Organic and Chemical Fertilizers

I have several Junipers that I am developing. Is there any advantage to using organic and applying a chemical fertilizer periodically? What would be the recommended frequency and timing of applying the chemical fertilizer? In the book “Bonsai Today Masters’ Series Junipers” DynaGrow 7-9-5 is recommended as a chemical fertilizer. Any help appreciated.

PS I have learned so much since joining MIRAI. Finally found out why some of my trees were dying, Too much water!


I’d recommend organic fertilizer over chemical, an organic fertilizer like BioGold feeds the fungi(mycorrhizae) in your soil that are essential to the health of any conifer. The fungi serve as extensions of the roots, collecting nutrients for your tree in exchange for their root-exudes. Also watch the Fertilizer 101 video from Mirai Live where Ryan goes over frequency and amount of fertilizer you should apply. Good Luck!


Thanks. I just started watching Fertilizer 101. Just joined MARAI a few days ago. The best information I have ever found about bonsai. Ryan is treasure trove of information.


Welcome! The streams are a great place to have questions answered, and I’d definitely recommend going over the ones in the recommended streams thread.

As far as fertilizers go, I would definitely go with organic. I was making my own until this year, but have since been using Be-1. Found it on the cheap on amazon, though I think you can also order directly from their site.

The benefit of using organics,as @Tim_in_Denver mentioned, is that it feeds the whole ecosystem in the pot, not just the tree. The beneficial bacteria and fungus in the pot help the tree take up the nutrition, but also help the tree fight off disease and pests. It’s a really interesting symbiosis that non-organic fertilizers really don’t promote as well.

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Hi @gwilson15
Organic is best because it promotes a healthy soil with beneficial bacteria and fungi, where as chemical fertiliser can harm these. However, if you are trying to increase the size and girth of your material, chemical may give you the fastest results. This is why the nursery and agriculture industries use chemicals.

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Be-1 looks like a great fertilizer. Read all the science behind it at their site. And at a reasonable price compared to Bio-gold that Ryan recommends in Fertilizer 101. Do you use it at the recommended levels Ryan talks about in Fertilizer 101? Thanks for your response. I am new to bonsai and appreciate your insight.


I’ve been using it at the recommended levels mentioned in the stream, to include quantity, frequency, and number of locations. I’ve never tried Bio-Gold, so I can’t compare the two, but I’m happy with it so far. It’s certainly easier than making my own, and I feel that I’m getting better results.