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Bonsai General Info

Bonsai General Info

Bonsai History

The bonsai tradition we know and love is in no way a new concept. Bonsai has been around for thousands of years, being refined and perfected into the art we know today. Although it has become increasingly popular in the Western world, bonsai started out in China then made its way to Japan around a thousand years ago. The first trees planted in shallow containers were not even called bonsai trees until Japan adopted the Penjing tradition in China. Japan took the Chinese tradition and made it their own. 

Bonsai History in China

Around 5,000 years ago, people in China began creating shallow bowls made of clay. Fast forward about one thousand years later. At this time, during the Chinese Bronze Age, these shallow pottery dishes were chosen to be recreated in bronze for political and religious ceremonies. As you may know, the main goal of growing a bonsai is to create a miniaturized tree that replicates nature. This wasn’t implemented until about 2,300 years ago, and was created as a result of the Chinese Five Agents Theory. At first, the creations people made through bonsai were replicas of things like mountains, instead of trees. It was said that the smaller the piece was, the more magical it was. 

The earliest documented shallow dish was from 706 AD. Called “pun wan,” meaning tray playthings, they can be seen on Crown Prince Zhang Huai’s tomb paintings. The trees housed in the containers were oddly shaped and twisted in unflattering angles. Instead of being shunned or disliked, these unusually shaped trees were considered sacred because they could not be used for anything else. 

This tradition did evolve over time in China. The pottery used for making these dishes changed into porcelain dishes placed on wood stands. Wiring, using brass wire or lead strips, became popular. Miniature landscapes became a popular feature in many poems, literature, and paintings. In the 16th century, these pieces were named “pun tsai.” The name we now use, Penjing, meaning tray landscape, didn’t come around until the 17th century. 

Japan Adapts Bonsai Traditions

Before a name was assigned to the modern day tradition we love, the landscapes the Chinese created were brought to Japan as religious souvenirs around twelve hundred years ago. The Japanese believed that leaving a tree to grow naturally is crude, and instead, the trees should be cared for closely by humans.

budo and bonsai

Around 800 years ago, the first graphic images portraying landscapes in shallow containers in Japan were made. Many of the Chinese traditions were adapted by the Japanese, including Chinese Chan Buddhism, which turned into Zen Buddhism in Japan. Zen monks often created landscapes that were said to represent the universe. In addition to mini landscapes, folktales were also expressed through this tradition. 

By the eighteenth century, everyone had a tree in a container. Shows in the trees’ honor were held every year in Kyoto, where connoisseurs would bring a tree or two to the show to be judged. During this time, a name was finally put forth to distinguish this shallow container tradition from the non-shallow container of hachi-no-ki. This name, of course, was Bonsai. 

Over the course of the following century, bonsai became increasingly popular and publicized. Books were published, tools specifically made for bonsai were developed, wire used for wiring the trees was changed to copper and iron wire, and specialized shallow bonsai pots were produced in China. After the Pacific War, bonsai became even more popular through magazines, books, and classes dedicated to the tradition. 

Bonsai is no longer known as a pastime popular with the elderly. Recently, younger generations have come to realize bonsai is a beautiful, easy tradition anyone can join in on.

Bonsai Migration into the West

Growing small trees on coral became popular in the Philippines in the year 1604. However, the first known English sighting of a tree planted in a small container was in 1637. Travelers would visit Japan and come back to England with their accounts of these tree growing traditions. 

Books published about bonsai were primarily in Japanese until 1902, when a bonsai book in France was published. Next came an English publication in 1930. In 1957, an American bonsai book was written by John Naka. 

Bonsai development continued in Western countries. The foundation for bonsai growing stayed the same, but Western countries developed new techniques that would then be brought back to Japan through travelers or teachers. 

The internet has helped further the spread of bonsai knowledge. The first bonsai website was created in 1992. There are now hundreds of websites dedicated to bonsai. 

Bonsai, or traditions related to it, have been around for thousands of years. It all started in China, with the art of Penjing. The Japanese took inspiration from traditions like Penjing and made it their own. Bonsai wasn’t given an official name until the eighteen hundreds. The name was created to distinguish the art of growing trees in a shallow container from the similar tradition of hachi-no-ki, which involved trees planted in containers that were not shallow. Bonsai was brought into the Western countries where it was further refined into the art form that we know today.

Bonsai General Info

Everything You Need To Know About Bonsai Trees

Origin and Meaning of Bonsai Trees

Bonsai trees are of Japanese origin and are rooted deep in the Japanese culture. The art involved in crafting bonsai trees is an old tradition among the Japanese people. The term bonsai simply means “Planting on a low pot.” Although tending to and gardening bonsai trees originated from Japan, it has now spread like wildfire and is highly practiced in other parts of the world, such as China and Vietnam.

The Art of Cultivating Bonsai Trees 

Bonsai tree growing is a big task, including both the art involved in it and commitment and discipline as well. Each gardener has to work hard in tending their specific bonsai trees. It becomes more than just work for the gardeners; it becomes part of their lives that they look forward to. Each time a gardener perfectly performs the art of shaping and training the bonsai trees, a tinge of pride and satisfaction runs deep through their bodies and souls. This not only applies to the gardeners, but also to any other human that finds themselves surrounded by properly grown bonsai trees. Bonsai trees give life meaning. They help us appreciate life and all it has to offer. We get to respect and take care of our environment and appreciate beauty as well.

The Sacred Symbolism of Bonsai and Other Trees

Trees are among the many living things present in the world. Almost every aspect of our lives relies heavily on trees for continuity. Therefore, every person should view a tree as a living and essential thing and treat it with care. For a long time, different cultures and religions have associated trees with sacredness. The Egyptians, for example, valued their trees as they considered them to carry religious significance. Some religions held prayers under the trees due to the solitude and peace they provided. Some trees are known to live for decades, longer than our grandparents managed to. Such trees have seen, heard, and sensed a lot of things during their lifetimes compared to what any human being has experienced. 

The Primary Purpose of Bonsai Trees

Bonsai trees offer a peaceful and calm atmosphere any time someone sees them. It makes one peaceful, hopeful, and full of positivity. Bonsai trees may never speak, but they pass a message of hope, harmony, and other positive feelings that no word can ever be fit to describe.

Taking Time to Understand Bonsai Deeply

Every time you think of cultivating bonsai trees, picture a piece of art and what it does to your heart. With such a thought, you will quickly understand how hard a task it is to care for a bonsai tree and why it is such a valued tree. The bonsai tree is like a hidden treasure: no one knows its value, except for those looking for it. The time spent creating the masterpiece that is a bonsai tree is time used to instill virtues and useful life skills in those participating in bonsai. Nurturing and taking care of a bonsai tree demands more than a skill or a hobby; it requires virtues that give an individual a chance to grow, understand life, and live a harmonious life.

Japanese Philosophy in the Art of Bonsai

budo and bonsai

It is a common human habit to rush from one thing to the next quickly. This trait has resulted in many people missing opportunities and failing to see the beauty of various things in life. Fortunately, the Japanese people do not fall in this category; they take their time to observe things and have an eye for detail. These two qualities are a reason the art of bonsai trees is now known and practised far and wide throughout the world.

The Buddha Presence in the Cultivation of Bonsai Trees

The Buddha believed that what you think, you become. Bonsai trees bring meaning to our existence as they dig deep into our conscience and awaken it. An awakened conscience knows no fear or judgment but only knows of the wholeness that exists in connecting with nature.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Uncategorized

Why Do My Bonsai Keep Dying?

Bonsai trees can be quite challenging to care for, even for experienced gardeners. Being miniature trees, bonsai are prone to all kinds of problems. Many beginners tend to ask why their bonsai trees keep dying.

Bonsai trees need some special attention due to their delicate nature. As a beginner, start by familiarizing yourself with different conditions that affect regular trees. Then it would help if you worked on learning the basic bonsai care guidelines. Understand that it takes years to shape and train a bonsai, but only a few seconds can kill your bonsai tree.

We need to take a long look at some of the common reasons why your bonsai trees might be dying. This article should help you identify common problems that lead to the death of bonsai trees. We will also help you understand how to deal with different situations.

Watering Problems Causing Death in Bonsai

Wilted or dry leaves and the yellowing of the leaves may be as a result of overwatering. When the yellowing of leaves begins, you need to reduce the amount of water you give your bonsai. Most people don’t understand that overwatering will lead to root rot in the long run.

Ensure that you only water your bonsai when required. According to several experts, it is easier to revive a bonsai tree affected by under-watering than overwatering. Yes, your bonsai needs sufficient water, but that doesn’t mean that you should provide too much.

Now, overwatering might also be a result of poor soil or containers. Understand that poor draining soil will have a high water retention rate. Ensure that you repot your bonsai in well-draining soil before adjusting your watering schedule.

How Light Can Cause Death in Bonsai

Most beginners don’t usually grasp the importance of adequate light to their bonsai tree. Typically, your bonsai will start shrinking when placed in low light conditions. When not correctly dealt with, a lack of light will lead to the death of your bonsai.

Your miniature tree needs a minimum of six hours a day of sunlight for proper development. Understand that light will also dictate the amount of moisture in the air. Too much humidity will lead to mold infestation.

With mold infestation, you will start noticing white fuzzy spots on stems and leaves of your bonsai. You must place your bonsai in a location with just the right amount of sunlight and humidity levels.

Lack of Fertilizer Can Kill Bonsai

Imbalance of nutrients will often lead to discolored leaves.  Without the proper nutrients, your bonsai gets weak and slowly dies. Most of the time, individuals don’t notice an imbalance in nutrients until it’s too late.

You need to conduct a soil test immediately when you notice leaves turning dark green or brown. Your soil may also contain toxins, which means that you have to wash them out using water. Toxic soil is a common occurrence, especially for beginners.

To get on the safe side, you might need to repot your bonsai. Once you are done repotting, ensure that you provide sufficient water to your bonsai. Apply a balanced fertilizer once your bonsai is fully recovered and healthy.

Improper Placement Killing Your Bonsai

Location is critical when it comes to the healthy growth of your bonsai tree. However, finding the right spot can prove to be rather challenging, especially when indoors. Understand that your miniature tree needs the same conditions as regular trees.

Improper placement of your bonsai tree will lead to an imbalance in several factors, including light and moisture. When indoors, you might want to consider using artificial lighting.

Sometimes, your outdoor bonsai might be placed in a location infested with pests and diseases. It is useless to treat your bonsai if you leave it in an infested area. Relocating your bonsai is your best option in such situations.

Choose a sunny spot with good air circulation. Ensure that the moisture levels in the new location are adequate.

Conclusion

Bonsai cultivation can be rather tricky, especially when you are a beginner. Ensure that you conduct regular checkups every month. Getting in front of the problem is always the best solution when taking care of bonsai trees.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

How Long Do Bonsai Trees Live For?

Most people have asked this question, since bonsai trees are not easy to look after. Some bonsai trees live for 100 years. Furthermore, the oldest bonsai tree is over 1000 years old! Your tree can only leave this long if you provide continuous maintenance and care. These trees live longer compared to similar species in nature. Therefore, this article will inform you how long your bonsai tree can live.

Top 4 Oldest Bonsai

Some of the oldest bonsai worldwide are over 800 years old, which is a result of hard work and a lot of patience. Below are the four oldest bonsai on record:

Japanese White Pine

This bonsai has survived for approximately 400 years. This has been achieved due to generations of patience and hard work by the Yamaki family. It is unique since it managed to survive in Hiroshima during the calamity of an atomic bomb in 1945. Its survival led it to be donated to Penjing and National Bonsai Museum located in Washington.

800-year-old Bonsai at Shunkaen

This is one of the costliest bonsai trees. Moreover, it is a perfect tree that is popular due to its maximum age of 800. Kunio Kobayashi is the bonsai’s primary artist; this artist is famous and has managed to win the prestigious Prime Minister award four times in Japan.

Old juniper Bonsai Tree

This tree is located at Mansei-en, Japan; it has been proven to be 1000 years old. Furthermore, it has maintained its sturdy material; if you want to see it, you can visit the Mansei-en Bonsai Kato family nursery in Japan.

Ficus Bonsai Tree

Ficus Bonsai is one of the oldest trees worldwide, living for more than 1000 years. It is the primary tree displayed at the Italian Bonsai Museum at Crespi.

Bonsai Species that Live the Longest

Any plant has the potential to be a bonsai. Therefore, whenever you select a plant for longevity, it is ideal to choose a variety with sufficient strength and adaptability. This means you can choose from either evergreen or deciduous species. Your basic skills play a vital role when it comes to growing a bonsai tree. For evergreen species, opt for cedar, cypress, Azalea, Fig, Holly, Pomegranate and pine, while for deciduous species, you can select cherry, beech or maple. When you opt for this species, you will get a beautiful bonsai plant with an extended lifespan.

The Importance of Care for Longevity

Did you know that any species of a tree can be shaped to become a bonsai? The answer is yes; you can achieve this perfect shape if you implement discipline as well as excellent skills in your work. You will not have a bonsai tree if you plant your tree in a container and develop with just pruning; it will not result in a bonsai tree. Ensure that you trim and prune each twig, root and branch continuously to achieve a perfect shape of a bonsai tree.

Bonsai trees require proper care and maintenance for them to have a longer lifespan. The environment is an essential key to a healthy bonsai. Different varieties of trees will succeed either indoors or outdoors. It is also vital to note that outdoor species become dormant during the winter.

Outdoor species are likely not to survive if put indoors for a long duration. During the summer season, keep your outdoor bonsai indoors for approximately a week. Preserve your indoor bonsai under the temperature of 50 to 80 degrees. Make sure you do not expose them to extreme cold, as they might die.

Another consideration is the watering of your bonsai tree. This is an essential factor. You should closely monitor your soil moisture to ensure that it receives a sufficient amount of water to grow appropriately. During summer, you will be forced to water it more frequently compared to rainy seasons.

Potting is necessary when it comes to a bonsai’s proper growth. Most bonsai artists usually come up with their own soil mix or opt for a potting mix. On the other hand, there are many varieties of bonsai soil mixes. However, the only variation between potting soil mixes and the bonsai mix is the minimal fertilizer quantity. Fertilizer plays a crucial role in the growth of healthy plants. For proper growth of your bonsai tree, potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen are necessary.

How to Prune to Extend Bonsai Lifespan

Every plant has a regular cycle for growing; this applies to the bonsai tree too. The stunted appearance of the bonsai tree does not mean it lacks the potential to grow. Therefore, if you prune your bonsai tree appropriately, you will keep it healthy and extend its lifespan. A bonsai tree can respond well to pruning if it is appropriately trimmed. Ideally, you prune developing growth during winter and old-growth in the fall season. For trees such as cedar and pine, use your fingers for pruning through a twisting motion to maintain a natural impression. Prune diseased branches and leaves to maximize your tree’s health. When you are through, make sure that you examine which branches are responding more effectively than others. This will encourage the growth of healthy leaves.

Conclusion

Based on the above information, you are now familiar with how long bonsai trees can live. Therefore, you can choose a species that is likely to have an extended lifespan. I hope this article helped you to understand how long bonsai trees live.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Bonsai Tree Brown Leaves

Over the years, bonsai cultivation has become quite popular, with more beginners venturing into the art every day. Although these miniature trees make excellent indoor decorations, they can be quite challenging to care for. Bonsai trees need the same nutrients and environmental factors as larger trees.

Without proper care, bonsai leaves start to turn brown or wilt. Once you notice brown leaves, you need to pay close attention to your miniature tree. Most of the time, your bonsai tree will die if you don’t get to the bottom of the problem.

There are many reasons why the leaves or stem of your bonsai tree may be turning brown. In the next section, we will take an extensive look at the common reasons why your bonsai may have brown leaves. We will also take you through the options for remedying the situation.

Improper Watering Causing Browning Leaves on Bonsai

To survive, your bonsai needs a specific amount of water. Underwatering will lead to the browning of leaves, and eventually, the trunk will start wilting. Overwatering, on the other hand, will lead to root rot and thus browning of leaves.

bonsai watering

Most beginners make the mistake of overwatering since they are always checking up on their bonsai. Different tree species have different watering needs making it impossible to have a standard watering timetable.

A great example is when you start noticing the trunk part of your bonsai getting soft. This is usually an indication of overwatering, which causes the roots to rot. Reduce the watering frequency and let the soil dry up completely. Then start watering your bonsai only when needed.

Only water your bonsai when you notice the soil starting to dry up. Constant supervision should help you identify the specific water needs of your bonsai.

Insufficient Light Causing Browning Leaves on Bonsai

When bonsai trees are kept indoors, then they are hugely affected by a lack of sunlight. Your miniature tree could either be subtropical, hardy, or tropical. The sturdy tree varieties need a lot of direct sunlight, which means that the leaves will turn brown quite quickly when kept indoors.

The bonsai in the subtropical and tropical category can survive quite well in partial sunlight. As a rule of thumb, your bonsai needs at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Identify a position in your room that receives several hours of direct sunlight.

Move your bonsai to the identified location and monitor for a few days. The leaves should start regaining their elegant color and shape. 

Diseases and Pests Causing Browning Leaves on Bonsai

When it comes to bonsai, pests and diseases can cause massive problems. Most of the time, pests can go unnoticed for several weeks and months. Your bonsai leaves will, therefore, turn brown before you notice that the entire tree is infested with pests.

Pests such as spider mites and aphids feed on the nutrients in your bonsai’s steam and leaves. Because the nutrients don’t reach their destination, the leaves gradually start turning brown. In such situations, remove all the dead and brown leaves before spraying a light pesticide.

Nutrient Problems Causing Browning Leaves on Bonsai

Your bonsai tree needs proper nutrients to develop and grow. Nutrient deficiency while leading to the browning of leaves quite quickly. Lack of magnesium, iron, and nitrogen are the common reasons why your bonsai leaves may turn brown.

The browning of stems and leaves simultaneously is a common sign of nutrient imbalance. It would help if you used the right fertilizer mixture to ensure that your bonsai gets a sufficient amount of nutrients. Carry out extensive research to figure out the exact nutrient requirement for your bonsai tree.

Fertilizing needs to be done all year round when you have a weak bonsai tree. However, the best times to fertilize a healthy bonsai are usually at the start of spring and end of summer.

Conclusion

The browning of your bonsai’s leaves can be caused by several factors, including watering schedule, nutrient issues, insufficient light, and more. Ensure that you diagnose the problem first before carrying out a remedy. With time, you will grow into a skilled bonsai cultivator that can identify the different issues quickly. The beauty of bonsai cultivation is the fact that you get to experiment and develop your skills.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

How Hard Are Bonsai Trees To Take Care Of?

Taking care of a bonsai tree seems like a lot of work. However, this is not entirely true once you understand the basic guidelines. Bonsai cultivation is a rewarding art form that simply requires you to master a few basics.

How hard are bonsai trees to take care of? This is quite a common question among many individuals who plan on venturing into the bonsai business. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at basic bonsai care guidelines.

The Easiest Bonsai to Care For

Bonsai trees are rather delicate when compared to other trees. Since bonsai trees are miniature versions of the regular trees, you need to handle them with care. The easiest bonsai to care for is the Ficus bonsai.

The Ficus tree can withstand a lot of harsh climates, including lack of sunlight and low humidity. The Ficus bonsai is, therefore, a great option when you are a beginner in bonsai cultivation.

However, don’t just limit yourself to the Ficus bonsai. Other easy bonsai to care for include Jade, Fukien Tea, Sweet Plum, and Hawaiian Umbrella. Pick tree species that can tolerate harsh conditions, because they tend to be more resilient.

The Hardest Bonsai to Care For

The Pine tree bonsai is considered among the hardest bonsai to care for, due to its growth pattern. Cultivating pine bonsai can be quite difficult because they are among the hardest tree species to turn into bonsai.

You will need to carefully study aspects such as growth patterns and appearances before you can successfully turn a pine tree into a bonsai. However, this doesn’t mean that beginners can’t do it. Sometimes all you need is a little determination and patience.

Bonsai Care Guidelines 

There are a few care guidelines that you need to follow when you decide to venture into bonsai cultivation. The most important aspects include fertilization, watering, and positioning. In this section, we will take an extensive look at the basic bonsai care guidelines.

1. Watering Your Bonsai

Watering is undoubtedly one of the most crucial aspects when it comes to bonsai cultivation. Every tree will have different watering needs depending on several factors. Some of these factors include tree size, pot size, tree species, time of year, climate, and soil mix.

However, you should only water your bonsai tree when it needs it. You need to ensure that the soil doesn’t dry out entirely while avoiding overwatering. Too much water will lead to root rot, so you have to be careful.

2. Fertilizing Your Bonsai

During the winter, you need to fertilize your bonsai tree quite regularly. Since your bonsai is placed in a small pot, it isn’t able to spread its roots in search of nutrients during the winter. Ensure that you fertilize your tree regularly to replenish the nutrient content in your soil.

3. Repotting Your Bonsai

Regular repotting is vital since you don’t want to starve your bonsai to death. To avoid making your tree pot-bound, you have to repot it every two to three years. Repotting is beneficial to your bonsai since the practice ensures that your tree always has sufficient nutrients. Bonsai trees, just like regular trees, need nutrients for growth.

4. Bonsai Soil

You must use the right bonsai soil mixture for your tree. Soil ensures that your bonsai has plenty of nutrients throughout the year. The soil has to drain appropriately while providing sufficient aeration and water retention. You could always purchase ready-made bonsai mix from the local stores. However, learning to create your soil mixture will save you a lot of money.

5. Location of Bonsai

It would help if you found a suitable position for your bonsai tree. Start by considering whether your bonsai is indoors or outdoors. You can then determine the best location for your bonsai to thrive. With indoor bonsai, you might have to get artificial lights, especially during winter.

Conclusion

Taking care of bonsai is not a difficult task once you get the basics right. Follow the above care guidelines to help you on your journey in bonsai cultivation. It might seem difficult at first, but you will find it easier as time goes by.

Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Species

How Big Can a Bonsai Tree Get?

Bonsai growing is an art form that incorporates both ancient tradition and beauty. According to several bonsai enthusiasts, the real art of bonsai is in its shape. When you are a beginner in bonsai cultivation, you are probably fascinated by the size and shape of these trees. However, it takes a lot of discipline and determination to create the perfect miniature tree. In this article, we will take a closer look at how big a bonsai tree can get.

Biggest Bonsai Trees

The biggest bonsai trees grow up to a height of around eighty inches in height. These bonsai are common in Japanese imperial gardens since they take years to cultivate. These bonsai trees can’t be moved by one person and instead need at least three people! However, note that this dimension is not set in stone, and you could always grow a taller bonsai tree if you wish.

Smallest Bonsai Trees

The smallest bonsai trees are commonly referred to as poppy seed-sized trees. They are considered an artfully designed seedling because they rarely get taller than three inches. You can lift these trees with two fingers. However, the smallest bonsai trees need a lot of care and attention. You should exercise a lot of caution when pruning and repotting the small bonsai trees.

Bonsai Size Classifications

The bonsai size classifications were originally based on how many hands you would need to move the miniature tree and pot. According to the ranking, these trees can either be one-handed, three-handed, two-handed and so on. The three primary bonsai size classifications are miniature, medium, and large.

Now, each of the classifications has subcategories with exact hand requirements and measurements. In this section, we will highlight these subcategories to help you get a better understanding of bonsai size classification. Note that these categories may not fit every bonsai out there.

Miniature Bonsai

1. Keshitsubo

The smallest bonsai trees are classified under this subcategory. It consists of tiny bonsai trees that can be lifted using two fingers. Ranging between 1 to 3 inches, the Keshitsubo tree makes a beautiful decorative element in any home.

2. Shito

Also referred to as the fingertip size, the Shito tree grows between 2 to 4 inches. In some areas, they are known as thimble bonsai since they are small enough to fit into pots the size of thimbles. There are several techniques incorporated in the creation of this miniature tree.

3. Mame

Growing between 3 to 6 inches, the Mame only requires a single hand to move around. Most of the time, this miniature tree has a larger pot than the Shito bonsai.

4. Komono

With a height of between 6 to 10 inches, the komono bonsai is the largest bonsai that you could move with a single hand. They are equally known as the small generic bonsai.

Medium Bonsai

1. Katade-mochi

This miniature tree has a height of between 10 to 18 inches, making it quite easy to handle. This is a popular size among many bonsai cultivators, especially beginners. Working with this medium bonsai is quite straightforward.

2. Chumono/Chiu

With time, Chiu and Chumono have become interchangeable since they are both considered two-handed trees. These bonsai have a height ranging between 16 to 36 inches.

Large Bonsai

1. Omono/dai

These are the smallest varieties in the large bonsai size category. Growing to a height of 30 to 48 inches, they require four hands to lift.

2. Hachi-Uye

The Hachi-Uye are generally large and need six hands to move. They can reach a height of between 40 to 60 inches making them quite fascinating.

3. Imperial

Considered the most majestic bonsai trees, the imperial bonsai has a height of 60 to 80 inches. You need eight hands to move these trees.

Conclusion

The size of a bonsai is dictated by the gardener: you! You can decide on the best size for you by considering factors such as care and pruning. Since training a bonsai can be rather challenging, you need to exercise a lot of patience and determination. The good news is that bonsai sizes are not set in stone, which means that you can always experiment.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Species, Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Indoor Bonsai Trees

Easiest Bonsai Tree To Care For

Bonsai care includes meeting specific needs that common plants do not have. For example, did you know that most bonsai trees are bred to be outdoor plants like their full-size counterparts? If you bring bonsai in the sun indoors, be prepared to give it about 14 hours a day of fluorescent light. However, some bonsai plants don’t need a lot of light, and these types can be perfect if you need to do bonsai care indoors. This article offers a list of the easiest bonsai trees for beginners to care for.

Ficus Bonsai

Ficus is one of the most popular types of indoor bonsai. There are over 800 varieties of ficus, but two specific kinds make good beginner bonsai trees. Ficus neriifolia is a willow-leaved fig known for its delusional leaves, hard root propagation, and twig shoots. Ficus benjamina is a rapidly evolving evergreen tree with rich foliage and roots. It can be best formed in a formal or informal straightening, or in the style of a weeping fig tree. It heals quickly and does not easily recover from massive pruning wounds, so it is better to plant these trees from smaller trees rather than taking cuttings from larger trees.

Ficus bonsai is famous for the milky sap that extends from slices or wounds. Some can also produce small flowers; however, these can only be inoculated by a specialized trace. These bonsai can have aerial roots, but to thrive in this way, they must be placed in approximately 100% humidity.

Chinese Elm Bonsai

Chinese elms are lovely indoor trees that are among the easiest trees for bonsai beginners. Their fast growth, small leaves, wooden stumps, and short knots make it very easy for beginners to grow a healthy and attractive bonsai, even inside the home or office. The Chinese elm is more tolerant of overwatering and underwatering than most types of bonsai. It responds well to cable training or can be prepared with directional pruning. It can grow in good or harsh soil, as long as you don’t let it sit in water or dry out completely. It is easy to grow from cuttings. If you have grown a whole Chinese elm in your neighborhood, you can germinate a bonsai productively from new seeds.

Japanese Maple Bonsai

It has particularly sensitive leaves and can easily burn due to sun exposure. Therefore, it would be good to expose it to moderate sunlight and shade it from exposure during midday and summer. Autumn and spring are good times for sun exposure because sunlight is mild, but winter should be a time of full protection from wind and cold. The Japanese maple bonsai is generally formed through careful and discriminating pruning. 

It is advisable to avoid pruning in the spring to avoid damaging the plant. You can schedule leaf pruning in mid-summer. The roots and branches should be trimmed in the fall. One rule to remember is that you don’t have to remove all the leaves if you are replanting the Japanese maple bonsai. Check the wounds after pruning and be sure to monitor all of them.

Jade Bonsai

This tree likes to be kept indoors at a warm temperature so it can get a lot of natural sunlight; however, jade can also withstand low light intensity. The jade bonsai is a very popular houseplant due to the variety of places that can be kept indoors. Jade should be repotted every two years in a bigger pot. Be sure to trim a third of the root system to avoid restricting the root every time you repot. When repotting, you must use new soil and peat dung. You can trim the leaves at any time of the year, but don’t cut them all at once. 

If you prune your jade bonsai, the leaves will still be small. Pruning new leaves will stimulate new growth toward the bottom of the tree. Do not prune or trim the bonsai repeatedly within one month to avoid excessive shock. When shaping a jade tree, you should use aluminum wire to avoid bark scars. Jade bonsai substructures are stiffer compared to other bonsai trees, so the branches can separate if they bend back immediately.

Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai

This tree contains thick leaves that form a green crown. In spring it blooms with red roses in a beautiful display of colours. This bonsai is strong and adaptable, and therefore easy to maintain. You can grow the Hawaiian umbrella bonsai from cuttings or seeds. When starting a plant, you must provide it with full sunlight to grow thick, dense foliage. Once this is done, you can move it inside to a window or light spot. You may find that the tree tends to drop leaves after moving inside; don’t worry, as this is just a way to get used to the new environment. 

Water is also essential, and your tree should be sprayed or watered every other day. Never let the soil dry up, as this can have harmful effects on plant health. Also do not overwater it! The soil should be soaked and allowed to drain. If you see the leaves turn black, this indicates that you are watering a lot; if tips appear, you are not watering enough.

Conclusion

Bonsai trees can last a long time if cared for properly. Many people don’t stop at a single tree, and you can collect and grow many different varieties from your mini garden. There are many groups dedicated to this hobby where you can share your experience and learn from others.

Bonsai General Info

How Long Do Bonsai Trees Take To Grow?

One of the things that you have to consider before starting bonsai cultivation is time. You need to understand how much time you will be investing in this new hobby. The understanding of time when it comes to bonsai tree cultivation will also help you determine what to expect.

In this article, we will be answering all the bonsai questions that you might have concerning time. We will help you understand what to expect, especially when you are thinking of venturing into the bonsai business. Let’s get started!

When Do Bonsai Stop Growing?

You need to understand that bonsai trees are similar to full-size trees in every manner other than size. What this means is that your bonsai tree will grow at the same rate as a normal-sized tree of the same species.

This being said, your bonsai does not stop growing. Yes, the changes might be minimal during certain stages, but this does not mean that your bonsai is not developing. During specific periods, like winter and high summer, your bonsai may become dormant.

It is quite reasonable for all tree species to become dormant during winter due to the freezing weather. However, in early spring, growth will start again and increase rapidly during the early summer.

During high summer, there is usually a lot of heat. Your bonsai will become dormant since it is exposed to extreme heat. However, fruit development should begin at the start of spring. Your bonsai primarily experiences the same growth pattern as a healthy tree.

How Long Do Bonsai Live For?

Bonsai trees, when well kept, can grow for thousands of years just like ordinary trees. Did you know that some of the oldest bonsai are more than 800 years old? For example, the Ficus Bonsai tree in Italy is over one thousand years old.

Your bonsai will probably live through many generations when appropriately maintained. You, therefore, need to carry out certain maintenance practices to ensure you keep your bonsai at optimum condition. Trim your tree regularly to keep it healthy.

bonsai care

Create a watering schedule to ensure that you don’t let the roots dry out. Root development is key to ensuring that your bonsai remains healthy. Be careful when watering, because too much water may lead to rotting.

The type of fertilizer you use will depend on the kind of bonsai that you have. It would help if you carried out extensive research to determine when and how much fertilizer your bonsai needs. Understand that different tree species have different requirements.

Proper drainage is also vital when it comes to the health of your bonsai. It would help if you used a soil mix that doesn’t retain too much water or drain quickly. As stated earlier, the roots might rot when exposed to a lot of water for an extended period.

Bonsai Growth Periods

Growing bonsai from seeds is considered the long route since it takes a lot of time. When you decide to grow a bonsai from a seed, then you can only start modifying and pruning after about 4-5 years. This method is preferred by bonsai purists who don’t mind waiting for long periods.

However, amateurs tend to start with pre-grown trees, since they hardly have the patience. Usually, these trees are around 5-7 years old, which means that you can begin pruning and shaping almost immediately.

You get to pick how you want to start your bonsai. In both cases, it won’t matter how you started once you have had your tree for 10-20 years. With bonsai, the journey is an essential part that you will get to appreciate.

Conclusion

What most people don’t understand is that bonsai are similar to regular trees in every way. What makes bonsai trees stand out is their miniature size. When well taken care of, your bonsai tree can last through several generations.

Remember that bonsai cultivation requires a lot of patience and commitment. You will need to dedicate time to take care of your bonsai. However, the results are usually worth the effort that you put into the project. Soon enough, you will start appreciating the bonsai journey.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Bonsai Grafting

Many bonsai cultivators carry out grafting because they get to combine the strengths of different plants into a single plant. However, grafting can be rather difficult and is considered somewhat experimental. One of the best parts of bonsai cultivation is the fact that you have a lot of room to try out new things.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at bonsai grafting to help you get started. We need to start by taking a look at some of the reasons why you might need to use grafting techniques.

Purposes of Grafting Bonsai Trees

In bonsai cultivation, grafting is used for various reasons, including the following: to cultivate a new tree with different characteristics, to add a branch, or to add roots. Whatever your reason for bonsai grafting, we have you covered.

Before we take a detailed look at bonsai grafting, you should understand that the entire process is somewhat tricky. It is, therefore, vital that you start with inexpensive material so that you can gain a little bit of experience. It might take awhile before you get the perfect bonsai tree, but you will get there with a little bit of patience.

Grafting a Bonsai Tree

The simple fact is that grafting will only work when the tree and graft belong to the same tree species. However, junipers and pines are an exception since they blend quite well despite belonging to different plant species.

There are three techniques usually used for bonsai grafting: approach grafting, scion grafting, and thread grafting. Let us take a closer look at the three methods that you could use for your bonsai grafting.

Grafting Bonsai Using Scion Grafting

In scion grafting, you need to remove a small branch or shoot from a parent plant, then insert it into the recipient plant. Scion grafting is applicable in broadleaf and deciduous trees, including pines. It is a great technique when you need to replace foliage or add branches to your bonsai.

However, you need to ensure that both the receiving plant and donor plant are in peak condition. You should fertilize the two plants before you carry out scion grafting.

1. Identify the terminal shoot that you need from the donor plant first. Cut off the branch or stem and remove any foliage at its base.

2. Use a sterile knife to make two cuts at the base of the scion that you just cut. Use alcohol to sterilize your sharp blade during this step.  The first cut needs to be long, while the shorter cut needs to be short.

3. Identify where you need to graft your scion and use a grafting knife to cut. The cut needs to be long enough to fit the bottom end of your scion. Then slowly insert your scion into the created flap.

4. Use grafting tape to attach your scion to the receiving plant. Be careful during this step because you don’t want to crush the foliage by pulling the tape too tight.

5. The shoots should start pushing the end of your grafting tape once the graft takes hold. The first growing season will tell you whether you were successful or not.

Grafting Bonsai Using Approach Grafting

In the case of approach grafting, you attach the entire donor plant, including its roots, to your receiving plant. You need a whole donor plant to carry out approach grafting because it aims to change foliage or add branches.

1. You should start cultivating your donor plant years before you carry out the grafting process. The attachment could be done on either a branch or on the trunk.

2. Use a machine to prepare a Die Grinder or Dremel that is slightly smaller than your donor whip in diameter. Slide your whip into the created groove while ensuring that the two cambiums align perfectly.

3. Use a piece of wire to attach your whip to the recipient plant. You can then proceed to attach pre-stretched grafting tape.

Grafting Bonsai Using Thread Grafting

Thread grafting is usually performed when the deciduous plant is dormant, and all the buds have not started swelling.

1. Check the size of the graft branch to help you determine the bit size that you need. Insert the bit using a drill through the trunk. It needs to go through one side and exit through the other for better results. The hole should, therefore, be straight and clean.

2. Use an aluminum wire to ensure that you bend the thread graft accordingly. You need to exercise a lot of caution during this step because you might end up damaging the thread graft.

3. Leave the graft untouched for the entire season. You can then remove the cut paste the following spring and check on the progress.

Conclusion

Bonsai grafting is quite experimental, and you will experience numerous setbacks. However, with a lot of practice, you will get it right. Ensure that you exercise precision during grafting to get you the desired results.