If you have recently become a fan of bonsai, you will be more excited to know you can bonsai fruit trees, even a peach tree. If you are an avid peach fruit fan, you will want to know how to grow peach bonsai trees and if they will bear fruit!
You can grow peach tree bonsai in the following conditions:
- A high amount of sunlight
- Fertilize, well-draining, and acidic soil
- Medium watering, enough to keep the soil slightly moist
- High humidity
- Weekly Potash fertilizer
- Regular pruning and training
- Observation to prevent/treat diseases and pest infestations
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Read on as we tell you how to grow a peach tree bonsai tree from a young plant that you can source from your local nursery!
Can You Grow a Peach Tree as a Bonsai?
There is usually much speculation about whether or not you can grow a traditional fruit tree as a bonsai.
Actually, fruit trees can be made into bonsai, and even more surprising, they can bear fruit! This makes them even more appealing to have in the house while needing much less space to grow.
Other fruit trees such as crabapple, citrus, pomegranate, and olive trees are common attractions around the homes of people who like bonsai plants.
How To Grow Your Own Peach Bonsai From Scratch
Bonsai is loved for being a specific pot with a plant engineered to stay small and in a shape of your choosing. But, it takes time and effort to bring it to this stage. Follow the steps below to start to grow peach tree bonsai easily.
1. Find Your Ideal Pot
The first part of growing a peach bonsai is choosing a peach tree or rather, the right one! Peach trees vary in size and are of three sizes: dwarf, semi-dwarf, and standard.
2. Selecting a Pot
When selecting a pot for your peach bonsai, you have to choose a pot that is equally wide and deep. This is a fruit tree and it can have quite deep roots!
3. Pot Preparation
Peach trees need well-draining soil that is also fertile. To be exact it requires high amounts of Nitrogen. You will have to provide fertilizer containing Potash every week. The pot may require a lining of pebbles to improve water drainage.
Repeating this lining on the top of the soil will also aid the water’s passage out of the plant.
4. Placement of the Pot
Ideally, your peach tree bonsai needs to be in a spot where it will receive the highest amount of light. So, even if this means you need to put it outdoors!
Secondly, if your peach tree is to grow best and produce flowers and fruit, it must be in a place where temperatures are optimal (55℉ – 70℉) and there is high humidity between 40 and 50%.
5. Pruning Your Peach Tree Bonsai
Pruning is essential for all bonsai because their shape is the most important part of their existence. Plus, pruning is more important in fruit trees as apart from keeping the bonsai in shape, it also promotes fruiting.
Pruning is a mandatory activity and skipping out of one session will be noticeable! Also note that skipping a few pruning sessions may mean you will have difficulty bringing your bonsai back under your control!
6. Training The Bonsai
Using wire or a fishing line, you can train your peach tree. You will have to tighten the wire a bit loosely around the trunk into a shape that you desire. While a fishing line can be useful in teasing the branches, you can also be more direct and fix branches back using the weight of the pot!
Requirements For Growing Your Peach Tree Bonsai
1. Location: Outdoors or Indoors
Growing a fruit tree indoors is difficult since they always need excellent access to sunlight. Without adequate sunlight, a fruit tree like the peach bonsai will not produce any fruit or exceptional fruit.
So, we suggest that you grow your peach tree bonsai outside to give it enough sunlight. Your peach tree bonsai will also be better outside as it will grow to a minimum of 8 feet (2 meters), a bit too big for most homes!
Use soil that drains well and avoid soil that is high in materials that retain too much water. Also, a peach tree requires soil that is rich in organic material.
That means loam or sandy soil that is high in Nitrogen material, a mineral that is essential for plant growth. Plus, you must maintain a pH between 6 and 6.5 to grow a peach bonsai tree.
Like most other bonsai as well as plants or trees, a peach tree bonsai will not appreciate being in wet soil as the roots will begin to rot.
3. Watering Routine
Peachtree bonsai are better off being watered regularly. But, when using soil that does not drain out immediately, it can do with a single watering every 10 days!
Be careful not to water too often as wet soil can cause rotting or can even invite bacterial and fungal diseases. You can perform a simple soil test to check the moisture. If the first inch or two feel dry, you can water your peach bonsai until water drains out from the bottom drainage holes.
4. Light Requirements
Excellent sunlight is a must-have requirement for peach tree bonsai. Failure to satisfy the sunlight requirements of your fruit tree bonsai (peach or any other fruit) will result in poor growth. Not to mention smaller and defective fruit production which is disappointing.
Place your peach tree bonsai in a spot where it gets maximum sunlight as this is necessary for growth in the initial phases.
If your plant gets too much sunlight while fruiting, it can cause the fruits to become overripe and inedible, also a mixture of excessive sunlight and nitrogen-rich fertilizer (with a lack of water) can cause root burn.
The humidity for most indoor or semi-indoor bonsai is more or less the same. This includes fruit trees which are located on the patio or some roofed structure.
Maintain a humidity of 40-50% humidity. You can provide this in the form of a humidifier or by using a manual water spray bottle.
Ramp up humidifying practices in the summer or when extreme weather such as heat waves or high winds are present. Such instances tend to dry out your bonsai, leaving it vulnerable to being sunburnt or put in a poor state.
Growing a peach tree bonsai in low temperatures will not do as these plants do best in higher temperatures.
A peach tree bonsai need temperatures around 70℉, this being ideal for growth and maximum flowering. Even then, the pot of the bonsai must be kept at nothing lower than 55℉!
If you have cold winters, choose to buy a peach tree variety that requires chill hours that align with your winters and the low temperatures you experience during this season. Otherwise, if your peach variety needs low chill hours, you can shelter it or bring it indoors.
Like all potted plants, a bonsai will eventually exhaust all nutrients and minerals available in the soil. But, this isn’t too much of a stress because a multitude of fertilizers is available these days.
Fertilize your peach tree bonsai with a weekly dose of fertilizer high in Potash. Potash is Potassium carbonate obtainable from wood ash or rocks from the ocean or other dried-up water bodies.
To get a more readily available source of potash, you can use blood meal or bone meal. These natural sources actually offer more nutrients than artificial fertilizers. Apart from this, use a:
- Low Nitrogen fertilizer in winter
- High Nitrogen fertilizer in spring
- Use a balanced fertilizer in summer and avoid using high nitrogen fertilizer in summer to avoid fertilizer burn
Pruning your bonsai and waiting for it to recover can take a long time, a few months is the expected time limit! But, if done properly and you have the patience, the results will be visible.
Prune your bonsai regularly using an assortment of specialized tools. Pay close attention to the weaker and less healthy branches.
You must prune in stages but be very precise when doing so.
NOTE- Pruning a fruit tree is a bit more difficult. You have to shape your bonsai as well as prune it in such a way that doesn’t discourage or affect fruit formation. Hence, avoiding cutting all the stems from which fruit arises.
Peachtree bonsai are extremely susceptible to diseases and that’s why most nurseries take to grafting to make a more pest and disease-resistant plant. You should definitely look into the same!
Affecting a wide range of plants, there are a few ways to treat and prevent this fungus. The first signs are yellow or brown spots that are irregularly shaped and steadily and size and color.
Treatment involves the elimination of infected matter immediately, this includes dead wood. Spraying with copper-based pesticide is possible only in winter when the plant is leafless, doing it in summer will lead to the loss of all the leaves.
Prevention is possible by investing in Anthracnose-resistant plants, avoiding overly wet and humid conditions, as well as opting for a drip sprinkler instead of an overhead sprinkler.
The presence of white fluffy matter on the leaves of your peach tree is a sign of powdery mildew. This disease like other diseases is brought on by moist and humid conditions that favor fungi.
Treat your bonsai by spraying down with a fungicide or wiping it down with soapy water or another fungicidal soap. Repeat applications will be necessary to eliminate the mildew.
Prevention includes getting into a watering routine that doesn’t create overly moist conditions and using soil that does not retain too much water.
Warm and wet conditions will favor the development of scab disease in plants. It results in the disfigurement of plants and especially fruits.
You can treat this disease with a fungicide such as Daconil. This fungicide can be useful in treating several species of fungi.
Prevention is possible by avoiding the conditions that would invite this disease. Also, keep infected plants away from your peach bonsai. Be sure to take care of how you water the plants as irrigation methods can influence if this plant is at risk of this disease or not.
Being a fruit tree, peach tree bonsai is also still a target for many pests.
A common pest that affects fruit tree bonsai is aphids! These insects will infest your bonsai with their large numbers and suck the sap from their leaves. Another worry is that the presence of aphids also attracts another pest, ants!
Wiping the stems of your bonsai with soapy water or spraying the plant with Neem or Horticultural oil.
Peach trees are a joy to own. But, it would be even better to grow a peach tree bonsai! A fruit bonsai tree is capable of growing fruit if given the right conditions.
This includes highly fertile and well-draining soil, generous sunlight, medium watering, high humidity, weekly fertilizing with high Nitrogen and Potash, treatment and prevention of diseases and pests, regular pruning, and training.
Provide all of these conditions and you may very well be able to harvest some peaches from your peach tree bonsai.
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How long does it take to grow a bonsai fruit tree?
Any bonsai, be it a normal plant or a fruiting tree, needs a minimum of 3 to 5 years to transition into a bonsai tree. So, if you are looking to grow a peach tree into a bonsai shape, sit back as it will take a long time for this transition to be complete!