BONSAI AND GARDENIAS – TWO TRICKY CUSTOMERS

Bonsai and gardenias are two very different animals, but one thing they have in common is that they are both not the easiest to look after. However if you learn how to do it and then are able to meet the plant’s needs there is a reasonable chance that you can keep the bonsai at least alive for several years. I found this article by Ciscoe Morris over on The Seattle Times website.

In the Garden
Q: I received an indoor bonsai plant as a holiday gift. I don?t know what kind of plant it is, but it looks like a miniature tree. I?m anything but a green thumb. How can I keep this gorgeous plant alive in its tiny pot?
A: Keeping any bonsai alive is no easy task, and caring for an indoor one can be tricky. Having said that, if you?re able to meet your bonsai?s needs, there?s a reasonable chance you can keep it alive for years to come.
Begin by finding a warm, brightly lit location, out of direct sunshine. Unless it?s a succulent, typical houseplants require higher humidity than the dry air inside the house, particularly in winter. Raise the humidity by placing the pot on a pebble tray constantly filled with water, but never allow the level to rise higher than the top of the stones.
Every morning, mist your plant with warm water. Proper watering is critical. In such a small pot, the roots of a bonsai can dry out quickly, yet especially in winter, constantly wet soil can lead directly to the compost bin. Lift the pot often to determine if it feels light and then water only if the soil surface feels dry to the touch.
Feed with a soluble houseplant fertilizer, half strength, every other week in spring and summer.

See more at The Seattle Times