How to maintain a bonsai?

Bonsai occupies a special place in traditional Japanese culture. Symbol of refinement and elegance, it seduces as much as it fascinates. How to maintain a bonsai? What are the secrets of Japanese masters? We reveal all you need to know to ensure the longevity of your bonsai …



– Prune your bonsai like a master
– Defoliate your bonsai
– Ligature, good or bad practice?
– Watering and soil selection
– How to repot your bonsai?



1. Prune your bonsai as a master

The size of a bonsai is the most delicate phase of its maintenance, because it is from it that depends the final aesthetic rendering of your dwarf tree. Take inspiration from Japanese masters, who draw a sketch of the ideal tree as they conceive it. The size of the bonsai then aims to reproduce the model sketched on paper. There are two types of size:
The size of formation: It consists in cutting your bonsai during its growth, in order to impose, by successive cuts, the desired silhouette.Observe each emerging branch. If it deviates from the line of your drawing, cut it to its base. This sorting, done daily, will allow you to shape the shape of your bonsai over the years.
The maintenance size: As its name suggests, it is carried out on an already formed tree and consists of regularly shortening the existing branches, so that the bonsai keeps its imposed shape.
No good gardener without good tools! Do not hesitate to invest in a pair of bonsai scissors: their specific form is a guarantee of precision when carving your dwarf tree.



2. Defoliating your bonsai

Maintaining a bonsai tree requires paying particular attention to its leaves. From an aesthetic point of view, they must keep a small size, in harmony with that of the trunk and branches.Ask yourself 3 questions about defoliation of your bonsai:
When: when the first buds appear
How: by cutting the leaves at their base, closer to the branch
Why: to obtain, ultimately, the most miniature sheets possible
Again, the bonsai chisel will do wonders! A profitable investment in the long term …



3. Ligation, good or bad practice?

Ligation involves using copper wires, which are wrapped around the branches to constrain their shape during the shoot. The threads act in the manner of a guardian, but with greater precision. While this practice provides excellent results, it is not without risks! Over time, it is not uncommon for copper wires to become embedded in the heart of the bark of bonsai. Removing them becomes very delicate!



5.How to repot your bonsai?

Your bonsai should be regularly repotted to allow its roots to flourish properly. Repotting takes place in several stages:
Take out your bonsai from its pot and carefully disentangle its tangled roots.
In the new pot, place a grid over the drainage holes, to prevent any exit from the roots.
Pour some of the compost, gravel and akadama mixture into your new pot.
Repot carefully your bonsai, and cover the roots with the remaining mixture.
Water abundantly in fine rain: the water, flowing, will allow the earth to grasp the roots of your tree.
As you can see, maintaining a bonsai is first and foremost a matter of patience!