Bonsai Care &
Here we give you advice on how to care for and develop your bonsai
Bonsai in Spring
Now that the long winter months have passed your bonsai will begin to sprout new growth. Some deciduous trees will be very early like Japanese Maple ‘Kashima’ and care must be taken that they don’t fall foul of late frosts so the provision of some form of protection might be a consideration. This doesn’t have to be anything more than a bit of fleece to keep the frost off early growth, but a cold greenhouse is obviously going to be more beneficial.
Conifers don’t need protection from frost and can even benefit from exposure to low temperatures.
Springtime is one of the best times to repot your tree so make sure you have supplies of suitable soils and a selection of pots if you are thinking about changing the container your tree is growing in. Be careful if your tree is showing new foliar growth prior to repotting as, with the new foliage, will come new root growth which will be very fragile and susceptible to damage during the repotting process.
It is very important to ensure your trees receive adequate water to support the new emerging growth. Water shortages at this crucial time can cause damage to buds and young leaves that will not be repaired during the growing season and can cause disfigurement to the appearance of the tree. Equally though, too much water can cause long and sappy growth on deciduous trees and overly large needles on pines, so the right amount to avoid the soil drying out but avoiding constant saturation is what is required.
Keep an eye on your bonsai as spring is the time of year when pests like Aphids and Scale insect can start to take advantage of the soft lush new leaves, so make sure you have a supply of an effective repellent available.
This is also the time of year when trees start to grow very quickly so make sure to check on any trees that were wired in the autumn and make sure the wire isn’t cutting into twigs and branches.
Having waited patiently for the spring there can be a great temptation to start feeding your trees as soon as new growth appears. This can actually be counter-productive because the tree is obviously ready to put on new growth without the need for extra nutrition. Feeding too heavily at this time of year can cause excessive growth extension, large leaves, and even distortion of the new growth. If you can’t control the urge to feed something to your bonsai, try using some 0-10-10 fertiliser to limit the amount of green growth produced.