Growing Bonsai Trees

The art of growing bonsai trees had its roots in China, but it was in Japan where it was mastered, honored, and even doted on. It became so popular in Japan that a bonsai tree is often regarded as something of great value.

The term “bonsai” is a merging of two words – “bon” and "sai”. The first word means “tray”, and the latter means “planting’. Laymen often look at bonsai trees as “dwarf trees”.

They can grow from 25 centimeters to 1 meter tall, and they are not products of genetic modification of parent plants.

A bonsai tree could actually be any tree from your own backyard, only that it is kept small by special methods of culture. Interestingly, these methods include cutting the tree’s roots every two years or so, pruning its branches, and replanting the tree back in the same pot.

If you have plans of growing a bonsai tree, the first step is to look for a small pot. The pot may be of any shape, color (earth tones are a popular choice!), or texture (glazed for tropical plants, unglazed for green foliage). The size should be appropriate; not too big nor too small for the tree you intend to plant.

Once you have found the perfect pot, you are now ready to look for the perfect tree to grow into a bonsai. Bonsai trees may come from seedlings or cuttings, or even from very young trees. Bamboo Trees, Braided Monkey Trees, and Jade Trees are all good choices. However, while practically any tree can be made into a bonsai; small-leafed trees naturally make the most gorgeous bonsai.

The tinier it is, the better! If you are a beginner in the art of bonsai growing, it is always best to start with trees that are easier to grow such as a ficus tree. Bear in mind though that ficus trees should be kept in indoor all year round.

Having found the right tree for your pot, the next thing to do is trim its roots to keep it from growing into its normal size – they do not naturally grow small. The pot you’re using should then be filled with soil.

Choosing a good soil is important as this practically becomes a sort of home for the tree. Position the tree in a way that it is slightly off-center. The rationale behind this does not only concern visual effects. Ancient tradition holds that at the center of the pot is where heaven and earth meet; therefore, nothing should come between them.

Now comes the most exciting and most delicate part; pruning. Pruning is important as this will give the eventual shape of your bonsai. You may prune the branches any way you want. You are the designer; the artist.

Let your imagination run. Whatever your design may be, just make sure to prune your tree at least once a year to maintain its desired shape.

Now, you have it – your very own bonsai tree.

Your bonsai tree can last for several years, even a century or more. Water is very important in the life of a bonsai tree. Therefore, master the skill of watering a bonsai tree to ensure the longevity of your beloved bonsai.

Use a spray nozzle when watering your bonsai tree and reduced the force into mist. Using too much force may prove too harsh for the soil and may uproot the plant – it can even destroy its leaves.

When watering, you should not only wet the soils but wet the pot and the leaves as well. Although, if your bonsai tree has flowers, then you can differ watering the leaves until the flowers have fallen off. Water your plant early in the day or late in the afternoon, when the temperature is not above 85 degrees.

Growing a bonsai tree is relaxing, as well as challenging. Working with Mother Nature helps calm the nerves. Many turn to bonsai-growing as a way of de-stressing themselves from everyday cares and worries. They find it therapeutic to be one with the earth.

More than just a hobby, growing a bonsai tree involves a lot of responsibilities, patience, skill, and artistic abilities.

It has been said that growing a bonsai tree is like taking care of a pet. It needs constant human interaction and loads of tender loving care.

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