How to Keep Your Bonsai Safe in Summer
With the outside temperatures reaching record-breaking heights, it’s important to know how to keep your bonsai safe in summer. Although many bonsai species come from tropical regions, abnormally high temperatures can still affect your tree and cause leaf burn, loss of leaves and stress to your tree.
Bonsai care in summer is hardly much different from bonsai maintenance during other seasons, however, there are certain things you should pay extra attention to if you want your tree to stay healthy.
What should you do to keep your bonsai safe in summer? In this guide we will give you some of our expert tips on how to prevent your bonsai from withering and dying during the summer heat waves.
How to Avoid Burnt Leaves on Bonsai?
One of the first tell-tale signs that your bonsai tree is getting too much sun is browning or yellowing leaves. To protect your bonsai’s leaves from getting burnt, the first thing to consider is your tree’s placement. If your tree is kept outside in direct sun, then try moving it to a shady corner in your garden.
If you have an indoor bonsai, move it away from the window as windows in summer act like a magnifying glass and cause the leaves of your tree to wither. At the same time, however, you have to make sure that your tree is getting sufficient light. The best place to keep your indoor bonsai in summer is in bright indirect sunlight.
Another precaution you should take to avoid burnt leaves on bonsai is to water your tree regularly and avoid spraying water on the leaves. Standing droplets of water will reflect the sunlight and burn through the leaf leaving brown spots.
Tips for Keeping Your Bonsai Safe in Summer
The key to keeping your bonsai thriving even during a heat wave is to make sure it’s not in direct sunlight all day and is getting a sufficient amount of water. While this sounds like an easy enough job there, inexperienced bonsai enthusiasts can still find it difficult to maintain their tree healthy in summer. If you’re finding yourself struggling with staying on top of bonsai care, here are our best tips on how to keep a bonsai tree from dying in summer:
Avoid Nitrogen-Based Synthetic Fertilisers
Synthetic fertilisers that are heavy in nitrogen are harsh and overall bad for the soil, but in summer they can even be deadly for your tree. Plants have to use a lot of resources to break down and absorb synthetic fertilisers and during the hot summer months your bonsai needs those resources to stay alive.
If your tree needs feeding in summer only use organic compost based fertilisers or special bonsai fertilisers.
Spread Moss in Your Bonsai’s Pot
If you’re looking for a way to be proactive in protecting your bonsai, a great idea is to plant moss around the base of your tree. Moss not only looks amazing in your bonsai pot, it also provides cooling and insulation for the roots of your bonsai tree and stops water from evaporating too quickly. A layer of moss on top of the soil will do an amazing job in providing protection for your bonsai against the heat.
Use Fine Mist Setting on The Leaves
As we’ve already mentioned, standing droplets of water can act like a magnifying glass and burn the leaves of your tree. However, it’s still important to keep the leaves moisturised. In order to do that you should use the fine mist setting on your hose or a spray bottle and gently mist the leaves. It’s also best to do that when the tree isn’t in direct sunlight.
Water Your Tree More Often
Watering your tree is the most important thing you can do to keep your bonsai safe in summer. It’s nearly impossible to overwater a bonsai in summer when water is being absorbed by the roots and evaporated by the sun a lot faster than normally.
You should aim to water your tree early in the morning before the sun is fully up and the temperatures are a bit cooler and in the evening when the sun is about to set and the outside air is cooling. Avoid watering your bonsai at peak heat because the sun will evaporate any moisture too fast making your efforts pointless.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself watering your outdoor bonsai tree as often as three times a day! When watering your bonsai make sure you properly soak it. If you only water the top layer of soil, the bottom soil may remain dry which means the roots won’t have any water to absorb and your tree will quickly begin to decay.
If you need more expert advice on how to take care of your bonsai, why not have a look in our Bonsai Care Hub where you can find more hints on pruning, repotting and feeding your tree? And if you have any questions you can always contact our team.