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How to fertilize bonsai: period, timing, doses, factors to consider and best fertilizer. Many tips for taking care of your bonsai.
THE bonsai, a Japanese term meaning "tree in a tray", are plants that need special attention. According to the oriental tradition they are plants that have the purpose of representing nature in miniature. Like all plants, i bonsai should be periodically fertilized.
Indeed, since they live in a small container, this implies the impoverishment of the soil in less time. In this regard, it is essential to practice constant fertilization to ensure the right balance of nutrients to the substrate, necessary for adequate nutrition.
The best time for fertilize the bonsai it is during the vegetative phase, which corresponds to the months from March to June and from September to October. But let's see in detail how to fertilize bonsai in the correct way.
How to fertilize bonsai:useful information
We are often led to give an excess of fertilizer to the plant, forgetting that our duty should be to recreate the conditionsnaturalthat the plant would encounter in its habitat. This applies to all plants, including thebonsai. With this premise, let's see what the basic principles are forfertilizeany kind ofbonsai, regardless of its needs.
Before fertilizing, keep an eye on the temperatures
Do not fertilize when the temperature is too low or too high. The months in which the climate is rather mild are preferred. For this reason, it is recommended to suspend fertilization in the two hottest and coldest months of the year.
How often to fertilize the bonsai
Then, according to the type of fertilizer, establish the frequency of fertilization. Liquid fertilizers should be administered every 7-15 days, while slow release solid fertilizers every 40-50 days.
Do not exceed the recommended dose. An excess of fertilizer could be lethal to the plant. This means that if you read on the purchase package"Dilute a cap of the product in 5 liters of water"make the necessary proportions. Dilute half a cap in 2.5 liters or 1/4 cap in 1.2 liters. Bonsai fertilizers generally have smaller measuring caps.
Method of use
Fertilize the bonsai on wet soil. This is useful for avoiding a caustic effect on the roots. The fertilizations must take place on the previously moistened soil.
In principle, if you are a beginner, better to use specific fertilizersfor bonsai. Fertilizers for agriculture or gardening are equally suitable but only with experience will you be able to dose them appropriately.
The classic fertilizers tend to give up the elements very quickly and this could cause serious damage to the roots, in addition, most of the generic fertilizers are very rich in nitrogen and this can lead to abnormal growth of the leaves and an excessive lengthening of the branches. Fertilizers that are excessively rich in nitrogen could also delay, slow down or completely prevent your bonsai from flowering (if it were a flowering bonsai).
It is important to use aspecific fertilizeras it allows a contained development of the plant.
How to fertilize bonsai:types of fertilizers
For fertilize bonsai there are three different types of fertilizers: organic, mineral and organo-mineral. Organic fertilizers possess nutritional elements of animal or vegetable origin and their organic composition, provides a balanced and constant diet, keeping the substrate vital, which does not happen with synthetic fertilizers, being devoid of organic substance even if they prove to be more powerful.
If the bonsai is suffering, for a quick intervention, it might be useful to fertilize with a faster fertilizer to use once. As soon as the bonsai is out of danger, it will then be advisable to fertilize with a slow release fertilizer.
Are liquid or solid fertilizers to be preferred?
Fluid fertilizers have the advantage of being assimilated immediately by the roots, allowing you to verify their effect in a few days. However, they should be given more frequently, every 1 to 2 weeks. Solid fertilizers, on the other hand, gradually release their nutrients and this involves few interventions over the course of the year.
Fertilizers for bonsai
There are many on the marketfertilizers for bonsaiavailable. From the cheapest to the most expensive ones. Generally the highest cost is found for slow release fertilizers. To give you an overview of the various products on the market, I invite you to visit the Amazon page dedicated to the world of fertilizers for bonsai. All the info:on this page.