Tips to grow bonsai trees faster and longer in a more sustainable way

Bonsai is a Japanese art form that uses cultivation techniques to produce small trees in the shape and scale of full-sized trees. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penzai or penjing from which comes the art, and the miniature living landscapes of the Vietnamese Hòn Non-Bộ. The Japanese tradition dates back a thousand years.

The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation for the viewer and the pleasurable exercise of effort and ingenuity for the grower. Unlike other plant growing practices, bonsai is not intended for the production of food or medicine. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on the long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container.

Before you start planting a bonsai, it is important to select the right type of tree. The tree species you select will help you grow a good tree and one that is easy to care for.

Step 1

Place the planted bonsai in an area that receives direct sunlight for at least four hours a day. Bonsaigardener.org experts believe that bonsai grow fastest and healthiest when kept at or above 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.

2nd step

Water the bonsai daily, until the soil is moist to the touch. Bonsai trees grow faster in soil that is kept moist at all times. Fertilize bonsai every three weeks during the growing season, from early spring to late fall. Follow product instructions for dilution; be sure to dilute the fertilizer well according to the size of potting plant you used, otherwise you risk burning the bonsai roots with too much fertilizer.

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Step 3

Repot your bonsai every two years in the spring, before the growth cycle begins again. Use the same type of soil and planting pot as before so that the bonsai is accustomed to its environment. When replanting, cut off at least a third of the roots from the end to ensure they are not crushed in the pot and are healthy to absorb nutrients. Depending on the size of the roots, you may need to prune more to fit the pot.

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Step 4

Check your bonsai during watering for signs of pest infestation. Due to the constant watering the plant needs, it easily attracts insects. Treat any signs of infestation with a small dose of pesticide.

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