Bonsai Tree Care in Spring
As everything in your garden is awakening for spring, your bonsai trees will also soon start a new growing season. To ensure your bonsai flourishes through the rest of the year, it’s essential to take care of it during spring when it begins budding.
In this post we’ll give you some of our best tips on bonsai care in spring. So without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about preparing your outdoor and indoor bonsai trees for spring.
How Should You Prepare Your Bonsai for Spring?
Weeding is one of the ongoing tasks to keep on top of when taking care of your outdoor bonsai trees. If you store your outdoor trees in a garage or shed then you might not have a problem with pesky weeds, but as everything else begins to grow you might notice weeds appearing around the roots of your bonsai tree. You should remove any weeds as they show up to keep your trees healthy. Even a single weed can be potentially harmful to your bonsai because not only can weeds fill the pot and take nutrients away from the soil, but they can also impact your tree’s root system.
Spring is the perfect time to give your tree a trim. Some branches might’ve dried over winter due to frost or lack of water and would need to be removed. Carefully examine your tree and snip away any dead branches so your tree can put more energy into feeding the live, budding branches. Make sure you always use appropriate tools for the job, don’t just break the branches off as it could damage your gentle bonsai! To heal deeper cuts and protect your tree from infections you can also use bonsai cutting paste.
To promote better growth your bonsai tree will need to be ‘fed’. Your bonsai would’ve gone all winter without being fertilised so in spring it would require regular feeding in order to support all the new growth branches. There are different types of bonsai food to choose from including pellets and liquid food. We recommend using slow release feed to ensure your tree gets the nutrients it needs.
Spring is also the time to decide whether your tree should be re-potted. If you’ve never repotted a bonsai tree before you might want to read our article on bonsai repotting to avoid accidentally damaging your tree while moving it into a new pot.
Shaping and styling your bonsai is also best done in spring because this is when the branches are still young and flexible. Wiring is by far one of the hardest techniques to master and it’s not something that should be rushed. For more tips on styling and shaping your bonsai tree using wire you can read our guide to bonsai styling.
Preparing Outdoor Bonsai Trees for Spring
Depending on where you live and your local climate you might overwinter your outdoor bonsai trees in a garage or shed to protect them from the frost, or even bring them inside if they’re particularly fragile. This means that when spring rolls around it’s time to get your trees out. You don’t want to bring them out too soon in case they get damaged by frost, but you also don’t want to hinder their growth by keeping them away from sunlight when they start budding.
The best time to start bringing out your outdoor bonsais is from mid-April after the last frost has passed. Trees are more tender around this time of the year as they enter a stage of rapid growth so be careful with them. Place your bonsai in a place that’s sheltered from the wind at first and keep an eye on the weather to make sure it won’t reach freezing temperatures. If the weather seems to be getting colder you should think about putting your trees back inside.
By the end of April your cold-hardy trees should all be out and you can start fertilising them regularly. At this stage you should also be pruning your bonsai and thinking about whether you want to wire train them.
If you have tropical bonsai trees that you keep outside in summer you should wait until about mid-May before you put them outside, after any chance of late frost is gone.
Preparing Indoor Bonsai Trees for Spring
Spring is a suitable time to also take care of your indoor bonsai. Although bonsai trees that are kept indoors don’t always lose their leaves, they still go through the same growing cycle as outdoor trees. This means they also go through a growing surge in spring. Just as outdoor trees you should fertilise indoor bonsai trees regularly in spring. As well as that you should give your bonsai a trim to get rid of any weak or dead branches.
Additionally, if you overwintered your indoor bonsai away from the windows to protect it from frost, you should consider putting it back in its spring/summer spot so it can get as much sunlight as possible.
In order to prepare your bonsai trees for spring you should bring any overwintered trees outside as soon as you’re sure there’s no danger of frost. As well as that, feed and water your trees more regularly to help their growth period. Finally, prune and shape your bonsai before the new growth branches are fully developed and become too hard to bend.
For more seasonal bonsai tips read our full bonsai care calendar.
If you wish to add more trees to your collection, why not shop our bonsai trees available online or in-store?