Q1 I have just purchased my first bonsai. What do I do now?
Congratulation on purchasing your first bonsai!
In South Australia, all bonsai species may be displayed outdoors all year round. With very few exceptions, bonsai are not meant to be kept indoors. So the first thing you need to do is to find a location for you bonsai in your garden in an uncovered place where you can enjoy its company and where it's sheltered from the elements (heavy rain and cold weather in winter, high temperatures, hot sun and dry winds in summer). It can be placed on an outdoor table, a shelf or a stand. It can be positioned on top of a low garden wall. In any case, make sure the bonsai is in a stable position and is unlikely to fall if windy or be knocked over by children or pets. Ideally, place your tree in a location where it can get morning sun and shade in the afternoon (especially in Summer).
Don't sit your bonsai in a water tray (unless it's to protect a table top). A tray full of water would induce root rot if the water reaches the pot's drainage hole/s.
Don't put your bonsai directly on the ground to prevent parasites from entering the pot through the drainage hole/s.
Don't move your tree often. Once you have identified a good spot, leave it there. However, depending on its size and species, you may move it to a sheltered place if the temperatures are high, if it's very windy or if it rains heavily.
Don't be tempted to water your bonsai as soon as you are home. Unless the weather is dry and warm to hot (eg from early November to mid-April), bonsai don't need to be watered every day (see Watering tips).
Resist the temptation to "fiddle" with your bonsai. It's not because Mr Miyagi is often shown pruning his bonsai in Karate Kid that you have to do the same! Like any other plants, bonsai need to grow to be healthy. They are subject to growing cycles and, therefore, pruning seasons.
When in doubt about what to do, give us a call (XXXXXXX) or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)