The Maple Bonsai is a shrub belonging to the Aceraceae family, there are several species and they differ from each other in the size and color of the leaves. The leaves are deciduous, opposite, palmate-lobed with 5-7 or 9 lobes, deeply incised with an elongated apex and a long petiole, heart-shaped base and narrow margin. In autumn, the light green leaves take on a bright red-orange color, and the shades of the leaves vary according to the seasons. It blooms in the month of May-June with very small flowers with a purple calyx and a creamy white corolla, gathered in clusters. The ornamental fruits have a butterfly shape of about two centimeters with flattened and colored wings, which divide during ripening, creating two single winged fruits. The gray or gray-green bark can be smooth or scaly. Its umbrella-shaped branches make it elegant even when bare. The Maple Bonsai reproduces by cutting and layering. The most popular species for making Bonsai is that of Japanese origin for its particularly slow and easy to shape growth. It is a resistant and long-lived plant, it grows very well in any climatic condition, finally it is advisable to expose it in a sunny area, well lit and away from heat sources. Watering interventions depend on the geographical area where it is located, on the season , the size of the pot and the drainage of the soil. During the winter season, water the Maple Bonsai 1-2 times a month, in the intermediate season 1-2 times a week and to finish in the summer season every day, preferably in the early morning or late evening. The plant must be wet only if it does not show traces of the previous watering, and in moderation, waiting for it to absorb all the water before carrying out a second one. In winter, do not wet it, if climatic conditions with possible frosts are foreseen, in order not to damage the root system.
maple bonsai

maple bonsaiFertilization for the Maple Bonsai is used to periodically integrate all the essential nutrients, as the small pot does not allow a large amount of substrate. Usually it must be performed in the vegetation period from March to September, avoiding the months of July and August that are too hot and those of flowering.It is preferable to use a liquid fertilizer, even if the powder one is absorbed more slowly, to be included in the watering, once a month.

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maple bonsaiThe training pruning in the Maple Bonsai should be done towards the end of the vegetative period, between the end of winter and the beginning of spring. This technique is performed to give a particular shape, without upsetting its natural bearing. The tools used for pruning the leaves are very sharp Bonsai scissors to avoid tearing, creating damage to the plant and shears of various sizes for the branches. After their pruning, it is advisable to medicate them with mastic or healing paste, also useful for keeping animal and vegetable parasites away. Maintenance pruning, on the other hand, can be performed at any time, to eliminate dry, diseased, broken or unsightly branches.

To correct the orientation of some branches it is possible to intervene with copper wires, covered with rubber so as not to damage the plant to be applied on the branches. This technique is usually performed in the vegetative period, on the young, more elastic and flexible ones. It is preferable to wet the plant a few hours before to make the branches more manageable. The tie rods instead, which are used to give a perpendicular direction to the plant, can be anchored to the pot.

maple bonsaiIn the Maple Bonsai, repotting must be done at the end of the vegetative rest period. the young plant should be repotted every year or every other year, to give way to grow, instead the adult plant every 4-5 years. At this stage it is advisable to replace the pot if necessary based on the size of the plant, replace the soil with a compound of 50% universal soil, 25% clay and the remaining 25% sand, favoring good drainage and finally cut with a well-sharpened scissors for diseased or too woody roots to give space to those capillaries, which are important for contributing to its nourishment. Before inserting the soil, it is advisable to place a grid or crushed stone inside the pot, on the drainage holes, to avoid that during watering, the water takes away part of the soil, also useful for keeping parasites away animals.

The Maple Bonsai can be attacked by animal parasites such as aphids, mealybugs, red spider mites, to clean the plant you can use pine oil to be passed manually on all the foliage, then brush the branches with a brush to remove all the whitish encrustations. On the market there are also chemical or biological insecticides to be used periodically not during the fruiting period. In autumn subject to diseases such as mal bianco or manna, a whitish powder that damages all the foliage if not treated, it is advisable to thin the plant to let even the most internal parts take air and place it in a non-humid area.

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Maple Bonsai – Bonsai tips

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