Winter Care for Bonsai
Winter care for Bonsai
Northern States
Northern States need cold frames, cellars, garage
or mulched into the ground.
Check occasionally for water if no snow.
No fertilizer except on tropicals lightly
Winter care for Bonsai
Southern States
Cold hardy trees – Birch, Maple, Elms, Crepe
Myrtle, Cypress, Hollies, Ilex, Loropetalum,
Serrisa, Redwood, Pyracantha, Texas Ebony
and other deciduous hardwoods need the cold.
Evergreens like Cedars, Junipers and Pines also
must be left out here all year – remember to
water.
Tropicals must be protected from cold not just
frost.
Winter care for Bonsai
Many Tropicals must be brought indoors or a
heated greenhouse even at 50 degrees.
Brazilian Raintree, Black Olive, Bougainvillea,
Fukien Tea, Aralias, Scheffleras, Nea Buxifolia,
Natal Plum
all must be protected if temperature falls to
50
Winter care for Bonsai
Most other tropicals and semi-tropicals should be
protected if temperature falls to 40
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Cherry (Surinam, Barbados, Brush, etc.)
Ficus ( Green island, Willow leaf, Benjimina,
etc)
Succulents like Jades, Desert Rose, etc.
40
Winter care for Bonsai
If in doubt research and know what species you
have and how to care for it
Winter care for Bonsai
Watering
Beginning in mid Oct / Nov. start to reduce
amount of water. The easiest way to kill a tree
is over/under water. Trees need less water as
temps drop, so check daily, but only water when
needed. Check using the dirty finger method...if
soil is still damp below the surface wait to water.
Winter Care for Bonsai
Wind
Remember on windy days bonsai can dry out
rather quickly. When the weather forecast calls
for wind advisory, make sure to check that your
trees do not dry out. The wind can wick
moisture from trees that still have leaves. Check
in the afternoon that trees have not dried out.
Do not water I the evening as trees can not take
up the water at night.
Winter care for Bonsai
Re-potting
Cold Hardy trees – Can repot in LATE winter
When buds begin to swell. Root pruning a
dormant tree too soon will not allow it to come
out of dormancy. Wait until budding or new
growth.
EXCEPTIONS: Evergreens/conifers (except
pines) should be repotted in Jan/Feb. Pines
late February into March.
Tropicals/semi-tropicals wait until spring or
summer. Black Olive, Brazilian Raintree,
Fukien Tea, Nea Buxifolia only in Jul/Aug
Winter care for Bonsai
Wiring
Cold hardy trees are best to wire now. Many
have lost foliage and wiring is easiest now as
form can be seen without leaves. Watch wire
when new spring growth occurs so wire doesn't
“bite” into tree.
Tropical and Semi-tropicals can be wired any time
Winter care for Bonsai
# 1 Rule
Know your tree
Research the species you are buying and
growing requirements when you purchase a
tree.
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Winter Care PowerPoint presentation