Everything You Need to Know About Outdoor Bonsai Tree Care
An outdoor bonsai tree can add a beautiful touch of nature to your garden or balcony. It can be a fantastic centrepiece which you will admire for many years to come.
If you’re planning on growing a bonsai tree outdoors it’s important to know how to take care of it. You should also consider which species will thrive in your local climate.
Read on to learn more about outdoor bonsai tree care and how to choose the right bonsai tree for your garden.
Can Bonsai Trees Grow Outdoors?
A common misconception about bonsai trees is that they are only grown indoors. Bonsai trees should be placed outside where they can be exposed to all seasons in order to thrive. There are certain precautions you need to take in winter and autumn to prevent your tree from freezing over. However, there is no reason not to keep your tree outdoors in the warmer months.
How to Take Care of an Outdoor Bonsai Tree?
Outdoor bonsai tree care is different to that for normal outdoor potted plants. The main reason being the fact bonsai trees are planted in small pots with limited soil and storage of nutrients and water. Another reason is that bonsai trees usually need protection from frost during the winter months.
Here are the specific care requirements for outdoor bonsai trees:
Bonsai trees need at least a few hours of sunlight a day, however, this does depend on the bonsai species. If your outdoor tree doesn’t get enough sunlight its leaves and internodes will grow large, ruining the desirable miniature look. Your tree will also become prone to pests and diseases. Direct sunlight is particularly important for conifers as it supplements their healthy growth.
Water and Fertiliser
The most important rule with any bonsai tree is to never water on routine. Keep track of the soil moisture and only water when necessary. Depending on the weather and the size of your bonsai this can be once every few days or even several times a day during the summer.
When it comes to fertilising you want to ideally do this once every few days during the growing period in spring and summer. As you go into autumn and winter, you should decrease the frequency, or even completely stop fertilising your tree when it goes into dormancy.
Outdoor Temperature and Humidity
Outdoor trees can generally endure a wide range of temperatures, if cared for properly. Since a lot of common bonsai tree species come from tropical or subtropical regions, it’s important to ensure they are protected from strong frost in winter. In early spring, it is also essential to keep your tree safe from the occasional night frost as it can be damaging to the new growth of your tree.
Checking humidity levels is another important task, particularly on hot summer days. If your tree is placed in a spot surrounded by walls or pavement, it can suffer from low humidity, which can cause the leaves to shrivel up or completely dry and fall off. To avoid this you can place your tree in a shallow tray filled with water to increase the humidity around it. Lightly misting your tree during the day will also help.
How to Choose an Outdoor Bonsai?
So you have decided you want to spruce up your garden or balcony with an outdoor bonsai tree, but don’t know which one to choose? The most important thing to consider when picking the perfect bonsai tree is the conditions you will be keeping it in. This will help you find a tree species that will thrive in those conditions.
Choosing a native tree species is a good idea. Do keep in mind that when planted in a shallow container, your tree might need frost protection. When selecting the perfect tree for your garden, you should take these three factors into consideration: the local climate, the conditions in your garden and of course your personal preferences.
Your Local Climate
Subtropical and Mediterranean trees can also thrive in this climate, provided they are protected from the frost. In winter, those trees should be sheltered inside of a greenhouse for example. One thing to keep in mind with maritime climate is that with prolonged periods of rain, your tree will need well-draining soil.
Your Garden’s Conditions
Another important factor to consider is the individual conditions in your garden, courtyard or balcony. If you have an outdoor space that gets plenty of sun during the day, you will have a much broader choice of trees compared to a shady, north-facing garden. You will, however, have to be careful with the humidity levels. Particularly, if your garden is surrounded by walls or you’re planning to keep your tree displayed on your patio.
If your garden is more open and you live in a coastal area with constant winds, your tree will be protected from pests and fungal infections, but will need to be watered more often.
And if you have a north facing garden or balcony… Well, unfortunately your options are more limited. You can try growing a shade tolerant species such as yew or cypress, however, indoor trees might be a better option.
Your Personal Taste
Your personal taste is of course another factor that shouldn’t be overlooked. Some people prefer flowering bonsai trees like the Azaelia, while others like the look of conifers like the White Pine tree. If you’re after a particularly rare species, it’s a good idea to do your research first to find out if the conditions in your garden will be the most beneficial.
Choose Your Outdoor Tree from Bonsai 2 U
If you’re looking for the perfect bonsai tree for your garden, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Bonsai 2 U we offer a stunning range of outdoor bonsai trees as well as all the tools and accessories needed to maintain the beauty of your bonsai. We offer premium bonsai soil, food, pots, wire and so much more.
Have a look at our products and place your order online! Alternatively, you are welcome to visit our bonsai nursery based in Lutterworth.
For more outdoor bonsai tree care tips visit our Care Hub!