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Bonsai Hints and Tips #4 - Summer Siesta:
Summer in Perth, Western Australia means very little rain, hot winds, long hours of bright sunlight and increased evaporation rate. The soil in a small Bonsai pot gets very hot quickly and if not protected from the heat little roots can burn and die. A good way to prevent this is to place your Bonsai in a shaded area. Sun protection not only reduces the physical heat but decreases the Ultra Violet burning capacity too.
It is very beneficial to protect your Bonsai from the strong, hot winds that originate from our north eastern deserts. These winds are very nasty and stress little Bonsai leaves. They are like a hairdryer turned on all morning, drying the leaf surface. If you can, erect some shadecloth on the north eastern side of your property or sit your Bonsai amongst tall shady trees. These will help to absorb the impact of both the hot wind and the intense sunlight.
you need to do is cake the manure on top of the soil, avoiding the trunk
of your Bonsai. Leave some space between the trunk and the manure
to allow the Bonsai to breathe. Water as normal and don't feed your Bonsai
for several weeks. The manure will slowly seep through the soil and
keep it moist, as well as feeding your Bonsai.
If you have a Ficus Bonsai such as a Moreton Bay Fig or Port Jackson Fig, you can sit it in a shallow saucer. This will keep the soil moist and encourage aerial root formation. If you have Conifer Bonsai such as Cypress or Pine it is best to water them once a day and mist the needles with fine spray whenever you can. Conifers tend to get very stressed in our summer heat.
Good luck and above all, ENJOY your Bonsai....!
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