Pinus mugo species is alternatively known as creeping pine, mountain pine, or bog pine. This species is a kind of conifer and is generally found in elevated parts of Central and Southeast Europe. Pinus mugo is widely for being an ornamental plant. It can be planted in planters or its shrub form or twigs can be used for decorative purposes. Japanese garden landscapes usually include this species in increasing the beauty of the environment. The bonsai specimen of this species is widely appreciated for the fact that this species adds charm to the space wherever it is placed.
In 1798, Denmark saw the introduction of this bonsai tree. Since 1860, it has been widely grown in Europe commercially. In Europe, they come of great use to stabilize the areas of sand dune. This plant grows very slowly. It is very effortless to take care of this species. So, if you are a bonsai enthusiast, then it is a great choice for you.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Pinus mugo Bonsai?
This dwarf pine has sharp needles that are dark green in colour. These needles are very easy to maintain because the pace of their growth is very slow. So, even beginners can perfectly take care of this dwarf pine species. So, if your are looking for a low-maintenance bonsai, then Pinus mugo is a great option.
How to Plant and Grow Pinus mugo Bonsai?
Planting and Propagation
Moist soil is best suited to plant the seeds of Pinus mugo bonsai. Fall season is ideal to grow this dwarf species. Though this process takes a bit of time, but is the ideal choice to propagate the plant in the best manner.
Early spring or summer time is the best period to repot the plant. Young specimens should be repotted in every 2-3 years. Older ones require to be repotted in every 3-5 years. The soil you are using for the plant should be deep and should help to properly drain. So, the container you are choosing for potting should be deep. Half part of the container should be soil and the other half should be coarse sand.
Like other conifers, Pinus mugo bonsai grows along with a symbiotic fungus that has an appearance like a white web. This fungus grows in the tree’s root ball. This fungus is very important for the growth of the tree. If this fungus is not growing due to some reasons, then there are very great chances that the tree may die. So, never leave this bonsai bare-rooted. Also, never over-trim the roots of this dwarf plant.
You must make sure that the foliage of the plant is not covered with dust. Keeping the foliage clean will ensure that the cells of the plant grow properly and the plant is at its best health.
How to Care for Your Pinus mugo Bonsai?
This bonsai species loves to thrive outdoors. But, it should be kept in mind that it is not affected by extreme cold or heat. Though this species has capacity to tolerate extreme or harsh weather, but it should be ensures that it has roof protection. Having a covering on the head will protect the plant from freezing temperatures. If you are planning to grow the plant indoors, then pay close attention to the level of humidity required by the plant. Heating inside the house should also be checked as it can also affect the health of the plant.
Pinus mugo bonsai species can be in the outer area of the house it is provided proper shade. The plant should be protected from direct sunlight. If the bonsai is planted indoors, then it should be kept in that part of the house that receives adequate bright light. But if your house does not receive enough sunlight, then too these plants can easily thrive.
Pinus mugo bonsai has a very huge drought tolerance. Thus, it can even thrive very well in warm climates. The roots of this pine grow quite close to the soil’s surface. So, it will be a judicious option to provide a film of mulch around the plant. It will help to keep the roots of the bonsai moist and cool. Excessive watering too can damage the plant. For this purpose, you must use a type of soil that served the draining purpose. Otherwise, it will cause the root rot. If provided partial shade, then too these plants work well with moisture content. These easy-to-grow features of this bonsai make it an ideal choice for bonsai lovers who want hassle-free gardening.
Pinus mugo bonsai does not fertilizing frequently. But, you must make sure that you monthly feed the plant with a diluted fertilizer that is organic and is meant to be used only for evergreens.
Pruning of Pinus mugo bonsai should be done at the same moment when you decide to repot the plant. You should make sure that you always prune this bonsai when you are wiring it for the fall. New shoots, which are also known as candles, should be pinched. In spring, the needles should be pruned to a two-third length. This task should be done before the needles start to spread or open. Pinching of the candles should be done at two stages. The most vigorous candles should be pinched first. Weaker candles should be pinched a weak later.
The number of buds that grow on each branch should be reduced in the fall. This kind of pruning will further result into ramification. The needles should be thinned in the fall. The needles that are too long should be removed. Also, the downward growing needles should be removed. The peak of the tree should be thinned the most. As you work down the tree, the shape of the tree should be given in such a way that it resembles a downward cone. This shape formation will ensure that the light reaches even to the last and lowest branch of the bonsai. It will also help to slow down the apex’s growth.
Early winter or late fall is the period when the wiring should be done. The wire should be removed after a period of 6-8 months. The wire should be checked on a monthly basis to make sure that the damage is not done to the bark by the wire. If you maintain the shape of the tree, then it will look great and grow well.
The best feature of this bonsai is that it is very low maintenance. This is also the reason why you need not worry about your precious bonsai being damaged by insects or pest and they are very resistant to them and other kind of diseases.
The old Pinus mugo bonsai trees should be kept in proper care. The reason for this is at a later stage, these plants become weak and need special attention. The foliage of the tree becomes flaky or scaly. They no longer have the moisture content in the needles they used to have in the younger years. Moreover, the foliage looses the ability to fight with harsh weather conditions such as storm, hail, or heat. Moreover, the shape of the plant becomes different and the pruning regime also becomes different from what it was in the years when it was in its healthy spirit.
In order to know the health and nature of your pine bonsai, you must check the frequency of its growth flushes during the course of the year. Some pines have one, while other pines have two flushes of growth throughout the year. It is in the growing season that we can know the tendency of the plant’s growth. Pine species that show two flushes of growth can be decandled in the period of early summer. This will ensure that when the plant produces second flush of growth, the needles will be smaller and shorter. If your pine species is producing only one flush of growth, then avoid decandling it as it will harm them. Insteas of decandling, you should shorten the length and volume of the candles.
To ensure the growth flush of your pine, you can take help of various tree identification guides. These guides contain al the necessary information to take care of the plant as per the needs of a particular species.
Having Pinus mugo bonsai in the living space of your home will add to the charm of your abode. The best part about this species is that it is very easy to maintain. The bonsai can be planted both indoors or outdoors as per the ornamental needs of the house. This species will surely be a great addition to your bonsai collection. If you are a beginner in bonsai gardening and do not have any prior experience with pine bonsai, then this species is your go to choice. So, go ahead and get a Pinus mugo bonsai for your house today!