The interesting history of bonsai
In Japan, the bonsai was considered a symbol of prestige and honor and was worth a lot of money. Travelers brought the miniature trees to Europe in the 19th century.
Today, bonsai can be found in many households, including here in Germany. All over the world people are now enjoying the small trees and making the city a small forest too.
Unfortunately, there are a few things to consider when caring for and especially when pruning bonsai. Of course we have summarized everything important for you in this article.
Why should you prune your bonsai?
Pruning your bonsai is essential, so the trees stay small and are shaped. With the right pruning technique, the bonsai is vital, but still kept very flat. So that the roots become thicker on the surface and thus form the nebari (thick roots), these should also be cut back regularly. Targeted cuts of branches and the trunk can help the bonsai with proper care.
The right time to cut a bonsai tree
As these are usually indoor plants, the tree can be pruned throughout the growing season, depending on the type of pruning. The main growing season here is spring and summer and therefore the perfect time when your bonsai should be pruned.
Bonsai pine pruning
In July-August, to keep the needles short, pinch off all shoots that are too long, either completely or down to 1 cm. Buds form in these places, which sprout the following year with shorter needles. Also remove old biennial needles, this allows light and bud formation.
Between September and November, the buds that are not very pretty are pinched out. The heavy cutting of branches on the pine should preferably take place in winter, as less resin escapes and the interface grows together faster.
Pruning maple bonsai
The best way to cut the maple is when the branches are clearly visible. So that means in autumn, early spring and after a leaf cut. In the spring the maple sprout very quickly, during this time you should constantly monitor the growth of your bonsai.
Pruning Ficus Bonsai
The various Ficus species can not only be kept as normal indoor plants, but also grown as bonsai. The Ficus is very well suited for beginners, as it tolerates pruning very well.
It is cut about every 6 weeks from May to September. Not all new shoots should be removed at once. When 5-7 new leaves have formed, they are cut back to 2-3.
Pruning juniper bonsai
With the juniper, you cut off all long shoots that protrude from the overall appearance. The right time here is throughout the growing season.
Tip: Do not scissor the juniper bonsai like a hedge as removing the growth tips can weaken the tree and the cutting points can cause brown spots.
Pruning the bonsai correctly
Now the little tree is at your home and would like to start with your first cut. Here we have a simple step-by-step guide for you on how to cut bonsai properly.
Step 1: The right tool
Pruning bonsai requires a sure instinct and, of course, the right tool. If you use tools that are too large for finely growing branches and roots, unfortunately you cannot cut them as delicately as the bonsai needs. You can get special bonsai scissors for this.
In order to be able to cut thick branches, you should first get a high-quality concave pliers. The deep cuts of these pliers heal much better than the cuts of normal pliers.
Always make sure the tool is sharp and clean. Before each cutting operation and even if several trees are cut one after the other, you should treat your tools with disinfectant from the garden center or with pure alcohol (available in the pharmacy). This is the only way to avoid the risk of bacteria and fungi penetrating the interface.
Step 2: The right cut
Shape cut/build-up cut: This cut is important if the bonsai has become a bit too big for you and has lost its original shape. But even with a first cut, all branches should be shortened so that the overall picture corresponds to that of a bonsai.
The cut is always made at an angle to the desired direction of growth, just above a node that points in the desired direction of growth. Use concave pliers to completely cut off any unwanted branches that come straight out of the trunk. The topiary should be carried out as a regular cut every 2 years.
Maintenance pruning/leaf pruning: When pruning the leaves, needles or leaves are cut off in summer so that small leaves form when the next shoot occurs. Shoots that disturb the overall appearance of the bonsai are removed with the maintenance pruning. This applies, for example, to unwanted new shoots on the trunk, shoots that grow vertically upwards, shoots that grow crosswise, shoots that grow too densely and shoots that develop too far down the trunk.
Prune your bonsai generously once rather than a little several times, otherwise growth will not be stimulated enough. If you remove old wood twigs, "sleeping" knots can be stimulated and new ones will sprout.
Design cut: If the bonsai has just moved in with you, then you should try this cut first. It is crucial for the later appearance. Place your bonsai at eye level and remove all dry dead branches and twigs as well as dried leaves.
If you have 2 branches at the same level on the same trunk, you should remove one of them. Cut vertical, strong branches and branches with unnatural curves or twists. Always work with the concave forceps so that the wound then grows inconspicuously. You should carry out the pruning before or after the growth period, i.e. in late winter or autumn.
Tip: When trimming your jaws regularly, it's important that you don't necessarily work with tools. In the case of coniferous trees, new shoots or candles that are to be removed must be snapped off directly with your fingers.
Step 3: Cut roots
If you keep your tree as an indoor bonsai, then you should repot it regularly. Repotting your bonsai is also the right time to trim the roots. Root pruning is necessary to stem the growth of the tree. Carefully free the roots from the soil.
Large, vertical roots must be removed to encourage lateral root growth and allow a beautiful nebari (root base) to form. The lateral roots should also be shortened to 1-2 finger widths.
Pruning bonsai is really not difficult with the help of our instructions. Of course you can also purchase a beautiful bonsai from us. If you are still looking for other houseplants, then you can simply take a look at our shop.