Bonsai in January

This is our middle of winter, and it can get cold. The average high temperature is 46 degrees; the average low is 23 degrees. Records are 69 degrees for the high and -17 degrees for the low. Relative humidity is 53%. On warmer days of 40 degrees or above, the cold frame can be opened to allow circulation of fresh air. Also, a wet snow does them good, but close the cold frame before nightfall.

Watering: Albuquerque’s climate is predominately in Zone 10 and considered high desert which is hot daytime temperatures and cool to very cold nights. The low relative humidity, high altitude, and high winds contribute to the desiccation of container grown trees. DO NOT allow the bonsai to dry out even in winter. Dormant trees in a cold frame do not use much water. Every ten days to two weeks should be enough, but check every week to be sure. Water trees planted in the ground once a week to ten days when the dirt has thawed, usually around noon. DO NOT water frozen bonsai.

Fertilizing: This is a good month to apply a light (2 strength) solution of MirAcid to neutralize the alkaline soil and watering done from the city tap. The “sitting” water barrel is now frozen and inaccessible. Apply fertilizer or any chemical to moist soil to prevent root damage.

Spraying: Dormant spray both in cold frame and in ground if the temperatures are not too severely cold outside. Bonsai may be brought indoors for display for a short period of time, but place them in the coolest place available.

Helpful Equipment: 2 whiskey barrel to let water sit and add conditioners small rose watering can quart sized zip lock bags for soil mixtures