Cedrus Deodara 'Snow Sprite' Information & Care Instructions

Posted on 7 Nov 18:18

Cedrus Deodara also known as Himalayan Cedar
Cultivar: 'Snow Sprite'

Cedrus Deodara or Himalayan Cedar. Translated as "wood of the gods"; Cedrus Deodara is native to the western Himalayas. 
The Snow Sprite cultivar is a graceful dwarf conifer, noted for silvery green needles with cream-hued tips.  This evergreen conifer has showy new growth, tinged ivory white, which turns a creamy-yellow with age, usually by mid summer.
An outdoor Bonsai, Snow Sprite thrives in climate zones 7 to 9; winter hardy to USDA zone 7 or even zone 6, it will tolerate temperatures down to about −20°F with protection.
This plant will take full sun; but it prefers partial shade; where the bright foliage will practically glow in the dark.
As a bonsai Snow Sprite should have winter protection in zones 6 & 7, including from winter winds, which can desiccate the foliage.
Keep outdoors and protect from desiccating winter winds.

How To Take Proper Care Of Your Bonsai Tree

Bonsai is the reproduction of natural tree forms in miniature. This art form has its origin in Japan and China where it has been practiced for centuries. Bonsai are grown in pots and are totally dependent on you for their care.
With proper care, your bonsai will remain healthy, beautiful and miniature for many years to come. Since your bonsai is a living miniature tree, it will increase in beauty as it matures through the years. The instructions below are just the basics and, therefore, we recommend that you purchase one of the many fine books available on the subject.

Your Bonsai Cedar Snow Sprite is a living miniature tree and not a house plant. Therefore, your bonsai must be maintained in a cool/cold environment during the winter season.
As a guide, around Thanksgiving Day it is time to prepare your Bonsai for its winter dormancy period which should last approximately three (3) months.
This can be accomplished in several ways. One method is to bury your tree in the ground (preferably without the pot) up to the rim of the container and then mulch up to the first branch. It is best to choose a location that is protected from wind and sun, but not rain or snow.
A second method, which is also common, is to place your tree in an unheated garage or shed.
During dormancy time, your tree does not require light because of its dormant state; however, it will require watering approximately every two weeks.
Throughout the spring, summer and fall your Bonsai should be placed outside, such as on a patio, balcony, terrace, or in a garden. Once outside, your Bonsai should be positioned where it will receive sufficient sun; morning sun, with afternoon partial sun is best.
A Bonsai can be viewed best when it is placed approximately three to four feet high (eye level), such as on a table, wall or bench. A Bonsai can and should be brought into the house on special occasions and displayed in a prominent place. Your Bonsai should not remain inside for more than a few days at a time, as the atmosphere is detrimental to the health of your tree.


Watering of your Bonsai must never be neglected. Apply water when the soil appears dry; never allow the soil to become completely dry.
If your Bonsai is receiving full sun, it may be necessary to water once a day. This schedule may vary with the size pot, type of soil and type of Bonsai tree you own. Evaluate each tree's water requirements and adjust your watering schedule to accommodate it.
If you are a beginner, it you may want to use a moisture meter until you get to know the requirements of your Bonsai tree.
Watering should be done with a watering can or hose attachment which should dispense the water in a soft enough manner as not to disturb the soil. Water should be applied until it begins running out of the holes in the bottom of your pot. A good rain is usually a sufficient watering.

Fertilizing is also necessary if your bonsai is to remain healthy and beautiful. Since your bonsai is growing in such a small amount of soil, it is necessary to replenish the soil's supply of nutrients periodically. Any general-purpose liquid fertilizer will do fine. We suggest that fertilizers be used at half their recommended strength. Fertilizer should be applied at least once a month except during winter. Your bonsai will also respond well to foliar feeding, with a water-soluble fertilizer applied every other month as a spray.


This brief explanation of basic care does not cover training. Training deals with the art of bonsai and should be thoroughly understood before undertaking -- or left to a professional. However, most of the true bonsai trees you find have already been through their training period, thus requiring only periodic trimming and pinching to remain miniature.


Trimming and pinching keep your tree miniature. Pinch and trim back the new growth to the farthest safe point. Never remove all of the new growth; a little should be left to sustain the health of the tree. Since different trees grow at different rates, it is necessary to evaluate each tree’s rate of growth and adjust your trimming and pinching to accommodate it.


Repotting must be performed periodically on all bonsai when their root system has filled the pot.
The reasons for repotting are to supply your tree with fresh soil, and to encourage a more compact root system. As a rule, evergreens only need to be repotted every four or five years. Since trees grow at different rates, this schedule will not always hold true, therefore, you should examine your tree's root system each year to determine if it has become pot-bound.
Repotting should be done in early to mid-summer. The tree, along with all of its soil, should be removed from the pot. The outer and bottom most fourth of the tree's root mass should be removed. This is done by raking the soil away, then pruning back the roots. In most cases, it is not good to prune back more than one fourth of the tree's root mass.
After this, the tree can be placed back in its original pot or into another pot. The pot should have screen placed over the drainage holes, with a thin layer of small gravel placed in the bottom of the pot for drainage purposes. On top of this gravel, place the new fresh soil. This layer of well-draining soil needs to be sufficient enough to elevate the tree to its previous height in the pot. This fresh soil should be worked in around and under the root mass; avoid leaving any air pockets.
After repotting, your bonsai should be thoroughly watered; submerge the entire pot in a tub of water for this first watering.
Moss or other ground covers can be used to cover the surface of the pot to help prevent soil erosion when watering.


Since your bonsai is a tree in miniature, it can be treated for insects and diseases the same as any other tree. If you discover any insects or diseases, visit our website where you will be able to obtain the necessary products to eliminate the problem.