The mighty redwood bonsai!
Welcome to our page on the mighty redwood bonsai!
Before we get into the nitty gritty, we have to make it perfectly clear that a bonsai redwood is not the same as a sequoia tree. Whilst they appear the same with their red trunks and branches, they are quite different. For example, a Sequoia's branches and trunk become brittle and can make wiring an absolute nightmare! Redwood trees are also easier on the eye - their foliage is generally more spaced out and slightly greener than it's impostor friend!
In starting, and if you live near California, you can visit ancient redwood forests that have been growing for thousands of years. The Californian redwood forests attract huge amounts of visitors each year, instilling each observer with a sense of awe and wonder. They really are magnificent, and are equally magnificent when used as bonsai!
Lets learn how to grow one of your own! If you are a beginner, don't forget to check out our beginner's guide too!
Soil, Lighting & Watering
• basic bonsai mix, and one that is well drained
• Your bonsai redwood will perform best in climates that do not reach extreme high or low temperatures
• Ensure you water daily, but you should attempt to mist every 2nd day, as the redwood enjoys a good misting!
• Keep the soil moist, but not overwatered. If the soil is constantly drenched, this will lead to root rot
• Redwoods are an outdoor species of bonsai and will not perform well indoors....... Plenty of sunlight, but ensure to protect against roasting temperatures and conversely, icy conditions!
• Your redwood bonsai will want to grow as tall as possible. Obviously, having it planted in a small container will keep it at bay, but this will not stop the roots becoming an entangled mess!
• Aim to repot your redwood every 2-3 years to avoid the roots overtaking the container Remove 1/3 of the longer roots but ensure you protect the root ball!
Pruning & Wiring
• Like most bonsai, you will have to prune your redwood at the start of Spring
• Redwoods can become quite unruly, quite quickly. You will have to ensure you have the right bonsai tools for the job, including branch shears
• At the start of spring remove around 1/3 of your bonsai redwood's growth, ensuring you pinch or prune new growth as it appears
• Remove asymmetrical growth along the branches. Basically ensure the foliage is even in appearance
• Wire your redwood at the start of Spring
• Use a thicker gauge wire on the trunk (probably around 2mm). If the wire begins eating into the trunk, remove, apply matting (raffia) to protect it
• Apply a high nitrogen liquid feed (8+) during Spring only. If you use this during summer, your redwood bonsai will become too thirsty and will potentially die. Also, the instructions on the feed will tell you how much to use!
• Most bonsai redwood specimens are displayed informal and informal upright styles, however, we feel they would be great in cascade, slanting and driftwood styles! Get your hands dirty and try something different on your bonsai redwood! After all, isn't this what bonsai is about?
Leave redwood bonsai and head back to Bonsai Trees Guide O-Z