Review: Plant Moisture Meters (A Side by Side Review)

In my quest to firmly grasp the art of bonsai, I’m eager for any tool that will help add a dollop of science to the art form.   Through the years I’ve been dabbling I’ve lost a lot of bonsai, and I believe most plants that have died have been from over or under watering. There are plenty of other …

Who Makes the Best Bonsai Tools?

Who makes the best bonsai tools? The answer used to be Masakuni, but is it anymore?   Good bonsai tools are a bit like good knives. They aren’t necessary to do the job, but they make tasks easier and more pleasant. One could argue the cheapest $50 bonsai tool set will work just fine if you keep it clean and …

How to Choose Bonsai Material From Nursery Stock

In the event you don’t have a plethora of material to work with you’ll have to pick something up. One of the options that’s always listed is going to your local nursery and selecting something, because unlike finding in the wild or salvaging something from your property or that of your neighbor, going to a nursery is always an option. …

How Do I Fertilize My Bonsai?

Do bonsai trees need fertilizer? Yes, most if not all bonsai absolutely do. Your plants may live for a while, even a long time, without fertilizer. But bonsai trees need fertilizer for optimal growth, fruiting, flowering, and overall health.   Why is Fertilizing Important? Bonsai are trees grown in little pots. What we’re doing is by definition taking a plant …

Top 11 Reasons Your Store Bonsai Tree is Dying

You got a small store bought bonsai as a gift. It looked great so you put it on your desk and it looked so happy for a while. But now it’s starting to look pathetic and die.   The Top 11 Reasons Your Store Bonsai Tree is Dying Are: You don’t know what you have. It’s fairly common for the …

What Kind of Bonsai Soil Should I Use?

Much like asking Chicagolanders “who makes the best pizza?” or asking Washingtonians “What’s the best way to get from Falls Church to Old Town at rush hour?” bonsai lovers seem to enjoy discussing (debating) what components of their growing mix they pot their trees in. My first year, or two was spent listening to various bonsai comrades and trying to …

How to build a bonsai bench

You know you need to keep your bonsai outside.  You’ve considered the light and wind. But now what? Do you just sit them on the ground? Ideally bonsai should be kept off the ground to allow for better drainage and to reduce the risk of pests or disease moving into your pots. It also isn’t particularly easy to get a …

How to make a fruit-bearing bonsai tree

Having a fruit-bearing bonsai tree has understandable appeal. They look really cool. If you’ve seen pictures usually you have the smaller tree and these big bits of fruit on them, it looks crazy and fantastic. When people come see your place they’re bound to be impressed. To learn how, to grow a fruit bearing bonsai, you kind of have to …

Why is my jasmine bonsai tree turning yellow?

I have a small jasmine that was likely the cutting of a branch on another plant. When I got it, it was far taller than I’d like with foliage only on the top. I’ve had it a couple years and reduced the height by half. Though it flowered nicely this past summer with delicate white flowers I’d hesitate to ever …

When to repot an azalea after treating it for black leaf spotting

One of my azaleas had black leaf spots a month or so ago. I moved in and treated the situation, and think it’s under control. But… it’s in a big cheap pot. The disposable kind from a box store. I suspect the tree was harvested from the wild and stuck in there a year or two ago. With the arrival …