January - Where Is The Cold? 

So far this season, we have had no cold (below freezing) weather. Climatologists say it is because “El Nino” has set up over the tropical Pacific Ocean and is influencing our weather. If so, good. If not, still good - we do not have to contend with moving plants inside when cold happens then outside when warmth returns. Bad thing about this is that, if really cold weather comes later in the late winter, our plants will not be acclimated to it and may suffer severe damage if not protected. Just have to play it by ear and make decisions based upon the forecasts. 

Tropicals should be under cover, anyway, either in a greenhouse or in a room in the house so they should not need additional protection if it does get nasty. You may want to use this nice warm weather to mix soil for use later in the year and clean pots that you may need when repotting season happens in the near future. You should be able to begin repotting deciduous trees in January followed by pines in February or early March. 

Boxwoods are not particular about when they are repotted so may be root pruned and repotted with pines. Junipers may be delayed into warmer weather, mid to late March. Tropicals, of course, should be repotted during warmer weather after the nighttime temps remain above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Water as needed depending upon the winds and temperature. Check the moisture in your bonsai pots often and water when it is moderately dry. 

Pines, junipers and other evergreens are still growing and some of the deciduous trees have not lost last years’ leaves. Makes it difficult to judge when to water. Too much or too little may be harmful or even fatal at this time of year so use your best instincts and hope for the best. Hope every-one had a good Christmas and got a lot of neat bonsai things. 

© Fort Walton Beach Bonsai Society (FWBBS) ELF 2020