Bonsai - the impressive garden art form was already practiced in ancient China and developed further in the Japanese tradition. The plants are characterized by elegance, simplicity but also individuality. Each bonsai species has its own shape and form. In the following article we will show you how to get the right bonsai care. Nothing beats the pruning of the bonsai tradition!\n\n\nA little history of bonsai\n\nAs might be assumed, the Japanese word bonsai (bon-sai = tree in a bowl) does not describe a separate plant genus or species, but an art form that depicts trees in miniature form. The practice originally came from China and was further developed in Japanese Zen Buddhism. Virtually any type of plant with a woody stem\/trunk, branches and shrunken leaves can be used in the bonsai art form, as pinching and pruning are usually used to keep the trees under a meter tall. However, plants with smaller leaves are better suited for bonsai care, as it is easier to create an impressive overall picture.\n\n\n\nIndividuality: bonsai species\nAs we have already mentioned, bonsai trees are not genetically dwarf plants. It is entirely up to you which type of tree you want to use. That's why we've put together five species for you that are often considered for bonsai care.\n\n\nChinese fig (Ficus retusa)\n\nJade Tree (Portulacaria afra)\n\nChinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis)\n\nChinese pepper tree (Xanthoxylum piperitum)\n\nOlive Bonsai (Olea europaea)\n\n\nThe right bonsai care: location, right soil, watering etc.\n\nSince there isn't just one type of bonsai, we can't give you any general bonsai care. Depending on which tree species you choose, this has its own requirements in terms of care. Therefore, the identification of the tree is very important, because only then can you properly care for your plant.\nBonsai location: The type of plant determines the location\nIf you use a native tree species for the bonsai art form, then this can usually also be outdoors, which corresponds to the natural conditions. You should be careful with tropical plants, as they are not adapted to our climate and therefore need protection from the cold and weather. So it can be quite difficult for you to find the right bonsai location, since many factors come together: the local climate, seasons and, for example, the tree species are decisive for the choice of location. Despite this small difficulty, you shouldn't shy away from bonsai care, because once you know the tree species, many things will become easier to care for.\nTip: Outdoor bonsai species (e.g. juniper, pine and Japanese maple) like it bright half the day but sheltered from the wind. Indoor bonsai species (e.g. Ficus, Carmona and Chinese Elm) also love direct sunlight. Nevertheless, there are also some plants that prefer partial shade. Here it is important that your plants always have a constant ambient temperature.\nBonsai soil: mix your own substrate\nIn addition to the location, the substrate is of course also crucial for good bonsai care, as it supplies the small trees with nutrients. Make sure that the soil can absorb and store the water well.This is the only way that the type of bonsai that you have at home is always sufficiently supplied with moisture. If there is excess water, it should always be able to drain off easily in order to protect the plant from root rot. In addition, the grain of the substrate should be a little coarser to ensure good aeration and oxygenation in the soil. To simplify bonsai care for you, we have put together the most important components of the substrate mixture for you here.\n\n\nAkadama (hard dried clay granules especially for bonsai care): ensures good ventilation\n\nPumice gravel (soft volcanic product): used for water storage and nutrient uptake\n\nLava granules (granules): also serve to store water and ensure a good substrate structure\n\norganic humus soil: contains peat, which is very suitable in the mixture\n\nfine gravel (split): good for ventilation\n\nTip: For deciduous bonsai species you should use 50% Akadama, 25% pumice and 25% lava granules. A different mixing ratio is suitable for coniferous bonsai species: 33% Akadama, 33% pumice and 33% lava granules.\n\n\n\nWatering bonsai: external and internal factors play a role\n Of course, the right watering is also part of bonsai care. Here, too, the type of tree, the season, the location, etc. are again decisive for how often you have to water. The most important thing about watering is observing your bonsai species (how it behaves in its location) as this is the only way to know when you should water it next. Nonetheless, you can use the following tips as a guide:\nTip 1: It's better to wait until the soil has dried. It's best not to water damp soil.\nTip 2: Always pay attention to the correct mixing ratio of the substrate. Because the right soil mixture ensures optimal water absorption and storage.\nTip 3: Always provide the plant with water (preferably rainwater) in the morning or evening and pour it directly onto the soil. Wait for the water to flow out of the bowl. This way you can be sure that your bonsai species has received enough water.\nFertilize bonsai: Additional nutrients are particularly important\nRegular fertilization also ensures healthy growth for the different types of bonsai. Since the tree species only has limited space for its roots in the bonsai pot, it is particularly important to provide additional nutrients. The most important components of the fertilizer you use should be nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. The ratio varies from tree to tree, you should definitely pay attention to this and get information or advice before you buy. Indoor bonsai species can be fertilized all year round, while outdoor bonsai species only need to be fertilized during the growing season (spring to autumn).\nTip: If you want your tree to start flowering, you should use a fertilizer with as high a potassium content as possible.\nPruning bonsai: The be-all and end-all of bonsai care\nSince bonsai describes an art form, pruning is of course very important here. Because when it comes to design, only regular pruning helps to achieve an impressive and individual growth habit. There are basically two different pruning methods: 1. the maintenance pruning (maintaining the bonsai shape) and 2. the design pruning (here the individual shape of the bonsai is determined). The basic principle of bonsai pruning is that you prevent the tree from growing upwards by cutting off the upper branches.Thus the energy of growth shifts to the inner and lower branches or twigs.\nRepot bonsai: The bonsai pot should also be well chosen\nWhen it comes to bonsai care, not only does watering and fertilizing depend on the tree species, but also repotting. If your tree is growing very quickly, it should be repotted about every two years. For older specimens, it is sufficient if you plant them in a new pot every three to five years. The best time to repot the bonsai is spring, just before the plant starts growing again. Choosing a bonsai pot is also part of the art form and should be well chosen to support the natural aesthetics of the tree.\nTip: Your bonsai species needs to be repotted when the roots grow in a circle around the ball. To check this, you can carefully lift the plant out of its shell.\n\n\n\nPropagating bonsai: It's that easy\nPropagating bonsai species, called "sashiki" in Japanese, is very popular with bonsai enthusiasts and is a cheap way to decorate your home with new plants. Cuttings are particularly good for this. Just gather some branches of the tree that you want to use for the bonsai art form. If they are between five and ten centimeters long and between two and five millimeters thick, they are ideal for propagation, as they are ideal for rooting with this size. Simply plant the cuttings cut at an angle in the same substrate as that of the mother plant. After that, water enough and with the right bonsai care you will see them start to grow after a few weeks.\n\nIs the bonsai poisonous?\n\nWhether your bonsai species is poisonous to animals or humans depends entirely on the species. Ficus species, for example, are poisonous to cats and dogs and should therefore be kept out of the reach of your pets in your home. Find out if your plant is poisonous or not when you buy it.\n\n\n\n\nTips for problems with the bonsai\n\nUnfortunately, the various types of bonsai are not exempt from plant pests and diseases. If your tree loses more and more leaves within a short period of time, this is often a sign of a lack of water. Yellow leaves, on the other hand, are an indication of overwatering or overfertilization. You can counteract this by using the right type of watering for your bonsai species. In addition to leaf loss or discoloration, plant pests can of course also infest your tree. The most common pests are aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, vine weevils, scale insects, caterpillars and ants. In our articles you can find out how to prevent and combat them.\n\nFind the right plant for your bonsai\n\nHooray, you made it to the end and you're now a bonsai care professional. Your plant will certainly find a comfortable home with you and grow old as old as the dead. If you would like to find the right (indoor) plants for your bonsai species, then browse through our selected bonsais or our entire range. There is definitely something for you here. Have fun!\n.
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