How to Prepare your Bonsai for Spring

Bonsai with spring buds appearing

Now that your bonsai has successfully survived the winter due to your care and dedication you need to know how to prepare your bonsai for spring. The most important thing one should remember is to be patient. Your tree has rested over the winter and will be soon ready to explode with new growth soon enough. The following are some tips to get your bonsai ready for the spring season.

Outdoor Bonsai Spring Preparation

If you decided to overwinter your bonsai in a garage, shed, or cold frame continue to leave it there until there is no more danger of freezing weather. Wait for the weather to fully warm up. Check your bonsai's soil moisture content on warmer days leading up to spring. You should water your bonsai tree if it is dry. If it is overly wet temporarily tilting the pot to the side may aid in drainage. If the bonsai is in a cold frame you can open the door to it on warm days, but be sure to close it at night. This will aid in keeping the overall temperature more even and prevent leafing that is premature. As noted earlier, remember to be patient. Temperatures may still be fluctuating a good deal from night to day. The tree will suffer if the tree comes out of dormancy early and freezing weather comes through. As a result, it is not a good idea to take the tree out of protected storage during the day and move them back in at night. Wait until all signs of freezing weather have dissipated.

Indoor Bonsai Spring Preparation

It is important to note that if you depend on light coming through open windows to help provide the necessary lighting conditions for your indoor bonsai tree that the strength of this light diminishes in winter. Therefore it is possible that the spot you had it during the summer may not be providing the required light your bonsai needs in the winter. As a result, its health may start to decline towards the end of the winter season leading up to spring. Some warning signs that your indoor bonsai's health may be deteriorating include leaf drop, leaf yellowing, and wetter soil than normal. This can put your bonsai at risk for fungal issues and root rot.

The first thing you should do to prepare your indoor bonsai for spring is cutting back on watering. Your tree will require less water if it is receiving less light. Next, try to supplement additional lighting using grow lights. Keeping the soil on the drier side should help lessen the chances of root rot and fungal infection. Additionally, providing more light will keep the tree healthier making it less susceptible to disease in the first place. Also note incandescent grow lights increase heat which may cause the tree's soil to dry faster. You may need to actually water more frequently than you are used to when using supplementary lighting. Finally, fertilizing your tree should not be done until spring actually arrives and the sun intensity returns. Start with a very diluted solution and gradually work up to your normal dose.

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