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How To Take Care Of Bonsai Tree In Winter?- Overwintering Bonsai Bushes.

care of bonsai tree in winter

The right way to care for bonsai tree in winter is without doubt one of the most typical queries now we have acquired from bonsai house owners. So very first thing first, I guarantee you that if in case you have the identical question or your bonsai is dealing with difficulties in winter, you aren’t alone. 

Solely you understand how a lot effort you might have put into your bonsai and also you don’t desire a gust of chilled wind going over them and ruining all of your onerous work.

With winter approaching, your bonsai will put together to fight it like its massive tree counterparts within the wild. However as bonsai, they’re extra susceptible as they don’t seem to be rooted within the floor and you’re the just one they’ll rely upon for cover. 

As part of the bonsai cultivation neighborhood, I handled a whole bunch of distinctive bonsai species and skilled their ups and downs in winter, so I feel I’m eligible sufficient to information you on this matter. 

Fast details:

  • Bonsai bushes can deal with lower than their excellent temperature for just a few weeks.
  • Regardless of how hardy your bonsai is, if the temperature is under 15 levels Fahrenheit your tree wants some sort of winter safety. 
  • Juniper is without doubt one of the most winter hardy bonsai.
  • Bonsais that love shiny heat circumstances (e.g. oak, maple, juniper) profit from out of doors winterization. 
  • The vast majority of the bonsais do effective with minimal winter care. 

Now let’s discuss methods to care for bonsai tree in winter care intimately; 

Issues to think about whereas taking good care of bonsai tree in winter:

There are just a few key factors you want to remember earlier than offering winter safety to your bonsai. These will enable you to determine on the extent of care every bonsai wants. 

The area you’re residing in:

Coldness in winter hits in another way in several areas. That being mentioned if the winters are delicate the place you reside (temperature hardly drops under 30 levels F) your tree wouldn’t require any sort of safety. 

Species of bonsai:

Ignoring bonsai species is probably the most important mistake bonsai mother and father make whereas taking good care of bonsai tree in winter.

We frequently imagine all bonsai bushes want winterization throughout winter or can’t be left outdoor throughout chilly temperatures. 

That is merely not correct. 

Temperate species like maple, juniper, and elm, nearly all of coniferous and deciduous species can tolerate inconsistent ranges of chilly temperatures in winter. Actually, a lot of them demand sure low temperatures for a particular time period, or else they’ll lose vigor or fail to supply fruits and flowers. 

This isn’t the identical for sub-tropical or tropical bonsai species. Bushes like ficus and jade don’t develop effectively when it will get chilly. Tropical species which can be cultivated indoors usually don’t demand particular bonsai winter care, however out of doors bonsai, want winterization if the temperature goes under 40 levels F. 

Indoor and out of doors bonsai:

Care of bonsai tree in winter usually appears very totally different relying on the location of the bonsai.

Indoor bonsai bushes like maple, ficus retusa, and Fukien tea ought to keep indoors in winter as effectively, as they want heat temperatures to outlive until the temperature of your space stays over 25 levels Celsius all 12 months spherical. 

Out of doors bonsai require safety relying on the degrees of temperature fall it faces throughout winter months. If the bottom temperature (zero levels Celsius) stays just for just a few days, it may well stay with none safety, but when it stays for an extended time period it requires to be stored inside a shelter or below shade. 

Figuring out which species of your bonsai tree wants safety in winter:

To find out which bonsai wants winter safety, understanding their hardiness zone is essential. The correct option to decide bonsai’s chilly hardiness is to match the plant’s USDA  hardiness zone and the zone you’re rising the tree.

However the subject is that the zone designation is restricted to in-ground crops and as bonsai stay in containers temperature falls have an effect on them a lot more durable than inground crops. 

There’s a guide referred to as  “Bonsai Heresy” by Michael Hagedorn, which is sort of a cheat sheet for bonsai house owners. It has an in depth description of the cold-tolerant energy of various bonsai species. 

[To learn more about the book check out Bonsai Tonight’s review.] 

  • ​Particular person toughness additionally performs a significant function within the chilly hardiness of two bushes of comparable sort. It occurs after they develop up in two totally different atmospheres. 
  • Identical to older folks want extra heat in chilly climate in comparison with younger, energetic of us, your older bonsai wants further safety than the youthful ones, particularly should you see them shedding branches in winter. 
  • Should you only in the near past plucked a tree from the wild or dug one up from the bottom, these bushes want further care within the winter, as a result of they don’t seem to be used to the chilly but.
  • The dimensions of the pots your bonsai bushes stay in issues too. Greater pots present higher insulation for the roots, like a giant, cozy jacket. Smaller pots are like thinner jackets, so the roots can get colder.
  • And in case your bonsai tree was sick earlier than, like if it had bugs or a fungus drawback, it wants further consideration when you are taking good care of bonsai tree in winter.

Hardiness detection could be finished by your commentary, however right here’s an inventory of bushes in line with my commentary;

Species that don’t want winter safety Species that want winter safety
Larch Ficus
Cedar  Fukien tea species
Jackpine Jade
Juniper  Olive 
Maple Weeping fig
Elms  Pomegranate 
Cypress  Natal plum
Birch  Rubber fig
Spruce Banyan 

The right way to put together your bonsai tree in winter:

Earlier than winter preparation: 

In the course of the heat and dry months (Could to mid-November), let your bonsai bask within the solar outdoors to develop effectively. Chorus from fertilizing it by August to arrange it for its winter relaxation, and keep away from heavy pruning too near winter to make sure it goes into the chilly season robust and wholesome. It’s all about timing and giving your bonsai the perfect circumstance to flourish all year long.

Throughout winter preparation:

In the course of the dormancy time, contemplate transferring out of doors bonsai bushes to a cool, unheated space for shelter. In case your bonsai belongs to a hardy species, leaving it outdoors is an choice, however it’s a must to guarantee it has sufficient safety in opposition to harsh winter conditions.

When cultivating bonsai indoors throughout winter, synthetic develop lights aren’t essential if the storage temperature stays between -6 to +10 levels Celsius. This temperature capability permits many bonsai bushes to undergo dormancy with out vigorous growth.

Being aware of your native local weather is essential for figuring out the extent of safety your bonsai bushes will want throughout winter. Totally different areas have various challenges, comparable to heavy snow or excessive chilly.

For useful insights and steerage notably in your space, attain out to native bonsai fans or golf equipment. They’ve information of overwintering bonsai in your area and might supply steerage on winter care and shelter choices to your bonsai assortment as effectively.

Nevertheless, listed here are a number of the essential steps you possibly can take to be able to put together your tree for winter;

  • Firstly, to maintain issues clear and tidy, begin by taking the brown leaves and needles out of deciduous and conifer bushes. Guarantee there are not any indicators of fungus or bugs, if detected deal with them instantly. As a precautionary measure, you should utilize dormant oil in winter. 
  • Subsequent, cope with the fertilizer constructed up on the soil floor. They kind a crust on the highest of the soil, which makes it onerous to eat water. So you need to take away the crusty prime layer and substitute it with a contemporary layer of soil. 
  • Lastly, give your bonsai a style of chilly climate, it’s an essential and pure reminder that winter is coming and it’s time to relaxation. 

Now that your tree is ready it’s time for winter storage. I might be sharing the methods I’ve adopted for years.


If the temperature drops under 20s (F) for days (occurs in my space), put them below a bench, in order that heavy snow load and wind is not going to catch it.

Be taught concerning the excellent placement to your bonsai intimately.

Bury Them In The Floor:

Though I personally haven’t tried this methodology one among my bonsai fanatic associates swear by it. He suggested to dig holes which can be massive sufficient to your bonsai pots and fill them with soil till it’s simply previous the pot’s rim. It will assist insulate the roots.

If it snows, you possibly can shovel snow round your bonsai bushes, all the way in which as much as the primary branches. This further layer of snow will present much more insulation and maintain your bushes cozy through the winter.

Mulch beds:

How To Take Care Of Bonsai Tree In Winter?- Overwintering Bonsai Trees.

That is what I normally do to mimic the burying-in-the-ground scenario. I create a mulch mattress with straw, bark, and leaves and unfold it as much as the primary department. For slightly extra safety place them close to a wall and canopy them up with a plastic.

Unheated Storage And Sheds:

You may place them on tables, cabinets, and even straight on the ground. One other thought is to create insulated areas inside your storage to maintain them protected from the chilly.

Chilly Frames:

How To Take Care Of Bonsai Tree In Winter?- Overwintering Bonsai Trees.

Normal chilly body

How To Take Care Of Bonsai Tree In Winter?- Overwintering Bonsai Trees.

DIY plastic wrap

Chilly frames are greenhouses however keep chilly. You may create it with varied supplies like wooden and plastic sheets. For detailed steerage, you possibly can take a look at House Depot’s article about it. 

Some Extra Ideas:

  • Keep away from chilly winds as it’s the most harmful ingredient for bonsai in winter. They dry out the tree leading to shedding branches. 
  • Your bonsai would require moisture even when they don’t seem to be energetic. As soon as a month however it’s unavoidable. So ensure to water it effectively.
  • Attempt to maintain the temperature between 33 and 40 levels F, it’ll assist them to go dormant with out exposing them to harsh temperatures.
  • ​Hold the temperature talked about above so long as potential, as sudden fluctuations of freeze and thaw will hurt the tree even additional. 

After Winter:

As bushes get up from winter, transfer them into the daylight to maintain them robust. But when it will get too chilly at evening or there’s a storm, carry them indoors to guard them. This day by day shuffle could be quite a lot of work, so some folks attempt to maintain their bushes dormant longer.

One other thought is to make use of a hotter greenhouse to encourage early development, giving extra time for spring care.

Frequent Winter Damages On Bonsai And How To Repair Them:

Winter Dehydration:

It’s important to grasp that it’s normally not the chilly itself that damages bonsai, however relatively dehydration. When the soil close to the roots freezes, the roots are unable to absorb water, however the prime of the tree retains shedding water. For this reason lengthy durations of freezing temperatures could be difficult on bonsai.

If it’s gusty or the air is dry in winter, it may well make issues even worse by drying out the bushes. Hold your bonsai in a sheltered spot away from robust winds and direct solar. This helps shield them from dehydration through the chilly months. 

Pest And Illness Management:

In winter, observe for pests like spider mites, scale bugs, and mealybugs that may injury your bonsai. Additionally, be cautious with infections from overwatering, like root rot or fungus.

Test your bonsai usually for any points. Should you see pests, use natural pesticides like neem oil. For illnesses, water much less so the soil can dry out between waterings. It will keep your bonsai’s well being through the chilly season.

Dying Branches And Brown Leaves:

Bonsai leaves can flip brown otherwise you would possibly discover dying branches throughout winter, which is commonly attributable to inappropriate lighting, temperature fluctuations, or poor humidity ranges. To manage this subject, be certain that your bonsai tree is positioned in an space with good mild and temperature management.

You would possibly want to scale back watering frequency and enhance humidity ranges close to the plant utilizing a humidity tray.

Abstract Of Ideas:

  • Bonsai bushes can deal with some chilly, but when they drop under 15 levels Fahrenheit, they want winter safety.
  • Some hardy bonsai, like juniper, can keep outdoor in winter, whereas others that favor heat circumstances want safety.
  • Take into account your native local weather and the particular species of your bonsai whereas taking good care of bonsai tree in winter.
  • To organize your bonsai for winter, take away brown leaves and cope with fertilizer build-up on the soil.
  • Place your bonsai in a sheltered spot, mulch beds, or unheated garages, or use chilly frames to guard them.
  • Shield your bonsai from chilly winds and keep a temperature between 33 and 40 levels Fahrenheit.
  • In winter, look ahead to pests and illnesses, and guarantee correct lighting and humidity ranges to keep away from brown leaves and dying branches.


Ought to I feed my bonsai in winter?

It’s higher to keep away from feeding bonsai in winter, as this time they’re least energetic, and little overfeeding might be sufficient to provide fertilizer burn. Most bonsai don’t require fertilizer in winter however indoor bonsai can tolerate all year-round fertilizing.

Which bonsai is finest for inexperienced persons?

Juniper is without doubt one of the hardiest crops that may face up to temperature fluctuations, much less water, and fewer daylight. They’re simple to prune and form, making them probably the greatest beginner-friendly bonsai. 

What’s the finest location for bonsai in winter?

Bonsai ought to be stored in a cool but shiny location. Indoor bonsai does finest if stored close to a well-lit windowsill. 



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