Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bonsai Care & Feeding

I met my first Bonsai last summer, when S entrusted me with her beloved little Azalea tree while she was on vacation.

Yikes. She was barely out of my driveway when the first panic attack set in.

What if I kill it?

I immediately embarked on the most high maintenance program of tender loving care a plant could ever imagine.

* Each morning I misted her.

* Every afternoon she enjoyed dappled sunlight out on my deck.

* I fashioned a humidity tray out of rocks and saucers so she could breathe easy in my dry, desert air.

* I was like a mother chimpanzee, daily inspecting that plant for bugs. And, I was exhausted...

Then S came home and casually commented: Wow, it looks great. All I do is water it.

Huh???

That's when I discovered that Bonsai trees aren't nearly as high maintenance as they look.

The beautiful Plum Bonsai shown in these photos was a birthday present from a very sweet friend. It's a bright spot in my day, now that winter is upon us.

True confessions: I panicked a bit when I received this plant ~ wondering how quickly I could kill it. But, then I remembered that J never comes to visit me so if it kicks the bucket, she will never be the wiser!

Moisture: The Key to a Happy Bonsai
  • Keep your bonsai slightly damp.
  • Mist her in addition to watering. They enjoy the feel of a spring rain.
  • Misting cleans her leaves and helps moisture absorption.
  • Once every couple of weeks immerse the entire plant, pot and all, in a bowl of water. They love it!
  • Fertilize monthly with a 5-10-5. (Deciduous Bonsais appreciate a dormant period of no fertilizer.)
Thanks, J! It's not dead yet! :))

1 comment:

janemngardener said...

Never say never!