Caring for Bonsai: tips & tricks

Bonsai pflegen: Tipps & Tricks - FARBIO® - Nachhaltige Bio-Flüssigdünger aus Hamburg

Caring for a bonsai requires a certain amount of knowledge: with the right techniques and a little intuition, you can grow a healthy and beautiful bonsai. That's why you'll learn here how to care for your bonsai properly!

Caring for indoor bonsai: these are the basic rules

A bonsai in the room is a beautiful eye-catcher: Most indoor bonsai (Ficus, Ligustrum, pepper tree, Portulacaria, Serissa and others) are tropical and subtropical. To ensure that your bonsai grows healthy and magnificently, you should consider the following:

1. Location and light

Bonsai needs a lot of light, but direct midday sun can damage the leaves. A bright spot, ideally by an east or west window, is therefore perfect. Turn your bonsai regularly so that it grows evenly and does not develop a "chocolate side". Alternatively, you can also use a plant light.

Bonsai care: location

2. Temperature

Most indoor bonsai like constant temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius. Sudden temperature fluctuations should be avoided as they can stress the bonsai.

3. Humidity

The air in the room is often too dry, especially in winter due to the heating. The humidity can be increased by spraying the leaves or setting up a humidifier.

4. Pest control

Check your bonsai regularly for pests such as aphids, spider mites or scale insects. A quick treatment with natural remedies can prevent the spread and save your tree.

Bonsai care

How does bonsai care differ for outdoor bonsai?

Outdoor bonsai grow outside and are exposed to natural weather conditions. They are therefore hardy species. Typical native tree species are maple, beech, larch, juniper, yew, pine and some others.

Outdoor location

A bonsai plant outdoors should be placed in a sunny to partially shaded spot. Make sure it is not exposed to too much wind, as this will remove moisture from the soil and leaves.


Outdoor trees go through natural seasons, which means they have a dormant period in winter. During this time, watering should be reduced and the tree should be protected from extreme temperatures and frost.

The right bonsai soil and bonsai pot

Bonsai soil

Choosing the right soil is crucial for the growth and health of the bonsai. A good bonsai soil or substrate mix is ​​well-drained to avoid waterlogging and at the same time rich in nutrients. A substrate made of akadama, lava and pumice is ideal. Avoid normal potting soil as this is too dense.

Bonsai pot

The planter for your bonsai should not only be beautiful, but also functional. It should have drainage holes so that excess water can drain away. The pot should also match the size and style of the bonsai: if it is too big, the bonsai will look lost, if it is too small, the roots may be constricted.

Caring for a bonsai tree

Watering and fertilizing bonsai correctly


Watering a bonsai requires a delicate touch: too much water leads to root rot and too little water causes the tree to dry out. The soil should always be slightly moist, but never wet. Thorough watering, with the water flowing out of the drainage holes, is ideal. There should be no waterlogging!


A bonsai needs a continuous supply of nutrients to stay healthy. Therefore, use a fertilizer that contains all the important main nutrients. Indoor bonsai should be fertilized every two weeks in spring and summer, and monthly fertilization is sufficient in autumn and winter. An outdoor bonsai does not need fertilizer in the cold season. An organic fertilizer is particularly recommended, as it is kind to the environment and prevents over-fertilization. We explain everything about fertilization in this video!

Pruning a bonsai tree

Pruning is one of the most important techniques in bonsai care. It helps to maintain the desired shape and control growth.

1. Basic cut

Basic pruning is done in spring, before the bonsai begins to grow. Remove all dead, diseased or excess branches. Be sure to use clean and sharp tools to make smooth cuts and avoid infections.

2. Topiary

Formative pruning is done during the growth period. Remove new shoots that disturb the desired shape of the bonsai. Always leave some green at the ends of the branches to ensure photosynthesis.

3. Leaf cutting

Leaf pruning can be done in summer to encourage smaller leaves and denser growth. Remove the larger leaves but leave enough foliage to keep the tree healthy.

Pruning Bonsai

Bonsai in summer and winter: about overwintering and more

Care in summer

In summer, your bonsai needs more water because evaporation is higher. Water regularly and check several times a week whether the soil is dry. Protect the bonsai from the blazing midday sun so that the leaves do not burn.

Overwintering outdoor bonsai

In winter, the outdoor bonsai goes into a resting phase and needs less water. Then place the tree in a cool, frost-free place and reduce the amount of water. Outdoor trees need special protection in winter if you cannot bring them indoors: Wrap the pot in insulating material such as jute or bubble wrap and cover the soil with mulch to protect the roots from frost.

Is it necessary to overwinter indoor bonsai?

Indoor bonsai should be kept in a bright place in winter. Growth slows down, so less fertilizing and watering is required.