August 8, 2021

Fertilizing Bonsai – The Definitive Guide [2021]

Fertilizing bonsai is necessary but can be difficult for the bonsai beginner. This blog post will provide tips on the best time of year to fertilize your bonsai tree as well as what type of fertilizer you should use.

Before you fertilize

The first thing you need to do before fertilizing your bonsai tree is identifying the type of soil that the plant is in.

There are two different types: organic and synthetic.

If you have an organic potting mix, then it’s important not to over-fertilize. These materials break down more quickly than synthetic ones do.

synthtic mixes hold water better so less watering is required.

When using an organic mix, you should pick a fertilizer that is specifically meant for bonsai trees and follow the instructions on the package.

If you have a synthetic mixture, then it’s okay to over-fertilize your tree since it will stay in the pot longer.

Just be advised that not all fertilizers are created equal. You should try to use a fertilizer made from natural ingredients, which will provide the best nutrients for your bonsai.

What is the best fertilizer for bonsai trees?

Many bonsai owners have questions about what is the best fertilizer for their trees. As a bonsai enthusiast, I’ve had this question too and would like to share with you my findings.

The key ingredient in fertilizing your tree is nitrogen, which helps the leaves turn green and grow bigger than they were before.

Nitrogen also provides food for other nutrients that help keep your soil healthy.

Bonsai fertilizer liquid

The best fertilizer for your bonsai is one that you make yourself.

It’s inexpensive, easy to make, and can be made in bulk so you have enough on hand all the time. This recipe will keep a small tree alive for months!

The ingredients are water (1 gallon), organic sugar (4 cups) and fish emulsion (2 tablespoons). T

here’s no need to measure anything exactly – just eyeball it or use measuring spoons if you want to be precise.

Combine these ingredients together and stir well until dissolved.

Pour into an old spray bottle or similar container with a pump top.

You only need 1-3 squirts per watering depending on size of tree/container/etc! If your leaves start turning brown at an alarmingy rate, that means you need to make more of this solution.

Should thet get really big and green, cut back on watering with this mixture for a week or two.

Finally if you’re using synthetic soil, then you can use any fertilizer (most liquid ones will have the correct amount of nitrogen) instead of fish emulsion if that is more convenient.

Bonsai fertilizer pellets

The bonsai fertilizer pellets are a convenient way to fertilize your plants.

They contain all the necessary nutrients for your bonsai tree and can be applied in three different ways:

1) watering with fertilizer solution,

2) directly onto plant’s soil surface,

3) mixing with water or soapy water to create a spray mixture that is then sprayed on the leaves of plants. No matter which method you choose it is an easy and effective way to keep your bonsai healthy and thriving.

Time of year to fertilize

The time of year you fertilize your tree will determine the type of fertilizer you use as well as how much you apply.

In the fall and winter months it’s better not to fertilize at all, or only give weak fertilizer solutions.

This is because bonsai trees are deciduous, which means they lose their leaves during these months and aren’t able to access as many nutrients in the soil.

In the spring and summer, however, fertilize more vigorously because your tree will have all of its leaves so it can soak up nutrients from both the soil and fertilizer.

When applying fertilizer, only use a small amount; one spoonful for each year your tree has existed. Fertilizing more than this can burn the roots of your bonsai and cause your leaves to turn yellow.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to keep the beautiful foliage on your bonsai tree healthy.

Fertilizing schedule

As far as when you should fertilize your bonsai tree, this depends on the species of plant you have and when i tt’s in its growing cycle.

Most bonsai tree species only need to be fertilized once every few months, as opposed to the more common annual application schedule for most vegetables and flowers.

In the United States, this means your bonsai should be fertilized from March through October, when it is actively growing new leaves.

However, different areas of the country have different growing seasons, and some bonsai tree species may need to be fertilized more frequently.

The best thing to do is just test your soil with a pH tester; if it’s acidic, then you’re in luck! Your plant only needs to be watered every few months with fertilizer solution.

How do you fertilize a bonsai juniper?

Juniper Bonsai Tree

Does fertilising a bonsai juniper require a different approach?

I’ll be focusing on the three most common fertilisers: slow-release, liquid and organic.

Slow-release fertiliser is for those who want to take care of their plants on a monthly basis, but don’t have much time to water them or are away from home often.

Liquid fertilizer is for people with plants that need more frequent watering, such as during summer months when it is hot and dry outside.

Organic fertilizer will give your plants natural nutrients in order to keep them healthy while they grow slowly over time. Now you know what type of fertilizer you should use! Happy planting!

An affordable bonsai fertilizer supplier – Home Depot

Are you looking for a bonsai fertilizer that is not only affordable, but also easy to find?

Look no further than your local home depot. Whether you’re in the market for a water-soluble fertilizer or organic plant food, they have it all.

They even have specific fertilizers for different types of bonsais: Japanese black pine (good with slow release) and Chinese elm (more acidic). So head on over to your local home depot today and find the perfect fertilizer for you!


Fertilizing bonsai is a delicate process, and one that can be easily misunderstood.

Here are some guidelines for fertilization to help you get it right the first time! When do I fertilize my bonsai? The best time to fertilize your tree is in early spring before new growth starts.

If you’re planting during this season, we recommend adding fertilizer or compost as well.

What type of fertilizer should I use on my bonsai?

There are two types of soil for growing trees—potting mix (composed primarily of organic materials) and soilless mixes (which contain peat moss). Potting mix must be supplemented with nutrients while soilless mixes provide all necessary nutrients.

Follow the steps above to keep your bonsai trees looking their best. In the meantime make sure you subscribe to our BONSA programme – it’s free!

About the author 

Greg Reed

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