Bonsai Care &
Here we give you advice on how to care for and develop your bonsai
Winter Work For Your Bonsai
The winter months, particularly January and February, can be very challenging for Bonsai. Although deciduous trees are dormant they still have a requirement for water, as do their slightly more active cousins the evergreens. With low temperatures causing soil to freeze and become impenetrable to water, trees can experience a high degree of stress from dehydration.
If possible it is a good idea to provide some shelter for those trees that need to thaw out and to relieve stress on pots that have frozen solid. This is best achieved without providing any kind of artificial heat for the trees as this can be even more damaging and cause the tree to start growing prematurely.
With deciduous trees a garden shed or garage can provide good shelter as, without foliage, daylight is not required. What is required is to melt any snow and ice and drain excess water from the soil once the snow has gone.
Don’t be too fussy with pines as they often benefit from time spent in really cold conditions but try to avoid them becoming waterlogged. Other evergreens will benefit from modest shelter in the same way as deciduous trees.
Sometimes, depending on the weather, it may be possible to commence repotting work towards the end of February on some deciduous trees, but it would be wise to have some form of unheated shelter to protect your trees from any severe weather. Otherwise any work is best left until March when the weather is generally more conducive to progressing the maintenance on your Bonsai.
Conifers are also better being repotted from mid-March.