Bonsai Care

How do I keep my Bonsai happy?

To keep your Bonsai happy is as easy as one, two, three!

The first step to a healthy Bonsai is plenty of fresh water. If your tree is kept outdoors, it can be watered on a daily basis around the same time. It is recommended that you water your tree before 11 am every single day, unless you have a Jade or a Desert Rose which only require to be watered once a week.
If your Bonsai is kept indoors, make sure that you water your tree when the top layer is dry. Move some of the top soil and make sure the immediate soil underneath is also dry before watering again.

One of the key ingredients to a successful Bonsai journey is light - your Bonsai needs plenty! Your Bonsai is going to be happiest when it is outdoors in full sun or partial shade, depending on the species. (Tropical species should be protected when night temperatures are dropping below 45 degrees Fahrenheit).

If your Bonsai is kept inside the house, keep it very close to a sunny window. If the window is not an option, a plant lamp may be used for best result.

Fertilize your Bonsai every 30 days by using our all-purpose fertilizer or our bloom boost.

Your Bonsai should also be sprayed with insecticide at least every 30 days. We recommend Bayer 3 in 1 and Bonide.

Why does my Bonsai have yellow leaves?

Yellow leaves can tell us a lot about our tree’s health. Yellow leaves can be an indicator of too much water, old leaves, an insect attack such as whiteflies and other insects, or the tree could be changing its leaves to fall colors.

• When your tree is watered too much, the leaves can turn yellow. Usually they have tiny black spots all over the leaves, which is an indicator of mold/fungus.

Cure: If the reason for yellowing leaves is too much water, you can try moving your tree into a sunnier spot, delay watering for a few hours so that your tree has a chance to dry out in-between watering. It is recommended that you use Bayer 3 in 1 since it is a fungicide and will help with a speedy recovery.

• If the leaves are old, you can simply remove them from your tree, so that your tree can spend its energy on producing new leaves.

• If the diagnosis is an insect attack and the leaves turn yellow after you apply your insecticide, then the yellowing leaves are an indicator that there were in fact whiteflies or other insects on that specific leave.

• If the insecticide hasn’t been applied yet, then it could be an indicator that there is an infestation. Here at The Bonsai Supply we treat our Bonsai on a monthly basis as a preventive. We use Bayer 3 in 1 and simultaneously Bonide, which is a systemic and is applied every other month.

• If your tree is changing its leaf colors, make sure that it is in fact fall! The fall colors can look similar to these leaves.

Why does my Bonsai have brown leaves?

Usually, when leaves on a Bonsai turn brown, it is an indication of a stressed-out tree and/or not enough water! An immediate adjustment needs to be done, either move your tree into a shadier spot, where the tree doesn’t get hit by sun all day. Morning sun and afternoon shade or morning shade and afternoon sun might be preferred. Start to water your tree more. More does not always mean more often, it can simply mean that you are not watering your tree for a long enough period of time.

• Do the brown leaves stick to the tree, or do they fall off?
If the leaves are brown and fall off the tree as soon as you touch them, the tree will most likely recover. If the leaves stick to your tree when you try to pull them off, your tree will most likely not recover!

Understanding the language of the leaves

Are the leaves green with a brown tip?
If the leaves of your tree are green with a brown tip, that is usually the indicator of your tree not receiving enough water or that your tree is getting leaf burn which can be caused by wind.

If the leaves on your tree look similar to this one, you are having an insect infestation. Make sure that you spray your tree once a week with Bayer 3 in 1 for a month and then spray once a month. Even if the disease is cured, continue to spray! We recommend that you use a combination of Bayer 3 in 1 and Bonide to protect your tree from all pests.

If your leaves are green with tiny black spots on them, that is the first indicator that your tree is getting too much water and doesn’t have the chance to dry out in-between watering. The black spots on the leaves also indicate that your tree is getting attacked by either mold or fungus. Bayer 3 in 1 should be used since it is also a fungicide.

These are the leaves of a tree in fall. If the leaves look like these and it isn’t fall, your tree could be suffering from exhaustion. Exhaustion typically happens when the tree didn’t get enough rest during in winter.

Is my Tree Dead?

This Bonsai is declared dead and here is why:
• The leaves stick to the tree when trying to pull the leaves off the tree.
• The trunk is wrinkly, which is an indicator that the tree has been so dry it started shrivelling. (See the picture below).
• Another way to find out whether your Bonsai is dead or alive is by scratching the bark with your finger nail. If green appears, your tree will be alive; if it is a very light green, it is on its death-bed; and if it is brown your tree has unfortunately died! Keep in mind, to practice Bonsai you have to kill trees in order to learn. It is important that you learn from every mistake!