Don’t just keep your new tree alive, help it to thrive with these tips

Quick notes:

  • The tree’s position in your home is important

  • Look for the “goldilocks amount” of water – not too much, not too little

  • Some species of bonsai trees need to go dormant each winter.

Bonsai trees are miniature versions of nature’s beauty and a fascinating addition to any house or apartment’s decor. However, these dwarf trees can come with a high price tag and they aren’t always the simplest plants to care for. If you’ve just brought one into your home, there are basic things you can do in order to keep it healthy and looking its best.

Carefully consider where you place your tree

One of the most important decisions to affect the health of your new tree is where you place it within your home. Try to find a location with as much light as possible in a spot that won’t get too warm or too cold. Take care not to place it too close to heating elements, radiators, hot appliances, extremely warm windows (especially in the summer) or cold areas (in the late fall or winter).

 Pixabay

Wherever you place your tree, consider sitting it on a humidity tray. This is a basic surface, covered with landscaping pebbles, that collects excess moisture that passes through the soil after watering. As the water evaporates, it creates a particularly humid space around the plant that is good for growth. If this method doesn’t provide enough humidity, a spray bottle can do wonders.

Watering tips

One of the care points that will impact your plant the most is how much you water it and one of the biggest dangers for these plants is overwatering. Too much moisture, especially standing moisture, will cause the roots to rot and will weaken the health of the tree. To water just the right amount, water from a higher level that’s just above the tree’s greenery. Allow the water to flow until it starts to seep through the drainage holes.

As you determine a watering schedule, pay more attention to the plant’s condition than to a set watering schedule determined by the day of the week or hour of the day. Feel the soil first, preferably at the same time each day. If it is light-colored and feels dry or slightly damp, add a bit of water. If it is extremely moist with dark black dirt, it is overwatered. Pause your watering schedule so that the tree can dry out a bit.

Keep in mind that the tree’s water needs will fluctuate based on environmental conditions and on the time of year. Some species of bonsai trees will go dormant during darker, cooler months similarly to how outdoor landscape trees lose their leaves in autumn. If your tree is one of these species and you don’t allow it the chance to go dormant, it will decline in health. If your tree does need a period of dormancy, it won’t need much water at all during this time.

Bonsai trees are miniature versions of nature’s beauty and a fascinating addition to any house or apartment’s decor. However, these dwarf trees can come with a high price tag and they aren’t always the simplest plants to care for.

Added plant nutrition

In addition to paying attention to the plant’s location and providing the right amount of water, the right nutrition plays a key role in the tree’s health. A specially-calibrated bonsai fertilizer will provide the right amount of nitrogen and other elements to keep branches strong and leaves a lush green. Take care not to use a typical plant fertilizer, as they can be too weak for the more delicate needs of the bonsai. With the right care and nutrients, your bonsai will always look as lush and inviting as the first day you brought it home.

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