The Unexpected Fishy Fertilizer That'll Help Your Bonsai Tree Thrive

Few things infuse the beauty of art and nature like the bonsai tree. The Japanese developed the bonsai after adopting the Chinese pruning method that not only trims a regular tree down to dwarf size, but trains its branches with wire. This practice is more than 1,000 years old and the bonsai itself, far outlives this number. In fact, they're known to live for centuries and adding fish emulsion fertilizer to their care regimen can contribute to their longevity and healthy growth.

Fish emulsion is a type of organic fertilizer that'll do wonders for your garden soil, as well as your bonsai's. Fish emulsion is a liquid byproduct from the fish meal and fish oil industry. As a nutrient source, the liquid fertilizer offers the usual macronutrients of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus as well as micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and more. Knowing how to grow and care for a bonsai tree is understanding that bonsai need a balance of macro and micronutrients to not only survive, but to thrive, making fish emulsion a wise fertilizer choice for strong, sturdy root systems and stems.

How to care for your Bonsai using fish emulsion fertilizer

Though the bonsai is one plant you should never keep in your home if you're practicing feng shui, odds are you still want your tree to flourish whether you follow this traditional practice or not. There are a few reasons why using fish emulsion fertilizer can help a bonsai grow beautifully. These include its mild potency, its soil composition support, and its enhancement of beneficial soil microbes. First, fish emulsion is one of the most gentle fertilizers you can use for a bonsai. This is thanks to the organic and natural composition of the fertilizer that makes it unlikely to burn plants, even in high concentrations compared to something like a synthetic fertilizer. 

Additionally, fish emulsion improves the structure of the bonsai's soil, while acting as a protein source to feed beneficial soil bacteria. This promotes microbial activity in the soil and a strong root system. Finally, since the improved soil environment allows the bacteria residing within it to flourish, this increases your bonsai's nutrient absorption. The more beneficial bacteria living in your bonsai's soil means a larger amount of nutrients are being broken down into forms that your plant can intake, so you end up with a full and healthy bonsai tree.

Tips for fertilizing your Bonsai with fish emulsion

Fertilizing a bonsai with fish emulsion does require some techniques to be aware of. When applying fish emulsion, do so according to the fertilizer's label instructions. Similarly, not all bonsai trees benefit from the same fertilizer application amounts and frequency because there are many different species of bonsai. It's always best to conduct thorough research of the type of bonsai you have before adding any fertilizer to its soil.

You also want to be mindful of how you apply fish emulsion fertilizer, as incorrect application method won't be as beneficial to your tree. First, make sure to distribute the fertilizer evenly across the surface of the soil. Even applications of fertilizer ensure the nutrients are equally dispersed rather than concentrated in one area. After fertilizing your bonsai, water the plant. This helps deliver nutrients to the plant's roots so your bonsai can be nourished and healthy for centuries to come.