Guide to Best Bonsai Fertilizer

Fertilizers provide essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the soil which are essential for all plants to survive and thrive. Generally, trees in the forest are able to spread their root system in the soil to find and take proper nutrients. But whereas bonsai trees have to grow and survive in the small pots, they are not able to extend their roots as much as they need. 

So fertilization is required for the bonsai trees for their regular feeding. Especially, during the growing season (from early spring to the late summer) regular fertilization is very important for your bonsai trees to grow faster, bigger and to become healthier. 

But for beginners or new gardeners, regular fertilizing often may seem very complicated and even more confusing to be done. So they often search for a proper care guide to bonsai fertilizers and their use. 

However, today we’ve come up with a complete guide on bonsai tree fertilization including all necessary answers that you need to know.

So let’s drag into the entire article and read more about the topic and learn them.


Types Of Bonsai Fertilizer 

Many bonsai gardeners, especially beginners, get confused when it comes to buying and using bonsai fertilizers. The matter is that there are various types of plant fertilizers we can find in our local shops and at the same time, we can’t decide which one is actually made for our bonsai trees.

But the thing is, bonsai fertilizers aren’t anything special. They are just regular plant fertilizers that we use for our other plants in the garden. You just need to choose the right one depending on the type of your bonsai tree and make sure that the fertilizer consists of the proper ratio of NPK (nitrogen, phosphate and potash). 

In the shops or nurseries, you will find mainly two types of fertilizers. One is solid and another is liquid. They come with various purposes in their own way. You just need to select one of them depending on your bonsai and your own choice also.

Solid Bonsai Fertilizer (Granules and pellets)

Solid fertilizers are usually made of granules, spikes or powders. They are heavily concentrated and slow-released. Once you place a solid fertilizer right below the surface of the soil, slowly it will provide consistent nourishment for a few months. 

So you don’t need to worry about fertilizing your bonsai tree every one or two weeks or every month. Moreover, there is no need for regular watering to activate the fertilizer. 

Not only that but if you’re not able to fertilize your bonsai regularly, this slow release method can be a great alternative. This is why this type of fertilizer is very popular for its ease of use.

Liquid Bonsai Fertilizer

If your bonsai tree requires regular fertilizing like every two to three weeks, liquid fertilizers will be the best choice for you. They are literally quick-released and more profitable than solid fertilizers. 

Often liquid fertilizers can be sold as condensed fertilizers. In that case, before using, you have to make a mixture of fertilizer and water to make it diluted. Then apply the mixture onto the moistened layer of the soil of the bonsai tree pot. Thus liquid fertilizers carry the nutrients directly to the root system of the tree. 


How To Choose Bonsai Fertilizers?

As fertilizers are the greatest source of proper nutrients for the bonsai trees, choosing a suitable bonsai fertilizer for your bonsai tree is recommended. There are a couple of things you need to consider when choosing a suitable fertilizer for bonsai plants. 

First of all, consider the age of your tree and the season going on. Then figure out the type of the soil used for the plant. Now select the proper ratios of NPK (stands for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) for the fertilizer. For an outdoor bonsai tree, you can follow our following instructions:

  • If the tree is smaller and the season is spring, the ratio should be like NPK 10:6:6.
  • Whereas, the tree is thriving and the season is summer, the ratio should be equal like NPK 6:6:6.
  • On the other hand, the ratio must be like 3:6:6 in autumn.

However, in some cases these ratios may vary. Such as when the tree is about to flowering, use a high phosphate content fertilizer and when the tree grows older and mature decrease the ratio of NPK and fertilize the tree after taking  long breaks. But when it comes to using fertilizer for indoor bonsai trees, we recommend you use a balanced liquid fertilizer. 

There is another thing to consider when choosing a bonsai fertilizer. If you are to fertilize your bonsai regularly, then try to use a liquid bonsai fertilizer. Otherwise you are suggested to use solid bonsai fertilizers as they are slow-release and able to serve necessary nutritions to the root system for a long time.  


Top 10 Best Bonsai Fertilizers To Grow Your Bonsai Tree

When it comes to buying a bonsai fertilizer for the tree, it may seem very confusing to select the best fertilizer depending on the tree recommendations. So here we’ve listed the top 10 bonsai fertilizers with their description, features and benefits. Hope it will help you to find the best one for your bonsai plants.


1. Schultz All Purpose 10 15 10 Plant Food Plus  

This is basically a liquid bonsai fertilizer. It contains all the necessary nutrients to make your bonsai tree more healthy and strong. Not only that, Schultz 10-15-10 Plant Food is a formula that will be able to increase the growth and also be able to provide all important nutrients for all indoor and outdoor plants.

That means this is a versatile formula. The formula is also very easy to use. You need to mix just 7 drops of the fertilizer with water and the mixture should be given to the plant every time it is watered

Features and benefits:

  • Made by Schultz
  • 10-15-10 formula
  • All propose
  • Contains famous 7 drops formula
  • Easy to use
  • Profitable 
  • Suitable for all kinds of plant
  • Worthy for both indoor and outdoor bonsai tree species


2. Perfect Plants Bonsai Fertilizer Pellets 18-6-8  

This formula is a slow release and solid fertilizer best for outdoor bonsai trees. This nitrogen rich formula is best for both mature and immature bonsai trees. It helps to grow the root system faster and make the tree healthy and strong as well. 

Moreover, the Perfect Plants Pellets fertilizer is also very easy to use. All you need is just distribute one ounce of pellets around the tree’s base and water slightly to activate. The fertilizer is also very economical for the beginners and most of the gardeners that only one application will be able to feed the tree all important nutrients for a full 12 months. 

Features and benefits:

  • Created by Perfect Plants
  • 18-6-8 formula
  • Nitrogen rich NPK
  • Easy to use
  • Economical
  • Time released
  • One application lasts for one year 


3. Perfect Plants Liquid Bonsai Fertilizer 9-3-6 

Perfect plant liquid bonsai fertilizer is one of the best liquid fertilizers. This formula is very well known for its fast-releasing act. The formula also contains a proper ratio of NPK that activates the fast growth of the tree and meets the lack of essential nutrients. 

Besides, the fertilizer is very economical and easy to use. In order to apply the formula, mix 1 tsp fertilizer for every 4 liters of water and apply the formula at the time of watering the tree.

Features and benefits:

  • Made by Perfect Plants
  • 9-3-6 formula
  • Great for all types of indoor and outdoor bonsai trees
  • Very economical
  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for an instant boost of nutrients


4. Dyna-Gro | Bonsai-Pro Liquid Plant Food | 7-9-5 

This is another fast-release formula with an additional 16 essential minerals and micronutrients. This is also very special because the rich phosphorus content makes the root system stronger and decreases the risk of burning root. 

For being a liquid bonsai fertilizer, using the formula is not so difficult like other liquid formulas we discussed. All you need is to combine one-quarter of a tsp with 4 liters of water and apply the formula to the plant every time it is watered.

Features and benefits:

  • Made by Dyna-Gro
  • 7-9-5 formula 
  • Fast-released
  • Easy to apply
  • Profitable
  • Contains essential minerals and micronutrients for the plants.


5. BioGold Bonsai Fertilizer Pellets 5-6-3 

This organic bonsai fertilizer is recommended for all types of bonsai plant because it is slow-released and versatile as well. Not only that, this BioGold Bonsai Fertilizer encourages vigorous growth of the tree and makes the root system strong and healthy. It also can save the tree from insects, birds and mold growth.

This formula can be a best choice for flowering trees that result in healthy foliage and blooms. Moreover, this is definitely an economical formula. Because once you place the fertilizer on the surface of the soil, it releases essential nutrients very slowly and the result lasts for almost two months.

Features and benefits:

  • Made by BioGold
  • 5-6-3 formula
  • Slow-released
  • Organic
  • Rich phosphorus content
  • Fully economical
  • Easy to use


6. Bonsai Tree Fertilizer Tons Of Micronutrients 18-4-10 

This is another organic bonsai fertilizer that comes with all necessary purposes for bonsai. The higher nitrogen content encourages fast growth of smaller bonsai trees. The fertilizer is also worth the money that you need to apply the formula just once a month.

The formula is also very easy to apply. All you need is just sprinkle the required amount of the fertilizer around the base of the pot and water thoroughly to activate. 

Features and benefits:

  • Launched by JK Global Imports
  • 18-4-10 formula
  • Easy to apply, once a month
  • Worthy for indoor and outdoor plants
  • High nitrogen content formula
  • Profitable
  • Won’t burn roots


7. Bonsai Resource Center Liquid Fertilizer For Bonsai Trees 3-3-3  

This liquid bonsai fertilizer made by the Bonsai Resource Center, is naturally an organic quick-acting fertilizer for bonsai trees. The formula is usually most useful for the thriving trees at the time of summer. 

After applying the fertilizer, the formula will be able to provide all necessary nutrients to the soil and enrich the growth of the tree. Never use the liquid directly. Mix one tsp fertilizer with one cup of water and apply that liquid at the time watering the plants. 

Features and benefits: 

  • Launched by Bonsai Resource Center
  • 3-3-3 formula
  • Fully organic
  • Quick-releasing
  • No harsh chemical
  • Easy to use


8. Bonsai Plant Food Organic Liquid Fertilizer 

This organic liquid fertilizer contains all necessary macro and micronutrients. The formula is amazingly suitable for all kinds of bonsai (indoor and outdoor). The fertilizer comes with a quick release formula that serves essential nutrients to the root system and also to the branch system. 

Features and benefits:

  • Made by The Grow Co 
  • Useful to both indoor and outdoor bonsai trees
  • Quick release formula
  • Easy to use
  • Profitable
  • Value for money


9.  Leaves And Soul Bonsai Fertilizer Pellets 18-6-8 

This high nitrogen content bonsai fertilizer comes with a wonderful slow-release option. Once you insert the pellets around the base of the tree, essential macro and micronutrients will work for the next 6 months. In that case, the formula is fully economical and easy to use. 

Features and benefits:

  • Created by Leaves and Soul
  • NPK 18-6-8 formula
  • Contains essential micronutrients
  • Easy to use
  • Time release formula
  • Fully economical


10. Superfly Bonsai Fertilizer – Slow Release 

The Superfly Bonsai Fertilizer comes with a vast amount of advantages including a balanced ratio of NPK 14-14-14. If you need to apply a slow-release formula, this formula can be a better choice for you. 

It is typically able to serve important minerals and micronutrients to any bonsai plant for 2 to 3 months. The most interesting thing about this formula is that the Superfly Bonsai Fertilizer comes with a 100% money back guarantee when the user isn’t satisfied with it. 

Features and benefits:

  • Made by Supefly
  • 14-14-14 formula
  • Slow release formula 
  • 100% money back guarantee


How To Use Bonsai Fertilizers

Using bonsai fertilizers is not such a difficult task to do. To learn the thing in depth, read out our following step-by-step tutorial and figure out the necessary pieces of information you need to know:

  1. First of all, select a suitable bonsai fertilizer for your bonsai tree. To choose the best one you can follow the previous instructions we added in this tutorial. 
  2. After that choose the brand and buy the selected fertilizer from any local shop or online provider.
  3. Make a proper schedule to fertilize your bonsai.
  4. According to the schedule, when it’s time to feed your tree use the fertilizer you bought before.
  5. If you are using solid bonsai fertilizer, follow the following steps to go:
    • Cut the packet and pop out the fertilizer and put them into a cup or basket so that the fertilizers can’t be washed away while watering the tree and birds can’t eat them.
    • According to the size of the tree and pot, fill the required number of baskets or cups with fertilizer.
    • Now turn the cups upside down and thus place them onto the surface of the soil in the pot.
  1. Instead of solid fertilizer, if you choose liquid fertilizers to feed your tree, follow the following instructions to get the best results.
    • Before starting to feed the tree, always read the manufacturer’s instructions to know in which quantities to apply the bonsai fertilizer. 
    • According to the manufacturer’s instructions, make a mixture of fertilizer and water very well. 
    • Use a spray bottle and fill the bottle with the mixture.
    • Spray the fertilizer when watering the tree.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do you fertilize a bonsai tree? 

While purchasing fertilizer, I always used to ask the seller at the shop how I should fertilize my bonsai tree. This way is very helpful that only experts can give you the best suggestion. In addition, I read the instructions attached to the manufacturer’s label. It lets us know how we should use the fertilizer, how much of it we should use once, and how many times we can use it. 

2. What is the best fertilizer for bonsai trees? 

In my point of view, the Schultz All Purpose 10 15 10 Plant Food Plus fertilizer is the best fertilizer for the bonsai trees. The things which make it best are: it is versatile, nitrogen rich NPK formula, contains all essential micronutrients, easy to apply, and economical. 

3. Do you need special fertilizer for bonsai? 

Using a regular and versatile fertilizer that contains a proper combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) is enough for any bonsai tree. 

4. Do bonsai trees need special compost? 

Whereas bonsai trees have to grow in a pot with limited amounts of soil, they also have a limited source of nutrients. So they need special compost which contains all necessary nutrients and provides the proper balance of drainage and water retention for healthy growth and a strong root system. 

5. When should you fertilize a bonsai? 

In the growing season (early spring to throughout the autumn), bonsai trees need proper feeding. So it will be better if we can fertilize a bonsai tree in the growing season. It also depends on the tree species, stage of development, and health of the tree. 

6. What type of fertilizer is best for bonsai? 

Using organic fertilizers is the best choice for bonsai. They are made from plant and animal materials and totally free from any harsh chemicals. Organics also come with a slow release formula and they are able to nourish a plant for a longer period of time.

7. What is NPK on fertilizer labels? 

NPK on fertilizer labels typically represents the combination of three main macronutrients: nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). For example: A NPK 18-6-8 formula contains 18% nitrogen, 6% phosphorus and 8% potassium. 

8. Are there times when I should avoid fertilizing my bonsai? 

Yes, of course. There are times when you shouldn’t fertilize your bonsai plants. If you have any dormant and sick bonsai trees, you should avoid fertilizing them. Furthermore, there is no need to regularly fertilize an older or mature bonsai tree.

9. Is there an advantage to using organic fertilizer?  

The major advantage of using organic fertilizers is they are free from harsh chemicals. So they can protect your trees from any real damage while fertilizing them. 

Final Thoughts

We know how important fertilizer is for the balanced growth and healthy development of a plant. Still, the use of additional fertilizers can be a threat to the plant and may cause real damage to them. Hence, we must be aware of choosing the best fertilizer for our plants and we should avoid over feeding them. 

You will find various kinds of bonsai fertilizer available on the market. But you should choose which one to buy depending on a couple of things such as the species of your tree, the age and stage of development of the tree, the quality of soil, and the season your trees are going through.

However, I would recommend you to use any organic fertilizer which is versatile as well and if you have younger bonsai trees in the growing season, you should use nitrogen-rich NPK formula.