constantstaticx3
Green Thumb
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:24 am
Location: Haddonfield, NJ

Fertilizing Bonsai

I'm not exactly a full beginner because i've been studying and practicing my bonsai techniques for about 4 years now but ive always been confused as how to fertilize my trees. I have a juniper, 2 elms, japanese maple, trident maple, pond cypress, hemlock, and a japanese white pine, most are still in training. I live in New Jersey (zone 5) and i was looking for help on fertilizing my different bonsai. The only fertilizer ive really heard of is miracle grow. All the other technical terms are confusing to me. I really appreciate the help.

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Miracle grow is a synthetic ferilizer which means that it is salt based and soluble in water. With salt based fertilizers, your trees have no way to control how much fertilizer they take up and most of the fertilizer that you apply simply is washed away when you water your plants anyway.

A better fertilizer to use would be an organic fertilizer (something with a carbon backbone) like liquid seaweed or liquid fish (stinky so not good for indoors) fertilizer. You can also buy Kelp meal that is a slow release fertilizer that you add to the soil about once a year or perhaps once every six months.

With the liquid organic fertilizers, apply them once a week or maybe once every two weeks as per the dilution requirements on the labels starting in spring and continue throughout the summer.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Agreed

HG

constantstaticx3
Green Thumb
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:24 am
Location: Haddonfield, NJ

fertilizing bonsai

Thanks for the help.

constantstaticx3
Green Thumb
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:24 am
Location: Haddonfield, NJ

fertilizing bonsai

I found a seaweed liquid fish blend. Do i need to use any other fertilizer along with it or will that be sufficient enough? Also does the amount i use matter to the size or species of the tree? I also found a fall to winter fertilizer with no nitrogen which ive read is good for preparing the tree for dormancy.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Nope that'll do nicely. :D Fish and seed based fertlizers are traditional bonsai food.

HG

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

For lack of a better phrase:

Agreed. :wink:

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