In the first part of our week-long series on Bonsai Care we start with an introduction to Bonsai trees:
The Japanese word ‘bonsai’ literally means ‘tree in a pot’. For many hundreds of years bonsai have been cultivated by both the Chinese and the Japanese and are considered to bring harmony and nature to the home. More recently bonsai trees have become much more popular throughout Europe as Westerners discover the delights and rewards of this fascinating hobby.
Bonsai can be categorised as follows:
Tropical or subtropical trees, which benefit from being kept warm throughout the year. Minimum recommended temperature is around 10 celsius. These can be kept indoors all year (though will benefit from being placed outside for periods during the summer) in a window position with natural light (avoid full summer sun as this will scorch the tree) and keep in mind that your bonsai should not be trapped behind curtains during winter nights.
Subtropical or temperate trees that are reasonably hardy but still require protection from frost. These can be kept indoors or outdoors but must be protected from frost during winter. As above, they will benefit from being placed outside in summer and, when kept indoors a cool, light position is best.
Hardy outdoor trees that must be kept outside all year, except during the worst winter freezes. They are then best kept in a cold greenhouse or porch. It is recommended that these trees are displayed indoors for short periods only.
Tomorrow: Bonsai Care Basics