The easiest way to tell you when to water your bonsai is for you to stick your finger through the moss and pebbles to the soil. If the soil is moist or cool to the touch, then do not water your bonsai. When the soil on top is neutral in terms of moisture, it will be slightly dry to the touch. It is time to water your bonsai. Depending on the amount of light and temperature your tree receives, this may mean watering your tree daily or once a week. Remember, your finger is your best indicator as to the degree of moisture present in the soil. Watering should always be through the foliage, using a gentle spray such as a garden hose sprayer or the sprayer on your sink. Spray the foliage and all around the top of the container until you see water dripping through the holes of the container. Remember, insects breathe through their skin so water is an excellent way to keep insects and dust off your tree. Insects are seldom attracted to healthy plants!
WHERE TO KEEP BONSAI
Bonsai should be kept in a well-lit area shaded from the direct sun. Some excellent locations include a covered patio or porch which has filtered sunlight, outside under a big, shade tree or in a specially designed nursery shade-house. Bonsai may be brought inside for short periods, three or four days, and then placed outside for an equal period of time. Even though most bonsai can withstand temperatures down to freezing and colder, we recommend that they be brought inside during severely cold weather and kept in a room near a window without the drying effects of a heater. In northern climates, a well-lit garage or a room in the house that is not heated are acceptable locations for the severe winter months as this will force your tree to go into a dormant state. The same rules apply to the drying heat of the summer. Please keep your bonsai in one of the locations described above to ensure prosperity. Please remember that bonsai is not a house plant and it needs a balanced diet of fresh air, natural light, and water to remain healthy.
Use a good bonsai fertilizer designed for Bonsai. Eve’s Garden has designed BONSAI MASTER FERTILIZER for your bonsai. This is a mild 7-8-6 formula with everything you need to make your bonsai thrive. With BONSAI MASTER FERTILIZER you mix it in a gallon container according to the directions of the label and use it with each watering from March to October. DO NOT OVER-FERTILIZE! Always follow the directions on the label of the fertilizer you are using! Please set your tree outside as often as possible especially when raining.
PRUNING AND TRIMMING BONSAI
Pruning and trimming can be performed on your tree throughout the year. In the case of deciduous trees, such as maples and elms, pruning and trimming are best performed throughout the growing season. Juniper, pines, and cypress are finger-nipped throughout the growing season to keep the tree-shaped. Trimming the under and inner growth is needed monthly.
Bonsai should be transplanted when the roots are seen growing out the sides of the container. For most bonsai, this occurs approximately every one to two years here in Florida where we have a nine-month growing season. In northern climates, where you have a four-month growing season, repotting should be done every two to three years.
Procedure for Repotting Bonsai
When spring arrives, pick a day that is overcast if you are repotting outdoors.
1. Carefully take the tree out of the container without disrupting the soil around the roots. The soil should be moderately dry. Tree placement in the container is important, so before removing the tree from the container, take a good look at where it is placed.
2. Untangle the roots from the soil-root-ball.
3. Remove approximately one-third of the soil from around the soil-root-ball. Be careful not to disrupt the soil around the trunk of the tree.
4. Carefully trim off the roots that are now exposed due to the soil removal with a pair of sharp scissors, leaving one inch of the roots still extending beyond the soil-root-ball.
5. Using a good grade of potting soil mixture designed for Bonsai, place enough soil in the container so that when the tree is replaced within the container, the top surface of the soil is even with or slightly below the edge of the container.
6. Place the tree back into the container and locate it where it was prior to its removal.
7. Fill the sides of the container with the soil mixture.
8. Pack the soil firmly into the container to ensure that there are no air pockets around the roots.
9. Water the soil to saturation. Always water after packing the soil, not before.
10. Keep the tree in a shaded location through the spring and summer.
11. Continue to water the bonsai as you did before repotting.
12. A vitamin mixture called SuperThrive or a stronger dose of Bonsai Master fertilizer is recommended when repotting your tree.
COLD HARDY BONSAI CAN BE SET OUTSIDE IN COLD WEATHER,
KEEP THE CONTAINER COVERED DURING FREEZING TEMPERATURES
In order for Air Plants to thrive properly indoors, you must make sure that they are near an adequate light source. Take precaution to not let your air plants get too much direct sun, as this can be harmful, even in an indoor environment. Air Plants should be placed within 3-5 feet of a window. An artificial light source would be acceptable. If you are keeping your plants outside, make sure they are in an area that remains shaded for most of the day to prevent prolonged periods of sun exposure. If you live in an area with freezing conditions, make sure your air plants are indoors.
Air Plants must be watered at least once a week. Try to store your plants in a place that will sustain humidity the best. Prevent them from drying up too quickly by moving them from places where they may come in contact with heating elements. Misting plants may be needed between watering, but misting should not be the only method of watering. If your Air Plants look dried out place the plants face down in a container filled with spring water and let them soak for 10-20 minutes. Gently shake off any excess water from the base of the plants, as sitting water can cause rot and kill the plant. Its important that after watering, the plants have enough air circulation to dry within 4 hours.
Cactus and Succulents thrive with proper light sources. It is best to place Cactus and Succulents in a bright place facing south to receive the most light. Although they may not be placed in direct sunlight because intense light may discolor the plant. In the spring and summer, the plants need good ventilation but will survive in high temperatures. Cacti may be placed outside in the summer to ornament gardens or patios, make sure the location is shaded to prevent intense sun exposure. During the autumn and winter months, it is best for the plants to be kept cool at night with temperatures of around 50°F. Environments, where the temperature is below freezing, may require them to be kept under covers during the winter.
Water your Cactus or Succulents about once per week during the growing season (Spring and Summer). Only water the soil when it is completely dry. Stick your finger into the soil to check. If the soil is dry and crumbly, it’s time to water. During this time of active growth, add enough water to soak the soil. The water should seep out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Depending on the type of cactus, soil, and sunlight you may need to water more or less than once per week. Do not overwater. If the plant feels mushy, you are watering it too much. Other signs of overwatering include rotting and brown or black leaves.
Repotting Succulents & Cactus
- To begin, water the plant and allow it to drain before removing carefully from the pot, gloves are suggested to prevent injury from spikes.
- Separate the old soil from the roots with a chopstick or other thin tool so the roots are not damaged.
- Fill the container halfway with the new potting mix and place the plant on the soil.
- Fill the rest of the pot with the potting mix and firm down the soil.
- Do not water for a few days to prevent the rotting of damaged roots.
Lucky Bamboo plants can be kept in low-light environments and will grow indoors for years with little or no care, only requiring enough fresh water to keep their roots covered at all times. Lucky Bamboo love low to moderate light. Keep inside away from direct sunlight. This is one of the few indoor houseplants that will thrive in low-light conditions. Excessive heat or cold will cause damage to your Lucky Bamboo plants. Keep away from temperatures below 45° and above 90°F.
Lucky Bamboo require fresh water to survive, keep filled enough to cover the roots. Some leaf yellowing is a natural occurrence. Should a leaf turn yellow, remove it by pulling it off. Every two weeks, spray the plants with water to keep them free of dust and insects.