florapedia / flower-care-guides / beginner bonsai tree care
June 11, 2014
Bonsai Tree Care for Beginners—Everything You Need to Know
Have you ever admired other people’s plants and gardens and wondered: How do they manage to get their plants looking so beautiful and flourishing? Wonder no more—in this blog, we’ll show you how to easily care for a bonsai tree.
“The more you learn about the art, the more interesting the bonsai can be—many find the art of bonsai very meditative and great for stress-reduction.” Megan Matanzo, ProFlowers Director of Merchandise
The bonsai is a delightful and fun plant to have around the home or office. Though it does need proper care and attention, don’t let that intimidate you. ProFlowers Merchandising Product Designer Nikki Kinowski says, “Our juniper bonsai (outdoor option) and our golden gate ficus (indoor option) are the most forgiving options for beginners.” ProFlowers also offers a kit just for beginners, which includes an outdoor juniper bonsai, a humidity tray and pebbles,
an instruction booklet and a pair of bonsai clippers.
Here are some tips on how to care for your bonsai:
Water your bonsai!
You may think this is a no-brainer, but the bonsai has very specific watering requirements. Approximately once a week or so (when the topsoil feels completely dry) immerse the entire bonsai plant in a bucket or basin of water. Once the air bubbles have risen to the top, the bonsai has absorbed enough water.
Humidity is also an important consideration for the health of the bonsai. All ProFlowers bonsais come with humidity trays and bag of pebbles. The humidity tray is unwrapped by the recipient, covered with the provided pebbles, and then the pebbles are covered with a little water. This will increase the humidity level for the tree, in addition to protecting the desk or table surface on which it is placed.
Where to put the bonsai
The bonsai brings a natural and peaceful feel to any living space. Since it’s not technically a plant, but a tree, it makes a unique and enchanting addition to a room or outdoor space. Just make sure it gets plenty of direct sunlight, so place it either outside or indoors near a window.
Since the bonsai is known for its tranquility, we like the idea of placing it in an office space. Dad or a coworker would love a bonsai to spruce up their workplace. According to ProFlowers Director of Merchandise, Megan Matanzo, “The jade bonsai is a fairly easy indoor bonsai choice, and does well in an office environment.”
Prune your bonsai
First, take a deep breath. One of the greatest attractions of a bonsai is the calming effect of simply trimming this miniature tree. The goal with pruning is to maintain its shape as it grows. Plus, cleaning up the top growth ensures growth elsewhere on the plant.
Use bonsai clippers (not scissors!) to remove any dead branches. Then decide which branches to trim in order to maintain the desired design. Bonsai pruning is considered an art form, which is why this little tree makes such a great gift for creative friends. Matanzo says, “The more you learn about the art, the more interesting the bonsai can be—many find the art of bonsai very meditative and great for stress-reduction.”
The right bonsai soil
Not just any soil will do for your bonsai. The goal is to find a soil that drains quickly, but still manages to retain its water. It also needs to contain small particles to ensure proper aeration, allowing oxygen to reach the roots. Luckily, we’ve done some research for you!
There are specialty soils on the market made just for bonsais (the easy route), or you can mix your own (if you’re feeling ambitious). It is also imperative to add fertilizer to your soil during growth season (typically early spring to mid fall).
Connect with other bonsai enthusiasts
Find other plant and bonsai lovers in your community to learn more tricks and tips. Go to your local botanical garden or nursery and sign up for a class. This is a fun way to meet new people and also perhaps pick up a new and exciting hobby.
Looking for a great gift for Dad this Father’s Day? Or perhaps you want to treat a good friend to a unique and relaxing gift. The bonsai is unique, beautiful and something to be cherished for a long time with proper care—our smallest bonsai is likely five years old and the larger ones can easily be 10 to 20 years old! Check out more care tips and get started shopping for just the right bonsai tree for someone special, or for yourself!