How To Take Care Of Bonsai Tree In Winter?- Overwintering Bonsai Timber.

care of bonsai tree in winter

Learn how to maintain bonsai tree in winter is likely one of the most typical queries we have now obtained from bonsai house owners. So very first thing first, I guarantee you that if in case you have the identical question or your bonsai is dealing with difficulties in winter, you aren’t alone. 

Solely you know the way a lot effort you have got put into your bonsai and also you don’t desire a gust of chilled wind going over them and ruining all of your onerous work.

With winter approaching, your bonsai will put together to fight it like its massive tree counterparts within the wild. However as bonsai, they’re extra susceptible as they aren’t rooted within the floor and you’re the just one they are going to depend on for defense. 

As part of the bonsai cultivation group, I handled a whole lot of distinctive bonsai species and skilled their ups and downs in winter, so I believe I’m eligible sufficient to information you on this matter. 

Fast information:

  • Bonsai bushes can deal with lower than their ultimate temperature for a couple of weeks.
  • Regardless of how hardy your bonsai is, if the temperature is under 15 levels Fahrenheit your tree wants some type of winter safety. 
  • Juniper is likely one of the most winter hardy bonsai.
  • Bonsais that love shiny heat situations (e.g. oak, maple, juniper) profit from outside winterization. 
  • The vast majority of the bonsais do advantageous with minimal winter care. 

Now let’s speak about maintain bonsai tree in winter care intimately; 

Issues to think about whereas caring for bonsai tree in winter:

There are a couple of key factors you want to remember earlier than offering winter safety to your bonsai. These will assist you to determine on the extent of care every bonsai wants. 

The area you might be residing in:

Coldness in winter hits in a different way in numerous areas. That being stated if the winters are gentle the place you reside (temperature hardly drops under 30 levels F) your tree wouldn’t require any type of safety. 

Species of bonsai:

Ignoring bonsai species is probably the most very important mistake bonsai dad and mom make whereas caring for bonsai tree in winter.

We regularly consider all bonsai bushes want winterization throughout winter or can’t be left open air throughout chilly temperatures. 

That is merely not correct. 

Temperate species like maple, juniper, and elm, nearly all of coniferous and deciduous species can tolerate inconsistent ranges of chilly temperatures in winter. In truth, a lot of them demand sure low temperatures for a particular time frame, or else they are going to lose vigor or fail to provide fruits and flowers. 

This isn’t the identical for sub-tropical or tropical bonsai species. Timber like ficus and jade don’t increase nicely when it will get chilly. Tropical species which are cultivated indoors usually don’t demand particular bonsai winter care, however outside bonsai, want winterization if the temperature goes under 40 levels F. 

Indoor and outside bonsai:

Care of bonsai tree in winter usually appears very totally different relying on the position of the bonsai.

Indoor bonsai bushes like maple, ficus retusa, and Fukien tea ought to keep indoors in winter as nicely, as they want heat temperatures to outlive until the temperature of your space stays over 25 levels Celsius all yr spherical. 

Out of doors bonsai require safety relying on the degrees of temperature fall it faces throughout winter months. If the bottom temperature (zero levels Celsius) stays just for a couple of days, it may dwell with none safety, but when it stays for an extended time frame it requires to be saved inside a shelter or underneath shade. 

Figuring out which species of your bonsai tree wants safety in winter:

To find out which bonsai wants winter safety, understanding their hardiness zone is necessary. The correct strategy to decide bonsai’s chilly hardiness is to check the plant’s USDA  hardiness zone and the zone you might be rising the tree.

However the situation is that the zone designation is restricted to in-ground vegetation and as bonsai dwell in containers temperature falls have an effect on them a lot more durable than inground vegetation. 

There’s a e book referred to as  “Bonsai Heresy” by Michael Hagedorn, which is sort of a cheat sheet for bonsai house owners. It has an in depth description of the cold-tolerant energy of various bonsai species. 

[To learn more about the book check out Bonsai Tonight’s review.] 

  • ​Particular person toughness additionally performs an important function within the chilly hardiness of two bushes of comparable sort. It occurs after they develop up in two totally different atmospheres. 
  • Similar to older individuals want extra heat in chilly climate in comparison with younger, lively people, your older bonsai wants further safety than the youthful ones, particularly for those who see them shedding branches in winter. 
  • In case you only in the near past plucked a tree from the wild or dug one up from the bottom, these bushes want further care within the winter, as a result of they aren’t used to the chilly but.
  • The scale of the pots your bonsai bushes dwell in issues too. Greater pots present higher insulation for the roots, like a giant, cozy jacket. Smaller pots are like thinner jackets, so the roots can get colder.
  • And in case your bonsai tree was sick earlier than, like if it had bugs or a fungus downside, it wants further consideration when you are caring for bonsai tree in winter.

Hardiness detection may be finished by your remark, however right here’s a listing of bushes in response to my remark;

Species that don’t want winter safety Species that want winter safety
Larch Ficus
Cedar  Fukien tea species
Jackpine Jade
Juniper  Olive 
Maple Weeping fig
Elms  Pomegranate 
Cypress  Natal plum
Birch  Rubber fig
Spruce Banyan 

Learn how to put together your bonsai tree in winter:

Earlier than winter preparation: 

Throughout the heat and dry months (Could to mid-November), let your bonsai bask within the solar outdoors to develop nicely. Chorus from fertilizing it by August to organize it for its winter relaxation, and keep away from heavy pruning too near winter to make sure it goes into the chilly season sturdy and wholesome. It’s all about timing and giving your bonsai one of the best circumstance to flourish all year long.

Throughout winter preparation:

Throughout the dormancy time, think about shifting outside bonsai bushes to a cool, unheated space for shelter. In case your bonsai belongs to a hardy species, leaving it outdoors is an choice, however it’s a must to guarantee it has sufficient safety towards harsh winter conditions.

When cultivating bonsai indoors throughout winter, synthetic develop lights aren’t essential if the storage temperature stays between -6 to +10 levels Celsius. This temperature capability permits many bonsai bushes to undergo dormancy with out vigorous enlargement.

Being accustomed to your native local weather is necessary for figuring out the extent of safety your bonsai bushes will want throughout winter. Completely different areas have various challenges, corresponding to heavy snow or excessive chilly.

For useful insights and steerage significantly in your space, attain out to native bonsai lovers or golf equipment. They’ve data of overwintering bonsai in your area and might supply steerage on winter care and shelter choices on your bonsai assortment as nicely.

Nonetheless, listed here are a number of the necessary steps you’ll be able to take as a way to put together your tree for winter;

  • Firstly, to maintain issues clear and tidy, begin by taking the brown leaves and needles out of deciduous and conifer bushes. Guarantee there are not any indicators of fungus or bugs, if detected deal with them instantly. As a precautionary measure, you should use dormant oil in winter. 
  • Subsequent, take care of the fertilizer constructed up on the soil floor. They type a crust on the highest of the soil, which makes it onerous to eat water. So it’s best to take away the crusty prime layer and substitute it with a contemporary layer of soil. 
  • Lastly, give your bonsai a style of chilly climate, it’s an necessary and pure reminder that winter is coming and it’s time to relaxation. 

Now that your tree is ready it’s time for winter storage. I might be sharing the methods I’ve adopted for years.


If the temperature drops under 20s (F) for days (occurs in my space), put them underneath a bench, in order that heavy snow load and wind is not going to catch it.

Be taught in regards to the ultimate placement on your bonsai intimately.

Bury Them In The Floor:

Despite the fact that I personally haven’t tried this technique one among my bonsai fanatic associates swear by it. He suggested to dig holes which are massive sufficient on your bonsai pots and fill them with soil till it’s simply previous the pot’s rim. It will assist insulate the roots.

If it snows, you’ll be able to shovel snow round your bonsai bushes, all the best way as much as the primary branches. This further layer of snow will present much more insulation and hold your bushes cozy in the course of the winter.

Mulch beds:

How To Take Care Of Bonsai Tree In Winter?- Overwintering Bonsai Trees.

That is what I often do to mimic the burying-in-the-ground state of affairs. I create a mulch mattress with straw, bark, and leaves and unfold it as much as the primary department. For somewhat extra safety place them close to a wall and canopy them up with a plastic.

Unheated Storage And Sheds:

You may place them on tables, cabinets, and even straight on the ground. One other thought is to create insulated areas inside your storage to maintain them protected from the chilly.

Chilly Frames:

How To Take Care Of Bonsai Tree In Winter?- Overwintering Bonsai Trees.

Normal chilly body

How To Take Care Of Bonsai Tree In Winter?- Overwintering Bonsai Trees.

DIY plastic wrap

Chilly frames are greenhouses however keep chilly. You may create it with numerous supplies like wooden and plastic sheets. For detailed steerage, you’ll be able to try House Depot’s article about it. 

Some Further Suggestions:

  • Keep away from chilly winds as it’s the most harmful factor for bonsai in winter. They dry out the tree leading to shedding branches. 
  • Your bonsai would require moisture even when they aren’t lively. As soon as a month but it surely’s unavoidable. So be certain that to water it nicely.
  • Attempt to hold the temperature between 33 and 40 levels F, it’ll assist them to go dormant with out exposing them to harsh temperatures.
  • ​Preserve the temperature talked about above so long as doable, as sudden fluctuations of freeze and thaw will hurt the tree even additional. 

After Winter:

As bushes get up from winter, transfer them into the daylight to maintain them sturdy. But when it will get too chilly at night time or there’s a storm, carry them indoors to guard them. This each day shuffle may be loads of work, so some individuals attempt to hold their bushes dormant longer.

One other thought is to make use of a hotter greenhouse to encourage early development, giving extra time for spring care.

Widespread Winter Damages On Bonsai And How To Repair Them:

Winter Dehydration:

It’s important to know that it’s often not the chilly itself that damages bonsai, however moderately dehydration. When the soil close to the roots freezes, the roots are unable to absorb water, however the prime of the tree retains shedding water. This is the reason lengthy intervals of freezing temperatures may be difficult on bonsai.

If it’s gusty or the air is dry in winter, it may make issues even worse by drying out the bushes. Preserve your bonsai in a sheltered spot away from sturdy winds and direct solar. This helps shield them from dehydration in the course of the chilly months. 

Pest And Illness Management:

In winter, observe for pests like spider mites, scale bugs, and mealybugs that may injury your bonsai. Additionally, be cautious with infections from overwatering, like root rot or fungus.

Examine your bonsai usually for any points. In case you see pests, use natural pesticides like neem oil. For ailments, water much less so the soil can dry out between waterings. It will keep your bonsai’s well being in the course of the chilly season.

Dying Branches And Brown Leaves:

Bonsai leaves can flip brown otherwise you would possibly discover dying branches throughout winter, which is usually attributable to inappropriate lighting, temperature fluctuations, or poor humidity ranges. To regulate this situation, make sure that your bonsai tree is positioned in an space with good mild and temperature management.

You would possibly want to cut back watering frequency and improve humidity ranges close to the plant utilizing a humidity tray.

Abstract Of Suggestions:

  • Bonsai bushes can deal with some chilly, but when they drop under 15 levels Fahrenheit, they want winter safety.
  • Some hardy bonsai, like juniper, can keep open air in winter, whereas others that choose heat situations want safety.
  • Think about your native local weather and the precise species of your bonsai whereas caring for bonsai tree in winter.
  • To organize your bonsai for winter, take away brown leaves and take care of fertilizer build-up on the soil.
  • Place your bonsai in a sheltered spot, mulch beds, or unheated garages, or use chilly frames to guard them.
  • Defend your bonsai from chilly winds and keep a temperature between 33 and 40 levels Fahrenheit.
  • In winter, look ahead to pests and ailments, and guarantee correct lighting and humidity ranges to keep away from brown leaves and dying branches.


Ought to I feed my bonsai in winter?

It’s higher to keep away from feeding bonsai in winter, as this time they’re least lively, and little overfeeding might be sufficient to present fertilizer burn. Most bonsai don’t require fertilizer in winter however indoor bonsai can tolerate all year-round fertilizing.

Which bonsai is greatest for inexperienced persons?

Juniper is likely one of the hardiest vegetation that may face up to temperature fluctuations, much less water, and fewer daylight. They’re straightforward to prune and form, making them among the best beginner-friendly bonsai. 

What’s the greatest location for bonsai in winter?

Bonsai ought to be saved in a cool but shiny location. Indoor bonsai does greatest if saved close to a well-lit windowsill. 

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