Be a Bonsai Sleuth: What is Needle Cast and What is Overwatering for Pines?

Be a Bonsai Sleuth: What is Needle Cast and What is Overwatering for Pines?

Many of the problems we see on our bonsai look very much the same. Needle Cast, a fungus, and overwatering, a care mistake, often look a lot alike. Here are two photos that might help determine if you have one or the other of them in your yard: This pine, a Ponderosa, has been overwatered. […]

Rain and Needle Size…

Rain and Needle Size…

You may have noticed that some years we have much longer needles on our pines than other years. Why? We haven’t done anything differently… But the weather has. Those years have unseasonably high springtime rainfall. And what is water to a plant? Food. (Water + CO2 + Light = Dinner) This White Pine is showing […]

One Essential to Plant Health: Water pH

One Essential to Plant Health: Water pH

Have your trees been a bit yellow? Seem stressed out? It may be time to check your water pH. When our bonsai are watered with an acceptable pH, one variable to plant stress is removed. Mineral deficiencies (high pH) and toxicities (low pH) will be averted in that acceptable range. Any kind of water source, whether […]

And One More Watering Tip…

…since we’ve been on the subject of watering earlier this month, why not keep at it? This one is rather simple to relate. Sometimes, when watering our bonsai gardens, we might notice a tree that is always dry. It seems like minutes after we water it, the darn thing needs water again. This should set […]

Spring Watering Tip-

There are a lot of things we might say about watering bonsai. I’ve tried a few times on this blog to mention some of them. Some are hard to make sense of in words, but as ever I’m willing to try. This one is about watering recently repotted trees. At post-repotting time we need to […]

Automatic watering systems for bonsai?

No. Well, mostly no. I used an automatic system for bonsai while living in Arizona. I did not have any dreadful experiences, and I only used it on trips, but I learned some of their shortcomings from that and from watching others use them. The main reservation with automatic systems is that each species needs different […]

Spring Watering Tips—

Once again let’s wade into the deep waters of writing about the basics of bonsai. This time, watering. Of course, there are many methods of watering… This method seems a bit erratic. Watering bonsai should be more uniform, with the timing less related to our own needs. The rule of thumb we are taught is that […]

Freezing weather and watering!

We’re having a week of overnight freezes here in Portland, Oregon following a few days of bright sun and drying winds. The pots are—for once—drying out. One of the most dangerous things about freezing weather for bonsai is dry soil. Pots breaking is truly a secondary concern. Bad root damage can occur if there is […]

Watering change up—

Related to yesterday’s post, our watering changes too with the beginning of fall and the cooler temperatures. Relatively higher summertime night temperatures will dry out pots quickly; in the fall, the pots will dry out slower, and we need to be awake to that shift. If you have been watering by rote in the hot […]

Yet Another Watering Problem…

Probably the worst thing we might encounter when we have a hose in our hand is a tree that, when we think about it, has not dried out in three days of sunny summer weather. That ought to send off all kinds of alarm bells in your head. If none go off, install some. First […]