Fertilization of bonsai trees
The nutrition of plants is the essential premise of their healthy growing. Plants require nutrition for transformation of substances. They (plants) produce substances needed for growth and these substances are created via chemical processes and assimilation. Basically, plants need some minerals for proper growth and these minerals are accepted through roots from the soil.
The primary nutriments (macroelements)
Trace elements (microelements)
As soon as the plant exhausts all nutriments from the substrate (which occurs about 3-4 weeks after replanting) it is necessary to start fertilization. It's all because the plant has bounded amount of soil and it can't get new minerals in another way than fertilization. This is why a proper fertilization is very important aspect of successful growing of bonsai trees.
You should use some multi-part fertilizers (NPK) with trace elements for any fertilization. There are many industrial fertilizers on the market which are also suitable for bonsai's. It is recommended to buy those products which were designed for your bonsai exactly. In addition, you can buy fertilizers for spruce trees, leafy trees, etc. It is because different trees require different ratio of elements. For example,. blooming trees need more phosphorus during the bloom. In comparison, trees which are producing seeds and fruits need more nitrogen. Of course, there are all-purpose fertilizers for all kinds of plants and you probably don't do anything badly if you decide to use them as well.
The long-time effect fertilizers
If you have troubles meet the fertilization schedule with a liquid fertilizer, you can try slow melting fertilizers. Such products should be applied to the soil once per 3-4 months. Actually, such fertilizers are in the solid state. Quantization is given by amount of soil in the pot. This is why it is necessary to precisely measure the weight of the substrate and only then you can choose quantization. The fertilizer should be distributed all over the substrate and slightly push it into the soil. This action results in balanced dissolution into the soil and in continuous fertilization of your bonsai.
The mineral fluid fertilizers
Mineral fertilizers in the liquid state are available for the plant immediately. This is the reason why they're suitable in situations when you forgot about care, or when you wasn't able to care for your bonsai for a longer period and your tree has not enough nutriments. The plant is capable to accept this kind of fertilizer immediately and, of course, renew deficit of minerals. Liquid fertilizers can be bought in the form of salt which are soluble in water, or in the form of concentrate which is adulterated later. Naturally, quantization is given on case of your fertilizer which is probably different for every product. If, for any reason, the quantization isn't given, it is usually 0.2%. When you are buying mineral fluid fertilizers, it is necessary to check if they have balanced proportion between their substances, eventually a little higher concentration of nitrogen. Of course, check these aspects if only you are buying one fertilizer for all plants.
Plants must not be fertilized if it's dry. Before the fertilization process, you should make the roots a little wet. And of course, it is better to fertilize periodically with lower concentration than once with high concentration.
The organic-mineral fertilizers
This kind of fertilizers secure you long-time activity (organic part) and fast activity (mineral part). Be careful because you can easily over-fertilise the bonsai. If you used higher quantization than it is recommended by the producer, you can damage your plant and it can later die. The concentration is dependent on the amount of soil. Sift 2g of fertilizer on the substrate surface per 1 litre of soil every 4 weeks, and water it. If you don't water your bonsai properly, the underbrush and moss can be die.
The leaf fertilizers
Plants are able to accept nutriments through their leafs as well. Leafs fertilization acts immediately and directly. Plants are fertilized with a spray directly on leafs. The spray must not have concentration higher than 0.1% (1ml or 1g per 1 litre of water).
The trace elements
Sometimes there could be problems with your bonsai when one or more trace elements are missing in the soil. In such case it is necessary to determine the missing element and use the proper fertilizer (which contains such element(s), of course) in order to eliminate the absence.
When to fertilize
Replanted bonsai with fleeced roots shouldn't be fertilized earlier than the roots grow throughout the pot. In general this means approximately 8 weeks. Every plant has different demands on periodicity of fertilization. Here at a-bonsai.org's bonsai guide you can find particular bonsai species and it's fertilization demands. If you can't find your plant there, simply write to us and we'll gladly add your bonsai into our database.
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