Step by step guide to growing bonsai
the the art of bonsai has been practiced for generations and is a highly symbolic religious activity, with its vital qualities of simplicity, harmony and balance reflected in many parts of Japanese culture and way of life. Bonsai art has been cultivated for over 2000 years and is inspired by the Chinese art of Penjing, which was transferred to Japan from China, and later carved and influenced by the minimalist Buddhist culture.
So, for those of you who want to grow bonsai at home, here are the steps to grow them:
Choose a tree species that suits your climate. Not all bonsai are the same. Many woody perennials and even tropical plants can be made into bonsai,
However, not all species will be suitable for your specific environment. It is essential to consider the climate in which the tree will be grown when choosing a species. Some trees, for example, perish in cold temperatures, while others need sub-freezing temperatures to enter a dormant state and prepare for spring.
One of those trees you can start with if you are new to bonsai growing. These hardy evergreens can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere and even in the more temperate sections of the Southern Hemisphere.
Additionally, junipers are simple to grow; they respond well to pruning and other “training” efforts and, as evergreens, never shed their leaves. However, they are growing at a snail’s pace.
Pines, spruces and cedars of various types are also often grown as bonsai. Another option is deciduous (hardwood) trees.
Decide if you want to grow your bonsai indoors or outdoors.
Indoor trees receive less moisture and sunlight, so choose only those that need it the least. Here are some of the trees that will be perfect if you want to grow a bonsai indoors, Hawaiian Umbrella, Serissa, Gardenia, Camellia, Kingsville Boxwood, Ficus.
Outdoor plants are those that may require a higher amount of humidity and sun. listed are some of these species of plants, juniper, cypress, cedar, maple, birch, beech, ginkgo, larch, elm.
Select the size of your bonsai
Select a tree based on the size you can manage, as bonsai trees come in a wide variety of sizes. Depending on the species, mature trees can measure from 6 inches (15.2 cm) to 3 feet (0.9 m). If you choose to grow your bonsai from a seedling or cutting from another tree, it will start out much smaller. Larger plants require more water, soil and sun, so make sure you have everything you need before you buy.
Select the pot
Bonsai is not a species of tree. However, its main appeal is that the trees are grown in pots which limit their growth. The most crucial consideration in determining which pot to use is that the container be large enough to allow adequate soil to cover the plant’s roots.
When you water your tree, the liquid from the soil is absorbed by the roots. You don’t want to put little soil in the pot so the tree roots can’t retain moisture. To prevent root rot, make sure your pot has one or more drainage holes in the bottom. You can also drill them yourself if you have a drill.
While your container should be large enough to support your tree, you’ll also want to keep your bonsai nice and tidy. Excessively huge pots could overshadow the tree, creating an odd or mismatched look. Buy a container large enough to accommodate the tree’s roots, but not much larger – the goal is for the pot to aesthetically complement the tree while being relatively unobtrusive visually.
Some people choose to start their bonsai trees in basic, functional pots and then transfer them to more sophisticated containers once they are fully grown. This is especially handy if your bonsai species is delicate, as it allows you to put off buying the “right” container until your tree is healthy and beautiful.
Prune your tree to the shape you desire to ensure it grows the way you want it to.
Learn about trees, their life cycle, and how much moisture and sun they want
Uproot trees and clean their roots
Brush away clumps of dirt blocking your view as you clean out the roots. This method benefits from the use of root rakes, chopsticks, tweezers, and other similar equipment.
pot the tree
Place the tree the right way up in your new pot. Finish filling the container with fine, well-drained soil or growing medium, making sure to cover the root system of the tree. You can add a final layer of moss or gravel if desired.