Tip of the Week     #8

Welcome to our next installment of  “Tips Of The Week”.

This feature is for the benefit of visitors to this site, I would be happy to hear from you if there is something you would like to see covered here in future weeks. Please direct your E-mail to Paul@bonsaiofbrooklyn.com

If your topic is chosen, please let me know if I should include your first name, last name, city, E-mail address or no acknowledgement.

Interested in past articles? There's a list at the bottom of the page.

Now that winter is upon us, those of us that have only temperate bonsai & live in cold climates don't have much to do. If you have subtropicals it's a whole different ballgame. In climates where the lows are in the 50's, your subtropicals will still do best outside. It's best to know the lowest each species you have can take. If you're not sure, I'll be happy to answer your E-mail. Watch for unusually low overnight temperatures. If you're in an area where the temperatures are too low to keep subtropicals outside in winter, there's another set of things you need to remember. First, the further north you go, the shorter the days are, and the shallower the angle of the sun is. In addition, there are many overcast days in the colder climates. This can lead to problems for many subtropicals. Remember, trees depend on light to function. If your bonsai looks stressed in winter, it may be due to insufficient light. You may want to consider artificial light (See Tip #11.) If you do, be careful. The wrong type of light can do more harm than good. Incandescent (screw-in) bulbs produce a LOT of heat. They not only dry the soil, they can burn the leaves if too close. If far enough away so that the heat is not a problem, their benefit is greatly reduced. The answer is fluorescent lights. Full-spectrum bulbs such as "Spectralite" are ideal. The next best thing is a fluorescent plant bulb. There are many brands. They are better then regular fluorescent bulbs, but not nearly as good as full-spectrum. Hang the fixtures about 6 to 12 inches above the top of the bonsai. Keep the lights on for about 12 hours a day. A timer is a good investment.

Remember that house heat is VERY dry, so water more frequently. The use of Humidi-Grow trays in winter is very helpful. If you don't know what they are, you'll find photos, and a description of their use in the "Supplies" section in our product catalog.

Interested in past articles? Click for your choice below.

#1-Things to do in the spring

#2-Forest Plantings

#3-Planning a trimming schedule

#4-Trimming Japanese Maples (And other trees with opposing Buds)

#5-Trimming Chinese Elms (And other trees with alternating Buds)

#6-Trimming Conifers (Such as Pine, Juniper and Cypress)

#7-Improving Your Bonsai Skills

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