Ginkgo Bonsai Care [Ginkgo biloba]

Ginkgo trees are famous all over the world due to their giant sizes and attractive leaves. They are among the oldest trees present on planet earth.

Nowadays, you can also grow small ginkgo bonsai trees at your home.

If you are looking for any information about the ginkgo bonsai plants, then you are at the right place. We will tell you every single thing about this plant.

Scientific NameGinkgo biloba
Origin of plantChina and Japan
Life of plant100 years plus
Sunlight needsLoves full sunlight & partial shade
WateringIt needs to be watered very well in the growing season and likes to stay slightly dry in winter. Please avoid overwatering.
TemperatureProtect it from frost, freezing, and extremely cold temperatures.
Pests and diseaseHighly resistant to pests and insects.

Can we bonsai ginkgo tree?

The first question everyone asks us is that can you convert a ginkgo tree into bonsai or not?

The answer is yes! You can grow a ginkgo plant as a bonsai.

The first option is that you can go to the plant store and purchase an already growing ginkgo bonsai plant. Bring it home and then maintain it.

The second option is that you can grow a complete ginkgo bonsai plant from a seed.

The third option is that you can take the seedlings of 2-3 years old ginkgo bonsai and then sow it in suitable soil. You will have to maintain it regularly and then it will grow into a full ginkgo bonsai plant.

Ginkgo bonsai history

The next question is that what is the history of this ginkgo bonsai plant? Where did it originate from?

Well, the historical references say that the ginkgo plant is native to Japan and China. The existence of this plant can be traced back to more than 250 million years which shows that it is one of the oldest plants currently present on earth.

Experts say that this bonsai plant can easily live for hundreds of years. Currently, the oldest ginkgo tree is found in China. That tree is more than 3000-4000 years old and taller than 130 feet. The Chinese government has protected that special tree under their law and they perform all of its maintenance regularly.

In short, we can say that the ginkgo tree has outlived the dinosaurs!

Now that sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

Ginkgo bonsai scientific name

The scientific name of a ginkgo bonsai plant is Ginkgo biloba.

Let me give you some more interesting knowledge about the scientific name of a plant.

You should always remember that the scientific name of a plant comprises two parts. The first part of the name refers to the genus name whereas the second part of the name refers to the species name of the plant.

Now if we break down the scientific name of a ginkgo bonsai plant, the first name Ginkgo is the genus name whereas the last name Biloba is the species name of the plant.

The scientific community refers to a plant by using its scientific name. Moreover, the plants are classified into different taxonomical and botanical groups by using their scientific name as well.

Ginkgo bonsai care

The ginkgo bonsai plant has specific care requirements.

If you want to successfully grow this bonsai plant, you need to learn how to water, fertilize, repot, and prune this plant correctly. You need to know what’s the right kind of temperature and soil for your plant. You need to know which types of pests and diseases are dangerous for your plant and how you can get rid of them. There’s just a lot more to that.

Now, where can you learn all of this stuff? Of course, we will teach you every single thing about taking care of a ginkgo bonsai plant. Let’s go and keep reading.

Ginkgo bonsai temperature

Which temperature is safe for your ginkgo bonsai plant and which temperature is considered dangerous for this plant?

The experts say that it is a deciduous outdoor plant that needs a dormant period. In winter, you will have to protect this bonsai plant from colder weather. You are recommended to protect the roots of your plant from prolonged freezing periods.

We strongly advise you to keep your ginkgo bonsai plant in a shed, insulated garage, or a cold frame to protect it from the extremely cold weather.

Ginkgo bonsai fertilizer

When you are growing a ginkgo bonsai plant in a bonsai pot, you should know that it has very limited availability of nutrients in the soil.

Therefore, you have to fertilize it on time to refresh the nutrients supply and promote the plant’s growth.

We recommend you start fertilizing the ginkgo plant when its buds start opening. In spring, you should use a high nitrogen fertilizer so your plant can grow long shoots. Otherwise, the ramification of your plant will not improve as it will only grow leaves on short shoots.

In autumn, you should be using a liquid fertilizer every week until the leaves of your plant start turning yellow. If you want to use solid organic fertilizer, you can do that as well.

If you want to increase the vigor of your ginkgo bonsai plant, then we recommend you use both, liquid fertilizer and solid organic fertilizer.

Ginkgo bonsai pruning/trimming

Pruning is what differentiates a bonsai plant from the rest of normal plants.

How should you prune your ginkgo bonsai plant?

If you are growing a ginkgo plant as bonsai, it will grow up to 16 inches taller when it reaches the age of 6.

Experts say that when you will prune a ginkgo bonsai plant, it will produce scars that never heal. So, you should be extremely careful and soft while pruning this bonsai plant.

How to prune ginkgo bonsai?

The right time for pruning a ginkgo bonsai plant is fall and spring.

Ginkgo Cuttings Update October 2021

You should prune the cluster of leaves back to 2-3 leaves. The topmost leaf should be kept outside.

When the tree is young, you should cut the new branches back to 2-3 buds. If you want to maintain the desired shape, you will have to top it off regularly.

A little bit of wiring may also be required for maintaining the symmetry and balance of the plant. But usually, this tree desires very little wiring because it is so sensitive. If you have to perform wiring, make sure to use raffia for protecting the bark of the tree and also use the lightest aluminum wire.

Ginkgo bonsai repotting

Bonsai plants need to be repotted after a specific time for better health and growth. But you need to have the right repotting knowledge so you won’t end up damaging the health of your plant.

We will teach you what to do and when to do it, let’s go.

When to re-pot ginkgo bonsai?

Our experts recommend that you should re-pot your ginkgo bonsai plant after every 1 to 5 years. It depends upon the age and rate of growth of your plant. If it is an older tree, you should re-pot it less frequently.

If it is a younger tree (around 10-year age) then it should be repotted every year. Older trees should be repotted after every 3 to 5 years or only when there’s a need for repotting.

The best time for repotting the ginkgo bonsai plant is spring, right before the new growth starts. You should provide protect the plant from late frosts.

The roots should be pruned lightly. Please do not prune the roots excessively because your plant won’t tolerate this.

We recommend you use a soil mixture that is well-draining and has some grit and 10% coarse sand.

Ginkgo bonsai pests and diseases

Can pests and diseases attack your ginkgo bonsai plant and kill it?

The answer is no.

The Ginkgo bonsai plant is highly resistant to insects and diseases. This plant is rarely attacked by pests and fungal diseases.

It can also tolerate pollution very well. Moreover, the ginkgo bonsai plant can clean the environment and air very effectively. That’s the reason why ginkgo bonsai plants are usually planted in cities for controlling pollution.

Ginkgo bonsai soil

The soil in which you grow a ginkgo bonsai plant holds significant importance.

What kind of soil is best for the ginkgo bonsai plant?

We recommend you to use soil that drains very well. The soil mixture should include 10% coarse sand and some grit as well.

This way you can keep your plant healthy and growing.

Ginkgo bonsai watering

Watering is needed to keep a plant alive.

However, the right amount of watering is even important. Some plants are sensitive to underwatering whereas some of them are sensitive to overwatering.

How much watering does a ginkgo bonsai plant likes?

Experts say that this plant needs plenty of water during the growth season (spring to autumn). But you must avoid overwatering the plant at all costs.

In winters, your plant should stay slightly moist. The good thing is that you can even give calcareous water to your ginkgo bonsai plant as there will be no problem.

Ginkgo bonsai sunlightrequirements

The plants need sunlight for performing photosynthesis and preparing their food.

Without light, they cannot get their food and will eventually die.

How much sunlight does a ginkgo bonsai plant needs for staying alive, healthy, and growing?

Experts say that this plant loves full sunlight & partial shade. Older trees need maximum light so they can gain the best color in autumn.

If the tree is younger, then you should provide it partial shade when it’s the hottest part of summer. Doing this will keep your plant protected.

You should also protect your plant from frost and extremely cold weather in winter.

Types of ginkgo bonsai

How many types of ginkgo bonsai plants are present out there?

Generally, the experts say that there is only one type of ginkgo bonsai plant which is the Ginkgo Biloba bonsai.

Ginkgo biloba bonsai

Like we have already been talking about the Ginkgo Biloba bonsai plant – it is a mini version of the majestic ginkgo tree.

It is indigenous to China. The leaves of this plant are like fans and its overall shape is columnar.

This plant will grow very well in full sun and partial shade. It likes to stay moist during the growing period and dry during winter. You can easily grow it at home and take care of it as per our guidelines given above.

Ginkgo mariken bonsai

The mariken ginkgo bonsai plant is a dwarf version of the giant ginkgo tree.

This plant is a male clone that does not produce the smelly fruit and seeds this plant is notorious for.

This plant is also called maidenhair due to the fan-like shape of its cute leaves. In winter and fall, this plant has a yellow color that attracts the eyes of the viewers.

Chi-Chi ginkgo bonsai

The ginkgo bonsai plant also has a second name (Chi-Chi ginkgo) in some areas.

The word Chi-Chi means breast or nipples.

The reason why they call it Chi-Chi ginkgo is due to the formation of protrusions and swelling on the trunk of this bonsai plant.

It is also called “The Fountain of Youth”.

Ginkgo bonsai indoor or outdoor?

This is a very interesting question.

Where does a ginkgo bonsai plant grow best? Indoor OR outdoor? Where should you grow it?

Generally, the ginkgo bonsai is an outdoor plant that loves full sunlight and partial shade. Therefore, you can keep it outside all around the year.

However, you should protect this plant from frost and cold weather in winter. In such conditions, you must bring your plant indoors for protection.

Don’t forget that your plant needs plenty of light to stay healthy. So, you need to always keep it under bright sunlight. In the case of younger plants, you should keep them in partial shade for protection during the hottest time of summer.

How to bonsai a ginkgo tree?

If you are planning to grow a ginkgo bonsai tree, there are a couple of ways to do so.

Let’s start discussing them one by one.

How to plant ginkgo bonsai from seed?

The first and most conventional method is growing a ginkgo bonsai plant from seeds.

1. Get the seeds

You have to get the seeds first. One option is to purchase some healthy fresh seeds from the store. The second option is to get fresh seeds that fall from a female ginkgo tree (it happens from October to November).

2. Clean the seeds

In the second step, you have to clean the seeds. Put the seeds inside a container half-filled with water and then shake them rigorously.

It will remove the coating from seeds and they will become clean.

If you will not clean them, then it will result in intense fungus buildup during the germination of the seed.

3. Stratification

The ginkgo seeds require a period of warm stratification (warm rest) that will be followed by 6 weeks of cold stratification (cold rest).

Only then the seeds will be able to germinate.

This process will tell the ginkgo seeds that the fall and winter are over and now it’s time to start germination.

Then you will put the seeds inside a pot having a suitable mixture. The seeds will eventually develop into seedlings and then grow into a complete plant.

You can also find tons of tutorials on the web on how to do this.

How to plant ginkgo bonsai from cutting?

One more popular method for growing a ginkgo plant is by using cuttings.

You have to harvest semi-ripe and soft cuttings in between spring to mid-summer. The length of the cutting should be about 15 centimeters long.

You can also take hardwood cuttings from the current year’s winter growth.

After that, you have to dip the cutting inside the rooting hormone and then plant it in well-draining, moist soil. Place the plant in a semi-shady location for encouraging the formation of roots.

Once the roots form, your plant will start growing. Start taking care of it as per our guidelines given in this article and you will be able to successfully grow it into a full ginkgo bonsai plant.

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