Bonsai Mistakes

5 Bonsai Mistakes That Are Killing Your Tree

Rising a wholesome bonsai is fairly straight ahead, however we’ve all made bonsai errors. For a lot of inexperienced persons, the training curve is fraught with frustration and lifeless bushes. On this article, we’ll cowl 5 errors you could be making that might spell the demise of your miniature tree.

Not too way back, I visited a co-worker who had just lately been gifted a small juniper bonsai tree from a company vendor. When i noticed it, it regarded younger, blissful and wholesome. Like so many workplace bonsai, it lived on his desk, in a nook workplace that had massive, vibrant home windows. He had all the suitable intentions for the tree, he even religiously watered the tree Monday by Friday.

However the tree died. His as soon as lush inexperienced juniper was now a crispy brown skeleton of a tree.

Bonsai Mistakes

Because it seems, he was making 5 essential errors that finally killed his tree. We’ll break down these errors on this put up in order that your bonsai tree doesn’t find yourself like his.

1. Greatest of the Bonsai Errors? Overwatering.

Did you catch that a part of the story the place he was watering his tree each day all through the work week?

Every day he would come into the workplace and fill a small cup with water, then gently dump the water over the floor of the soil. This method may work nicely for a typical workplace plant, however not for a bonsai.

Contemplating his bonsai was nonetheless within the soil that it got here in (probably potting soil, which retains lots of water), he was probably overwatering the tree. This in flip brought about the roots to rot and his tree ultimately died.

For essentially the most half, bonsai must be potted in a nicely draining soil to forestall the roots from being continuously soaked in water. Bonsai watering methods inform us to solely water when the soil begins to dry out 1″ under the floor.

2. Not Fertilizing

Image a tree in nature. It grows within the floor, and makes use of its roots to succeed in out into the earth to search out the mandatory vitamins to outlive. Now consider your bonsai tree. There may be solely a lot soil it could possibly pull vitamins from in a small pot, and in case your tree is planted in potting soil, these vitamins can be depleted rapidly.

Your tree will depend on you to complement it with fertilizer to interchange these vitamins and feed it.

When you don’t fertilize, it’s going to ultimately die.

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3. Conserving it Indoors

The most typical bonsai mistake that’s made is maintaining an out of doors tree inside a home or workplace, particularly junipers.

Juniper bonsai are outside bonsai.

The parable that results in many bonsai errors is that junipers are indoor bushes. This has been continuously strengthened by growers attempting to promote their mass produced bushes, and tv commercials that present these bushes residing fortunately on desktops and cabinets inside.

They’re all incorrect. Your juniper ought to dwell outdoors.

Why can’t junipers dwell inside? A few causes:

  • They want full daylight for thrive.
  • They want a interval of dormancy, or relaxation. This dormancy interval is triggered by chilly temperatures.

Depriving them of both for a protracted sufficient interval and your tree will die.

4. Pinching/Reducing the Ideas

Junipers get their vitality from their foliage. Within the spring, you’ll discover {that a} wholesome juniper will get vibrant inexperienced tips about the tip of it’s leaves. These are the rising ideas, and it’s important to not take away them, otherwise you’ll vastly weaken the tree.

You possibly can definitely prune junipers, however not by slicing off the ideas.


Think about holding juniper foliage pinched between two fingers, then slicing throughout with sheers like a barber cuts hair. That’s a no-no.

As an alternative, for those who’re focused on shorting the size of a sure department in your tree, observe the foliage from the tip again towards the bottom of the department. You’ll discover that the foliage comes collectively in a crotch. That is the place you may trim again longer foliage.

5. Not Rotating Your Tree

By now you realize that junipers have to dwell outdoors, and that they want full solar to thrive.

Until your tree is ready that will get full solar, 360 levels across the tree, you’ll need to rotate your tree each week or so to make sure that the entire foliage is receiving equal quantities of daylight.

For reference, within the northern hemisphere, the south facet of the tree will obtain essentially the most mild.

This may appear counter-intuitive, as you’ll personally at all times need the “entrance” of the tree dealing with you for optimum enjoyment of the bonsai, however in actuality, the well being of the tree ought to come first, and your enjoyment of it second.

BONUS: 6. Impatience!

Whereas many of the bonsai errors talked about above are simply fixable, endurance will not be.

Bonsai is an artwork by which bushes are skilled and developed over years, and even many years. You’ll most likely see bushes on-line from bonsai professionals that look jaw dropping, then have a look at your tree and suppose “why can’t you seem like that?”

Bonsai is usually a rewarding portion of your life, however you’ll want to just accept that bushes develop sluggish, and going from a younger tree to a show-worthy tree can take a protracted, very long time. For that reason, you’ll discover many bonsai lovers have many bushes of their assortment, so there may be at all times one thing to work on whereas the opposite bushes are in growth.


It’s straightforward to fall into the entice of the widespread bonsai errors mentioned right here. Don’t really feel dangerous – all of us find yourself making these errors sooner or later.

The necessary half is studying that these aren’t finest practices, and alter your bonsai tree care accordingly.

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