June sees the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and that means plenty of daylight time for June bonsai jobs.

As the garden starts its ramp up to peak performance, so does the art of bonsai. Trees reach their peak and bonsai events and exhibitions are on most weekends. Be sure to make some time to allow your trees to peak and for you to enjoy what the month has instore.

The summer brings the scent of flowers in the air, a warm breeze and hopefully plenty of sun. It also brings Wimbledon and strawberries, not related to bonsai but enjoyable nonetheless.

So, with scissors and camera in hand, here is our list of bonsai jobs for June.

Look out for…

There are so many fantastic plants and flowers at this time of year. Take time to admire the plants and trees around you, basking in the summer sun.

It’s not just the big flowering plants, hosta will also be at their best during June. Some of the smallest are just 2.5cm tall and the largest around 150cm tall, well worth looking at. I know you may ask ‘but what about the slugs and snails?’

Well you could try the garlic solution recipe to keep them at bay, although you may want to make it outside!

If you grow peonies in your garden, then this is the month for you. Little stops you in your tracks more than the splendid flowers of peonies. Let’s just hope we don’t get too much rain to spoil the display!

June is a vibrant time for bonsai care in the UK, with your trees in full growth mode. As the weather warms and daylight hours lengthen, your bonsai will need particular attention to ensure they remain healthy and thriving. Here’s a comprehensive care guide to help you through the month of June.

Prepare shade

As the summer months progress, it will be essential for you to provide shade to some, if not all, of your bonsai trees. The smaller pots will dry out very quickly and that will lead to your tree struggling or dying back. Many trees have been lost due to lack of water during hot weather.

Place your trees in the shade of a garden tree or your house, under a pergola or under a purpose-built structure. It will be necessary to make sure that they’re in the shade when the sun is at its hottest, between 11am and 3pm to be safe.

Of course, simply moving them into the shade will not get you out of the task of watering. And at the height of summer, it may be necessary to water two or three times per day.

Ready watering

Now is the time to ensure that you will have the capability to water your trees throughout the summer. With less rainfall, you need to be sure that you are capturing sufficient rain and it is ready to use when you need it.

For small trees, you can sit them in water for 15 minutes to ensure that the soil is wet through the pot, rather than just the top inch or so. For this we use a grow bag tray filled with rain water, but you should only use this method if you are sure the trees are healthy. Sharing a water source in this manner could allow disease to be transferred from pot to pot.

And make sure you have a hose or a watering can at hand to jump into action on very hot days.

Take cuttings

If you keep fuchsia bonsai, now is a great time to take cuttings for new plants.

Remove a new, non-flowering shoot just above a leaf node with a sharp pair of scissors. Trim the shoot to just below a leaf node and place in a free draining soil and water well. Placed in a clear bag or propagator, they should root within four weeks.

Ventilate Greenhouses

It would be advisable to leave the doors open on your greenhouse to regulate the temperature. If you need to keep wildlife out then consider placing netting across the openings. This will also help to ensure your bonsai has good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases. Avoid overcrowding if you have multiple bonsai trees.

Quick jobs to get on with

  • Regular Feeding: Continue feeding your bonsai to support their vigorous growth, remembering that some species may require different nutrient ratios. Apply a slow release feed and also apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every two weeks.
  • Maintenance Pruning: Trim back new growth to maintain the shape and style of your bonsai. Focus on removing long shoots and excess foliage to encourage more compact growth and denser foliage.
  • Monitor Wired Branches: Regularly check wired branches to ensure the wire isn’t cutting into the bark as the branches grow.
  • Pest and Disease Control: Check your bonsai regularly for signs of pests or diseases. Look for discolored leaves, spots, or unusual growths. Use appropriate treatments if you notice any infestations.
  • Weed Removal: Keep the soil surface free from weeds that compete for nutrients and water.
  • Prepare for Holidays: If you plan to go on holiday, arrange for someone to water your bonsai or set up an automated watering system.

Upcoming events this month

Final Thoughts

Take as much time to enjoy your trees and the outdoors in general during this beautiful time of year.

Go to a local park or botanical garden and bask in the spectacle that the natural world puts on. Its not all for our benefit, but we might as well assume that it is.

And there’s nothing better than a fresh strawberry straight from a plant, but if you’re not growing your own, the supermarket ones will suffice.