Bonsai trees will bring nature into your home. The art of growing bonsai trees may seem complex. However, with consistency and patience, you’ll soon have a beautiful tree to add a quiet elegance to your home or garden.
|Scientific/Botanical Name||Cornus florida|
|Description||The dogwood shrub has rich, green foliage that turns to purple and red hues in the fall. The shrubs spring blossoms are a joy to behold, and a delight to inhale.|
|Position||The tree should receive ample sunlight and excellent air circulation for healthy growth. Filtered sunlight is ideal, so as not to cause burn to the leaves and flowers.|
|Watering||Allow the soil to dry slightly between watering. When watering is required, use tepid water.|
|Feeding||Feed the tree on a regular basis from early spring until summers end. Use a well-balanced fertilizer that is aimed at acid-loving plants. Do not fertilize the plant in the fall or over the winter.|
|Leaf and Branch Pruning||The ideal time to prune dogwood trees is in the fall and during winter, during the trees dormancy. Cut out wood and/or foliage that are either diseased or dead, and thin the inner branches to increase air circulation.|
|Re-potting & Growing Medium||Re-pot the dogwood tree twice each year. Use a rich soil with plenty of organic matter, with the addition of a little coarse sand. A pH level between 5.5 and 6.0 is optimal. Excellent drainage must be provided, and this can be achieved by the addition of some stones at the bottom of the pot.|
|Notes||Peat moss can be added to the soil of the dogwood bonsai tree. This will serve to amend the loam and create an optimal pH level.|
When you see a dogwood in its natural surroundings, you’ll notice that the species will grow at a modest rate. The dogwood releases deep green vegetation that shifts to fall shades of red and purple.
In the spring, the dogwood sprouts blossoms of perfumed flowers prior to its yearly spring greenery. Therefore, when you choose a dogwood for your new bonsai tree, you’ll have selected a striking tree variety to train. The species also easily accepts pruning and enjoys a shady environment.
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Selecting A Seed Or Graft For Your Flowering Dogwood Bonsai
You’ll find that the dogwood species will grow easily from a seed. Unfortunately, this method almost always produces a white blossoming dogwood.
In fact, even if you gather the seeds directly from a dogwood type such as pink, red or variegated, you will still most likely wind up with a white flowered dogwood. To ensure growing another dogwood species besides the white flowering version, you will need to use a bud or graft.
If you should choose to grow your new bonsai tree with a seed, then be sure to collect the seeds at the right time. Dogwood trees will start making seeds soon after the flowers shed their petals. You must wait all summer for the process to be complete.
Once the seeds turn red, you can expect that they’ll soon be ready. Don’t take the seeds too early as they must mature fully for you to grow a bonsai tree.
The dogwood tree will begin to drop seeds when they mature, which is the time to collect them. Also, keep in mind that you’ll be able to remove ripe seeds easily.
If the seeds refuse to fall when you attempt to gather them from the tree, then they need a little more time. You won’t want to wait for them to fall naturally since forest creatures love to eat them.
After you’ve picked the seeds, allow them to settle for about a week, which will let the pulp become soft. Your next step is to soak the seeds in water to make them softer. Leave them in the water and squeeze to remove the seed from the pulp.
Once the seeds are free of the pulp, add water to the container. This should cause the pulp to float while the usable seeds will remain at the bottom.
Remove the water from the container and place the seeds in a warm place to dry. You may then store them in a cool location until you are ready to begin your bonsai.
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Soil Conditions And Potting Tips
Your dogwood bonsai will need to be placed in a pot with excellent draining capabilities. The species also enjoys moisture with a pH level from 5.5 to 6.0. You can ensure your bonsai is in its preferred soil by mixing organic compost with nutrient enhanced potting soil and course sand. When you add peat moss to your dogwood’s soil, you will be able to increase the tree’s loam to the right pH level.
You may line the bottom of the pot with 2 to 3 inches of stones to increase water drainage. Also, fill the bonsai pot with a layer of nutrient rich loam, and set your new tree into the pot’s center. Continue to fill the pot with soil and be sure to irrigate as you go. With this method, you’ll be eliminating air pockets.
Your dogwood bonsai should be repotted twice a year and will love receiving nutritious soil along with a good airing out.
In order to make your tree a bonsai, you will need to prune it often. Be sure to cut the canopy area along with the roots. When trimming, check your shears to make sure that they are sharp and sanitized. Also, be sure to prune first for the health of your tree and then cut to create your preferred shape. Look to trim sections that are dead and diseased. You should also cut the tree’s roots to create a balanced tree.
Dogwood trees enter a dormancy period during the fall and winter, which is the best time for pruning. Keep in mind that when you trim inside branches, your tree will receive more air circulation. Consequently, your tree will have greater access to the sun.
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Your dogwood tree will thrive when you water it properly, but use caution, as overwatering your tree may cause the roots to rot. Your bonsai tree will let you know through its soil how much water it needs, and by checking the soil moisture every day, you’ll be able to determine when your tree is thirsty. The dogwood will enjoy tepid water once the soil begins to feel dry.
You will need to fertilize your dogwood tree regularly with a well-balanced product that is formulated for plants that need acid. Use the nourishment every other week beginning in the first days of spring until the end of summer. Your dogwood bonsai will need time to harden for winter, so stop fertilizing your tree in the fall months.
You must make sure that your bonsai tree receives plenty of sunshine and air movement. This step will encourage your tree to grow healthy and strong. Also, be sure to keep your dogwood in shady areas as full sunlight may burn its flowers and leaves. The best sunshine for your tree is partial shade during the afternoon along with waning evening sunlight.
Your dogwood bonsai tree will acclimate well to living inside your home, but be sure to set it outside after the warm seasons arrive.
When you begin caring for a dogwood bonsai tree, you’ll discover a newfound patience and enthusiasm that will touch every aspect of your life.