Bonsai trees are enduring symbols of a bygone era. They are commonly associated with Japan, even though the art of growing small trees in pots began in China.
Today, the practice of growing small trees in pots—called ‘bonsai’—is being done by more Western nature lovers. When taking care of bonsai, a question you may have is whether bonsai leaves grow back and how you can promote growth.
When it comes to what kind of care you will need to ensure your bonsai leaves grow back, you will probably have many questions as to what you should do. If you want to learn what you should focus on in order to get your bonsai leaves growing, then keep reading.
What You Need to Grow Back Bonsai Leaves
What methods you use to care for your tree will vary, as any small plant can be used to create a bonsai tree. What matters when selecting a tree is the climate where you live, as well as whether the plant will be placed indoors or outdoors.
If you want the bonsai to not only survive, but thrive (and with proper care, a bonsai can outlive the owner!), then these techniques are important:
Any plant owner knows that these steps are crucial to the health of the plant. And keeping the bonsai healthy is key to ensuring that the leaves will regrow.
Anyone who has owned a plant can tell you that this is the most important technique when it comes to the survival of your plants. And yet, this technique is the one that most plant owners make mistakes with.
Watering your plant is crucial to ensuring that the leaves will grow back. The bonsai is a living tree, and like all living plants, you will need to water it to ensure that the leaves will grow-not only new leaves, but any leaves that you remove via pruning (which is explained below).
The best time to water your bonsai tree is while the soil is slightly damp. Waiting until the soil is completely dry could endanger the plant, as the soil may be too dry for the roots.
Monitoring the dampness of the soil is the best method to determine when to water the plant.
Overwatering is just as harmful as underwatering, so only water your bonsai enough to make the soil moist. Underwatering is more common since it is easy to forget to water your bonsai. The easiest way to tell whether your bonsai is underwatered is if the bonsai is brittle.
This technique is what we often think of when we think of the bonsai tree. And for a very good reason-pruning is how the bonsai gets its traditional small shape. The purpose of pruning is to remove old and dead leaves and branches.
By doing this, you eliminate useless growth, ensuring that nutrients feed the tree and enable the growth of new leaves and branches.
- The areas that you will want to focus on when you are pruning your bonsai are any twigs with more than 3 or 4 nodes, or the joints where the leaves grow
- Pruning can be used to shape the tree and improve the aesthetic of the tree
However, you must take care when pruning. Remove no more than one-third of the healthy foliage at any time. Removing more can ultimately cause harm to the plant and prevent new growth of leaves.
Using fertilizer on your tree is another important technique if you desire it to grow back new leaves. No matter the size of the bonsai, it is important that you maintain a feeding schedule, although fully grown bonsai trees can be fed with less frequency than smaller trees.
- Your tree can be fertilized with either organic or mineral fertilizer, or a combination of both
- The best time to feed your bonsai trees is usually every two weeks. After this time, check your plant to see how the leaves and the overall plant are growing
If you are using the wrong type of fertilizer, it can lead to your plant losing leaves. If this happens, research both the type of fertilizer and the type of tree you are growing.
Wiring is a technique that the beginning bonsai owner may not need, as shaping of the tree can be accomplished by simply pruning. But should you choose to step up your game, you can use wiring to help shape your tree.
Wrapping the branches in wire will allow you to bend and reposition them, which will
then promote the tree growing in different directions. If you are not happy with how the tree is growing, wiring will allow you to easily adjust how it grows, as well as how the leaves will grow back in a new direction.
The last technique to help promote growth with your bonsai is repotting. Repotting your tree has two benefits: your tree will be replenished with fresh, healthy soil, and you will be able to trim the tree’s root system. The fresh soil, as well as trimming back the roots, are going to promote the growth of new leaves on your tree.
The Redbud Bonsai: How to Grow One Yourself at Home might be an interesting article for you!
The Importance of the Right Climate
One of the most important factors that will affect new growth of bonsai leaves is keeping your plant in the proper climate and environment. As a rule, indoor bonsai will thrive when kept between 60 and 80 degrees F.
For trees that are kept outside, the primary factor you will need to be aware of is the requirements of your specific plant specimen.
As an example, bonsai trees that are deciduous tend to lose their leaves during the autumn and winter months-which means that they will regrow their leaves come the spring.
How Stress Can Affect Bonsai Leaves Growth
There is yet another factor that will affect the leaves of the bonsai. Like humans, plants can be affected by stress. Referred to as environmental stress, this can happen when the plant experiences changes because of variables such as exposure to direct sunlight, cold drafts from an open door, or being placed in a shady spot.
To minimize environmental stress, it is important to remember that like many of us, plants are creatures of habit. Once the ideal spot has been found, leave the plant where it is.
Also, consider the lighting of where the plant is. If the plant is not growing in natural light, consider using an artificial light source.
Insects and Disease
Like many plants and trees, the growth of bonsai leaves can be threatened by the presence of insects and disease. However, the issue of insects and disease-unlike feeding and watering- has a very simple solution.
To deal with insects or disease, examine your tree with a magnifying glass if needed to reveal any issues with insects or disease. Once the insects or root of the disease has been determined, simply use the right solution to get rid of the bugs or cure the disease.
Introduced over 1300 years ago in China, bonsai trees were once seen as a status symbol of the elite. Now, however, they are enjoyed by people of all status around the world.
No longer is the bonsai considered ‘elite’-many people see these trees as symbols of harmony, good luck, balance or patience.
As a bonsai is like any other tree or plant, its leaves will grow back. It will require a great deal of work and great care. It will also ensure keeping a climate conducive to the health and growth of the plant.
By following the above techniques, you can ensure that your bonsai will thrive and grow back new leaves.