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 Maintaining a Blooming Bonsai

 By Erik A. Olsen

When it comes to bonsai, you will find hundreds of beautiful choices for trees. However, one of the best choices is a flowering tree or plant. With this, you enjoy the bonsai creation, as well as gorgeous flowers during the blooming season. The way in which you car for a blooming bonsai depends a lot in part on the type of plant or tree. However, we wanted to provide you with some examples of what you could expect if interested in growing and training bonsai.

Take the Dracaena marginata for example. The blooms are gorgeous but this type of plant does not do well in extreme temperature changes. Therefore, this bonsai would need to be protected from cold drafts. Typically, plants and trees chosen for bonsai can be treated just as a normal houseplant. However, to encourage blooming of the miniature Jade Tree, growing tips would need to be pinched back and the plant kept pot-bound. Jade Trees also need adequate lighting or the new growth will be spindly. Although the Jade Tree will live in lower light situations, the best blooms develop with good lighting.

Wisteria is another type of plant that makes an exceptional bonsai. To encourage this gorgeous bloom, you need to control the mass growth of shoots, suckers, tendrils, and other growth. Wisterias are fast bloomers so they need to be controlled. Keep in mind that Wisteria needs a good root run and proper soil. If they become root bound, they become stressed, which will result in poor blooming. Just remember that Wisteria do not bloom until around age five so you have to be patient.

The Camellia is a great bonsai plant that produces wonderful flowers. To ensure blooms, this plant needs to be kept in partial shade, always protected from frost. In addition, you would need to feed the Camellia every two weeks during the growing season. Then for pruning, this should be done in the wintertime or after the flower season. To promote the next seasonís blooms, any spent flowers should be removed.

Finally, the Flowering Quince, which originates in China, produces magnificent clusters of colorful flowers. Following the flowers are yellow or green fruits with a waxy, strong fragranced skin. To ensure you enjoy years of blooms, the Flowering Quince needs a lot of sunshine. Make sure the soil is well drained and the plant well watered. If you want a bushy growth with lots of flowers, you would need to remove some of the older branches annually and then prune any new growth late in the spring.

Generally, the best tips for maintaining a blooming bonsai is by removing old flowers, keeping foliage cut back, providing good soil, proper fertilization, and adequate water. Although a flowering bonsai may require a little more care, the added effort is worth it when you see the beautiful blooms year after year.

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