If you enjoy growing bonsai indoors then it is only natural that you take up this hobby and grow outdoor bonsai trees on your patio or balcony. They make wonderful ornamental trees for the front deck or covered patio that gets a bit of sun.
There are two varieties of an outdoor bonsai trees: deciduous meaning the leaves will turn color and fall off and evergreen bonsai that keep their needles and or leaves. Both varieties can be flowering and even bear fruit.
The most popular outdoor trees are pine trees and azalea bonsai, which is the top flowering choice for many gardeners.
Many growers do grow outdoor trees indoors very successfully. Juniper bonsai area good example of this. As long as you give an outdoor tree a dormancy period to mimic the winter months it should be ok. You have to read the description, some trees will not make it indoors.
Where to buy outdoor bonsai trees
Outdoor Deciduous Trees
Varieties include Japanese red
There are evergreen flowering bonsai
Outdoor Evergreen Trees
Varieties include blue moss cypress, white cedar bonsai
With proper care your outdoor plants will remain healthy, beautiful and stay miniature for many years. Once outside, trees should be positioned where they will receive a sufficient amount of sunlight – morning sun and afternoon
shade is best.
Outdoor bonsai care
In cooler climates, outdoor bonsai like junipers have a dormant period and must be kept in a cool environment during the winter season. Around Thanksgiving prepare your bonsai for its winter dormancy, which lasts about three months.
- One method is to bury your tree, outside in the
ground without the pot and then mulch up to the first branch.
Its best to choose a location that is protected from wind and
sun, but not rain or snow. Most species grown outdoors are rated cold hardiness as long as
you are careful they don’t freeze.
- A second method which is also common is to place your tree in an unheated
garage or shed. During this time, your tree does not require light
because it is in a dormant state; however, it will require watering
approximately every two weeks. Throughout the spring, summer and
fall your bonsai should be placed outside, such as on a patio,
balcony, terrace, or in a garden.
Apply water when the soil appears dry, never allowing the soil to dry out completely it will stress the roots. It is a good idea to use a moisture meter until you get to know the requirements of your bonsai tree. A good rain is usually a sufficient watering method unless you have just had a dry spell. You can find more instructions on this page about outdoor bonsai tree care.
Since your outdoor tree is growing in such a small amount of soil it is necessary to replenish the soil’s supply of nutrients periodically. Fertilizers should be used at half their recommended strength, once a month except during the winter.
Most outdoor trees you buy at a nursery have already been through their training period and require only periodic trimming and pinching to remain tiny. Pinch and trim back the new growth to the farthest safe point. Never should all of the new growth be removed. A little should be left to sustain the health of the tree. Flowering bonsai trees, tropical and sub-tropical outdoor bonsai, will require periodic pinching and trimming throughout the year.
Repotting must also be done periodically on all outdoor bonsai trees when their root system has filled the pot. The reason for re-potting is to supply your tree with fresh soil, and to encourage a more compact root system. As a rule, most deciduous trees require repotting every two or three years, while evergreens only need a new pot every four or five years.
Since different varieties of bonsai grow at different rates, this schedule will not always hold true, you should examine your tree’s root system during the year to determine if its become root bound. If this has happen, the bottom fourth of the tree roots should be removed. This is done by raking the soil away then pruning back the roots.