The Q&A Archives: Winter care pre-bonsai seedlings

Question: I have recently started a few species of trees from seed and was wondering what the best way to care for them in their first winter season would be. I unfortunately planted them rather late in the season in mid-June. The Osage Orange seedlings and the Dwarf Pomegranate seedlings are all approximately 4-5 months old now and all are very healthy. I also have a 9 month old Japanese Black Pine. They are all still outside and we have not had any frost yet but it is not far off now. The Dwarf pomegranate foliage has taken on it's normal fall colour of yellow.


Answer: Congratulations on your success so far! You will want to move them to a cool, sheltered area just as you would your eventual bonsais. Frost will not hurt them but you definitely do not want to freeze the roots. You need to store them for the winter in a location where temperatures stay slightly above freezing (35 to 40 degrees F) so the plants can undergo a winter chilling period without freezing the rootball. During storage water sparingly, just enough that the roots do not dry out completely. Then in the spring, take them back outside so they can wake up naturally with the season. Good luck!

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