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Mugo Pine Bonsai

Mountain pine, creeping pine, and bog pine are also names for Pinus mugo. Usually, people grow this bonsai for ornamental purposes. You can plant it in planters or use its twigs or shrub form for decorations. 

In Japanese gardens, this bonsai plant is usually included to make the environment more beautiful.

No matter where you put it, it adds charm. In this post, let’s look at all the care requirements for this amazing plant.

Mugo Pine Bonsai

Mugo Pine Bonsai Quick Facts Table

Scientific NamePinus Bonsai
Native toNorth America, China, South-East Asia, Russia, Europe
Height60-80 in. tall
LeavesThe needles are dark green and have fine teeth on the edges.
Fall foliageGreen color
FruitNut brown cones
CultivationPopular as a bonsai tree
SymbolismIt represents harmony, balance, peace, and good luck
UsesOrnamental bonsai plants

Mugo Pine Bonsai Care Guide

Mugos Pine needs a lot of light and water. Also, they need quick-draining soil so their roots don’t sit in water. However, let’s go over all of these in more detail.

Mugo Pine Bonsai Watering

It’s important to water pines regularly throughout the growing season, with more water in the summer and less in the winter.

In winter, keep the bonsai soil moist but not wet. You won’t be able to grow bonsai if the soil dries out completely.

The general rule to follow when watering pine bonsais is to check the soil first. Avoid watering if the soil feels wet. Also, you can tell if your mugo pine needs water by checking the moisture meter. If the meter reads less than 50%, water it.

Learn more about Watering a bonsai tree.

Mugo Pine Bonsai Temperature Tolerance

Mugo Pine Bonsai Temperature Tolerance

Temperatures between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for Mugo Pines. Unlike other bonsai trees, Mugo pines do not suffer from extreme cold or heat. 

In moderate climates, you can keep them outside all year. During hot weather, they should be kept in a shady spot. If you live in a colder climate, cover them with a roof to keep them protected from freezing temperatures.

Right Placement for Mugo Pine Bonsai

You can place Pinus mugo bonsai outside if it has adequate shade. However, avoid direct sunlight on the plant.

If planted indoors, the bonsai should be in a bright, well-lit room. Nevertheless, these bonsai can flourish in a house without enough sunlight.

Repotting Mugo Pine Bonsai

Pinus mugos need to be replanted every 2-3 years. If you’re repotting, make sure the pot is only one or two sizes larger than the old one. In addition, make sure the soil in the new pot drains well.

Steps for Repotting:

  1. Add gravel or akadama to the bottom of the pot. You don’t need to do this if your pot already drains well.
  2. Fill your pot with bonsai soil mix.
  3. If your tree’s roots are damaged or brown and mushy, remove them gently from their pots.
  4. Place your tree in the pot, add soil mix around it, and gently tap it down.
  5. Until new growth appears, water the well and place it in a shady spot.
  6. Usually, within a week or two, your tree is ready to return to its original pot.

Best Soil for Mugo Pine Bonsai

Generally, they tolerate many types of soil as long as they drain well, but they are not suited to wet, dense soils. In sandy soil, these pine do well, as long as it contains some organic matter. 

As far as soil pH is concerned, mugo pines are not fussy and can tolerate mild acidic soils to mildly alkaline soils (pH 6.5 to 7.5).

How to Guides for Mugo Pine Bonsai

The following steps will guide you through pruning and styling mugo pine step by step. It is necessary to prune and style mugo pines from late spring to early summer in order to keep them healthy. Here’s an in-depth look:

How to Prune Mugo Pine Bonsai

How to Prune Mugo Pine Bonsai

Prune Pinus mugo bonsai when you re-pot it. Additionally, always prune this bonsai when you’re wiring it for fall. 

Below are some basic pruning and trimming steps to keep your mugo pine looking great.

Candle pinching:

When pruning mugo pine bonsai, always pinch the candles or new shoots. Your tree will look healthier if you pinch the candles. 

Also, it is important to prune the buds on your tree to promote healthy growth. Remove long needles from your tree as well. 

A tree with long needles will look unkempt and pose a fire hazard. Hence, cut the needles in two-thirds.

Styling Mugo pine bonsai:

You can trim the tree to your liking. Use sharp scissors or clippers, and remove only a small amount of foliage at a time to avoid stressing the plant. 

It is important to start styling a tree when it is young so that it can be quickly manipulated. However, don’t damage the bark while working.

Learn more about Pruning

How to Wire a Mugo Pine Bonsai

How to Wire a Mugo Pine Bonsai

Use plant ties or bonsai training wire to train your tree. It is highly recommended to use training wire since it is safe for your bonsai tree as long as you’re not wrapping it too tightly. 

Wrap wire around the base of the bonsai tree, all the way up the tree, and around each branch individually. Be gentle with new growth and avoid wrapping your wire too tightly. You can hurt your tree if you wrap wire too much.

Next, bend the tree gently once it’s wrapped with wire. Just keep it balanced. Moreover, you can adjust the branch every two to three days if it is not bending easily. 

However, don’t force your bonsai tree to bend, just guide it to grow in a certain way. Putting too much pressure on the tree can damage it.

Learn more about How to Wire a Bonsai Tree Branch

How to Fertilize Mugo Pine Bonsai

You don’t have to fertilize Pinus mugo bonsai often. However, you have to make sure that you feed the plant diluted organic fertilizer every month. Also, don’t forget to dilute the fertilizer according to the directions.

During the growing season, use a slow-release (pellet-based) fertilizer sparingly every 1-2 months.

Remember to water your plants before fertilizing, and wash any excess fertilizer off the leaves. Your plants can actually get damaged if you fertilize at the wrong time.

Check this detailed guide on How to Fertilize your Bonsai Trees the Correct Way

How to Grow a Mugo Pine Bonsai

There’s no doubt that growing a Mugo Pine Bonsai can be challenging, but it’s also rewarding. To grow a healthy and beautiful Mugo Pine Bonsai, follow the seedling method or cutting method.

How to Grow Mugo Pine Bonsai from Seed

  • Place the seeds in well-drained pots.
  • Make sure each seed is vertically positioned and the pointy end is facing down.
  • Water the pot deeply and put it in a sunny window.
  • Wait a month for it to germinate, and keep the seed moist. You can transplant the seedlings into a pot when they’re 6-12 inches tall.

Check this detailed guide on How to grow a bonsai tree from seed?

How to Grow Mugo Pine Bonsai from cutting

  • With disinfected pruning shears, cut about 2 or 3 inches from any regular pine tree. At an angle of 45 degrees, cut it.
  • In a pot with bonsai potting soil and water, plant the cutting about one inch deep.
  • Place the cutting in a sunny area.
  • Within three weeks, the roots should develop if the soil is kept moist.
  • After that, wait so that the cutting can be pruned and wired into the desired shape.

Common Mugo Pine Bonsai Problems and Solutions / Diseases & Pests

1. Pine adelgids (sap-sucking insects)

Pine adelgid is a waxy coating that covers the new shoots. Although the insects do not adversely affect bonsai trees’ health, their white coating is unsightly.

The most effective treatment for these sap sucking insects  is insecticide spray. Mix detergent and insecticide in water and spray. By penetrating insects’ waxy protective coating, the detergent kills insects.

2. Spider mites or fungal diseases

They look like little spiders and come in different colors (yellow, red, green, or brown). It thrives in hot, dry conditions, making it one of the most destructive pests. Additionally, they’re tiny – about a millimeter.

Pests like spider mites can be treated with horticultural oil. Fungicides can be used to treat fungal diseases.

Mugo Pine Bonsai Images

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