Feeding Bonsai

What and when do I feed my bonsai?

To keep your bonsai in good shape and to maintain healthy growth requires regular feeding at the right time of year with the correct fertilizer. Fertilizer must be continually replenished due to a certain amount being washed out each time the plant is watered.

You can get many different types of fertilizers, in a variety of forms. The most common is pellet-form (such as 'Osmocote'). This is a slow-release fertilizer which will take care of feeding requirements for several weeks at a time and is probably the type of fertilizer most used by bonsai enthusiasts.

Soluble powder and liquid feeds are also used for rapid effect over short-term periods. These are applied to the soil with a watering can and are used up relatively quickly.

To understand exactly how your bonsai should be fertilized, you must be able to understand the basic make-up of fertilizers. Most fertilizers contain three basic elements: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K).