Maidenhair Tree Bonsai - Ginkgo biloba

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The Gingko tree can be grown outdoors in the ground to a height over 15m, but these trees are growing as bonsais, so with careful pruning and attention to their needs, they can stay a manageable size and bring beauty to your home! These trees are deciduous, and love being outdoors; in Britain, they will need to come inside while there is risk of frost, though, so make sure you pay attention to the seasons. This Bonsai catches the eye with its gorgeous, pale green foliage whose tactile leaves split into two lobes; it is even more stunning in autumn, when its leaves turn a bright golden-yellow. More light will help the colour of leaves be even more stunning at this time of year.

Scientific Name
Ginkgo biloba (silver fruit with bilobed leaves)

Common Name
Maidenhair Tree, Ginkgo/Gingko Bonsai

Native to China

This Bonsai likes bright light. It will do best outdoors whilst there is no risk of frost, and otherwise will appreciate a sunny window.

Keep the soil moist: if keeping outside in summer, you'll need to make sure you water in dry weather, and indoors be aware it will dry out quickly when it's getting enough light! Keep soil lightly moist in winter, and be aware it will need less frequent watering in the cooler months.

Average household humidity is fine, just make sure it's not too close to an operating radiator over winter.

Use a well-draining soil mix; something designed for cacti or for bonsais will work well here. Repot every year while the plant is young; mature trees can be repotted every two to five. Prune the roots to keep it small, but don't prune heavily.

Fertilise in the growing season; use a feed high in nitrogen in spring. Start feeding when the buds are about to open, which will help it produce leaves on longer shoots. Fertilise weekly until the leaves turn yellow in autumn.

In winter, the Ginkgo will need a dormancy period, in which it should be at temperatures between 2-12°C; make sure it does not freeze. Ensure it's warmer than this from spring onwards to encourage its growth period; be aware it will need more water in hotter weather.

The leaves and trunk are non-toxic to pets, but if it produces fruit in autumn make sure your pet does not eat the fruit, as the seeds can be harmful.

Sprouts Top Tips
Bonsai trees don't naturally grow this small- if you want to keep it miniature, you'll need to prune regularly.Take care pruning your Maidenhair tree's branches, as larger cuts don't heal well; use sharp blades and a cut paste if you can; the same goes for when pruning its sensitive roots. Prune branches back once they have 5-6 leaves and snip to where there are about two leaves. If you want your tree to grow in interesting shapes, it may be worth doing further research into bonsai wiring. Lots of time and care go into making these plants look so incredible!

The ideal position for a Ginkgo bonsai is outdoors, but it needs protection from freezing temperatures so would need to be kept indoors while there is risk of frost. Whilst outdoors, ensure it has enough water but is not waterlogged, and that it is somewhere in partial shade, where it can avoid the harshest afternoon sun. Make sure to quarantine your plant if bringing it indoors where there are other plants in case of pests or disease. 

Did you know?
The Ginkgo tree is considered a living fossil; record of it dates back 270 million years!



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