Monthly Care (Second Quarter)

Many of the flowering fruit trees have begun to flower in March and carry over into April. Some azaleas may begin blooming. Flowering bonsai will last longer if kept under protection from heavy rains. Do not fertilize flowing bonsai. Other trees should be given fertilizer every two to three weeks (equal parts nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus). All wiring should be completed this month. April can have potentially cold nights so make sure bonsai are protected during the hours of darkness. Don’t leave plastic on during the day, as the sun can raise temperatures under the plastic and cook the trees! Indoor bonsai are getting enough light to turn off supplemental lighting. Fertilize indoor trees lightly every two weeks during late Spring to late October.

The last day for frost is May 15. Flowering trees that have finished blooming can be pruned and repotted. Check wiring to make sure it is not cutting into the bark. Junipers bearing new growth should be finger-pruned; never use shears. Remove the longest conifer candles with a twist of the fingers. Check bonsai for pests and use environmentally safe controls. Fertilize every two to three weeks and rotate trees to balance phototropism the growth of the plant toward the strongest light source). Indoor bonsai become invigorated by being placed in a sun/shade site outdoors for the Summer. The end of May is a good time to site indoor trees.

Rainy days will become more infrequent as the month progresses. Bonsai will need to be checked to be sure they are not too dry. Bonsai that stand in a southern exposure will need to be watered well. Early evening is the best time to water, as the tree will have the longest amount of time to take up the water before the sun evaporates it! Early morning watering does get the tree through the day, but more moisture is lost than if watered at evening time. Unless an absolute emergency, NEVER water during midday. Water on the leaves can burn them, and shock the roots. Fertilize every three weeks, check for pests, and prune back deciduous growth unless a branch or the trunk needs strengthening. Maples can be leaf pruned to encourage smaller leaves. Cut only the leaf but leave the petioles. In two weeks, new buds will break where the petiole meets the branch. Some wiring should be removed, especially if it is beginning to cut into the bark.

January - March / April - June / July - September / October - December