roots dry out completely. Usually, this means a soaking every 1-3 days. One way to measure the moisture content is by weight. Lift your bonsai before and after watering to get a feel for adequate conditions. You can also water from below, by placing the bonsai in a shallow pan with about an inch of cool water.
Fertilizer: Don't worry about this. Most growing mediums have fertilizer incorporated into them.
Placement: Late fall through winter and early spring, most bonsai will take full sun. In the summer however, they need afternoon shade. Protect them from high winds that will have a drying effect. Subtropical trees will need to come inside and placed near a bright window from late November through February.
Pruning: Trim off most of the new growth throughout the growing season. This will keep the plant stunted, which in the case of bonsai is desirable. Keep a small portion of the new growth so the plant can continue to feed itself.
Roots: Once a year, trim off a quarter to a third of the roots. This also maintains slow growth. Do this in the mild season, such as in fall or spring to avoid excessive stress to the plant. Then replant the tree into fresh, fast-draining potting soil.
© 2016 Don Shor, Redwood Barn Nursery, Inc., 1607 Fifth Street, Davis, Ca 95616
Feel free to copy and distribute this article with attribution to this author.