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What should I Fertilize my Bonsai with

March 01, 2017

Bonsai artists often ask "what should I fertilize my bonsai with".

This is a common question because there are so many types of fertilizers, let alone ways to apply them. In addition to the "choice" challenge, some of the factors which prevent bonsai artists from regularly fertilizing bonsai include;

- Lack of time due to work, family or other commitments
- Lifting numerous watering cans is unappealing
- Bad weather
- Forgetfulness (....when is my next fertilizing session due)
- More fun to style trees & defer fertilizing

Some advantages and disadvantages of common fertilizer types are:


Advantages Disadvantages
Chicken Pellets - Economical
- Easy to apply
- Commonly available
- Adds organic material to soil

- Smell
- Rats eat them
- My dog eats them!
- Slow, uncontrolled nutrient release
- NPK content variable.
- High nitrogen – affects leaf reduction
- May not be effective with acid loving plants

Meal based fertilizer cakes - Economical
- Satisfaction - you made the fertilizer cakes

- NPK ratio unknown
- Smell
- Rats eat them
- Slow, uncontrolled nutrient release
- Nutrient content highly variable

Slow release fertilizers - Easy to apply
- Fertilize every three months
- Include in bonsai soil when repotting

- Uncontrolled fertilizer release
- Fertilizer may not release until well into growing season.
- Concentrated application
- Fertilizer release dictated by:
- Time (3 - 4 months)
- Temperature
- Moisture
- Activity of soil organisms

Liquid based Fertilizer

- Economical
- Easy to use
- Fast response
- Macro & Micro nutrients readily available for plant uptake
- Controlled application
- Repeatable results
- NPK known
- Use specific NPK ratios to target vegetative, root or flower development
- Foilar feeding is easy

- Can be more expensive than some dry fertilizer alternatives
- Can leach out of soil medium faster than other fertilizer types


- Until now…. applied by watering cans…..


In our experience, liquid fertilizers provide predictable results and develop plants in a sustainable and healthy manner.

The good news ….. fertilizing bonsai with liquid fertilizer now only involves 3 simple steps....

Step 1 - Set the dial to the desired fertilizer rate

Step 2 - Place the suction filter into the fertilizer bottle Step 3 - Start fertilizing

Step 1
Set the dial to the desired fertilizer rate

Step 2
Place suction filter into fertilizer bottle

Step 3
Start fertilizing


fertigate automatic fertilizers are not limited to fertilizing bonsai. You can use it as a quick & easy way to fertilize plants, gardens, orchids, vegetables, trees, lawn and more. Use your garden hose or drip irrigation system.

Choose one of the fertigate range and enjoy watching your bonsai develop and quickly and as healthy as ours.

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