When the heat of the summer comes along, your bonsai tree will stop producing new leaves, telling itself that this is the right number - my root system can get through the summer supporting the leaves that I have, and no more.
Eight things are important right now:
- Water. The old Japanese adage is to water your bonsai tree three time; Once for the pot, once for the soil, and once for the tree. By going back and forth over your collection three times, it allows the water to soak into the soil and the pot and leave water for the tree to soak into the soil and the pot and leaves water for the tree to take in.
- Watering your bonsai tree is a tricky thing to get a handle on, even in the best conditions. When it's 100 degrees out, it's a whole different matter. During the summer, bonsai trees are in maximum capacity mode.
- Your 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 roots that bring water into the roots system and up to the leaves.
- Avoid the temptation to water your bonsai tree just to "cool it down." Wet foliage can increase the sun's rays - each drop acting like a little magnifying glass that ultimately does more damage than good. Besides, the water belongs in the soil, not on 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.
- A bonsai tree plant that is classified as "full sun," is not the same things as planting that tree in the ground and letting it grow to it's full size. Full sun does not mean blazing, all afternoon, direct July sun. 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.
- Watch where you point that thing. The water in a hose laying in the sun can reach temperatures of scalding levels. One blast of hot water to your bonsai tree, whether on the foliage or into the soil could kill it. Turn on the hose and give a nearby ant pile a good dose of boiling water for a few moments before you water your bonsai tree.
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