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Daily Care

Text, and photos by Morten Albek, Denmark
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Placing The Shohin-Bonsai In The Garden

A Shohin-bonsai is a bit more demanding according to daily care. Because of its tiny size it dries out earlier. Therefore care must be taken to choose a proper position in the garden, which protects the small trees from harmful sun and winds. A shohin-bonsai can easily be thrown down from the stand by a sudden wind or storm. Therefore it needs to be placed where this will not happen.

Furthermore daily care has some differences. Read more about this in daily care.

Erling Korsgaard during daily care

Humid Surroundings

At the same time care must be taken into proper humid surroundings, that will prevent the trees to dry out too fast. Placing the trees nearby bigger bonsai is one positive aspect, but the presence of vegetation on the ground beneath the benches, is another important factor.

The steaming transpiration from the plantings, scrubs and grasses i.e. on the ground, will make a humid air around the tables, in benefit of the bonsai placed there.

So instead of making the common mistake, where gravel is the ground cover and I have done this myself- plant some vegetation to improve the humidity.

It will make far more pleasing surroundings as well.

Johnny Eslykke observing his trees

Watering And Harmful Attacks

Another matter of importance is of course the watering. Shohins dry out quickly, and need to be watered properly. That means that any species must be kept moist according to their demands. Pines are tolerant to dry periods, but donít overdo it. Acer, and other species like it, needs to be lightly moist all the time.

A good way of watering the tiniest of the trees, is to dip them into a bowl of water, and holding them there until they have filled the soil with water.

The daily watering is a very good occasion to also check the trees for any pests and attacks by insects. Look also for any other signs of weaknesses of the trees such as: discoloured leaves, that could be caused by larval attacks on the roots.

A good habit is also to spray the leaves with water. This will clean the leaves, and provide humidity that is obtained through the leaves.

At the same time this will disturb insects, and make their life troublesome in benefit of the tree's health.


Remember to check branches with wire, to prevent the wire of making marks in the branch when it thickens in the growing period. Especially deciduous trees are growing quickly at the times when new leaves develop.

Remove the wire with a wire cutter.

Daily Care

So daily care is a number of things do be aware of. But this is at the same time some of the peace to be found in the routines of the work with bonsai.

Some of my peacefulnessí moments I find in the daily care. Often I find myself sitting or standing in longer periods at the same spot, just to watch and study the trees on the benches.

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