How to Care for Your Bonsai Palm Tree

How to Care for Your Bonsai Palm Tree

The Sago Bonsai Palm tree is not exactly a palm, although it may look like one. This specie grows and thrives in the southern islands of Japan, and it is famous for its sturdy midrib, glossy dark green-colored leaves and leaflets that tend to curl along their edges. Most people assume it is a palm tree because of its shaggy and thick trunk, which give it an exotic and stunning appeal. Whether you wish to grow this plant indoors or outdoors, you will not have any problem at all in caring for this lovely tree specie.

Placement Guidelines

This bonsai palm tree prefers sunlight, so it is ideal to place it either indoors in a well-ventilated area by the window or outdoors with light shade as protection from strong winds. If you want to keep your plant indoors, make sure it receives at least three hours of direct sunlight.

What’s great about the bonsai palm is its hardy quality, which makes it able to resist temperatures between 15 degrees to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you should place your palm tree indoors just before the first frost, and put it back to its usual spot outdoors when the temperatures no longer go lower than 50 degrees.

bonsai palm tree 262x300 How to Care for Your Bonsai Palm Tree

Growth

The palm grows quite slowly, and it only adds another set of leaves every 1 to 3 years, depending on the growing conditions. Its new leaves grow all at the same time around the tree’s trunk, and you need to provide the tree with good amount of light while new growths are still tender.

Watering Requirements

If your bonsai plant is kept outdoors and is exposed to direct sunlight for longer hours, then you should water it frequently to prevent the soil from drying out. Keep in mind that most bonsai plants die quickly because of over- or under-watering, so make sure you prevent this from happening.

You can apply simple techniques to determine if you already need to water your plant. For instance, poke your finger gently into the soil to check whether it feels dry or moist. During warm months, make it a point to water your plant immediately when you notice the top 1/2 inch of the soil turns dry. However, you should prevent the soil from getting soggy, and watering maybe done at least once a week. In winter, you may water the plant every 2 to 3 weeks since the temperatures are cooler.

Feeding the Plant

It is essential to feed or fertilize your plant to provide it with important nutrients that support its health. Since nutrients in the soil tend to be washed away during watering, you should consider applying a fertilizer to ensure your plant’s growth. Palm trees may be fertilized about 3 to 4 times a year, and the best time to do so is when new growths emerge during spring. You may also fertilize in the latter part of summer to condition your plant before winter. For this tree specie, you may either use a chemical fertilizer diluted to 1/2 strength or a liquid organic fertilizer. It is important to water the tree before applying fertilizer, and never feed a weak or newly-repotted plant to prevent stress.

Photo image via bonsai tree

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