This is a continuation of the bonsai care guidance authored by Jim Smith and originally printed in Florida Bonsai Magazine in 1986. It has been updated by Jim and is reprinted with both his permission and that of Florida Bonsai Magazine. The care guidance is suitable for Zones 9b and 10a.
Bonsai in Brevard (Zone 9b and Zone 10a)
July is usually the hottest month of the year. Many Central and South Floridians will go North this month to avoid the hot weather.
If we have to leave our bonsai in the care of someone else, it is helpful to let them water your trees under your supervision for several days before you leave. All trees that need special care should be grouped together and instructions for their care should be as simple as possible. If you use an automatic sprinkling system, have someone check it every day in the event it malfunctions. A power failure will change the clock or a sprinkler head will sometimes become clogged. If you plan to be away for a long time, the person in charge of your bonsai should have instructions in case of emergency. That person should have a phone number where you can be reached or the phone number of a bonsai friend who can advise him.
Although your plants should be fertilized regularly, you may find it advisable to discontinue fertilizing while they are being cared for by someone else unless you have complete confidence in their ability with fertilizer.
Insects and Diseases
All insects and pests are active now. Review your previous bonsai Care articles on insects and diseases.
The refinement of our bonsai can be improved drastically now that our trees are growing so vigorously. Continue to pinch daily those trees that require it or defoliate the plant if it has been neglected.
Tropicals can be potted now but be sure to protect newly potted plants as outlined in our June bonsai Care article.
Cuttings and Layers
Cuttings and airlayers of most tropical plants will root this month. Root cuttings in a well-drained soil mix, under mist in full sun, or under a plastic cover in shade. Air layers can be made with sphagnum moss covered with aluminum foil. It is not necessary to tie the aluminum foil.
Bonsai Society of Brevard
For more detailed information contact our Brevard based Bonsai club.
The Bonsai Society of Brevard is one of the many clubs within the Bonsai Societies of Florida.