Bonsai in July

The weather is still hot, but there is more rain. Average high is 92.2 degrees; average low is 65.2 degrees. The record high is 104 degrees; record low is 54 degrees. Relative humidity is 43%. Rains can come down in torrents. The sun filter overhead has another use, protecting the bonsai from having soil washed out of the pot.

Watering: Water well in the morning until it runs out of the bottom of the pot. Cut off any roots growing out of drainage holes. The deciduous trees will probably need more water in the early afternoon. Check pines and junipers for moisture. It is not advisable to water in the late evening because leaves are subject to mildew if they don’t dry off by nightfall. Remember to water the area around the trees.

Fertilizing: Continue small amounts regularly. Change types to get different trace elements. The fertilizer should still contain nitrogen.

Spraying: Control insects and check fruiting trees for borers. Borers attack the trunk just under the soil line and can kill a tree in just a few months.

Trimming & Pruning: Later this month, you can de-leaf if necessary. Do not do this every year. Keep the junipers pinched. Paint the hardened off, dry jinned areas with lime sulfur, and place the tree in full sun for a while. You can wire hardened off wood now. Remove most of the fruit so the tree can preserve some strength. See BCI Magazine, July/Aug 1987. Keep checking wires.