Thursday, March 21, 2019

Growing Own Bonsai Tree – The Basics and Planting

Growing Own Bonsai Tree – The Basics and Planting


These series of articles will be for those who would like to plant and grow own bonsai trees. When I started with bonsai trees two decades ago, the term bonsai was not so known like today. You can today buy bonsai in a shop and these little trees are very popular and have good image.

These tutorial will cover outdoor bonsai growing but in most cases it will much indoor planting too. If you are planning to seriously start with bonsai trees I recommend not to buy ready bonsai in a regular shop. The best way is to make the bonsai yourself. Why? Good question. First, it is incomparable cheaper. Second, you do not known health status of the selected bonsai.

So how to start? As the first point, the selection of a plant is important. It has no sense to choose some trees that has extreme conditions and requirements for nutrition, sun and water. For outdoor bonsai I would recommend Juniperus chinensis. It is a great tree for cutting, it is always green and you can make it look old in one, two years. It is very famous even with professional Japanese masters.

1, Where to get the plant? Not in supermarket or in some bonsai shop. You have probably bought some big trees or perennials into your garden. They will sure have plenty of small Juniperus chinensis boxed in black containers for a good price. These plants have good and strong root structure and will not so simply die. When you choose one, choose ones which looks robust, healthy and imagine how they will look when you cut out unneeded branches.

2, Get the bonsai pot. You can get it in many places today, even there where you got the plant. Basic rules for beginners. The pot is selected for the bonsai not the bonsai for the pot. How big should it be? The bigger the better so it match all the root structure. The pot do not need to be as high as the black container but about 1 cm about the root base. And one important point. The pot must have hole at the bottom and be ceramic, no plastic things.

3, Find some small stone. Stone? What for? Find a stone that you can put on the hole of the pot, it must be so big that it will cover the hole and do not fall out.

4, Soil. Buy a peat and combine it 50-50 with soil from your garden.

5, Finale planting. So you put the stone on the hole. Put a little bit of prepared soil on it so it cover the bottom of the pot. Take out the complete plant with soil and roots from a container. Never separate the soil from roots. This will kill the plant in most cases. Now put the bonsai in the pot, the tree should not be placed exactly in the middle, you can put it a bit more on the left side or back side from point of your view. This point of view is very important and will be your final point of view, the way how will people see the bonsai in your garden and you should place bonsai that way on its permanent place in your garden. Final step, put a bit of soil on top and beside the tree and fill all spaces and hard press the soil so the tree is stable. You can put a bit of gravel or moss on top. Whats next? Spill it good with water and place on its permanent place. The tree should have enough space for planting and not be covered by some other plants. I would recommend to leave the bonsai in this stage at least for one, two month before cutting. And cutting will the theme of the next article about bonsai trees.

bonsai juniperus chinensis Growing Own Bonsai Tree   The Basics and Planting
Juniperus chinensis bonsai

bonsai juniperus chinensis1 Growing Own Bonsai Tree   The Basics and Planting

bonsai juniperus chinensis2 Growing Own Bonsai Tree   The Basics and Planting

bonsai juniperus chinensis3 Growing Own Bonsai Tree   The Basics and Planting

bonsai juniperus chinensis4 Growing Own Bonsai Tree   The Basics and Planting

bonsai juniperus chinensis5 Growing Own Bonsai Tree   The Basics and Planting

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bonsai juniperus chinensis8 Growing Own Bonsai Tree   The Basics and Planting

Photo Credit: Cliff (CC BY 2.0)

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Growing a Bonsai Tree

Growing a Bonsai Tree


1 Growing a Bonsai TreeBonsai art came in china about 1000 years back, but the Japanese modified it to the full extent. Now this style is very popular all over the globe. Bonsai is a Japanese word that means ‘tree on a pot ‘. In this process a tree is placed in a pot and dwarfed through pruning the roots and the branches, using wire around the trunk and branches. The tree is small but looks like a matured tree. It is indeed a wonderful piece of art.

It is the ritual to have the desired shape balancing above the ground growth and the root growth. When the tree is young the shaping is done. The process goes on with the maturity. A copper wire is used on the trunk and the branches to control the shape of the tree. The entire tree must have a proportionate size to have the leaves, flowers and fruits. Bonsai has different size, miniature, small, medium and average.

The miniature is just two inches in height. The small is two and six inches. The medium is six to twelve inches and the average grows up to two feet. Bonsai can be had from seeds or cuttings. Growing from seeds is the best process. It may be a magnificent piece of art. Cutting is of two types-hardwood and softwood. It is evident that the most of the bonsai trees are made from cutting. Growing bonsai is an important part as it takes a small containers and a small quantity of soil.

It must be taken into account that the roots are not over watered. Special bonsai soil yields good trees. The special soil dries easily in comparison to standard household soils. It must be remembered that as there is little soil water is needed in small quantity. Bonsai must be administered nitrogen, potash and phosphoric acid. If chemical iron is added it may be much fruitful to thrive. Bonsai enjoys humidity. Hence it may be placed in a shallow tray with water. If it is done water easily evaporates and the humidity remains intact. Pebbles may be added to the soil for fine drainage.

Sunlight is a vital ingredient except at the time of pruning and repotting. It is not an easy task to grow a bonsai tree. It is an uphill task, a perfect challenge. The man who is creative and have enough patience may be rewarded at the last hour. The only thing that can be stressed on is that a tree is small, but there is big toil behind it. Not only a bonsai art, every object of art has tears and wears behind it. There are so many people who like gardening, but not all of them have the ability to grow a bonsai. It is the basic instinct of an artist that can grow a tree after his own fashion and choice. Again, to be very cautious is the prime factor of a perfect bonsai creator. It is not to grow but to take constant vigil as if it is his dear one. 2 Growing a Bonsai Tree Most bonsai species are outdoor trees and shrubs by nature, and they require temperature, humidity, and sunlight conditions approximating their native climate year round. The skill of the gardener can help plants from outside the local hardiness zone to survive and even thrive, but doing so takes careful watering, shielding of selected bonsai from excessive sunlight or wind, and possibly protection from winter conditions (through the use of cold boxes or winter greenhouses).

Traditional bonsai species (particularly those from the Japanese tradition) are temperate climate trees, and require moderate temperatures, moderate humidity, and full sun in summer with a dormancy period in winter that may need be near freezing. They do not thrive indoors, where the light is generally too dim, and humidity often too low, for them to grow properly. Only in the dormant period can they safely be brought indoors, and even then the plants require cold temperatures and lighting that approximates the number of hours the sun is visible. Raising the temperature or providing more hours of light than available from natural daylight can cause the bonsai to break dormancy, which often weakens or kills it.

Tropical and Mediterranean species typically require consistent temperatures close to room temperature, and with correct lighting and humidity many species can be kept indoors all year. Those from cooler climates may benefit from a winter dormancy period, but temperatures need not be dropped as far as for the temperate climate plants and a north-facing windowsill or open window may provide the right conditions for a few winter months.

Bonsai may be developed from material obtained at gardening centers, or from material collected from a wild or urban landscape. Mature landscape plants which are being discarded from a site can provide excellent material for bonsai. Some regions have plant material that is known for its suitability in form – for example the California Juniper and Sierra Juniper found in the Sierra Mountains, the Ponderosa pine found in the Rocky Mountains, and the Bald Cypress found in the swamps of the Everglades.

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