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The native silver birch (Betula pendula) is rarely found among bonsai enthusiasts. This is by no means because the deciduous tree would be so boring. No, quite the opposite, because the birch tree, which is extremely easy to care for and grow, is difficult to cultivate in planters and can be quite capricious under such keeping conditions. If you try it anyway, you can be rewarded with an impressive bonsai if you take good care of it.

The silver birch is a particularly beautiful bonsai

location

Silver birches love a bright, sunny location where they are exposed to wind and weather. Too much shade leads to poor growth, and branches can also die off due to the lack of light.

design options

In terms of their design options, birch trees are quite limited, since on the one hand they are difficult to prune and on the other hand they quickly shed twigs and branches. So the bonsai enthusiast must be patient and allow the design to be more or less dictated by the natural growth form of the tree. Silver birches can be cultivated both as individual bonsai and in groups.

watering and fertilizing

Silver birches need a lot of water and must not dry out, especially in midsummer - otherwise individual branches will die off very quickly. However, waterlogging is also not tolerated, which is why you should ensure good drainage. Fertilize between March and September preferably with organic fertilizer.

cutting and wiring

Never cut your silver birch bonsai in spring or summer - the sap pressure is simply too great during the growing season and the tree threatens to bleed to death. Ideally, birch trees are pruned between November and January, although wounds must always be treated with a wound sealant due to the high risk of infection. Wiring is basically possible, but you shouldn't leave the wires on the tree for so long because of the very fast growth and you have to replace them more often.

repot

Also due to the rapid growth, annual repotting of the silver birch is recommended, which is best done in autumn or early spring.

hibernate

Since the silver birch is very frost hardy as a native tree, it can also overwinter as a bonsai outdoors. To do this, it is best to dig the tree into the ground together with the planting bowl so that the roots do not freeze to death at very low temperatures.

tips

A mixture of humus soil, peat, lava granules (€13.99) and Akadama, a special clay granulate, is suitable as a plant substrate.

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