March 2011 ~ Newsletter

March 2011 ~ Newsletter

Indoor Bonsai Tips.

What a fantastic time of year; the indoor bonsai are now sprouting new leaves and we are actively pruning again. Some of our Chinese Elm bonsai have grown shoots up to 10cm in length over the past 10 days alone. When pruning your indoor bonsai please leave at least one new pair of leaves on each shoot allowing the bonsai to continue growing. You will notice that the new shoots have larger leaves, this is perfectly normal. As you prune the growing tips the new leaves will reduce in size.

Please ensure that you feed indoor bonsai fairly regularly now; they want to grow and are dependant upon you for nutrients. Please feed with a bonsai fertiliser because regular plant foods are too strong and could harm your bonsai tree.

Outdoor Bonsai Tips.

We have also just started to feed our outdoor bonsai this week. There is definitely evidence of the outdoor bonsai waking up. The hawthorn and larch bonsai in particular have new leaves visible. I would like to remind you that outdoor bonsai should be re-potted now if pot bound. Once the buds open it is too late to re-pot/root prune outdoor bonsai.

Watering.

It is very easy to be caught out with the watering at this time of year. The day length is increasing, the temperatures are increasing and soon there will be more foliage on your bonsai tree. All these factors will increase the need for water. Please do check your bonsai daily and make sure that the soil does not dry out. Particularly be aware if your bonsai is in a south facing window, you may need to move it to a cooler position.

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Bonsai Direct Upcott Farm Morchard Bishop DEVON EX17 6NG
Telephone: 07815 836533 Email: [email protected] Url: www.bonsaidirect.co.uk

10 thoughts on “March 2011 ~ Newsletter”

  • Michael Mcshane
    Michael Mcshane 14th March 2011 at 12:03 pm

    To Mr Noall.
    My name is Michael and i am writing via my mums email adress. I am 11 years old and in my first year of secondary school. I have been interested in bonsai for a few years now and since I live in pennymoor I decided to write a letter to you but my mum said email is more logical. The reason why I am writing to you is that i need your advice on a particular bonsai specimen (in the making) that i am worried about. I have just dug up a honeysuckle stump (well over 100 years old) from the ancient hedge lining our garden.After prising it from a beech stump, vigorously pruning the roots I placed it into a spare black recycling box (our only container big enough!). It is such a lovely shape and I think it would make a very good bonsai and I really dont want to kill it. So i would be very grateful if you could give me some tips on how to turn it into a nice bonsai specimen and how to keep it alive!
    thank you

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Dear Michael,
      This sounds like a great project, the most important thing at this stage is to keep the soil moist (not too wet because the roots could rot). I hope you have put some good drainage holes in the bottom of the container and used a peat based soil to aid the delicate fibrous roots to grow.
      Please try to keep out of strong winds (hot or cold) this year. The honeysuckle will obviously be very stressed for the next couple of years, this year especially. So a shady spot through the summer time will also be important.
      The main thing to concentrate on now is allowing the tree to re-grow good roots. Don't worry too much about pruning/shaping the tree this year - just allow it to grow.
      Please start feeding with a bonsai fertiliser when new growth is growing very strongly ie. when you are getting long new shoots. Do not feed until this point.
      Please give the tree time and be patient as many mistakes can be made by over-enthusiasm. A little time now allowing your bonsai to recover will reward you later on.
      I hope you find this helpful,
      all the best
      Lloyd

      Reply
  • Rod Morris

    Following my telephone conversation earlier this week regarding my bonsai tree, a christmas present from 2009, I have attached some photos showing the sad state that it is in at the moment.
    The tree is always kept in the same place, in front of a north facing patio window door, at a constant 21c.

    It has not dried out (watered twice a week) and has appeared to be in good health until about 3 months ago when it started losing most of it’s leaves. The leaves go brown from tips and then die. There is no sign of mottling and there is new growth from the trunk.

    I would be grateful for any advice you may be able to offer as I am worried that my tree is dying!
    Regards,
    Rod Morris

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Dear Rod,
      I am wondering if this may be a result of slight over-watering combined with low light levels.
      Brown tips on leaves are usually an indication of slight over-watering.
      Obviously during mid winter the bonsai may need slightly less water because it is transpiring less.
      I think you will find that your bonsai will recover over the next 2 months but if you are able to give it more daylight this will speed up recovery.
      Obviously do not leave it somewhere too hot and as we go further into spring it may require more water.
      Please do not feed your bonsai with bonsai feed until it is growing strongly again.
      Would you mind if we posted your enquiry on our website because I feel other readers may find it helpful?

      I hope this helps

      Kind regards

      Sarah

      Bonsai Direct

      Reply
  • Rod Morris

    Dear Sarah,

    Thank you for your advice. I will try putting it on a south facing windowsill instead of the north facing side of the house where it has been so far. I will keep it away from a radiator and reduce the watering slightly too.
    Regards,
    Rod

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Dear Rod,
      I think the south facing windowsill is great for now. In May I think it would be better if you moved it to somewhere cooler because it may scorch your bonsai.
      You might consider putting it outside once it gets warmer. Sheltered gardens are great for indoor bonsai during the summer months.
      I hope it recovers quickly.
      all the best
      Sarah

      Reply
  • Gary Batchelor

    I bought a zelkova (4year) bonsai recently.It looked very healthy,but after a few days leaves started to fall off.It is on a bright windowsill,there is a radiator nearby,I look to water lightly every other day.Is it on its way out or just adjusting to its new home,also does it need to go outside ?
    What are the best bonsai for indoors for a beginner ?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Dear Gary,
      It is very common for any indoor bonsai to lose leaves within 3 weeks of purchasing it. This is due to your bonsai simply re-acclimatising. The leaves which drop will be the old leaves and not the new growing tips. If you have somewhere away from the radiator this would be better because the heat can dry out the foliage. You may find misting the leaves with water helps (this is in addition to watering the soil). Please water as soon as the soil feels barely damp. In a bright position and near a radiator this could be as often as daily (please check morning and evening).
      If your bonsai has dried out the leaves will feel crispy/papery.
      Your Zelcova is a type of elm and it can go outside during the summer months (May to September) but please remember to water it.
      The zelcova (elm family) is a very good starter bonsai. Other indoor bonsai which are also great for beginners include the Chinese Sweet plum and the Fig (ficus family).
      If your bonsai has any other symptoms (eg. mottled leaves/black tips etc) please could you let me know the other symptoms.
      I hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Sarah
      Bonsai Direct

      Reply
  • Mark Boon

    Dear Lloyd,
    I have been an avid bonsai collector for a year or so now. I have over 10 in my collection, all indoor variety. About 6 months ago i purchased a Serrissa Japonica ( tree of 1000 stars). It was a stunning tree when i got it, but recently i have had quite a bit of trouble with it. Some of the leaves have shown brown wilting at the ends, almost crispy. Some of the new shoots have had black tips... However the tree continues to produce fresh shoots and leaves, with some of the tree looking healthy. It lives with several others on a large humidity tray, near a South facing window. Its misted reg, and watered as required. All my others trees are located in and around where the 1000 star is and they are perfectly fine. I know from research this variety can be difficult, can you help !!!

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct
      Bonsai Direct 3rd May 2011 at 10:55 am

      Dear Mark,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      I think your bonsai maybe suffering from slight over watering. The black tips are usually associated with slight over watering and sometimes you also notice that the leaves are slightly contorted or curl at the edges.
      Please try reducing the water very slightly.
      From our experience I also find the Serissa to be a very hungry bonsai and we now feed them twice as often as any other indoor bonsai we grow. If you are using a liquid bonsai fertiliser it maybe worth increasing the frequency of feeding.
      You are welcome to send me some photos of your serissa so that I can take a look. My direct e-mail address is [email protected]

      Other than that from what you say the care is perfect.
      I hope this helps
      Kind regards
      Lloyd

      Reply
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