Guide to pet-friendly house plants

Plants and pets are two things that we adore in life. Unfortunately, many common plants are toxic to cats and dogs. Since some plants are poisonous, once eaten, they cause convulsions, tremors, and even death. Even the most well-behaved pets are sure to nibble a houseplant at a particular moment. You need to know how to choose pet-friendly house plants that are safe for your four-legged companions. I strongly recommend that you add greenery to your house to help clean the air and enhance your mood while also ensuring that your pet is safe.

Pet friendly plants

©Shutterstock: Even the most well-behaved pets are sure to nibble a houseplant at a particular moment. 

Types of pet-friendly house plants

There are many pet-friendly plants available, so you can enjoy the many advantages of houseplants even if you have a cat or dog with you. I’ve put up a list of plants that are sure to make you and your pets happy.

Parlor Palm

A parlour palm is a tiny tree that pet owners can keep. This low-maintenance, pet-friendly houseplant is also an excellent place to start for novices. It thrives in bright, indirect light, but it may also flourish in low light. When the top inch of soil is dry, water it, and your parlour palm might grow to be eight feet tall (though four feet is more common).

Spider Plant

One of the easiest houseplants to maintain is this one. Growing new spider plants from the babies that the mother plant produces is also quite effortless. The spider plant loves bright, indirect light, although it may also thrive in low light.

spider plant

©Suttons: Spider plants are incredibly easy to grow in your home.

Allowing the soil to dry between waterings will enable your plant to develop to a height of 12 inches and a width of 24 inches, as well as generate many baby plants.

Chinese Money Plant (Pilea)

Pilea is a pet-friendly home plant that prefers indirect sunlight or a shaded location, as well as less regular watering. Treat yours well, and you’ll be rewarded with a plethora of new pups to propagate and distribute with others wanting to spruce up their WFH area or other home space.

Chinese Money Plant (Pilea) – a lovely and compact little plant that will happily sit on your desk looking cute. It’s robust and can handle a bump and a scrape. The leaves may pop off, but they’ll grow back in no time.

Maranta (Prayer Plant)

With its height of six to eight inches, a prayer plant is perfect for compact places such as bookshelves and end tables. It gets its name from the way its crimson, cream, and green leaves curl up at night. It’s also one of the simplest houseplants to cultivate that’s also pet-friendly. Maranta prefers medium to low light, and you may allow the soil to dry out a little between waterings.

Polka Dot Plant

Add a burst of design and color to miniature gardens, terrariums, mixed pots, and more with a polka dot plant. This pet-friendly plant comes in pink or white hues, and while it may grow up to three feet tall, it generally stays tiny in pots (around 12 inches). Keep the soil continuously damp and place it in a position that receives bright, indirect light.

polka dot plant

©Thompson & Morgan: Colourful foliage will brighten up your indoor space.

Various Types of Ferns

It can be difficult to distinguish between ferns and other plants that have the term “fern” in their name but are not members of the fern family. Indoor plants that are safe for pets include true ferns like Boston and maidenhair. Just keep an eye out for poisonous misnomers like asparagus fern, which is actually a lily. They prefer evenly wet soil, high humidity levels, and indirect light.

The Boston fern, a highly air-purifying pet-friendly home plant, provides excitement and drama wherever it is planted with its delicate spears. Note that, as lovable as this houseplant is, ferns don’t like to be handled too much because human hands are oily. Place it in a humid location near the bathroom or kitchen and out of paws’ reach if possible!

Succulents

Many popular succulents, such as hens and chicks, and echeverias, aren’t harmful, but it’s essential to do your homework on each one because so many kinds are available. While jade looks similar to other succulents, it is harmful to dogs. When cultivated indoors, most succulents only reach a height of a few inches. They thrive in bright sunshine and require watering once a week.

Echeveria

©Thompson & Morgan: Echeverias are non-toxic and low maintenance.

Succulents are also very easy to transfer and move – the functionality is vital for moving with pets because you want to create a stress-free experience for your furry friend. And your attention should be shared between your pet and the plants during this process, but the pet should get the bigger portion.

Plants that are unsafe for pets

A saurprising number of plants are harmful to your furry friends, including indoor and outdoor species. Poisonous plants can cause everything from mild irritation to death. Although some are more dangerous than others, it pays to be informed and maintain your house and yard pet-friendly by either avoiding poisonous plants or going for pet-friendly indoor plants. Some variants you should avoid are:

  • Lily (Belladona and Kaffir are particularly toxic)
  • Hawaiian Ti
  • Aloe Vera
  • Sago Palm
  • Ornamental Pepper Plant
  • Winter Cherry
  • Amaryllis
  • Rubber plant

HOW DO YOU KEEP PETS FROM EATING YOUR PLANTS?

Getting pet-friendly house plants is the safest option for our furry friends. However, you should also ensure they don’t nibble on them. Moving your plants out of reach is the best way – for example, using high shelves that tiny paws cannot access. Because cats dislike the smell of citrus, you may repel them by spraying diluted lemon juice on your plant. Animals can also mistake plants for toys, so providing them with their pet-safe toys to play with may help to divert their attention away from your plants.

 

Anthurium Plant Care Guide

Anthurium is tropical species that we are lucky enough to be able to cultivate in our homes. This plant stands out with large, dark green, heart-shaped leaves. It is an evergreen plant that can bloom for months without excessive care. Some of the more popular species are Anthurium Crystallinum, Clarinervium, Veitchii but there are many more.

In adult plants, the leaves reach an impressive size, accompanied by unique flowers every year from June to February that will last for months.

Anthurium plant

©Shutterstock: Anthurium plants produce flowers every year from June to February that will last for months.

 

Have I drawn your attention yet? Keep reading and you will learn how to cultivate this unique plant like a trained botanist!

Soil Requirements for Anthurium Care

These epiphytes usually grow in rock cracks or on limestone soil. They have big, fleshy roots that can easily rot in moist soil. Soil should be adjusted to the original conditions of this amazing plant so a well-drained, light and the loose substrate is best.

The roots need constant good aeration, but the soil mixture should retain enough moisture to keep them hydrated between watering. They need a balanced substrate that is neither too dry nor too moist.

Orchid and potting soil mixture or a pre-made orchid mix is most commonly used. You can prepare the right mixture for your flamingo flower by yourself. Use a mixture of humus, peat, and sharp sand. The soil must be highly permeable. A slightly acidic soil can also have great benefits for these plants. The recommended range is from 5.5 pH to 6.5 pH.

Anthurium Light Requirements

A location with partial shade or indirect daylight will make Anthuriums thrive. They can tolerate the gentle early sun, and they will greatly appreciate the long hours of bright light for the rest of the day. Keep in mind that they can’t stand being exposed to direct sun rays.

East-facing windows are most favorable for this plant. Windows facing West will provide enough light, but be careful because the intense afternoon sun could scorch their leaves. Direct sun exposure on a south-facing window will almost certainly be too intense for this tropical plant.

Anthurium plant

©Thompson & Morgan: A location with partial shade or indirect daylight will make Anthuriums thrive

 

Once a week, clean the leaves of your plant with a damp cloth. Cleaning the leaves is healthy for the whole plant. Removing dust allows better absorption of natural light and encourages plant growth.

Anthurium Watering Needs

These tropical beauties need regular watering. During the summer, they should be watered moderately every two to three days. During the winter you can water once every ten to twelve days. It is recommended to use rainwater, distilled or boiled water which has been left to cool.

One way to make sure you don’t over-water your plant is to place the pot in a deeper container of water and leave it to soak for a while. When you notice that the air bubbles have stopped coming out, move the pot onto the side to drain before returning it to its usual position.

When pouring the water directly into the pot, make sure the soil is allowed to dry well before the next watering. Anthurium plants have thick, dense roots that rot easily in waterlogged soil. The appearance of yellow and dry Anthurium leaves can happen due to excessive watering or soil dryness.

Temperature and Humidity

Anthurium is native to the rainforests of Mexico, so it is quite natural that they require a humid environment and high indoor temperatures for proper growth.

The optimal temperature range is between 16C (60.8°F) and 30C (86°F). The temperature of the room should be balanced at all times, because sudden jumps or drops in temperature could damage the plant.

Given the natural habitat of this plant, it’s not surprising that the ideal place for your Anthurium plant is the bathroom or kitchen due to the increased humidity. These are the rooms that will best resemble the warm, humid conditions that they enjoy. If you want to place it somewhere else, make sure it is as far away from the heaters as possible, because they dry the moisture from the air.

Adequate humidity during the summer months can be maintained by spraying the foliage with a mist of warm water. In summer, when the heat is great, they can be sprayed several times during the day, and in winter once a day when the air in the room is dry. Avoid excessive spraying is also not good as it can lead to necrosis of the leaves.

Fertilizing

If you want to have a plant of lush and large leaves, fertilize twice a month from spring to autumn. Avoid feeding in winter when growth is minimal. Keep in mind that too much fertilizer can be just as harmful as excessive watering.

For potted plants like your Anthurium, liquid fertilizers are better absorbed and easy to apply. They are highly concentrated, so you would have to dilute them before use. Always follow the instructions carefully.

Anthurium plant

©Thompson & Morgan: If you want to have a plant of lush and large leaves, fertilize twice a month from spring to autumn.

 

Propagation

These ornamental plants can be propagated in the spring by planting seeds, or by dividing young plants that grow at the base of a large plant.

Anthurium seeds are sown in the same soil in which the adult plant was grown. Until the seedlings sprout, it is recommended to keep the pots in partial shade. When the first shoots sprout, move the pots to the bright daylight. Finally, take the young plants out of the ground with the roots and plant them in a separate pot.

When using the root division method, it is necessary to remove the plant from the pot. Divide them gently without damaging the roots. They should be planted immediately in different pots.

When using older plants to divide the roots, make sure that each part has its root system and leaves. Store the pots in a place with high humidity where temperatures never go below 16C (60.8°F). These babies should be watered regularly to keep the compost moist.

Repotting and Pruning

Young Anthuriums are sometimes transplanted once a year due to intensive growth. It is advised to transplant in March or April. Older plants are usually transplanted once every two years or whenever the roots become tight in their pots.

Anthurium plant

©Thompson & Morgan: Older plants are usually transplanted once every two years or whenever the roots become tight in their pots.

 

The new pot should match the size of the plant. Never transplant into oversized pots, but one or two sizes larger than the old one .  Choose a fairly wide and low pot because of the short roots this species has. The above-ground part of the plant should remain above the ground and, as it grows, additionally cover it with a loose base of moss.

Summary

With gentle care, Anthurium will grow and bloom for many years. It is extremely durable and doesn’t require a lot of time to give it the conditions it needs. I’m sure it will be worth the effort when you feel the touch of exotic tropical regions spreading through your home. Here’s a quick summary of my Anthurium growing tips!

  • Use a fast-draining substrate
  • Provide medium to bright light exposure
  • Keep the air humid by misting
  • Water regularly with distilled water
  • Maintain temperature
  • Feed it with organic fertilizer
  • Cut damaged leaves regularly
  • Transplant every two years

Indoor Plants: The Natural Air Purifiers (We Need To Know More About)

While many people are not aware of it, the fact is that indoor plants act as nature’s very own air purifiers. Many scientists have now suggested that it is very important to use air-purifying plants in both your home as well as your office to help detoxify the atmosphere in the space where you live and breathe.

©Shutterstock: Some species of house plant are particularly good at filtering toxins from our homes.

According to a study conducted by NASA, there are quite a few air-purifying plants and their associated microorganisms have the potential to detoxify your home from air pollutants, various toxins, and bacteria.

 It has now been confirmed that the more the plants in your home, the easier it is for them to work collectively and make a substantial difference in the overall quality of the air inside. They are also known for their calming effect, reducing stress and improving your wellbeing. Best of all, indoor houseplants are now part and parcel of many interior design books. In fact these plants are now rapidly becoming a trend that is here to stay!

Let’s take a look at which plants make great investments in terms of increasing the air quality in your home.

 

Baberton Daisy (Gerbera)

Gerberas are some of the prettiest plants out there and not only does it help to inject a cheerful burst of bright orange, red, pink, or yellow, into your home, it is also a highly effective cleanser. It rids the air of many common toxins that are typically found in household equipment. This includes trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, as well as benzene which are found in a vast range of different household materials, such as paints and many common synthetic fibres. 

©Thompson & Morgan: Baberton Daisies will purify the air and make a pretty house plant too!

You should place the plant in a room where there is plenty of natural light while trying to keep the soil reliably moist, but with adequate drainage.

 

Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

The snake plant also goes by the rather tongue-in-cheek name “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue.” Once you place this plant in your bedroom, you can rest assured that you will be in for a really good night’s sleep. It belongs to the succulent plants’ group and this particular yellow-tipped succulent has the capacity to release plenty of oxygen at night.

©Thompson & Morgan: Sanseviera is a low maintenance plant that releases plenty of oxygen at night.

Furthermore, the Snake Plant is also one of the best plants when it comes to filtering the air in your home of the toxic chemicals formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, xylene, and trichloroethylene. While it thrives as a potted plant, you should be careful not to overwater this plant as its roots are prone to rot in excessively moist soil.

 

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace Lilies are popular for their glossy leaves and elegant white flowers, but they are also rated one of the best for improving air quality. These plants neutralise toxic gases like benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide making your home a safer and cleaner place. They will even improve the humidity of a room, boosting it by up to 5%.

©Shutterstock: Peace Lilies are one of the best choices for improving air quality in your home.

With their calming good looks and air purifying abilities, they make a great choice for enhancing the tranquillity of your bedroom to ensure a better night’s sleep. Give your Peace Lily a bright spot away from hot direct sun and it will thrive with minimal upkeep.

 

Placement of Air Purifying House Plants

All these plants must be placed carefully if you are going to utilize them properly, while simultaneously making sure that your home looks as nice as possible. If the plant is unable to flourish then it won’t be able to do its job, so it’s important to ensure that you provide the best growing conditions for your plants.

Consider their light requirements as some prefer hot sun, while other enjoy a shaded spot. If their leaves become scorched then they will be less effective at purifying the air.  You’ll also need to learn how much water each plant requires, and remember to feed them regularly too!

©Shutterstock: Position plants carefully to ensure that they flourish.

You may even need an unassembled cabinet to store all the equipment one needs to grow plants indoors. It will save you the hassle of going outside to the shed to fetch tools for your houseplants each time they need some attention.

Houseplants are an awesome way of purifying the air in your home in a perfectly safe and 100 percent natural manner. There are plenty of plants that can detoxify your home, and purify the air you breathe in your living space so it’s well worth investing in a few.

 

How To Live Happily Ever After With Your Indoor Plants

Gone are the days when plants were restricted to balconies or gardens. In modern decor, they are being given a place in the drawing-room, the kitchen, and even the bedroom. Apart from adding to the beauty of your indoor spaces, plants also purify the air and make the environment healthy. They regulate the levels of oxygen in the air and reduce carbon dioxide.

These plants are not even expensive and also work to uplift people’s moods and cheer them up. Now, having plants in your house isn’t as easy as it sounds. Therefore, in this article, we shall be addressing ways to keep your plants healthy and take good care of them.

House plants in a bright room

©Shutterstock – Apart from adding to the beauty of your indoor spaces, plants also purify the air and make the environment healthy.

 

What are the best indoor plants?

There are many plants (especially, the tropical ones) that can be grown in small pots in your home. Sansevieria, Philodendron, Pothos, ZZ plant, and most succulents make excellent indoor plants.

A good indoor plant must have two basic properties. It should be able to grow in less humidity and less light than most outdoor plants. It also shouldn’t grow at a rapid rate, since you have limited space indoors for plants.

Here are a few plants that are perfect for being grown indoors.

Aspidistra:

A low maintenance plant which will not consume much water and can even survive periods of drought (when you are away on holiday). This plant also does not require much light to grow making it useful for shaded corners of your home.

Aspidistra plant

©T&M – Aspidistra copes well with low light levels.

Aglaonema:

These plants are mostly planted for their attractive foliage but they will also grow in a wide range of light conditions and do not grow particularly quickly.

Philodendrons:

These plants are very easy to grow, even for beginners, and cope very well with indoor conditions. Climbing Philodendrons can be trained to make use of vertical spaces making them especially versatile.

How to take care of your indoor plants:

Choosing the right plants to grow indoors will make caring for them so much easier. Different plants need different kind of care. Therefore, a suitable amount of research must be done to ensure that plants are taken good care of. Here are some tips that could help you get the best from your houseplants.

  1. You must make sure that the soil in which you have planted your plant isn’t too dry or too moist. Take the time to learn what moisture level you plants require as they will all vary.
  2. Choose a pot that has holes in its bottom, so that excess water can be drained away through it to prevent waterlogging.
  3. Ensure that your plants receive appropriate amounts of light (either artificially or naturally). Again, take some time to learn what light levels your chosen plants require and then position them with this in mind.
Agave plants on a bright windowsill

©T&M – Ensure that your plants receive appropriate amounts of light.

 

Where can indoor plants be placed?

You could choose some small plants like Chinese Money Plant and Begonia rex and place them on your desk in your workspace, or on a windowsill or shelf. Some plants that are a bit larger are better positioned as a table centre piece or stood on the ground in your living areas to create a focal point. Philodendrons, Monstera and Kentia Palms make good choices.

Monstera plant on a table

©Shutterstock – Large plants are best positioned as a table centre piece or stood on the ground in your living areas to create a focal point.

By using potted plants, you can implement some home remodeling changes, adding those finishing touches to your interior design.

Conclusion:

There are many other benefits of having indoor plants. They increase the amount of oxygen in the air, make the air fresh, uplift your mood and also add to the decor of your house. There are so many houseplants to choose from that you are sure to find one to suit your style.

 

How to Grow Hibiscus

Hibiscus flowers are one of the most beautiful flowers you can find. And guess what? They can be easily grown in your own home or garden.

Let’s discuss what are the most popular types of Hibiscus and what you can do to properly care for them, whether you opt for a hardy garden variety or a tender house plant.

 

Types of Hibiscus

In total, there are more than 200 known species of Hibiscus. The most suitable Hibiscus to grow indoors is Chinese Hibiscus, otherwise known as Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Whereas Hibiscus syriacus, or if we use its other name, Rose of Sharon prefers to be grown outdoors.  Hardy Hibiscus syriacus are more widely available that the the tender indoor types, and you will find a superb range of flower colours on offer.

Now, let’s find out a bit more about them.

 

1. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Apollo’

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis ‘Apollo’ has very pretty flowers with a mix of yellow, orange, and red colors, making it look almost like a Sun, hence its name, after the Greek god of Sun. This variety was bred especially for larger flowers, so it makes quite an impression in the conservatory or a bright, sunny room indoors.

Hibiscus 'Apollo'

©Zenflora – Hibiscus ‘Apollo’ produces dazzling flowers!

 

2. Hibiscus syriacus ‘Pink Chiffon’

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Pink Chiffon’ is quite recognizable, due to its ruffled, double pink flowers that don’t appear until quite late in the summer, but deliver plenty of colour while early summer plants are starting to fade. It really likes direct sunlight, enjoying 6 hours of direct sun per day, so make sure it is placed in a bright location.

Hibiscus Pink Chiffon

©Shutterstock – Hibiscus Pink Chiffon boasts ruffled, double blooms.

 

3. Hibiscus ‘Starburst Chiffon’

Hibiscus ‘Starburst Chiffon’ will really add an exotic feel to your garden, with its huge semi- double flowers with the crimson-red streaks. This hibiscus species can grow up to 150cm in height and spread, making a fabulous specimen shrub that will really make an eye-catching display.

Hibiscus 'Starburst Chiffon'

©De Nolf – Hibiscus ‘Starburst Chiffon’ is a real eye-catcher!

 

4. Hibiscus ‘Big Hibiskiss’

Hibiscus ‘Big Hibiskiss’ comes with extra big flowers that grow up to 18cm (7”) across! It makes an incredible focal point for late summer borders. This impressive variety comes from British breeding, with flowers that are much flatter than most other varieties.

Hibiscus 'Big Hibiskiss'

©De Jong – Hibiscus ‘Big Hibiskiss’ has been bred for extra-large flowers.

 

5. Hibiscus syriacus ‘Oiseau Bleu’

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Oiseau Bleu’ is  a real head-turner for its silky blue flowers. Like many Hibiscus it is often one of the last plants in the garden to begin leafing-up after winter – often not until May. It’s worth waiting for though, as the late summer flowers will keep going right into autumn.

Hibiscus 'Oiseau Bleu'

©Shutterstock – Hibiscus ‘Oiseau Bleu’ flowers right through to autumn.

 

Hibiscus Care

Watering

First of all, most Hibiscus like moderately wet soil, with the ability to drain well. This means that if you are gardening on clay soil, you may need to mix in some grit, sand and garden compost when planting , to increase its drainage.

If you are growing it in a pot then make sure that there are plenty of drainage holes in the base of the pot to allow good drainage, and prevent it becoming water-logged.

Pot grown plants will need regular watering during the summer months. Plants grown in borders should be able to look after themselves once they are established, so you will only need to water them for the first month or two after planting.

Hibiscus in the garden

©Shutterstock – Hibiscus are quite low maintenance once they are established in borders.

Sunlight

Hibiscus likes sunlight, so whether you are growing a hardy variety outdoors or a tender houseplant, make sure that they are in a bright spot.

Fertiliser

You can use fertiliser to help your hibiscus to grow. Feed them with a liquid plant food every 4 weeks from spring to late summer.

Pruning

Indoor Hibiscus rosa-sinensis won’t really need pruning so there’s no need to worry if you are growing this type.

Hardy Hibiscus syriacus should be pruned in in late spring, just as the leaf buds are opening. Remove any dead or damaged branches, and lightly prune the rest to shape the plant.

As you can see, Hibiscus plants are really easy to grow and don’t need a lot of special care. You can enjoy their bright flowers outdoors or in your home. Wherever you grow yours, you will love its exotic-looking flowers!

 

Essential Tips for Growing Indoor Bonsai Trees

The ancient art of bonsai has long been revered for its ability to draw inner peace, centre the mind, and cultivate a deep connection with the natural world. What’s more, if you’re keeping an indoor bonsai tree, science tells us they also help to purify the air we breathe in addition to serving as a stunning ornamental centerpiece for the home or office.

Here I’ll share a few essential tips and considerations if you’re looking to grow and nurture a bonsai in your home. What’s great is bonsai trees aren’t as arduous as you might think and with a few well followed guidelines you too can enjoy the great benefits of bonsai.

 

Bonsai tree

©Shutterstock – Bonsai trees are easier to grow than you might think!

 

Picking a Suitable Indoor Bonsai Tree

It’s important to note that only tropical or subtropical trees should be considered for indoor bonsai. All temperate trees require a period of dormancy during the winter season to complete their annual growth cycles.

Great choices for indoor bonsai (particularly if you’re new to bonsai life) include the Carmona (Fukien Tea Tree), Zelkova (or Japanese Elm), Ligustrum (Privet), Ficus (Retusa and Ginseng), and the Sageretia (Chinese sweet plum).

Where to Place Your New Bonsai Tree

Much like caring for a houseplant, a key factor is going to be the light conditions you’re able to offer the bonsai tree throughout the day. 

 

Bonsai tree

©Shutterstock – A bright spot with indirect sunlight is ideal.

 

As a general rule, aim to keep your bonsai in a position where it mainly receives indirect light for the majority of the day (short periods of bright direct light are fine).

Definitely avoid any south-facing window ledges, particularly during summer months as this may cause your bonsai tree to overheat. Similarly, avoid close proximity to radiators or free standing heaters during the winter.

Watering Your Bonsai Tree

Ensuring your bonsai is regularly watered is absolutely essential. Your exact living environment, relative humidity, and the type of tree will play a factor but you should aim to monitor soil moisture levels daily initially. A few key pointers:

  • A bonsai should never be allowed to dry completely. Check the relative moisture level approximately 1cm under the soil’s surface (your finger is fine or you could also use a soil moisture probe as well). If dry, your tree is ready for it’s next watering.
  • When watering, aim to cover the entire soil surface so the roots have the best chance of receiving a good soaking.
  • A good technique is to water the tree from above using a watering can with a fine nozzle to avoid disturbing the soil on the surface.
  • I’d recommend investing in some form of tray to catch the drained water as it flows through the soil. This will also help to create a nice humid atmosphere around the tree in-between watering cycles.

 

Bonsai tree

©Shutterstock – Ensuring your bonsai is regularly watered is absolutely essential. 

 

When to Feed Your Bonsai Tree

Bonsai trees require a little help with feeding as the natural roots aren’t able to dig deep into the ground to draw nutrients as a regular tree would do in the wild.

It’s really important to use the correct type of bonsai fertilizer with a high phosphate level. Follow the instructions detailed on the package but generally the tree should receive a feed every 1 to 2 weeks from spring through to the end of summer and monthly from late autumn through winter.

Pruning Your Bonsai Tree

The cornerstone of the art of bonsai is maintaining a regular pruning and trimming schedule to preserve their overall beauty and aesthetics.

The trick is to keep an eye on new growth (particularly during spring to summer months) and aim to pinch back to the overall shape you’re looking to maintain. These will typically appear as growth from the tree’s main branches and trunk. Once they reach around 3cm it’s a good time to cut back with sharp scissors as neatly to it’s parent branch as possible.

Don’t be too over-vigorous as a little growth is important for the tree’s overall health and wellbeing.

 

Bonsai tree

©Shutterstock – Use scissors to prune new growth.

 

When to Repot Your Bonsai Tree

Bonsai trees will typically outgrow their pots every 1 to 2 years. The best time to check the root structure and consider re-potting is early spring. If the roots have completely filled the current pot it’s a good time to consider stepping up to the next container size. 

When repotting, it’s important to use a suitable bonsai soil mix. These will have the correct balance of peat and perlite with some added feed to ensure your tree gets all the nutrients it needs.

Wrap-up

Nurturing a bonsai tree at home is a really rewarding pastime. By following a few simple steps each week you’ll quickly learn to understand your own tree’s unique needs and preferences. Before you know it you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master in the art of bonsai. Enjoy!

 

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