How To Care For An Outdoor Bonsai Tree?

I tend to focus on specific care guides for my blog and I realised I should probably address the broader questions such as how to care for outdoor bonsai? In this guide I am explaining all the basics for choosing the perfect tree and caring for any outdoor bonsai trees!


Outdoor bonsai trees are easier to care for than indoor trees as they are already living in the conditions they need to survive out in nature. When grown outdoors, bonsai are exposed to all of the natural climates, humidity, light levels and nutrients needed for healthy growth.


What Kind Of Bonsai Should Be Grown Outdoors?


If you’re looking to grow an outdoor bonsai, the most simple way to do it is picking a species that would grow naturally in your environment and climate. This of course varies depending on where you live in the world, in some countries you can successfully grow tropical bonsai trees outdoors, whereas in countries like the U.K it’s impossible.


In a colder climate:


There are a huge amount of outdoor bonsai trees to choose from that are perfect for beginners. These species include…



In a warmer climate:


If you are situated in a hotter climate, that could suit growing more subtropical species. These species could include…



Providing you can meet the climate and humidity needs of the species, you should choose to grow the bonsai that you like the idea of the most. For instance for my next outdoor bonsai tree I am looking at picking up a Crab Apple, because I want a tree that flowers every growing season. I know that my environment perfectly suits that species, so I won’t have to watch it die within a few months.


Outdoor Bonsai Tree Care Requirements


Bonsai trees are genetically indifferent from the species that grows in nature, so they need more or less the same environment to thrive. They still require a fair amount of care due to the fact they are confined to such a small pot, meaning they have access to a lot less nutrients and this can present a huge problem if not cared for properly.


For more in-depth care advice, it’s worth researching the actual species you’re looking to grow but here I have outlined the main factors you’re going to need to bare in mind. For learning about a large amount of species specific needs it could be worth picking up a book, like Bonsai Basics 101 on Amazon, where there is a huge amount of information to learn.


1. Watering


Different species are going to require vastly different watering depending on a huge amount of factors including the soil, age, size, time of year, climate and many more. It’s impossible to have a strict ‘set in stone’ routine to work by when it comes to watering an outdoor bonsai tree.


The best idea is to check on the soils moisture content every single day, maybe even twice a day during the growing season. For more information on how to perfectly water your bonsai, have a read of my article!


2. Sunlight


Outdoor bonsai trees need a varying amount of sunlight throughout the year and it’s very species dependent. Some trees grow better in partial shade, whereas some grow better in full sun. They will all typically need a dormant period during the winter, as the levels of light start decreasing per day.


To know exactly where to place your bonsai tree for the perfect amount of light, it’s worth looking into a species care guide for your actual species. Again I would recommend picking up a book like Bonsai Basics from Amazon, as this was instrumental in helping me keep some of my bonsai collection alive.


3. Heat & Humidity


Unlike indoor bonsai trees, the outdoor species are normally good at handling an array of different temperatures throughout the year, from low to high. Frost can be a huge issue for some species, whilst some can actually tolerate cold snaps very well. It’s worth protecting your bonsai collection from frost to be safe.


If you’re growing an outdoor bonsai tree that survives naturally in your environment, humidity really shouldn’t be something to worry about. To increase humidity, make use of the humidity tray under your bonsai pot by filling it with water regularly.


Final Thoughts


When growing an outdoor bonsai tree, picking a species that lives naturally in your climate makes for a very easy care routine! As long as you adhere to the care requirements of the tree, the bonsai will thrive for years to come!


Outdoor Bonsai Care Guide Video



Relevant Articles – How To Care For An Indoor Bonsai Tree / 5 Best Bonsai Trees For Beginners

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