Why Do Bonsai Need Fertilizer? – Bonsai containers are a man-made environment. As such, they require you, in order to maintain the health and development of your bonsai, to provide, in addition to frequent watering, a regular dose of fertilizer to the soil or growing medium.
What Type Of Fertilizer Should You Use? – Feed your bonsai with a balanced fertilizer, 20-20-20, at quarter strength, every other week. The numbers 20-20-20 are the percentage, by weight, of the N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) contained in that fertilizer. These elements, in addition to minor or trace elements, are necessary for cell division and enzyme processes that allow photosynthesis and the resulting growth to take place.
What Does N-P-K Stand For & What Does It Do? – N – Nitrogen is responsible for the size and amount of new growth and, to some extent, the green color of the leaves. Nitrogen is required for cell division and, also, protein manufacturing. P – Phosphorus is also necessary for cell division and is associated with good root growth and flowering. K – Potassium activates cell enzymes and is related with overall healthy cell activity.
Bonsai Fertilizer Notes – Always water your bonsai thoroughly before fertilizing and never use fertilizer on a dry tree.
Never fertilize a sick tree, as fertilizer is not medicine.
When you have finished a bottle of fertilizer, it is a good idea to purchase a different brand, as they all contain different amounts of trace elements and minerals. Exposing your bonsai to different amounts of these important trace elements and minerals is very beneficial.
If you are not sure how much fertilizer to use, follow the directions on the label and never use more than recommended.
Fertilizer is a good thing, but too much is a bad thing.
Why Is Air Circulation Important? – A location with adequate air circulation is very important for the long-term health of your new bonsai. The life sustaining process of photosynthesis requires an unrestricted exchange of fresh air and stagnate environmental conditions could compromise your bonsai’s ability to continue its photosynthetic processes, by clogging the pores or stomata, located on the bottom of leaves, which bonsai trees use for this vital air exchange, through dust and debris accumulation.
What Else Is Air Circulation Responsible For? – A closed or confined space is the perfect environment for pests and disease, two of the most terrible enemies of bonsai trees. The regular movement of fresh air helps prevent pests, like spider mites, from establishing their webs and infesting and damaging your bonsai trees. Air circulation also assists your trees in the transportation of essential fluids from the roots to the leaves, by osmosis, which is a vital process. Air also prevents possible root rot conditions, from soil saturation, by assisting in water evaporation.
How Can Air Circulation Be Improved? – If your bonsai is kept indoors or inside a greenhouse, you might consider leaving a door open, or cracked, and a fan, or fans, running. Spraying and misting your bonsai off regularly will help to remove all dust and debris from the bottoms and tops of leaves, allowing your bonsai to "breathe" freely and to continue its photosynthetic processes.
BE CONSCIENTIOUS – If you are having trouble breathing in a confined area, so is your bonsai.