Growing on You - Zen Garden Bonsai Blog

Summer to Winter - Transitioning your Bonsai November 15, 2020 15:15

How will you care for your bonsai over the winter? Generally, winter is a time to rest and just about every tree needs a period of slowed growth. Trees from a temperate climate have their rest period triggered by shorter daylight hours and lowered temperatures. Native trees can handle the cold but that is not the case for all bonsai trees, particularly tropical and subtropical trees

Removing Wire from your Bonsai September 24, 2020 10:11

Wire cannot stay on forever,  usually it can stay for about 6 months, but that depends on the time of year. For example in the winter, the tree isn't doing a wirelot of growing so it will take longer for the diameter of the branch that has been wired to expand enough to create a problem. In the spring and early fall ( September-October) many trees are in active growth, so you need to check the wire more frequently.

Fukien Tea - (Carmona) September 24, 2020 09:39

Close up of Fukien Tea flowers and Leaves

Native to Southeast Asia including China, Indonesia, Japan and Australia and named after the Fukien (or Fuijan) province in China, the Fukien tea is a popular choice as a bonsai in North America.


Talking to Your Plants September 22, 2020 10:48

What exactly is the science behind talking to plants? How is it beneficial to us, their human caretakers, and them, these green organisms we are so fond of? Let’s find  out.


Meditation: Give it a Go September 22, 2020 10:34

 What does mediation have to do with gardening or taking care of bonsai? These two art forms have quite a bit of intersection, and they’re both precursors to living a happy, fulfilled life. It’s even better if you pair the two.

Scale- Dealing with an unwanted visitor July 26, 2020 15:57

I know that some people will use pesticides to take out scale, but you don't really have to and they are often not every effective, anyway. Just carefully inspect your tree and scrape off any scale that you see. You might need to do it a few times to get all of them and you can wash the sap off with water. If you're squeamish, you can use a Qtip to scrape them off.

Serissa japonica- The tree of a Thousand Stars July 26, 2020 15:42

The thing that I find funny about Serissa is that some people think its a piece of cake to grow and for others "it's impossible". I think there are a few factors contributing to that rather wide range of opinion.

Easy Foods to Grow in Your Garden (or Balcony) July 24, 2020 15:29

One good thing to come out of the pandemic is a renewed interest in vegetable gardening- (and gardening in general, actually and even though things have gotten better your own personal vegetable patch is still a great way to explore gardening.

Easy Recipes to Sip and Savour this Summer July 24, 2020 14:51

Why not share some recipes that are perfect for the summer heat and which are easy and great additions to any barbecue dinner party or picnic. Let me know if you tried any of these recipes or send in your photos for the next newsletter.


Watering Your Bonsai June 28, 2020 12:49

Do you want to know how often to water your bonsai? There is only one honest answer and that's "When it needs more water", and depends on many factors. How big is the pot? What kind of tree? What time of year? Where is it placed? How big is it? What type of soil is it in? 

Step Away from that Tree - It's Not For Lunch June 28, 2020 12:21

There are a few good reasons to stop your dogs or cats from dining on your house plants and Bonsai.  One of the best, is that some of those plants are seriously toxic for Spot or Fluffy.

The Benefits of Bonsai Care June 26, 2020 08:42

I’ve been tending bonsai plants for twelve years now, at first it started out of curiosity for the gorgeous little plants but then I fell in love with them – after some trial and error of course! My experience with bonsai has taught me a lot about gardening but also about myself .....

How to Make Your Bonsai Bigger June 14, 2020 15:31

If your heart is set on getting your bonsai tree to a bigger size and you're not feeling hugely patient, here are a couple of options for hurrying it up.

Welcoming your Bonsai home! June 10, 2020 09:01

Your new bonsai – up until now- has been living in a greenhouse- Bonsai Heaven.  It has grown in consistently high levels of very bright, filtered light and thrived in jungle- like humidity.  So, unless you’re moving it into your own greenhouse, chances are things are about to change and in fact, after spending a few days in a box, that change has started.

Meet the Brazilian Raintree June 2, 2020 17:22

Native to Brazil, the lovely compound leaves of the Brazilian Raintree fold up each evening or whenever the light is low. If you get one, expect it to arrive with leaves folded. But even more than the compound leaves and fluffy flowers, the trunk is probably this tree's best feature

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Up Close (but not too personal): Meet Eugenia Myrtifolia - The Brush Cherry May 31, 2020 10:39

The Brush Cherry is a sub tropical evergreen. It's a vigorous grower. It likes to be warm-hot in the summer and about 60 degrees F in the winter. It does NOT like to be cold. Freeze it = Kill it (trust me, I’m guilty of doing just that)Brush Cherry Flowers

Watering 101 - Are You Dry Yet? May 31, 2020 10:34

Watering is the most difficult part of bonsai care. You can kill your bonsai by over watering or under watering. The only difference in the end is that generally, under watering will kill them faster.

Bugs Killed My Juniper- Meet the Spider Mite May 31, 2020 10:07

Spider mites will haunt the underside of the foliage and are most often given away by the webs you’ll see all over your tree when you put your glasses on and take a close look. If you cared to give the plant a shake over a white surface you’ll probably see these tiny reddish assassins scurrying around. Squash away or wash away! Bonsai pests

Bonsai Basics: LIGHT May 31, 2020 10:03


Every plant needs light. Some need more than others and how much depends on how - and where - that particular tree grows naturally. Bonsai that naturally thrive in full sun like mini jades, bougainvillea and many other flowering bonsai, need more light than more shade tolerant varieties like ficus and schefflera. 

The Emergency Repot! May 27, 2020 20:29

The dog’s tail knocked a small pot right off the table. The kids were tearing through the living room and your bonsai tree went crashing to the floor.  My personal favorite- the courier company employees decided to play soccer with my carefully, even lovingly boxed bonsai tree on its way to you and you opened the box to find a pot in pieces. What's Next?

Ficus - Popular Indoor Bonsai April 21, 2015 22:38

The Tigerbark Fig is a particularly easy and forgiving ficus.  This is a great beginner tree, because it will forgive mistakes, but if you give it what it likes - it will positively thrive.

Let's talk about Junipers April 21, 2015 22:31

The Juniper is the number one choice among bonsai buyers, particularly as gifts and beginner trees.  It isn't surprising considering that when you think of a bonsai tree, the image that usually springs to mind is of an evergreen tree and of all the evergreen trees, nothing grows as easily as a Juniper.Juniper procumbens nana

Chinese Elms - They Might Just be My Favorites April 2, 2015 15:48

Whenever I want to introduce someone to what I love about bonsai, I show them my favorite Chinese Elm.  If they didn't understand the attraction of bonsai already, this little beauty sells them on it every time! Ulmus parvifolia is an outstanding bonsai choice and one that belongs in every collection.