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How to care for a pine bonsai

How to care for a pine bonsai

In the world of bonsai, pines are a particular case, as they are both one of the most typical and emblematic images when talking about this particular cultivation technique, as well as one of the least recommended for beginners.

However, caring for a pine bonsai is not that difficult and is within the reach of anyone willing to learn about its specific quirks and needs. If you want to learn how to grow your pine bonsai to get a spectacular plant, join us in this EcologíaVerde article where we tell you how to care for a pine bonsai.

Characteristics of pine bonsai

Contrary to what many outside the world of bonsai think, these miniature trees they are not specific dwarf species: a bonsai is a common tree of its kind, to which pruning, pinching and training techniques are applied to achieve that unique reduced appearance and to be able to grow it on a tray, with this technique of Chinese origin that the Japanese later popularized.

The particularities of the pine bonsai are given, above all, by the growth form of these trees. The pine has a markedly vertical growth in its early stages, but once the tree is adult it tends to grow much more horizontally. This is because the pine prioritizes the growth of its external brancheswhich receive more light and aeration, allowing the internal and less exposed branches to gradually weaken until they eventually dry out.

When we talk about a pine bonsai, it is very important to take into account this natural growth imbalance, which must be corrected to achieve the desired structure, balancing its vigor and development.

Otherwise, the pine bonsai is densely foliaged, with very small needles and buttoned bark. As for the species, they must Canary pine and stone pine should be avoided due to the large size of its needles, the other common types being quite suitable, such as:

  • The Black Pines (pine thunbergii).
  • red pines (pine densiflora).
  • Japanese white pines (Pinus parviflora).
  • Scots pine (pine sylvestris).

Now that you know the characteristics of bonsai, let’s see how to take care of a pine bonsai from scratch.

How to take care of a pine bonsai - Characteristics of the pine bonsai

Pine Bonsai Location

Pines are trees used to different types of environments, but almost all of them have something in common: they are exposed to a large number of hours of light per day. Similarly, your pine bonsai you’ll need all the light you can getsuch as that of a terrace or a balcony without shade or impediments to receiving direct sunlight.

Nope locate your pine bonsai inside the housesince even in semi-shaded or illuminated interior conditions it will not be able to develop strong and healthy, much less in a shady environment.

It is also important that the tree is exposed to weather changes of the cold season. Pines are prepared to withstand low temperatures quite well, and in fact they need them to go into vegetative rest and be able to sprout with renewed energy when the heat returns in spring. If it does not go through a cold season, your pine bonsai will give new shoots before their time, which will be weak and thin.

How To Care For A Pine Bonsai - Pine Bonsai Location

Watering the pine bonsai

How many times do you pour water on a bonsai? the pines are drought resistant thanks to the long roots that develop naturally to reach moisture under the ground. In the case of a bonsai, logically, the pine will not be able to use this resource, so it is important not to let the substrate dry out completely.

In addition, the pine has specific requirements in the pH of its substrate, so you should never water it with tap water or limescale. Uses:

  • Rain water
  • Distilled water
  • Mineral water

It is also basic, as with so many plants, avoid puddles. Keeping the substrate moist is one thing and waterlogged another: if you do the latter, the roots of your bonsai will not support it.

We leave you this other article on How to water a bonsai so that you have more details on the subject.

How to take care of a pine bonsai - Watering the pine bonsai

Substrate for pine bonsai

The substrate of your pine bonsai must be very light to offer the best possible drainage, in addition to having a slightly acidic pH. Since the needs of bonsai are so specific, it is best to resort to specific mixtures for plants grown with this technique, in this case mixing kiryuzuna and akadama, or kiryuzuna with pomice, in equal parts.

Pine bonsai transplant

Transplantation is common in many bonsai, but with pine you have to be especially careful when doing it, especially with its roots. these trees are very sensitive to root pruningTherefore, more than half of the root ball should never be removed. Furthermore, pine roots are highly dependent on their associated fungi, so should not be washed either never when carrying out the transplant, or we run the risk that the tree will not support the change.

How to take care of a pine bonsai - Pine bonsai transplant

Pinched Pine Bonsai

Also called metsumi, the pine pinching technique is different from that of other trees. It is a clamping in three phases:

  • The first phase: consists of pinching the new buds with the fingers and carefully removing, with tweezers, the needles or needles from the base of the buds, leaving only a few.
  • the second phase: consists of cutting the candles, at the base, when they begin to unfold the needles. We must cut all the candles that are not weak and, again, leave only a few needles per candle.
  • Finally, in the third phase: the mekiri, shoots with vertical growth are removed with tweezers, both upwards and downwards.
How to take care of a pine bonsai - Pine bonsai pinching

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