A Japanese art form which uses the cultivation techniques to produce ,sin containers, small trees that mimic the shape and scale of full size trees, the word Bonsai literally means “tray planting”. This art has its origins in the Chinese practice of “penjing”.These trees were linked to Zen Buddhism. Bonsais are mainly used for decorative and ornamental purposes.
Selecting the right Bonsai tree-
1. Choose an appropriate species of tree for the climate-
It is imperative to keep the climate in account as some trees thrive in freezing temperatures while others in hot weather conditions. Juniper is an all -weather plant while cedars, pines and spruces are great too. Jade, Japanese maple and magnolias are good too.
2. The right pot-
A pot which restricts the growth and is large enough to cover the roots has to be chosen .The pot shouldn’t be too large to dwarf the plant and should have drainage holes.
3. Indoor or outdoor tree-
Hawaiian umbrella, Serissa, Ficus and Gardenia require less sunlight hence are good indoor trees whereas Juniper, Cypress and Cedar are good outdoor trees.
4. Deciding the size of Bonsai-
Larger trees need more time to prune, more soil, water and sunlight.
They also need a bigger pot and occupy more space.
5. The end result-
A vibrant and green plant whose shape allows pruning should be chosen. Trees grown by seeds take five years to grow whereas a grown plant can be pruned immediately to grow trees.
Planting grown trees-
1. Preparing the trees-
Prune the trees to the desired shape. Then wrap a wire around the branch or the tree to direct its growth after repotting. Seasonal trees like deciduous trees should be transplanted in spring. Reduce watering before repotting as dry soil is easier to work with.
2. Cleaning the roots and tree removal-
Remove the tree from its pot and clean the dirt on roots. Tweezers, chopsticks and root rakes can be used.
Pruning of the roots is done so that the bonsai trees are tidy and controllable.
Cut large thick roots and upward facing roots.
4. Preparing the pot-
At the base of the empty pot a layer of coarse grain soil is added. Above it a finer, looser soil or medium is added especially one that drains well.
5. Potting the tree-
Cover the trees roots by the soil and the final layer of moss and orient the tree. From the bottom of the pot run a heavy gauge wire through the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot till the root system. This will keep the tree straight. Install mesh screens over the pot’s drainage holes to avoid soil erosion.
6. Looking after the new tree-
Protect the new tree from wind and harsh sunlight by keeping it a shaded area for 2-3 weeks. This allows the trees to acclimatise to their new home. Repot the deciduous trees in the spring since they experience a growth spurt at that time. Move it outside after repotting if it’s an indoor plant as high temperatures and sunlight will aid its growth.
This is how a bonsai is grown and taken care of.