Black pine is an excellent candidate for bonsai because it is a sturdy, beautiful tree. It is also one of the most common bonsai plants among bonsai growers and if taken care of properly, it can mature into a well-balanced plant for years to come.
When choosing soil for your black pine bonsai, make sure it’s a good 50% akadama and 50% pumice mix. If it’s a younger tree, you might want to use more grit. These materials help the black pine bonsai grow healthy roots because they drain water well.
Black pine bonsai will do well with soil that is evenly moist, so take care not to water too much. They can manage a little dryness and with soil that’s free-draining, overwatering won’t be a problem.
Try to water your black pine bonsai with tap water that has a pH balance range of 5.5 to 6.5. Water two or three times to thoroughly wet the soil.
Black pines love to soak up the sun, but be careful with them during hot months. Keep them in the shade if temperatures run towards 100 degrees Fahrenheit, as this will turn the plant’s leaves yellow. Best keep them in a partial shade or place them under a shade cloth for protection.
Prune the leaves of your black pine bonsai during the fall or winter. These are the best months when the cutting won’t cause too much bleeding. In the spring, prune the larger branches. Use a putty paste for plants to seal the cut.
Take care not to cut too much. Once a branch has been cut off, you can’t put it back and the replacement will take a long time to appear. Try to reduce your black pine slowly over the years.
Black pine bonsai will do well with repotting every other year when they’re younger, while older ones will do well with repotting every three years. However, you might want to try to repot your new bonsai every year; just to check on the roots since you will need to prune them as well.
Cut only minor roots if you have to, but be careful not to cut too much, especially the small feeder roots that lead to the big lower branch. After you’ve repotted your black pine bonsai, place it in bright shade for a few weeks and be mindful of sudden temperature changes.
Check your black pine bonsai each week for pests such as aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs. If you find any of these bugs, you can either use water to spray them off, or eradicate them completely with a good pesticide.