What You Should Know about Caring for Your Pomegranate Bonsai
The Pomegranate is one of the most popular choices for bonsai cultivation. Its leaves have a distinct glossy appearance and narrow oblong shape while its red flowers are strikingly beautiful. What makes the pomegranate bonsai quite easy to grow is the fact that it resists drought and harsh climates. However, its roots must never be kept too wet for a long time, as this situation can lead to root decay due to fungal infestation. Since the pomegranate tree is a hardy specie, it is capable of withstanding moderate frost, as long as the temperature does not go below 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Location and Placement
A suitable spot to place your pomegranate bonsai is in a sunny area, as it prefers to be exposed in a location that receives full sun during the warm months. During winter, you may bring it indoors, as long as it gets an access to full light such as by the window sill or your patio. Although its leaves can tolerate temperatures below 14 degrees F, its roots lack the capability of resisting chilly weather. Hence, it dislikes chilly temperature, so it is best to keep it indoors in winter.
As with any bonsai plant, the pomegranate remains in a small pot, so you can expect its water supply to run out easily. However, their soil may dry out at a much faster rate than any other plants in bigger pots or those planted in the ground, yet proper watering techniques still must be applied. You need to strike a balance that exists between watering enough and too much water, as this is very crucial to the life and health of your bonsai. It is important to water the plant thoroughly while maintaining its damp, yet not soggy condition.
During the winter season, you should reduce the number of times in a week that you water the bonsai. You may also considers allowing the pot’s bottom holes to become moist by dipping the entire pot in a tub with water (about 1 to 2 inches in depth). Your pomegranate may also gain even better benefits by misting it on a weekly basis.
It is beneficial to your bonsai tree’s health if you apply fertilizer since essential nutrients in the soil are easily washed away each time you water your plant. The right time to feed your pomegranate tree is during the early part of spring, or when you have observed new growths in your plant. You may use an organic liquid fertilizer, or an all-purpose plant food using only half-strength. Apply fertilizer every two weeks beginning spring until autumn.
However, you should never fertilize your plant for at least three months after you have repotted it, or when you notice that your plant is weak. If you want to promote even better benefits to your plant’s growth, you may add pulverized organic plant food, which is best applied during mid-spring.
Pruning and Wiring
If you want to ensure the quality of foliage, you may consider pinching out new and tender shoots, particularly the first or even the third couple of new leaves. For more shoots, simply allow these growths to branch at a longer length before cutting them eventually. You may also notice a die-back effect that will have some impact on the tree’s overall design.
As for the wiring, you should use the thinnest possible wire that can maintain the branches in your preferred position. Make sure you wind the wire in the direction where the branch is bent to prevent the wire from getting loose. Never wrap the branches too tight to avoid scarring, and always start at the bonsai all the way to the trunk for superb anchor. Then, do the same with the other branches that you wish to train while being very careful not to cause damages to the trunk and branches.