Sunday, October 28, 2007
Let's face it. Trees were never meant to grow indoors. The sun doesn't shine indoors, and neither does it rain.
It's not possible to totally recreate a natural environment for your bonsai in your home. Homes that are heated and cooled artificially don't have the moisture in the air that a bonsai requires. You can help that lack of humidity with the use of a humidity tray. This simply puts moisture into the air around the tree to keep it healthy.
As for rain, you can't really approximate that, either. Your tree is living in a mini environment, a pot. The "rain" that it gets should also be mini. You can and should mist your bonsai every week of so. Do this at night, and if your tree shows any sign of molds, add a tiny pinch of baking soda to the water. Do not soak your tree...just mist it.
The misting will clean dust off the leaves and branches, but is not related in any way to watering.
How much water your bonsai needs depends upon the variety of tree it is. Some will require more frequent watering than others. Do a little research on the net to find the conditions your tree needs. More on that in another posting.
One thing to remember is that nearly all bonsai will benefit from being outdoors for periods of time. This is especially true of deciduous bonsai. But leaving a deciduous bonsai outside in freezing weather is a no-no. The roots in the tiny pot cannot be protected from freezing. You can artificially create a "winter" season indoors, but it's not easy. I'll talk about "seasoning" a bonsai in a future post.