How to grow bonsai at home
Have you ever seen bonsai? It’s a great technique for growing – and cutting – plants that you may have in your home. This art was born in Asian countries. Also, if you are wondering about the possibility of using this technique to grow any tree, the answer is yes.
You’ve probably seen it before and wondered how you can grow it. So we have separated some tips for you to grow your own small and big trees!
First, it’s important to think about the type you want to grow and the space you have. Some plants grow better outdoors or indoors, so it will depend on the species. Some types of bonsai are: Thuja occidentalis (also known as northern white cedar), raspberry, pomegranate and cherry. But you can also experiment with any other tree you would like to have in your home.
1) Understand your home
The first step is to understand the layout and position of your home to choose the type of plant that will grow best. Analyze how much sunlight you have at home. Some plants grow best with lots of light, others do well with little light.
For example, northern white cedar likes both types of lighting, while the others need more sun. So in case you run out, this plant is a good option to grow indoors.
You can also observe how the leaves are. If they’re too yellow, that’s a sign they’re getting too much light. If they darken, it means they lack sunlight.
2) What time should you water it
Researching the climate of where you live is fundamental. Determining how much water and when you are going to water your bonsai depends on the temperature and air conditions.
In cold weather, the recommendation is to water it once a day, in the morning or in the afternoon. These times are best for it to absorb nutrients. But if the day is less humid, the advice is to water it twice a day. Another important part is to pay attention to the amount of water you put in. If it’s too much, the roots can putrefy.
And how do you know if the ground is wet or not? You can stick a toothpick near the tree and see if it is wet or dry.
3) When to cut
To grow dense leaves and stems, at some point you will need to cut them. It can therefore take between 3 and 6 months depending on the species. Using regular scissors, cut off a few branches that exceed the size and format you are looking for.
When thinking about format, it’s important to remember that you can use wire to create the shape. Plants will always grow in the direction of the sun, so if you want yours diagonally, it is possible to put it inside your house and close to the light.
4) Fertilize and choose the right pot
The bonsai located inside the house can be fertilized all year round. On the other hand, if the plant is outdoors, it must be fertilized between early spring and mid-autumn.
Just like water, if you exceed the amount of fertilizer, your bonsai roots can also die. This type of tree requires more attention and care than usual, so it’s a good idea to use your quarantine to observe and understand your plants.
Last but not least, the right pot for your plant should be proportional. In other words, the width should be 2-3 times the height of your bonsai. But be sure to watch if the soil takes longer to absorb water as this may be a sign for you to change your pot.
If you want to learn more about how to care for this beautiful plant, check out this beginner’s book available on Amazon! You can also find more techniques to use in your home here.
Luciana Gontijo is an editor at Grit Daily. Based in Brazil, she focuses her writing on arts and entertainment. She was previously with HuffPost Brazil.