The Q&A Archives: Bonsai Tree Questions

Question: I bought 2 bonsai trees last week, a mini & a small. It doesn't say anything about when to change the soil,are you supposed to change it ever? Another question I have is do they grow any bigger than they already are when I purchased them? Also it says to only water once a week & to not let the soil dry out but in the middle of the week the soil seems dry to the touch, what do I do? Thank you!

Answer: Bonsai are shrubs and trees that have been pruned and trained to remain small. Some bonsai specimens are over a hundred years old. They are carefully pruned to maintain their shapes and they are unpotted and root pruned, as well. As long as they are in small containers their growth will be stunted so you'll want to keep yours in a small container for as long a period of time as possible. That means that every 2-3 years you will unpot it, prune the roots and repot it in fresh potting soil. There are tons of books at the library so you might want to check out a few just so you are familiar with the techniques in pruning to keep them looking just right. Over watering is the number one cause of plant death so follow the directions that came with your plants. Once a week watering is fine. You want the soil to dry out slightly between waterings because plant roots need oxygen as well as moisture. Best wishes with your new plants.

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