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Bonsai Feeding Schedule

Posted May 6, 2008 by matsubonsai

This year is absolutely flying by.  It seems like only yesterday that there was snow on the ground allowing only daydreams about bonsai.  So, here we are in May already.  With May comes heavy fertilizing, something that I feel isn't done nearly enough in the United States.

Proper fertilizing is the subject of far too many debates.  In bonsai we want healthy trees.  The healthier a tree is the quicker it is to recover from wiring, pruning, defoliating and decandling.  Healthy trees are stronger and can take much more abuse.  Also, increased ramification can be obtained in far less time when optimal growth is achieved.

With a nod to Michael Persiano (oh how I wish he would get a proper website) and his Superfeeding routine, here is my fertilizing schedule.



Week 1

Liquid Seaweed

Week 2

Fish Emulsion

Week 3

Liquid Seaweed + Iron

Week 4

Fish Emulsion

Start with 3-6 fertilizer cakes, depending on the size of the tree, evenly distributed across the surface of the soil.  Add 2 cakes ever 2-4 weeks onto open areas of the bonsai soil.  Fertilizer cakes can stay on the tree for 4-6 weeks before they need to be removed.  At the time of their removal they may be replaced with new cakes.

This schedule is adjusted somewhat through the growing season to control growth on different species.  For example, defoliated maples and decandled pines will get a little different treatment to control the size of leaf and length of needles.


Over the next few posts I'll be discussing several topics related to bonsai fertilization.  What does your schedule look like?  Add your comments below to join in on the discussion.

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