How to Care for Bonsai and Bamboo

Growing bonsai trees and bamboo plants indoors is a simple and attractive way to bring the outside into the home. Caring for bonsai and bamboo is simple.

Bonsai trees and bamboo plants are popular indoor garden plants. Each type of plant has its own needs to grow and thrive properly, and gardeners should learn what each type of plant requires for successful growth. Planting indoor bamboo types, including the golden goddess or tsuboi, and bonsai trees in a terrarium or other indoor garden display is a way to create a miniature ecosystem. Growing bamboo and bonsai plants allows gardeners to bring plants inside and continue gardening throughout the year.
Growing Bonsai Plants

Grow the bamboo in a planter filled with several inches of sand, potting soil or gravel. Many bamboo plants come with their own planters and soil already prepared. Some types of bamboo benefit from having excess water in their planter, while other types need to be grown in sand or planting material without too much water.

How to Care for Bamboo

Fertilize the bamboo plant once a month. This adds nutrients to the soil and will help ensure that the bamboo plant remains strong and healthy. Prune the bamboo plant if it grows too tall or leafy. Regular pruning and trimming of the bamboo plant will keep it growing and healthy.

Leave the bamboo plant in a warm area where it receives indirect sunlight throughout the day. Do not expose the bamboo plant to direct light, as the heat can scorch the plant.

Growing Bonsai Trees

Use a bonsai planter with several inches of growth medium in it. This can be peat moss and sand or a specially formulated mixture. The planting medium should be deep enough to cover the roots of the bonsai tree. Add bonsai fertilizer to the growth medium. A small amount of fertilizer can aid in healthy growth of the tree. Add fertilizer about once a month during the active growing season of the bonsai tree.

Bonsai Care

Water the bonsai plant only when the growth media becomes dry. Bonsai plants do not need excessive watering, and too much water can weaken the plant. Bonsai tree planting mixtures are specially formulated to retain water longer and keep the plant well-watered without needing excess water.

Re-pot the bonsai every one to two years, depending on how fast it outgrows its container. The roots of the bonsai are often visible above the soil of the planter, but the root system beneath the plant can become cramped and damage the plant if the container is too small. Most bonsai plants need to be re-potted every two years, but fast-growing species need more frequent transplanting.

Prune the bonsai tree annually. Remove any straggling branches and shape the bonsai tree. Many bonsai trees can be grown into twisted and cultivated forms with proper pruning. Use bonsai pruning shears to keep the bonsai plant healthy and strong.

Prune the roots so that they cover the same area as the branches; a root system that is too large can cause a growth spurt and weaken the tree, while a small root system will not be able to support the tree.

Combining Bonsai and Bamboo Plants

Bamboo and bonsai plants can be raised together, either in the same terrarium or in an indoor planting area. Make an even mixture of peat moss and sand, and put gravel or rocks at the bottom of the shared planter or terrarium. Choose tropical species of both bamboo and bonsai trees that can be grown under similar temperatures and conditions to make care easier.

Bonsai trees and bamboo houseplants both require some care on the part of a gardener, but each type of plant can offer rewards due to their attractive appearance and the personal touches individuals can add to the plants. Creating an indoor ecosystem using bamboo and bonsai is a fun project for any gardener.

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