he beautiful Panhandle in Northwest Florida
Is the Home of 

Fort Walton Beach Bonsai Society 
(since 1973)
44 years and counting
Thanks for visiting


April - The Month of Spring

Lee Vanderpool

April will probably give us our first taste of warm - or hot - weather of the year. This is the transition month between winter and summer in north Florida, what passes for spring. March was mostly cool and the trees loved it!   Azaleas bloomed, camellias brought out their finest flowers, wisteria burst forth with glowing blue or white panicles - even leaves of deciduous trees and shrubs appeared with reddish tones before they turned green. The spring flush of color is mostly over although there are still some trees and accent plants which will bloom through the spring and into summer. Major repotting should be completed - pine and juniper potting or repotting should be finished soon.  Now is the time to look forward to a summer of leisurely pinching junipers and elms almost daily! Leaves of deciduous treesand shrubs will harden off around the middle of May and, until then, there will be tremendous growth of twigs and branches. Keeping all that growth under control may be a monumental task. 

Check to see if you have any wire remaining on your bonsai. A piece of wire missed on a twig or branch can cause scarring in just a few days with the rapid growth spurts. Watch your Japanese black pines for overly long candles and trim them back 1/2 their length if they get too long. Remember, we have three candle growth periods here in north Florida so you must be careful that the candles do not take over and cause excessive growth in the top of your pines. With the dry weather, you need to keep an eye out for red spider mites, especially on junipers and boxwoods although other plants are susceptible. Spray immediately with a miticide or super fine oil as soon as you see tiny webs on your plants. Spider mites can cause discoloration of foliage and possibly death to twigs or leaves. Time to begin fertilizing your bonsai on a regular schedule. Light fertilization every other week is recommended whether you use water soluble fertilizer or an organic product. Best not to over fertilize you trees but it is important to give them nourishment on a regular basis. Lay cascade pots on their side with the cascade facing up to strengthen the cascading branch. Return the pot to upright to water. Apply fungicide at least twice during this transition month and drench roots to prevent root rot. Do not apply fungicide to Japanese black pine or other tree which has beneficial mycorrhizae. Enjoy the spring. This is the best time of year in north Florida! 


FWBBS was formed in 1973 by a small core of people interested in learning more about the Art of Bonsai & we are still going strong. Come join us.

© Fort Walton Beach Bonsai Society (FWBBS) ELF 2019