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 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.