Prunus Mume

Japanese Apricot Bonsai

Seldom seen outside of Japan, Prunus are an extensive genus of deciduous making many an excellent bonsai. Japanese apricot blooms fabulously fragrant flowers from late winter through to the Spring. While spectacular the blossom of prunus is notoriously short lived. 

Japanese Apricot Bonsai Care Tips

Unlike most of the Prunus species, Japanese Apricots are not as hardy as many of their counterparts. They should be kept in full sun across the growing season, but they need to be kept in frost free shed or greenhouse in the winter. 

Regularly water throughout the growing season. More so in the summer. Avoid splashing the petals as these are delicate and easily damaged. The soil should be kept moist in the winter while avoiding any overwatering.   

Feed once every two weeks from spring to the early autumn. In Spring apply a general fertiliser, in summer a feed with low nitrogen content. Due to the stoned fruit nature of this species, feed high in calcium content won’t go amiss either. 

Prune your Japanese Apricot as soon as it has flowered, this will encourage new growth. Pinch out growing tips or lightly cut back long shoots at the start of autumn. Do not pinch or prune out in the summer, this will affect the flowering shoots for the following year.

Wiring should take place from spring to summer, taking care to protect and avoid the developing buds. We recommend using wires with a thickness that matches the thickness of the branch: if the wire you choose is too thick you will damage the bark. If it is too thin, it won’t be effective.

Repotting your tree is an important way to provide a fresh and suitable soil mix and ensure appropriate root health. Every other year in Spring, repot your Japanese Apricot bonsai. A soil mix containing sharp sand, some bonemeal and lime is advised. 

Trees that are ready for repotting will require root pruning, a suitable new pot and appropriate soil mix.

When repotting, do not cut back the root mass by a large amount, and choose a well-draining soil mix that has a neutral or slightly higher PH value of 5-6 but not over 7. We tend to use a mixture of different speciality bonsai soils on our trees. Every species is different so please contact us for free soil-mix advice or to take advantage of our repotting service.

Bonsai trees aren’t only magnificent additions to an indoor oasis, they are more than capable of standing out in any garden. Many Bonsai species are incredibly hardy and withstand nature’s colder and damper turns with aplomb making them worthwhile outdoor plants. We have an extensive library of care guides for outdoor bonsai trees. It’s not about selecting the perfect bonsai, it’s about selecting the perfect bonsai for you. 

Japaense Apricot Bonsai - Typical Queries

Japanese Apricot bonsai can be propagated by either seed or cuttings. For seed propagation, ripe seeds should be collected in Autumn. Stratify them in a sealed bag in a refrigerator for 2 and a half to 3 months. Once stratified, sow seeds in appropriate trays and pots, place in good lighting and water gently. These will germinate over the weeks and months ahead.

For cutting propagation, take healthy branches during the growing period. A six to eight-inch branch should be fine with its lower leaves removed. The cutting end should be dipped in root hormone. Place in a pot with a moist soil mix kept in a warm and well-lit environment. Soil moisture needs to be consistent and humidity can be given through misting. Will take root in the coming weeks and months. 

Japanese Apricot do attract caterpillars and aphids. Aphids are particularly attracted to nitrogen-rich fertilisers. These can be removed by hand or an appropriate insecticide. Japanese Apricot can incur rust infection if not pruned or cared for properly. 

As a deciduous that demands full sun across the growing season, it’s best to keep Japanese Apricot bonsai outdoors. Direct sunlight for a significant portion of the day is advised and best achieved with full aeration outdoors.