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At this late summer, it’s time for me to prepare the materials needed for my bonsai repotting at the end of this year.  I already found the bonsai pots for the repotting project. Now I need the bonsai soil for my variety of bonsai trees. My bonsai trees cover most of the popular ones including outdoor conifer, outdoor deciduous and indoor tropical/subtropical bonsai trees. Some of them already have out-bounded roots and needs repotting.

The bonsai soil is essential for the health of the bonsai tree.  It’s as important as the sunlight to the tree. The bonsai soil provides the nutrition and water to the tree so it stays vigorous and healthy.  Good quality bonsai soil mixture requires good water retention, good water drainage and good aeration. Organic soils alone or normal garden soil are poor quality bonsai soil as they hardens easily when it gets dry.  That doesn’t supply enough water and nutrition to the bonsai tree, and actually, it’s harmful to the tree.

To repot my bonsai trees, I use both already-mixer bonsai soil and the bonsai soil I mix myself depending on the species of the tree. Either type of bonsai soil needs me to look for them locally or online.  Our local garden center only carries pumice. Other than that, I don’t find other bonsai soil mixing elements.  I am happy to find the online shop that carries everything I need, both the already-mixer bonsai soil and akadama soil and lava rock. They also sell small accessories that repotting needs such as bonsai sieves and the mesh cover for the drainage holes of the bonsai pots.

Normal, the smaller the bonsai pot is, the finer grain of the bonsai soil mixture is required. I have several small, young bonsai trees that need fine grain bonsai soil mixture.  I am glad I can find them at this online bonsai shop.  Their bonsai conifer soil mix and tropical and sub-tropical mix bonsai soil are very fine but have good water retention and drainage abilities.  They are great for my little juniper and young Hawaiian umbrella bonsai trees.  For small pots of bonsai trees, this is perfect and convenient because it’s very hard to find finely ground bonsai soil mixtures.

I also need akadama soil and lava rock for my own mixture of bonsai soil. These two items are essential for the water retention and aeration.  Akadama soil can only be found online.  This online shop carries good quality small grain akadama soil imported from Japan at good prices.  Their lava rocks too, are small granules that  will absorb up to 40% of its weight in water. Small lava rock (1/4 inch) is the best “sand” component around because it is “sharp” and has very irregular surfaces.

From this online bonsai shop, I collect all of the bonsai soil I need for my bonsai repotting later this year. They are very good quality at reasonable price.  I am ready for my project.

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Bonsai tray

 

I just bought a ginseng ficus bonsai tree one month weeks ago.  I was supposed to buy the humidity/drip bonsai tray together with the bonsai tree because I knew it was necessary for the tree.  I didn’t do it since I thought I could find it at our local pottery shop but I made a mistake.  I found our local pottery shop only carried some bonsai pots but no bonsai trays.  So I went back to the online store where I bought my ficus bonsai tree and looked for the humidity/drip bonsai tray.

The humidity/drip bonsai tray is necessary for bonsai trees especially for tropical trees for three reasons.  First, it protects the surface where the bonsai tree is placed.  As all bonsai pots have drainage holes, the water will drip out of the pots.  Having a tray underneath the bonsai pot will prevent the surface being stained or damaged. Second, the humidity/drip tray hold the water which creates a consistent humid environment so the bonsai tree won’t get dehydrated. Finally, you don’t need to take the bonsai tree to the sink to water.  This will make it very easy and convenient to water the bonsai tree especially for larger trees.

The bonsai tray I found for my ficus bonsai tree fits the bonsai pot perfectly.  I was able to find the exact right size of the bonsai tray because the description of the tray includes its inner dimension. It helps me a lot.  In addition, I found the bonsai tray I got at this online store is higher quality.  It was made of ceramic, strong enough to hold a layer of pebble and the bonsai tree with the pot. The bonsai store also carries other bonsai trays made of plastic and there are a variety of colors of trays to choose from. I really like the black ceramic tray I picked.  It nicely matches the color of my bonsai pot.

My ficus bonsai tree is a tropical tree.  Therefore, it requires a warm and humid environment to stay healthy. It’s important to use the humidity bonsai tray to create such a surrounding so it thrives. I put a layer of gravel between my bonsai pot and the bonsai tray so the water drips out of the drainage holes of the pot every time I water it. It’s so convenient and saves me time and energy.

I always leave some water in the bonsai tray at all times. When the water vapors, it keeps the bonsai tree hydrated.  Since I use the bonsai tray, my ficus bonsai tree maintains its beautiful green, shiny leaves.  The right size of the tray also enhances the overall look of the tree.  A good quality bonsai humidity/drip tray helps so much take good care of my bonsai trees.

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Talking about repotting the bonsai trees in summer sounds wield, but I like to organize things in advance and get them prepared.  I already line up my projects for repotting my bonsai trees in late fall before the trees go dormant.  Choosing the bonsai pots is very important during the process of repotting. It’s my favorite bonsai work and it’s a lot of fun.  Making decision of picking the right pot for the bonsai tree involves the design of the artistic work as well as keeping the health of the tree at the same time.

A nice bonsai tree won’t become the bonsai art without a suitable pot it matches.  The goal of matching a right bonsai pot is to create the harmony of the tree and the pot.  The sex of the bonsai tree normally decides what kind of bonsai pot it should match.  The shape of the bonsai pot determines whether it should match feminine or masculine bonsai tree.

Looking around my bonsai trees that need to be repotted in display pots, I decide to use rectangular bonsai pots for this project as most of my bonsai trees  that need repotting are mostly male. Rectangular bonsai pots are generally more masculine because they are angular, have clean lines.  Some of them are deeper, have stout feet.

This summer, besides doing the regular routine caring for my bonsai trees, watering and fertilizing,  I have been busy defoliating the trees as well.  They grow very quickly at this time of the year. I recently got some new pre bonsai trees in my yard.  They look good but I don’t take it for granted that all trees’ root systems are healthy or they have perfect root base for repotting.  I always take the trees out of pot and check the root system to make sure they are good and healthy enough to sustain being trimmed and repotted later this year.

I find this great line of rectangular bonsai pots provides a large selection.  I need different styles and colors of bonsai pots for my variety of bonsai trees.  I can find what I need here. I have a Chinese elm in cascade style that needs a bonsai pot for this style of tree.  I find several rectangular bonsai pots for cascade style trees to choose from.

This line of rectangular bonsai pots also offers some professional bonsai pots that are deeper and come with heavy duty drainage hole covers and are pre-wired.  That’s exactly what I need. It saves me time and work to prepare the mesh covers and wires for repotting. I can also find many different sizes and colors of rectangular bonsai pots here. It makes it so much easier for me to design which pot to match which tree.  Moreover, the measurement of the outside dimensions of these rectangular bonsai bonsai pots provides accurate information so I don’t make mistakes selecting the wrong size.

I am excited to choose my rectangular bonsai pots for my repotting project later this year. It’s very accomplishing to design the overall look of the bonsai tree by choosing the right color and size of the pot.  It’s my own art work.  I enjoy it so much.

 

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Conifer Bonsai trees are popular evergreen bonsais for many bonsai enthusiasts.  People are attracted to their various shades of green needle and sometimes, the cones that they produce are very appealing as well.  Spruce bonsai trees are one of those conifer bonsai trees that are native to the northern American.  There are about 35 species of spruce trees that are generally available in the US, mostly popular as the Christmas trees.  Their needles are much shorter than the pines’. The slowly grow spruce trees are widely used as shrub.

Despite its popularity, spruce could be hard to be trained as bonsai trees largely because they don’t backbud easily.  However, once they are styled well to be bonsai trees, they are very easy to take care.  The Colorado blue spruce bonsai tree is one of the spruce species that has beautiful distinctive  blue-green evergreen needles.  It has thin and gray bark, with narrow vertical furrows. The tree color varies from dark green to blue-green and the lightest shade, would be the powder white green.  The powder white green shade is the unique color that Colorado blue spruce bonsai tree distinguishes itself from other conifer bonsai trees.  This color fascinates bonsai enthusiasts who collect a variety of conifer evergreen bonsai trees.

The colorado blue spruce bonsai  thrives outdoor in the full sun while young trees need some shades for protection.  In hot summer time, however, even the mature trees need some shades during the hottest time of the day.  Otherwise, over heat will result in brown needles. Morning sun, afternoon shades are ideal.  Through out the spring, summer and fall, it enjoys the outdoor environment. The sun exposure, good ventilation and night dew all contribute to a healthy, vigorous bonsai tree.

For watering, the Colorado blue spruce bonsai tree likes moisture but not soaking wet soil.  So as long as the soil is well drained, water the tree to keep it moist. The times of water depends on the season and the humidity.  Never let the soil get completely dry out.  The tree would appreciate misting through out the spring, summer and fall.  In winter, reduce watering.

Fertilizing can be done once or twice a month during growing season except winter.  Use half strength of all purpose fertilizer or bonsai slow release fertilizer.  In areas where summer is very hot, stop feeding the tree. Wait until the temperature cools down a little bit then resume feeding.

Pruning a fully grown and trained Colorado blue spruce bonsai tree is fairly easy.  To maintain its shape and style, simply pinch the needles with fingers.  In fast growing season, cut the shoots with a pair of bonsai shear.

As a conifer bonsai tree, the spruce bonsai trees normally needs repotting every 3 t0 5 years. For matured species that are older than 10 years old, every five years.  But since every tree grows at a different rate, the repotting schedule varies as well.  This is just a generally guide. Ropotting can be done in early to mid-spring or early fall.

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Flowering and fruiting bonsai trees are fascinating to almost everybody due to their miniature size of flowers and fruits.  The vibrant flowers or fruits are not only appreciated for their aesthetics, but also are valued as art pieces.  However, in order to generate flowers and fruits on a bonsai tree to create the desire scenery, more experiences are required.  The growth of the bonsai tree should be controlled in a manner that it doesn’t grow too fast or too slow.

The Korean lilac bonsai tree as one of those attractive flowering bonsai trees, also needs proper care to produce its beautiful, fragrant, pinkish purple flowers in clusters.  It blooms in late spring but can flower twice a year up to late summer or early fall.  The purple flowers fade to white.  In fall, the foliage turns in to brown yellow.  Since the Korean lilac bonsai tree is deciduous, it loses its leaves in winter, leaving the  beautiful line of the branches.  It’s a great outdoor bonsai tree that adds beauty to the garden.

Generally, the Korean lilac bonsai tree needs care just like other bonsai trees but need more sunlight for flower production.  It needs at least six hours of direct sunlight exposure every day.  Morning sun, afternoon shade would be the best.  In hot summer time, to avoid over heat and scorched foliage, it should t be shaded 30-50% under the shades of the tree or a shade cloth.  As a outdoor deciduous tree, he Korean lilac bonsai tree should be placed outdoor such as the balcony, patio, deck or the garden through out the spring, summer and fall.  In winter, when the dormant period comes, the bonsai tree can be placed in a unheated garage or shed.  No sunlight is needed at this time.

Watering is important for the Korean lilac bonsai tree.  Because the bonsai tree is grown in such little soil, the soil dries out very quickly.  Never let the soil completely dries out.  Watering frequency depends on the weather and the size of the pot.  If the tree receives full sun, it’s necessary to water it once a day.  The smaller the pot, the more often watering is needed.  Testing the moisture level of the soil can be using a moisture testing meter or stick a chopstick or finger into the soil.  When watering, make sure water the tree enough so the water runs out of the drainage holes of the pot.  It’s necessary to water the tree for a second or third pass in summer time when the temperature is very high and humidity is low.  When the lilac is in blossom, don’t let the flowers get wet when watering. Otherwise, the flowers wilt fast or fall off quickly.

Fertilizing is necessary for any kind of flowering bonsai trees. The Korean lilac bonsai tree is not an exception. Since it’s a bonsai tree in a small amount of soil, use half strength of the regular fertilizer should be good enough.  During the growing and blooming season, fertilize it at least once a month.  It’s not needed in winter.  The tree will also respond well to foliage feeding with a water-soluble fertilizer applied every other month as a spray.

Pruning the Korea lilac bonsai tree at the right time is essential.  Otherwise, it won’t produce flowers.  Pruning should be done in later spring after its first bloom.  The lilac flowers should be removed when they start to shrivel.  If pruning is done in the summer, fall, or winter months, the tree may not bloom the following year.

The Korean lilac bonsai tree is a deciduous tree. The average repotting schedule for deciduous trees are two to three years.  But each tree grows at a different rate.  So the schedule is not fixed.  Checking the root system annually and repot it as needed.

Common insects and pests of lilacs are powedery mildew and scale.  If they are found on the bonsai tree, they can be treated with a diluted spray soap.

 

 

 

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Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai trees are the popular tropical trees for people who are less experienced with bonsai trees. They are very easy to care for.  They don’t require very much of sun light and they are some of those succulents that can tolerate a little bit of neglect of watering.  They can be watered very two to three days if the weather is not too hot and dry.  And most important, they are beautiful evergreen bonsai trees that decorate the home, the restaurant, the office and the students’ dorm.

Bonsai trees in banyan style are those bonsai trees that have aerial roots which draw distinctive visual attention.  Usually they are made from ficus species bonsai trees.  However, as one of the tropical trees, Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai trees can also be grown and trained in banyan style.  This is unique among those commonly seen banyan ficus bonsai trees.  I was looking for a bonsai tree as a gift for my friend who just opened a Chinese restaurant.  When I found this gorgeous Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai tree in banyan style for sale, I was attracted to it immediately.

This tropical evergreen Hawaiian Umbrella banyan bonsai for sale  would definitely bring good fengshui in his restaurant and it was believed to generate good fortune.  That was a perfect gift for a grand opening restaurant.  It signified a auspicious beginning.  In the Chinese Fengshui theory, not all bonsai trees can generate good fortune.  Only those bonsai trees with rounded, thick leaves, juicy and fleshy foliage and stems have the potential positive energy to generate good fortune.  The Hawaiian Umbrella banyan bonsai for sale is one of those trees that falls into this category.  Its evergreen characteristics makes it a even better indoor decor.  It lasts for four seasons.

I loved this Hawaiian Umbrella banyan bonsai for sale because it was an exceptional specimen.  This bonsai tree featured tiny umbrella shaped leaves forming a dense green canopy with an enormous braided and banyan root system forming the trunk of the tree.  It was 24 years old, 22 inches tall.  Its age, large size, rich and aerial root system made it a very impressive gift.  My friend was very happy to receive this special, living green gift.  It was very meaningful, easy to care for and it brightened his new restaurant.

 

 

 

 

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I am going to visit my sister next weekend. I have been thinking of bringing her something while I stay at her home for a few days.  Home decor is a good area to pick the gift from.  Bonsai trees comes to my mind immediately. There are so many bonsai trees for me to choose from.  I finally decided to buy a Rosemary bonsai tree for my sister because she likes cooking and she is a great cook.  My sister is very talented and makes delicious foods.  Everyone in my family loves whatever she cooks.  The Rosemary bonsai tree not only decorates her home, but also can be used a spice to add to foods when it’s pruned.

Keeping a Rosemary bonsai tree at home involves of caring for it.  I did some research before I got this tree and found it actually was very easy to take care of.  All it needs are the sun (morning sun, afternoon shade), good drainage and good ventilation.  Since the fully grown and trained bonsai trees already come with professionally mixed bonsai soil, I don’t worry about their quality.  The bonsai soils came with my bonsai trees have very good water retention and drainage, and good aeration as well.  I myself have bonsai trees grown in those soils and they thrive.  To keep the flowering rosemary bonsai tree vigorous, misting the needle-like leaves will help a lot.  This is easy for my sister to do.  She should be able to take care of this rosemary bonsai tree without any problems.

The Rosemary bonsai tree usually flowers in spring and summer.  This flowering Rosemary bonsai tree I just got for my sister is 13 years old, 12 tall.  It’s a beautiful bonsai tree in upright style with dark green, healthy, petite needle-like leaves. Currently, it’s flowers are blooming.  The bonsai tree bears small clusters of light lavender blue flowers that have a fresh fragrance.  The fragrance transfers to my hand when it’s lightly touched.  It makes a gorgeous ornament in the landscape.  Or it can be placed in the garden, yard or patio for decoration as a lovely flowering bonsai tree.

I am sure my sister will love this special gift that grows, releases aroma and also can be added to the soup, bread or pasta. I am proud of my good choice of this excellent gift.

 

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When talking about a good potential bonsai tree materiel, the common guides are usually long live, small-sized leaves, old-looking bark and abilities to be trained to various styles.  The birch bonsai tree probably doesn’t have all of the characteristics but some bonsai enthusiasts still favor it although it’s not a commonly seen bonsai species especially in Japan.

The Japanese grow and train bonsai trees with many strict rules to follow, while in China, the origin of the bonsai arts, it’s a lot more liberal.  Also, the Chinese bonsai art form tends to incorporate the little tree with the artificial mountains and water in the tray underneath.  The bonsai pots that Chinese use are richer and fuller in paintings and etching as well.  The content of each PenJing(Bonsai tree in the tray) is a completed story it tries to tell.  Based on these background, it’s not surprised to see the birch bonsai tree more popular in China than Japan.  In the US where the culture is even more liberal and diverse, it’s ever harder for people to strictly follow the rules.

The birch bonsai tree is loved by some bonsai enthusiasts for several reasons. First, it’s life span it’s still not a problem.  The birch normally live between 60 to 100 years.  For us the ordinary people, if we don’t plan to pass the bonsai tree to the next generation, that’s plenty time for us to enjoy this living art form. The birch bonsai tree just has a thinner trunk compared with those bonsai trees which live more than 100 years.

Second, the size of the birch leaves is not a problem for looking elegant as a bonsai tree. The birch bonsai leaves are toothed shape, alternate and colored from light to dark green.  As a deciduous tree, some species’ foliage turn yellow or gold in autumn just like other popular deciduous bonsai trees such as the Japanese maple and the ginkgo biboba. The grace of the birch bonsai tree in its seasonal color change has no difference from other commonly seen bonsai trees.  Moreover, its unique toothed-shaped leaves contributes to its exceptional beauty.

Third, the bark.  An old-looking, rough bark is always an important part of a high quality, good bonsai tree, just to create a rustic, aged look.  There is nothing wrong with it.  However, the birch bonsai tree is on the opposite.  It doesn’t have a rough bark.  Instead, it’s bark is very smooth.  But the great thing about this is that the bark peels like white papers.  This is a very irreplaceable characteristics that no other trees have.  It makes the  birch bonsai exclusively stylish.

Finally, the style.  There is an assumption that the birch can only be trained to the upright style.  Actually, it has good potential to be shaped to a variety of style as long as the young tree is chosen right.  There are informal upright, “S” shaped truck or even slant style for your appreciation.  All that needs are the techniques and experience of the bonsai artists.

In sum, the birch bonsai tree still makes good bonsai trees.  It’s a beautiful deciduous bonsai tree just like others.  It’s graceful, unique with its own distinctive leaves and bark.

 

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It is the middle of summer time. The plants and flowers are continuously growing. Plants are vigorous and flowers are in full blossom. It’s the good time to go out and take some garden tours. My family and I visited several local gardens and the most impressive one for me was the garden that was incorporated with a good amount of bonsai trees in various sizes.

Among these magnificent bonsai trees, I was really inspired by the shimpaku juniper bonsai tree.  I liked its dark green needles that were soft to touch.  The rough bark and graceful canopy made it a great little bonsai tree.  And most important, as one of the family members of juniper, it was very easy to care for.  As an evergreen tree, it could tolerate many adverse conditions.  Learning I was so fascinated by this tree, my wife bought me a shimpaku juniper bonsai starter kit as a gift for me.

The shimpaku juniper bonsai starter kit comes with everything needed to create your bonsai tree.  It includes a beginner’s guide 101 Essential Tips on Bonsai, a Glazed ceramic imported container, a Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai Tree, a Annealed training wire, a Multi-colored textured rock, the Decorative pebbles for the soil, a Ceramic miniature figurine, a Humidity/drip tray, a pair of Traditional bonsai shears, and a bag of Slow release fertilizer pellets.

By reading the bonsai beginner’s guide, I learn a lot of basic knowledge of bonsai arts, its styles and techniques to create my own bonsai tree.  This kit is so complete that I got everything I need. They are very handy.  As a beginner, I don’t need to struggle to search for the tools, the fertilizer or accessories that are necessary to make my own tree.  It saves me so much time and energy.  Also, when all of these come within one package, the price is much better than I shop them individually. I really thank my wife to give me such a great gift.

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Ever since I began my bonsai practice, I have been looking around for varieties of bonsai trees.  The boxwood bonsai tree is definitely something I must have.  It’s popular for bonsai purposes due to its small leaves, fine branches and the older looking bark.  Sometimes it flowers in spring. Most boxwood bonsai trees are outdoor species but there some tropical ones for indoor uses. I already have two outdoor boxwood bonsai trees.  They are both small leaves but one of them has extra tiny, thick leaves that makes it a perfect bonsai.

In addition to the outdoor boxwood bonsai trees, I am glad to find a tropical boxwood for indoor decoration.  The botanical name of this tropical boxwood is neea buxifolia. It’s native to Puerto Rico and a excellent specimen for bonsai. Its leaves are only about a quarter inch long in oval shape with a round apex.  These tiny leaves are very similar to that outdoor boxwood bonsai tree I have.  The neea is a member of the Bouganvillea family.

The tropical boxwood bonsai tree (neea) I just got has three trees in group that makes it even more magnificent.  During its growing season, it’s leave color turns deep red.  The new shoots of the tree grow out in different directions.  These characteristics make it very attractive.  Anther nice thing about the neea is that it produces hot pink color of tiny flowers and then turn to red berries.

Caring for the neea is very therapeutic and rewarding.  In warm summer and early fall, I put it outside.  In cold winter when the temperature drops down to 50s Fahrenheit, I will bring it indoor and place it in the high light position where is right next to the large living room window. It’s essential for indoor bonsai trees to receive sufficient natural sunlight at all times in order to produce flowers and fruits.  Watering is regular and it’s easy.  I always make sure the soil never dries out.  Placing a humidity drip tray under the pot helps a lot with maintaining the humid environment. Fertilize it every two to three weeks to make sure it’s healthy and beautiful.

 

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