The spring growth of new foliage is over.
When the heat of the summer comes along, your bonsai tree will generally stop producing new leaves, telling itself that this is right number. I can get through the summer with my root system supporting the leaves that I have, on no more.
Five things are important right now:
- Water. You're bonsai trees life or death depends on watering this time of year. A day or two of neglect and the soil, and the important little root ends at the bottom of the pot will die. Those are the important roots that bring water into the roots system and up to the leaves.
- Fertilize! The abundance of watering you are doing now, combined with the inherent nature of porous bonsai soil means that nutrients stay around for a very short amount of time. They literally go down the drain. BonsaiOutlet has a good supply and selection of fertilizers specifically for bonsai trees. You should not skip fertilizing this time of year.
- Soil. Where did it go? With watering, some of it splashes out, some of it drains down the drainage holes and some of it is eaten by the root system. But that's for another article... If you look at your soil level, it's probably well below the rim of your bonsai pot. It's smart to add soil to keep the world your bonsai tree lives in as big as it can be - or at least as big as it's pot. BonsaiOutlet sells soils too. Generally, it's best if the new soil can be placed at the bottom of the pot, not just added to fill the top of the pot to the brim.
- Make that four things that are important right now. A bonsai tree plant that is classified as "full sun," is not the same planting the same tree in the ground and letting it grow to it's full size. In other words, every bonsai tree appreciates some afternoon shade. The pot itself in the afternoon sun can rise to temperatures that will cook its roots like linguini.
- Cool down that hose before watering. Always turn on your hose and let the hot water out before spraying your bonsai trees. The ambient temperature of the water in a hose in the sun can approach the approximate temperature of the sun.
Have a great July and I wish everyone the best with their summer bonsai projects.
Don't forget the fertilizer!