Bonsai need optimal care in order to thrive. Above all, this includes the right fertilizer. Without this, the bonsai would lack important nutrients.For good growth, the bonsai needs the optimal fertilizer. If you buy a bonsai tree, you should be aware in advance that these plants require a lot of care and attention. But with a little water and a regular pruning is not enough.
Bonsai need fertilizer as an additional food. The trick is to choose the right fertilizer in the optimal composition. The combination of water, light and fertilizer ensures optimal growth of the miniature trees.
Which fertilizer is best for bonsai trees?
There are special fertilizers for bonsai, which, however, offer no significant advantages apart from a high price. A normal complete fertilizer, e.g. Compo's green plant fertilizer offers everything the bonsai needs.
The fertilizer consists of the three main nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The fertilizer can also contain other components, such as magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese. The label on the pack or bottle contains the three letters N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus) and K (potassium oxide), the numbers behind them indicate the percentage of the respective nutrient. A balanced relationship is important so that the individual components can develop their effect.
The individual components serve this purpose:
The bonsai needs nitrogen for green and strong leaves. The element nitrogen occurs mainly in the atmosphere and is generally the engine for healthy growth. As a plant food, nitrogen is important for the formation of the green leaf mass. You can recognize a defect by a pale leaf color and a poor growth.
Phosphorus is required for the flower and fruit formation. The roots take up phosphate - this is the salt of phosphoric acid - from the soil. If there is a lack of phosphorus, the growth suffers and the flowers are reduced.
Potassium is mainly responsible for building up the wood mass. If you have a potassium deficiency, you will find weak branches and soft petioles on your bonsai. In addition, bonsai are often susceptible to disease.
When and how often should the bonsai be fertilized?
Water-soluble fertilizer is quickly absorbed by the roots of the plant and supplies the bonsai with important nutrients.
»Be careful with the dosage: You can easily over-fertilize with mineral liquid fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the package or bottle and keep an eye on the bonsai. Better too little than too much! Over-fertilization does not happen so quickly with solid fertilizer, but here the smell can have a disturbing effect.
The growth phase of bonsai, like all trees, is from spring to late summer. Regular fertilizer application makes sense during this time. Dose gradually weaker from spring to autumn.
Important exception when fertilizing the bonsai!
Mineral fertilizer is suitable for all bonsais that have a high proportion of organic material in the soil mix, namely for bonsais that you keep in the room as well as for outdoor bonsais. However, if you use a special bonsai soil, such as Akadama, Kanuma, Kiryu, or a mixture thereof, you will need to take an organic fertilizer. Bonsai soil consists of clay granulate, a mineral fertilizer is out of place here.