Friday, 18 May 2012

Bonsai Bags - Fertilising made easy

Over the last few years I've been getting good results with granular, pelleted type of feeds -initially using products like Biogold, Nakuro etc and then for the last 2 seasons with a fertiliser I formulated in the factory specifically for bonsai. With all the feeds they were scattered on the pots like normal and are left to leach slowly into the pot - but they come with several down sides.
  • Can wash off, wasting fertiliser and money
  • Clogs the granular soil up as it waters down into the pot - effecting drainage and airflow over time
  • Some products completely cover the surface in mould - annoying if you show the trees
  • Once spent they can be messy to remove or scrape off
Recently several bonsai growers have been using tea bags to contain the fertilisers and these solve lots of the above problems, but add a couple of others to the list
  • They get soggy, split and spill the contents into the pot again
  • Critters can easily run or fly away with them
Here we have a 4 week old tea bag containing my powdered feed - I turned it over and it has disintergrated so not a perfect solution.


This lead me to sourcing a fine nylon mesh fillable and re-usable bag which we managed to do - but they were white, pastel blue or pale pink !! The trials (with the blue ones) went very well so we placed an order to have them delivered in a nice natural dark brown and now they've arrived things are going really well as many benifits become clear. I'm filling the bags with a powdered version of my fertiliser recipe which combines intantly soluble ingredients with slower delivering elements - with these combined ingredients I leave the bags in place for 6 weeks for most normal situations.

Once filled the bags are added to the pot - they can even be lined up with specific roots to channel feed to key branches and areas

Once placed the bags are watered to soak the ingredients, begining to release the solubles instantly and starting the bacterial action that will break down the fertiliser into plant usable compounds.

Above we see a newly watered bonsai bag positioned on the outer edge of a pot - and that is taking care of the tree fertilising needs for the next 6 weeks - (The tree above will have 3 bags).

Not only are the bags a neat tidy way to hold the fertiliser in place, but they actually do a better job as can be held in place on sloping sections of a pot. Here I use the loops on the draw strings to fasten the bag to a root on a 45 degree slope on a juniper bonsai.

These nylon loops can be used to attach the bags to roots, guy wires, tying in wires etc and this stops birds and creatures disappearing with the bags - I've found the brown bags are not spotted so easily either.

In the picture above I am using the bonsai bags to concentrate the feed at the roots that feed the live veins of a needle juniper rather than in the areas of dead wood.This picture shows just how neat and tidy the brown bonsai bags are...

 The beauty of this method of feeding the trees is the neatness and speed with which spent fertiliser can be removed, the bags refilled and the free draining soil conditions maintained. Another added bonus comes when a tree is off to a show as instantly the fertiliser can be removed and the bag popped on the tree next door.

I have the brown bonsai bags in stock in packets of 10 and can send them to any country if anyone wants to try them out.

£2.45 / 10 + postage,  £19.50/100

We also have a combination starter pack with 250gr of the powdered fertiliser and 10 bonsai bags.

£5.99 + p&p

Just email us at for orders etc, or add any questions to the comments section here.

Cheers for reading Marcus

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