01 August 2012

Keep Bonsai Cool for the "Dog Days"

water spray

With days in the 90′s 
and nights in the 50′s to 60′s

Don’t Forget To Water!!! 

A few ways to keep your trees cool and growing:
Give a Bonsai Bath- During extreme heat place your bonsai in a dishpan of water, pot and all. A few minutes of being under-water will not be enough to drown roots, just take them out to allow the soil to flush with oxygen. The water will take much longer to heat up than the soil itself. Just don’t leave them in the water for hours at a time. 

Place bonsai in the shade

30% shade in Savannah

Place Trees In The Shade- This will help the most. Full-sun in New York is about 30% shade in Savannah. Our plants growing in full-sun this summer are showing signs of stress. While plants are adapted to the sun, there can be too much of a good thing. The plants given shade/filtered light are greener and healthier than those in full-sun for the summer. 

Watering the leaves of a Chinese Elm

 Chinese Elm

Water the Foliage- Watering the leaves of your bonsai will cool the foliage. The heat and low humidity evaporate the water off of the leaves before it can take the water out of the leaves. This is especially important for trees that have been allowed to dry too much between watering as it reduces their stress. Please keep in mind that watering the foliage in the cooler night and evening temperatures may cause fungal problems for certain species. In hot, dry air this moisture evaporates before there can be a problem. 

Soil maintains a comfortable, stable temperature year-round, but in containers roots can be overheated due to high temperature. Shade the containers to prevent overheating and cool down soil temperatures. 

Do Not Bring Temperate Bonsai Inside- Due to the constant use of air conditioning, bringing bonsai indoors that have been growing outdoors will not be the best thing for them. Air-conditioned air, while cooler, is extremely dry. Dry air with low light is stressful for temperate plants, and it is the worst thing for hardy trees.

Do not forget to water bonsai during the "Dog Days". 
There is no faster way to kill trees.

Japanese juniper

Junipers and pines will not give warning by wilting in advance. If they have been forgotten, follow the previous three steps and hope for the best. There is not much else one can do.

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