Bonsai Quick Tips: alternate fertilizers

When I see a fertilizer that is labeled Bonsai fertilizer I have to chuckle. This is just a marketing gimmick. There is no one perfect fertilizer. Each tree has it’s own specific nutritional needs. Even trees of the same species have different needs based on age, size, potting mix etc.

I fertilize my trees every two or three weeks throughout the growing season. Some people use elaborate schedules with specific quantities. This is not how I operate. I observe each tree and determine it’s specific needs. I may apply fertilizers to the soil or spray directly onto the foliage. I try to use only organic fertilizers, however these will often be lacking in micronutrients so I alternate my fertilizers to get a broader range of nutrients and supplement specific micronutrients as needed. Example, when my azaleas are showing signs of chlorosis  (yellow leaves) I add a tablespoon or so of iron pellets to the soil.

Because bonsai soils are generally porous, nutrients can quickly flush away. By alternating fertilizers you will improve the general health of your tree.

Have fun!

Greg Logo


3 Responses to “Bonsai Quick Tips: alternate fertilizers”

  1. Have you heard what Walter Pall has said about his fertilization method?

    I go along those lines myself. All of my trees bonsai soil get a top dressing of slow release fertilizer pellets and I water every day, usually twice in this heat. Once a week I give them a good dose of Dyna Gro fertilizer with the trace elements. So far I haven’t had any fertilizer burn and the trees are growing well.

    • Walter Pall has a lot of good info. However, I disagree when he says he treats (fertilizes) all his trees the same. I treat each of my trees as an individual. Then again I don’t have several hundred trees to care for.

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