Bonsai for beginners
What is really important for bonsai for beginners ?
- Indoor bonsai must be placed very bright, especially in winter. It's best to place it up directly at the window. Keep as cool as possible in winter.
- Wiring: Styling with bonsai wire is not absolutely necessary. Beginner bonsai trees can only be styled well by cutting.
- Fertilisation: Supply from March-September with a common bonsai fertilizer (like Biogold, Hanagokoro, liquid bonsai fertilizer, fertilizer for Azalea bonsai).
- Watering: Not too wet and not too dry. Bonsai for beginners usually tolerate short periods of dryness.
- Pruning: Cut back in May-July according to growth and demand or design goal. Bonsai for beginners tolerate stronger pruning well.
- Overwintering: Outdoor bonsai tolerate temperatures below 0°C very well. Protect from drying out in case of permafrost (greenhouse, foil tent, sinking in the garden).
- Repotting: These bonsai trees are easy to repot (February-March). They should be potted in a well drained bonsai soil. Mostly Akadama is well suited, for azaleas the acid Kanuma bonsai soil is used.
What accessories do you need to get started with bonsai care ?
We get asked this question a lot. In the following we have listed what is really essential in the first 2-3 years.
- Watering: A watering can is ideal for outdoor bonsai. Ball showers have proven themselves for indoor bonsai.
- Cutting: If you want to prune thin shoots (e.g. the annual new shoot) normal bonsai scissors are sufficient. Wide bonsai scissors are best for most jobs. If you want to remove a stronger shoot (>5-6mm diameter) you need a bonsai cutter. Usually concave cutter are used. But knob cutter are also very suitable.
- Wiring: At the beginning you can only shape a bonsai by cutting. But if you want to style your bonsai tree more precisely, you can't avoid wiring. For this you need bonsai wire (often used thicknesses of aluminum wire are 1.5-2.5mm) and to remove the wire you need a wire cutter for bonsai.
- Repotting: Deciduous trees must be repotted every 3 years, conifers every 5 years. For this you need soil suitable for bonsai in particular. Akadama is suitable for most bonsai. Kiryuzuna is particularly suitable for pine bonsai and juniper. Azalea bonsai need a very acidic substrate. Here the Kanuma bonsai soil is 1st choice.
- Fertilisation: Bonsai should be fertilized in the growing season from March to September. Ideally with organic bonsai fertilizer. Here the Biogold and Hanagokoro bonsai fertilizer have proven their worth. But liquid fertilizers for bonsai are also good. Azaleas should be fertilized with an adaquate fertilizer for azalea bonsai. This is adjusted to the acidic pH of the soil.
Bonsai for beginner with small restrictions
Bonsai marked with ⭐ e also suitable for beginners. However, there are small features to note (see page bottom). Otherwise, they are also very straightforward.
- ⭐ Azalea Bonsai: Attention during wiring: Branches break easily
- ⭐ Japanese maple bonsai: Put it in partial shade in high summer and keep it moist, otherwise the leaf tips will dry
- ⭐ Larch bonsai: Repot exactly when the buds open in March
- ⭐ Olive bonsai tree: Can only withstand light frosts. Slow growing
- ⭐ Privet Bonsai: Sometimes attact by rust fungi but can be well combated with fungicides