March Care

March – The Finest Time of the Year 

by Lee Vanderpool

March is probably the best month of the year in northwest Florida. Tempera- ture as well as humidity are up but not too hot or too damp. Azaleas, quince, crabapples and other spring blooming plants are in flower while deciduous trees are just beginning to show green. Fine candles are sprouting on pines at a prodigious rate but junipers are still waiting for the correct time to begin growth. Most of your repotting should be completed while tropicals and may- be some junipers and azaleas are left to finish off during this month.

Now is the time to increase watering frequency, begin to spray with fungicide and make the first application of half strength fertilizer to your bonsai. Trees and shrubs in pots may get full strength fertilizer. About the middle of March is the last frost day - but beware! The odd cold night could still happen Most of your trees should be back on their benches by 15 March and enjoying the spring sunshine. Again, be careful. If a tree has spent the past couple of months in a greenhouse or inside your home, it can sun scald rapidly if put directly into the sunlight. Move tender plants into full sun gradually. Azaleas will need trimming and repotting after they flower if you didn’t repot in early spring. Pines require only to have their candles trimmed if they become too long. Leave small, weak candles to form new branches since they develop into small branches. Enjoy this time of year - your trees are probably at their best. 

© Fort Walton Beach Bonsai Society (FWBBS) ELF 2017