Learn how to grow miniature trees from the “mother” of 225 bonsai

Anita, the “mother” of 225 bonsai, shares her tips on how to grow and care for these adorable little trees. Keep reading to find out more!

Anita explains that growing bonsai is totally different from regular gardening.

Anita Peter marveled at her sister-in-law’s bonsai garden when she first visited her home about 34 years ago. Anita was mesmerized by the exquisite little trees in the pretty pots and immediately decided to start one in her own home in Kadavanthra, Kochi.

The 56-year-old is currently the “mother” of 225 different bonsai varieties that are spread around her 3-cent garden plot. Numerous fruit-bearing plants, including rose apples and cherry trees, as well as ficus trees, make up the majority of the collection.

“My sister-in-law led me into this area and with her help I created a lovely garden which has become our family’s favorite place to relax. I treat each bonsai like my child and give them regular care. They give me happiness and peace, adds Anita, secretary of the Cochin Bonsai Club.

She developed a taste for gardening after planting her first bonsai. She buys bonsai plants from various places, including the highway and her sister in the yard. Law’s “This type of plant is usually quite expensive, and buying each one isn’t always an option. They’re also everywhere we look. All we have to do is take a closer look at our surroundings. particular, the fiscus variety is widely accessible everywhere , claims the gardener.

She goes on to explain that growing bonsai is totally different from regular gardening.

Everything is so different, from choosing the right potting soil to the duration of the budding process. Unlike regular plants, bonsai need several days to produce a leaf or flower.

However, the process is incredibly rewarding and the result is unparalleled. Her husband and three children, who form her family, actively support her interest and participate in activities.

However, despite a busy schedule as a special education teacher, Anita takes the time to check on her plants. “After the birth of my children, I entered the field of special education because two of them had learning difficulties. Raising them requires a lot of knowledge and patience, just like growing a bonsai tree. Today, I accompany several parents to help them raise their children well, says Anita, who runs Lil Sparrow, a facility for families of children with disabilities.

Expert tips on how to grow bonsai trees:

  • Buy a seedling or bonsai from a gardener or nursery. Make sure it was grown organically to avoid a sudden end to growth.

  • Choose medium-sized pots for the plant, which will eventually grow into a tree. Make sure the pot has enough holes for the water to drain.

  • To avoid total water loss, lightly fill the holes with stones.

  • The most important step in growing bonsai is choosing the right soil. Add a layer of gravel with fairly large stones on top. Add fine gravel with stones about 5 mm in diameter. This prevents the plant from drying out and ensures that the roots are not tightly hampered.

  • The top layer is made up of neem cake, coco peat and cow dung. Use only organic manure. Chemical fertilizers can speed up development, but they won’t help the plant live very long.

  • Spray the plants instead of using a hose to avoid overwatering.

  • Another important step to speed up plant growth is pruning. Start with the help of experienced gardeners before doing it yourself. Lots of pruning could destroy the plant.

  • Spray diluted neem oil occasionally to prevent disease and pests.

  • Observe the bud of a new leaf or flower patiently. You shouldn’t expect to get them right away from the plant.

First published on: 05 August 2022, 05:15 IST

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