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Bonsai Banter Issue # 48 Four Years!
February 27, 2014

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Yes, Four Years!

This issue of Bonsai Banter celebrates four years of writing my e-zine. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy writing it. If you are a new subscriber, you can read the back issues here. I have to admit, it has much improved since the early issues!

Outdoor Museum Exhibit

The Appleton Museum in Ocala scheduled me for a "walk through" on February 15 to tell more about the bonsai trees currently on exhibit.

(See last month's Bonsai Banter for more pictures and details.)

We were having quite a cold spell (for Florida) and I was concerned about whether I should wear ear muffs and gloves!

As it turned out, it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. I was quick to shed my jacket and eventually my scarf.

Much to my surprise there were over 100 people in attendance! Many were bonsai folks I've known for years and it was great to see them.

There were also museum members and newcomers with lots of questions, they're always a pleasure. My comments on the bonsai were well received.

Again, I want to say 'Great Job!' to the Marion County Bonsai Society, the Hayashi Study Group and the Appleton Museum.

Bonsai Banter Mail

Last month I received the following letter from Caesarea, Israel:

"Dear Mary, I would appreciate your explaining a slight mystery to me: bonsai display stands are often elaborate and expensive, but I never see them incorporating a drainage pot below the tree container. How do they water the trees without having the drainage spill on the stands?" - Eli N

My Response Eli: Great question! I'm sure you're not alone in finding that subject mysterious. The old joke "very carefully" is the answer. However, as you may have guessed, there is more to it.

Indoor bonsai displays present several things to consider regarding water. Not only are the display stands vulnerable, but the display itself must be respected. Types of paper and fabric are often used in setting up displays indoors.

If a bonsai is being displayed for one day, there is rarely a problem. Owners should thoroughly water their bonsai the evening before the exhibit. Lengthier indoor exhibits do create a need to water.

Owners may take them outdoors (after hours), water them and let them drain before replacing. (Of course, then the container is wet and may mark the table with a white stain.)

Another technique is to mist the soil directly, being careful not to dampen the adjacent areas. Large bonsai (two and three man trees) are not likely to be moved outdoors. They are often watered this way.

Ice on Soil? Yes, this too is an option. Indoor room temperatures will slowly melt the ice into soil. If the soil is somewhat dry, it is very unlikely to drip through the bottom. Number of ice cubes will depend upon size of tree.

All of these watering techniques are for special indoor occasions ONLY.

Otherwise, use recommended watering bonsai techniques.

Please Help!

I often receive "please help!" emails and I do my best to answer thoroughly. As anyone who teaches bonsai knows, the answers are not always well received.

When I receive an email like the following from Kathy in Miami, FL, it makes it all worthwhile!

"I watered both bonsai today like you told me and left them outside. I'm sure with these adjustments they will start to recover and thrive. I feel more comfortable now thanks to your advice. Thanks so much!!!! You're my bonsai hero :)"- Kathy

Site Reminders

Don't forget, if you have a bonsai business or are a bonsai speaker, I have very reasonable prices and excellent exposure (hundreds of visitors a day)available for Your Advertising.

Until next month, thanks for your input and for visiting my site.


Mary Miller

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