Figuring out how to care for your plants can be difficult at times. Do you have a bonsai tree that you want to fertilize but don't know which type works best? We did a lot of research to find some answers for you.
Use a slow release or continuous release fertilizer for your bonsai tree. In general, fertilizers rich in phosphate, nitrogen, and potassium will benefit bonsai and keep them strong and healthy. In terms of formula, we recommend either a pellet or liquid plant food for your tree so it gets as many nutrients as possible.
To start we will cover everything related to bonsai. Whether you're new to fertilizing your tree or you're looking to try a new formula, we've got an idea for you. With that said, let's jump straight into this post!
Which fertilizer is best for bonsai?
Slow or continuous release fertilizers work best on bonsai. In general, you want to find a balanced fertilizer that includes nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium. This mix gives your plant everything it needs to thrive.
In addition, we recommend using a pellet or liquid fertilizer for your bonsai so you don't shock its roots. Using high-potency plant foods can do more harm than good to bonsai, so try to be careful about the products you use on your tree. Here are a few examples:
The Grow Co Slow Release Bonsai Fertilizer
Gentle, slow-release formula, essential macro/micronutrients, this fertilizer works indoors and out and comes in a 5 ounce pouch.
Dyna-Gro Bonsai-Pro liquid plant food
This liquid fertilizer contains nitrogen, phosphate and potassium that mixes into your plant's water. Bonsai-Pro comes in an 8 ounce bottle.
Follow this link to view it on Amazon.
What nutrients do bonsai trees need?
A bonsai tree is not too difficult to please. AccordinglyBonsai-OutletYour tree needs six main nutrients, including:
The first three on this list come naturally from air and water, while nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are supplementary. Usually the best way to ensure your tree is getting these essential nutrients is to use a fertilizer that contains them, which is why bonsai fertilization is so important.
Do you need to fertilize a bonsai tree?
When it comes to fertilizing bonsai, we think this is a good idea. Considering that bonsai trees are kept small, it is important to give them extra nutrients on a regular basis, especially during their growing season.
Of course, not all bonsai are created equal, but it never hurts to give your plant an energy boost.
When should I fertilize my bonsai?
Typically, you want to fertilize a bonsai throughout its growing season in the spring and summer. Most bonsai will show signs of new growth in early spring, indicating they are ready for fertilizer, while some will take a little longer, leading into summer.
However, bonsai usually stop absorbing nutrients as fall approaches and their dormant period begins. So it is best to try to get the most out of your tree in spring and early summer.
How much fertilizer does a bonsai tree need?
In general, you should fertilize your bonsai once a week during its growing season. As we mentioned above, bonsai trees stop absorbing nutrients as fall/winter approaches, so it's best to give them as much as possible in spring and summer.
However, if you choose a slow or continuous release option, you will not need to re-fertilize for a few weeks or even months, but this depends on the formula of your product. Here is an example of a slow release fertilizer:
Bonsai-Düngepellets von Perfect Plants
This slow-release bonsai fertilizer is all-natural, lasts up to a year, promises not to shock your tree's roots, and comes in a 5-ounce bag.
Click here to see it on Amazon.
Can you over-fertilize bonsai trees?
It is possible to over-fertilize a bonsai tree. Typically, you only want to fertilize your bonsai once a week or a few times a month, so anything else can cause problems for your plant.
AccordinglyBonsai sanctuaryIf you notice the leaves on your bonsai turning yellow/brown, wilting, or dropping prematurely, you may have over-fertilized, so try to leave your tree alone for a few weeks to let it normalize.
Do bonsai trees need special soil?
Bonsai trees tend to thrive in unique soils. bonsaipreferSoil with Akadama, pumice, lava rock, organic potting soil, and fine gravel, although this is not always necessary.
In general, your bonsai soil should grow well as long as it has good drainage and a balanced pH, but special mixes are more beneficial. Of course, that doesn't mean you have to be fancy, but we'd recommend finding a bonsai-friendly soil mix for your tree. For example, this soil is perfect for most bonsai:
JK Global Imports general purpose bonsai soil mix
This bonsai soil mix is fast draining, contains pumice, lava rock, calcined clay and pine bark, has a pH balance and comes in a two liter bag.
Can I use Miracle-Gro on my bonsai tree?
For those looking to use Miracle-Gro on their bonsai tree, this might not be the best idea. In general, Miracle-Gro fertilizer can be too harsh on a bonsai tree's roots, which can damage your plant.
In addition, Miracle Gro fertilizer contains far too much nitrogen for a bonsai, so we would not recommend its use.
Are Coffee Grounds Good for Bonsai Trees?
Coffee grounds are often found in compost heaps, but can also be suitable for bonsai. Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, which bonsai love, so using a little on your plant is a great way to give it extra nutrients.
According to theBonsai Society of Dallas, using coffee grounds on your bonsai's soil will help with water retention and aeration, and can even act as a fertilizer. However, try not to overdo it with your coffee grounds, as too much nitrogen can shock your tree's roots.
Should I use compost on my bonsai tree?
In general, using compost on a bonsai tree is a good idea. As we mentioned earlier, compost helps provide bonsai with essential nutrients, so adding some to your tree's soil is beneficial.
Additionally, you want to ensure your bonsai tree's soil drains well, so we recommend adding gravel or bark to your mix to remove excess water.
Bonsai Jack 1/4 inch pine bark
This pine bark is all natural, ready to use, aids in drainage and comes in a few bag sizes.
Follow this link to see it here on Amazon.
Should I Spray My Bonsai Tree?
Spraying a bonsai tree can be helpful. Especially if your bonsai is indoors, misting every few days is a great way to improve your tree's humidity and keep it hydrated.
However, misting is not a substitute for watering your tree, so make sure you keep to your regular watering schedule.
How often should I water my bonsai?
It is very important to keep a bonsai tree well hydrated. Normally you should water your bonsai every few days and always keep the soil moist.
AccordinglyJackson & Perkins,You don't want a bonsai's soil to dry out completely, so it's a good idea to feel it every few days. That said, you don't want to drown your plant either, so try not to oversaturate your bonsai every time you water it.
Are bonsai trees hard to keep alive?
Keeping a bonsai alive is not very difficult. Although tending to these trees can be a chore, your bonsai should thrive as long as you give it enough nutrients and water it frequently.
Bonsai are relatively low-maintenance plants, making them perfect for those with busy schedules. Although shaping them and waiting for them to mature can be difficult, overall bonsai trees are a relatively easy plant to maintain and care for.
To wrap things up
Whether you are new to bonsai or have a few trees, it is important to know what type of fertilizer to use. You want to use a slow or continuous release fertilizer for your bonsai. Make sure the fertilizer formula is high in nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium.
We recommend using a pellet or liquid fertilizer to ensure your tree is getting as many nutrients as possible. When it comes to timing, you should fertilize your bonsai during the spring/summer growing season to give it the best chance of growth before its winter dormancy.
Still, make sure you water your bonsai regularly and don't be afraid to sprinkle some compost over its soil to improve aeration and drainage.
Need more bonsai help? Check out these helpful related gardening posts below!
What is the best pot for bonsai trees? [Incl. 11 perfect examples]
How to bonsai an apple tree - 5 easy steps
My Ikea bonsai tree is dying - what to do?