Fertilizers for Bonsai

Fertilizing the soil in which the Bonsai plant is grown is very important.  All plants and trees require nutrients.  In nature, trees and plants are able to send their roots deep in search of nutrients.   However , in potted bonsai plants, the soil is limited.  Over a period of time, the nutrients in the soil get depleted.


The growth of the plants stops.  Some plants become stunted.  Over time, the bonsai plant dies.
Hence, it is important that the soil is properly fertilized. 

Bonsai plants do not need any special fertilizer.  Ordinary fertilizers used for gardening will do. 
The main components of any fertilizer are Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium.  Nitrogen is necessary for the growth of leaves.  Phosphorous is required for the growth of the roots while Potassium in the form of Potash is necessary for flowering and fruit formation.

All fertilizers have the Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium contents indicated in the packaging. 
Fertilizers are usually mixed with water and poured into the soil.  The drainage holes in the bottom of the container will drain the excess fertilizer.  The mixture should be in the proper proportion according to the instructions in the packaging. 

Traditionally, Bonsai plants have been fertilized by means of natural fertilizers such as fish meal cakes.  These cakes were placed on the top of the surface.  When the bonsai plant is watered, the cakes release the nutrients which seep into the soil. 

Slow release Bonsai Fertilizers are available at most Bonsai stores. These fertilizers release the fertilizers slowly over many weeks or months. 

Do not add excess fertilizers.  Excess nitrogen in the soil can burn the roots.  It is important to understand the specific need of the different tree species.  Some tree species may require different fertilizers at different times of the year. 

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