How to revive a bonsai tree. Just like with humans, sometimes bonsais aren’t the healthiest. Your tree may become wilt, droop, and have brittle branches.
This is a true sign of ailing houseplants and can actually be treated immediately to revive it before it’s too late. Just because your bonsai appears dead doesn’t mean you should give up on your plant, however: not all are hopeless to be revived from their dying state.
One way home gardeners can try to help their plants recover is by pruning them correctly and removing any infected parts as quickly as possible.
But once you’ve rescued a plant that is aging or has already been planted for many years, there are ways of keeping them healthy but follow the basic care processes carefully otherwise it might end up dying sooner rather than later.
How to revive a bonsai tree
First, one must check the Cambium of a bonsai tree. Trim the roots. Let it soak in water. Get the container and soil ready. Prune dead branches off of your bonsai to give it space for growth and nourish its roots.
Choose an area with good lighting conditions and plenty of fresh air so that it can thrive better maybe a balcony or near an open window is best?
Water your bonsai every day to keep its soil properly saturated and ensure proper development in the elements which may be crucial to reaching its full potentials like sunlight, food or water.
Remove dead sections
Pinch back or prune the branches on your bonsai tree with a pair of sharp, sterile pruning shears. Be sure to remove any areas from the branches that cannot be saved just as you would when pinching back perennials.
For example, if there is a wilted branch or dead plant you must also remove it in order for your bonsai tree to heal properly and flourish.
Trim your bonsai tree’s branches at an angle about 1/4 inch above the branch collar where it emerges from the trunk.
Do not prune more than 1/3 of the leaves from a single branch, otherwise, you will reduce its ability to conduct photosynthesis and produce energy.
Check out Cambium
To determine if your bonsai tree is healthy and growing, take a look at the cambiums. The cambium is referred to as the green layer on the inside of the tree where new growth occurs to replace older leaves and branches.
Healthy cambium signals that your tree is still growing strong, so don’t panic if some parts appear brown or damaged as long as you can still see some green underneath.
It’s entirely possible for there to also be damage or brown areas in certain limbs when it comes down to their actual foliage even if the cambium itself is still relatively healthy.
Pruning the roots and watering
Remove your bonsai from its container. Continue to remove all wilted or dead roots and trim back your live ones, cutting away any that are unhealthy or infected until you reach only the rootstock.
Set the bonsai on a clean surface, preferably one that’s free of grit. Pour water into your new container so that it rises to just over the top of its root system and then place in the bonsai.
Cover with a plastic bag to hold humidity in for about two weeks. This will help the tree become acclimated to its new growing environment and adjust to the repotting process without getting shocked by any unexpected dryness in the soil.
While you make sure everything else stays clean through this period, don’t seal off too tightly as you want to allow some oxygen in while keeping other elements like bacteria and fungi out.
Preparation of the container and soil
If particles are stuck inside your container, wash the inside with a mild detergent and warm water.
Combine equal amounts of nutrient-rich potting soil, perlite, and pure sphagnum moss to create a mixture that is open, porous, and retaining water well. For a balanced loam, mix all these items thoroughly in a mixing bowl.
Pot your bonsai
Before placing the bonsai tree in the container, line each drainage hole with wire mesh as well as 1/3 of your soil mixture. Place the bonsai in the center of the container and fill in the rest of the way with your soil mix.
Fill a sink or bucket-like sink (or something similar to that) with tepid water, let it reach about 1 inch above your container’s surface, and submerge your plant inside until you notice there are no more bubbles rising out of it underwater.
Choose a prime location
Take your bonsai out of the water, and let the excess water drain out of the holes in the bottom of the pot. Place it in a warm, partially shaded location with morning sun and afternoon shade, ideally with 4 to 6 hours of sunlight each day.
Choose a well-ventilated location to promote good cell development. If the overnight temperature stays above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, your bonsai can go outdoors during the summer months [year round in temperate climates].
In winter, place it in a south-facing window if possible. Always make sure that your Bonsai is protected from extreme changes in temperature.
Keep Your Bonsai Well Watered
It is vital that your bonsai be kept properly watered during the dry, hot days of summer. It is this high period of humidity, heat, and diminished rainfall that your potted plant needs all the extra maintenance.
If it is getting hotter than 42 degrees Celsius, then cut down on watering frequency by 15 minutes each day until it goes below 40 degrees Celsius again.
Make sure to water slowly and give the pot multiple inclines so that you don’t overwater the soil which can rot roots if overwatered.
Give your bonsai some time
Bonsai trees require many years to grow big, but it’s important to know that bonsai trees can sometimes take up to a year before they become revitalized.
Don’t despair. It is important as an owner of a bonsai tree to know that caring for your plant will ultimately lead to increased growth and vigor thanks in part to the patience you were able or willing to display.