Bonsai and Lucky Bamboo are some of the most captivating plants you can bring into your home. These plants are not only visually stunning, but they also have a rich cultural heritage that dates back centuries. With their unique beauty and symbolic value, they have captured the hearts of many plant enthusiasts. In this blog, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of these famed houseplants and how to care for them in your home.
Bonsai trees are living works of art, a symbol of patience and tranquility. Unbeknownst to some, bonsai trees are not a type of tree, but a style of tree. To bonsai a tree is the art of keeping a regular tree at miniature size by consistently maintaining their structure in a shallow pot. This creates a sort of idealistic tree, or tree-scape, that can be cared for throughout generations. They come in a wide range of species, each with its own unique care requirements. But with the right care and attention, your bonsai tree can thrive for many years to come.
Here are some care tips to help you care for your bonsai tree:
- Watering -
The key to watering your bonsai tree is to strike a balance between under and overwatering. Water the tree thoroughly when the soil begins to dry out, but avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. Make sure the water reaches all parts of the soil by watering slowly and thoroughly.
- Soil -
Bonsai trees require well-draining soil to prevent root rot. We suggest you use a soil mix specifically formulated for bonsai trees, we carry this mix at our year-round locations. Bonsai mixes generally contain a combination of organic matter and inorganic materials, like perlite or sand, to create a soil that retains moisture while allowing for proper drainage.
- Light -
Bonsai trees require adequate light to grow and thrive, since they are meant to be grown outdoors. Place the tree in a bright spot with indirect to direct sunlight. Some species may require more or less light, so research the specific requirements of your tree. Our Green Team can also help you with any questions you may have about particular trees.
- Pruning -
Pruning is an essential part of bonsai tree care. It helps to control the tree's size and shape, and promote healthy growth. Use sharp pruning shears to remove any dead or damaged branches, as well as any growth that is out of proportion. Pruning is not only done to the limbs, but the roots as well. As your bonsai tree grows, it will need to be shaped, as well as bound, to the pot. If you are worried about repotting your bonsai for the first time, or are not sure if it should be potted yet, ask our houseplant Green Team members for assistance!
Lucky Bamboo, on the other hand, is a plant that symbolizes luck, prosperity, and abundance. It is believed to bring good fortune, making it a perfect addition to any home or office. This “bamboo” is actually not a type of bamboo at all! It is a variety of dracaena, which is a very possible, easy to care for houseplant. This plant requires minimal maintenance but here are some care tips to help make sure your Lucky Bamboo stays happy:
- Watering -
Lucky Bamboo is a plant that thrives in water. Keep the water clean and fresh by changing it every two weeks. Use distilled or filtered water as tap water may contain levels of salt that can upset the plant.
- Soil & Potting -
Lucky Bamboo can be grown in soil or water. If you choose to grow it in water, use a clear glass vase or container to show off the beauty of the plant's roots. Make sure you also add some kind of rock or marble as your “soil” if you are planting it exclusively in water so the roots have something to grab onto. Lucky bamboo can also be kept in regular potting soil that is kept consistently moist, but not soggy.
- Light -
Lucky Bamboo requires indirect light to grow. Avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves. Place it in a bright spot with filtered light.
- Plant Food -
This plant requires regular feedings to maintain its health and vitality. Use a liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for Lucky Bamboo every other water change during the growing season.
Caring for Bonsai and Lucky Bamboo is a journey that requires patience, attention to detail, and care. With the right care, these plants can thrive for many years, bringing beauty and good fortune to your home or office. To learn more about what’s growing on at our garden center, check out Mike, the Garden Guru, and his webinars with new plants, products, and expert planting advice. To keep inspired and grow with us, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok to dig into the joys of gardening!