How to feed bonsai? – leaving

Trees absorb various nutrients from the soil through an extensive root system. Watering potted indoor plants quickly flushes these nutrients out of the soil, so the bonsai, more commonly known as bonsai, requires periodic fertilization to keep it alive.

Composition from Norway spruce

Why Fertilize Bonsai?

Plants need water and sunlight, along with carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, which they absorb from the air. These ingredients help plants synthesize the sugars they need for growth. However, they require certain nutrients from the soil to synthesize amino acids, vitamins, proteins and enzymes. Most soils for indoor floriculture contain all the nutrients, but they may not be enough for bonsai. This even applies to branded bonsai soil mixes.

Pine Japanese white, maiden, small-flowered
Pine Japanese white, maiden, small-flowered. Farmer Cliff

Choosing a fertilizer for bonsai

The three most important components of a balanced fertilizer are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Bonsai potted nutrition must necessarily consist of an optimal mixture of these ingredients. Nitrogen is responsible for the growth and development of the stem and leaves. It is also essential for the processes of cell division and protein production. Phosphorus helps stimulate cell division, root growth, and budding. In addition, it provides bonsai with protection from disease. Finally, potassium (usually in the form of potash) promotes flowering and fruit formation and helps bonsai fight disease.

When you’re looking for fertilizer for your bonsai at a flower shop, don’t count on a miraculous blend labeled “Especially for your bonsai.” Just try to find a type of fertilizer that contains all three essential plant components – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. If you are having trouble making a choice, ask your sales consultant for advice. If, of course, he is well versed in the difficult business of cultivating Japanese dwarf trees.

Juniperus vulgaris
Common juniper. Farmer Cliff

Fertilization Methods for Bonsai

There are various ways to apply fertilizers. Those fertilizers, which are in the form of hard balls, can simply be buried in the soil, where they are gradually freed from some of the nutrients when watering. But this method can cause pests to appear in the soil. Most bonsai growers prefer soluble powders or liquid fertilizer mixes, applied to their potting soil every two weeks, or as recommended on the package.

When to feed bonsai?

Most bonsai species must be fed in the spring and summer throughout the growing season. When bonsai growth slows down (which usually happens in the fall), the plants are less willing to absorb nutrients and thus only need to be fed once a month. When deciduous trees have lost all their leaves, you can stop feeding until spring; but conifers require several additional fertilizing during the winter. Tropical bonsai grow ovaries throughout the year, so nutrition should be consistent with their growing cycle.

Do not fertilize the soil immediately after transplanting the tree, as this can damage the roots. It is sufficient to simply water the bonsai for at least a month before starting to fertilize again.

The maple is three-part
The maple is three-part. Farmer Cliff

Several additions

Always water a bonsai before fertilizing and try to avoid overdosing on fertilizer. It is better to underfeed the bonsai than overfeed: excess nitrogen in the pot can burn the roots. Also, never feed a dormant or diseased tree, as excess nutrients in the soil will cause problems.


How to feed bonsai? - leaving
You can bookmark this page

Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

View all posts by Anna Evans →
Copy link