06 February 2008
Miniaturization is not achieved by starving bonsai. The health of ones bonsai depends on a sufficient but not excessive diet of nutrients. The three main elements necessary for healthy plant growth are: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Nitrogen promotes green foliage and stem growth, phosphorus encourages flowering and root production, and potassium contributes to overall strength and disease resistance. Feed plants only during their growing season at one third of the recommended strength. Never apply liquid fertilizers to wilted plants. Water the plants first and apply fertilizer after the plants have recovered and the soil has dried slightly. Some people prefer to use organic fertilizers, but either organic or inorganic fertilizers or a combination of both will be satisfactory sources of nutrients. Fertilizers that release nutrients slowly require less frequent application than liquid forms.