Winter Care Options-
Every year I get many questions regarding winter care of bonsai, which is lovely of course since we spend so much time worritin’ over their management during the growing season that it would be a shame not to properly worrit over their hibernation quarters, too.
But rather than an epistle on winter care, here are a few shots of my bonsai garden showing several options, and a comment or two about them. Some possibilities I don’t have here, like a cold frame. But examples of placement on the ground and inside a greenhouse I do have.
For many who live continental climates, especially those much colder than what I have here in Western Oregon, USA, a greenhouse is a wise choice. The shelter of a greenhouse will protect from wind, frost, and snow, all of which, given enough of it, can cause damage to bonsai.
Trimmed accent plants on the ground underneath the benches in the greenhouse. Small pots are more subject to environmental extremes and are at more risk to exposure.
Outdoors on the ground is an option for those in semi-mild areas (like myself) where there are still frequent light freezes but not many severe ones. The heat from the earth keeps the pots a bit warmer. With very cold temps and a lot snow and wind this simple placement on the ground will not be enough protection. For those cold winter areas a cold frame or better yet a temperature controlled greenhouse is a safer bet.
Gravel bellied up against the pots and boxes helps protect them. We also screw them in a bit to be sure the bottoms are in good contact with the gravel.
Near a fence or other structure can provide light protection from winds.
And a few under the protection of eaves. Those living in areas that rarely get down to freezing may leave bonsai on the benches. Feel free to ask questions about winter care in your area.