One of the best-looking things you can ever find in your in-home garden is a nice bonsai tree, with many bonsai owners having several that grow next to each other.
When you are planning your little green corner of the house you may be looking into having a few bonsai trees that grow peacefully but knowing how hard it is to keep a bonsai alive is vital.
Young bonsai trees can die easily, with older hardier bonsai trees being much harder and able to handle shock a bit easier. There are some changes that even the oldest trees would not be able to survive, with changes requiring exact timing and quick movement where needed.
Several steps are needed when you are taking care of a bonsai and knowing just when the bonsai is starting to show signs of stress is vital.
Bonsai trees are similar to larger trees, with things that could take months to damage a large tree causing permanent damage to a bonsai within hours.
Here’s everything you need to know about when a bonsai is sick, whether it’s damaged or just how to care for it!
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How do you grow a strong bonsai?
Bonsai trees require a lot of patience and an understanding of how the tree will grow over time, with many trees requiring unique care. Growing a strong bonsai means that you have a tree that is capable of easily being repotted and required only a few hours of work every week.
To grow a strong bonsai, you will need to prune the excess leaves and have the trunk of the tree grow thicker. Forcing the tree to have a solid root system and not wasting energy on growing its branches or excess leaves.
Many bonsai owners stop their trees from producing flowers or seeds until the tree has been well established.
It is important to have a final pot for the bonsai as well, with many owners only starting to leave the tree to grow naturally once the tree has reached the final pot.
One of the most important things to do is have the tree be braced every few months, this stops the tree from growing too large and allows it to keep its size.
Do Bonsai Trees Dry Easily?
Depending on the climate you are living in and the one you have created for your bonsai tree you may find that many of the branches are slightly dry and brittle.
This can be caused by anything from too much sun, not enough water, or a disease that’s cause the root system not to absorb water.
First-time bonsai owners are recommended to not be overly friendly with providing water for the bonsai, just adding a few drops in the morning as the sun rises.
Bonsai trees need a steady supply of water to them but not so much that the tree will be drowning in water.
If you have a tree that needs to be kept in the sun for a few hours every day then it will be much more likely to dry out easily. Having a spritzer that you use to water the tree now and then will be an easy and effective way to keep it from drying out in the heat of the day.
How to Know if Your Bonsai is Dying?
Bonsai trees are small and seeing changes in them can be easy, which means that any mistake you make in caring for them will be seen within a few hours.
When you are taking care of a bonsai tree you need to know what the season is and how the tree should look in that season.
During the winter season the tree might be in hibernation, depending on the tree it may lose all of its leaves or the leaves may simply turn brown.
If you are unsure it is vital to identify it and contact a local nursery to learn exactly what the tree should be doing then.
If a bonsai loses its leaves, has branches that are breaking easily, and the moss that is growing on the trunk has all died then it is a sure sign the tree is dying.
Many bonsai trees have bark that will discolor when it is not receiving the right kind of care, usually turning a shade of grey or white as it starts to die.
What is the lifespan of a bonsai tree?
Trees are odd plants; they may grow so tall one day that they could break and die under their weight. In the rainforests of the world, this is the most natural cause for a tree to die out, however, your bonsai will never experience this problem.
When a bonsai is kept properly they may never die, with several of the oldest known trees being kept in Japan, well over 500 years old.
Bonsai trees that are being kept properly and taken care of perfectly will never die, the only danger bonsai trees face is that of an owner that is not aware of how to properly care for them.
This means that bonsai trees can be passed down for generations, many of them becoming almost like family heirlooms as they grow stronger with each generation.
One of the strongest and most famous bonsai trees in the world is a 390-year-old tree owned by the Masaru family in Japan, this tree survived the nuclear bomb that landed on Hiroshima.
What are the daily needs of a bonsai tree?
There are a lot of things you will need to do when taking care of your bonsai tree, many of them being specific to your tree. Despite this, several things need to be done to every single bonsai tree in the world.
A few things that everyone owning a bonsai tree should know, like watering, fertilizing, sun, and spritzing.
Watering a bonsai can be tricky, as it will need to be kept at just the right conditions throughout the day to ensure the water is not damaging the plant.
To overcome this it has become standard to rather a water the bonsai in the morning or evening before the sun can cause damage.
This allows the tree to absorb the water before it can be sucked up by the sun, however, if you are in a colder area it is important to ensure the bonsai will not be frozen by the water that you give it. Many bonsai owners prefer to keep their trees inside specifically to control the climate around the tree.
The soil of your bonsai will not always be perfect, requiring nutrients that cannot always be found through water or sunlight.
It is required to add some fertilizer to your bonsai every few weeks, with larger pots not necessarily requiring more soil changes.
Adding a bit of fertilizer before you water the bonsai will mean that your tree will be able to grow stronger without feeling or looking malnourished.
Every tree on earth needs sunlight, the only plants capable of growing without it belonging to the fungus group.
Your bonsai will need to be kept somewhere where it can get some morning or evening sun, you need to make sure that the tree does not get exposed to the hottest sunlight of the day.
One of the strongest tools of the bonsai lovers’ arsenal is the spritzer that they use to keep their tree moist and happy throughout the day.
This ensures that the tree is always perfectly moist and that it does not suffer from being too hot, many bonsai lovers also like to keep some moss growing on them.
This looks both visually pleasing and lets the tree survive a few of the more strenuous temperature changes.
Final Thoughts on Do Bonsai Trees Die Easily
Keeping your bonsai alive is the easiest part of owning a bonsai, the real challenge usually comes from stopping it from growing too large or being repotted.
This has meant that many bonsai owners get frustrated, the statistics have shown that 75% of bonsais die in the first month when a new owner buys it.
You already know more than most and should be fine, just be sure that your tree is perfectly happy with the place you put it!
Here are some of my favorite Bonsai Items
Thanks for reading this article, I have a few items I love to use with my bonsai tree care and wanted to share the best options for the core needs for the new bonsai enthusiast!
Best Bonsai For a Beginner – Most of what you find online are starter plants where they are going to be difficult to start and grow successfully. Most beginners like to have a starter plant to work from. I highly suggest looking at Bonsai Boy directly (more options and good prices), or you can look at their inventory from Amazon.
Best Bonsai Tool Set – TianBonsai makes the best quality tools for simple bonsai work, if you want tools that will last you they won’t come cheap, make the right investment the first time with these beginner tools on Amazon!
Best Bonsai Pot – Bonsai Boy’s Beige Ceramic Bonsai Pot – The team at Bonsai Boy operates out of New York and has been perfecting bonsai in the US for over 50 years, there is a reason I love and share them, if you want to order directly from Bonsai Boy then click here, or click here to order through Amazon.