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Bonsai General Info

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.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Bonsai Cutting/Cloning

One of the most inexpensive and effective ways of propagating new trees is from cuttings. Bonsai growers love using cuttings because it reduces the amount of time needed to grow your tree. It takes about a year to get a seedling when you decide to cultivate a bonsai from seeds.

Many bonsai cultivators also use cutting since you get to pick the characteristics that you need. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at bonsai cutting, including when to grow from cuttings, how to harvest cuttings, and growing bonsai cuttings.

When to Grow Bonsai from Cuttings

Summer and spring are the best times to plant cuttings. However, some hardwood trees can be cut off and prepared after the growth season. Late summer is an ideal time when dealing with numerous types of trees.

Generally, a cutting is a piece of stem or branch that is cut from an existing plant and stuck into a growing medium. Now that you understand when to grow from cuttings, you need to understand the benefits of growing from cuttings.

Benefits of Using Cuttings to Grow Bonsai

When you use cuttings, the roots usually emerge from the same level and move outwards evenly. You, therefore, get a massive advantage since you get to have great surface roots. The rooting system is essential when it comes to bonsai cultivation.

Your bonsai will have identical characteristics to the ‘mother plant’ where you obtained the cutting. You, therefore, get to choose the kind of features that you need.

Some plants take years to flower when they are cultivated from the seed. In such cases, however, getting cuttings from a flowering specimen will ensure that your bonsai begins flowering almost immediately.

Using cuttings is budget-friendly since you only need to get a medium and rooting hormone. On the other hand, growing from seeds can be rather expensive since you need pots and tools.

How to Harvest Bonsai Cuttings

Harvesting bonsai cuttings is not as difficult as it sounds. It will help if you start by identifying the plant that you want for whatever reason. If, for example, you want a hardwood cutting during autumn, then you need to begin by removing the leaves.

Proceed to cut the selected twig or branch close to the buds in sections of about 12 cm in length. Use a sharp scissor to get you a clean cut that won’t damage the cambium tissues. Place your cuttings in water and keep them moist during the entire process.

Growing Bonsai Cuttings

Step 1: Apply a coarse layer like grit or lava rock

In your pot, pour a layer of draining substrates such as grit or lava rock. Doing this will ensure that your bonsai has a proper drainage system, which is essential in root development.

Step 2: Add bonsai soil

You can then proceed to add bonsai soil to your planting pot. Do not fill up your container with bonsai soil, but rather leave a little bit of space at the top.

Step 3: Dip your cutting in rooting hormone

Take your cutting and dip it in a rooting hormone. You could either use a powder or liquid rooting hormone, depending on your preference.

Step 4: Planting

Push a stick into your already prepared medium to create a hole. You can then proceed to insert your cutting into the hole. Mold the potting medium around your cutting. Merely shoving the cutting into your prepared soil is not ideal, since you may end up removing most of the rooting hormone.

Step 5: Watering

You need to water the cutting frequently, keeping the medium moist. Soon enough, you will notice new leaves emerging. The new roots cannot withstand dryness, making watering essential.

Conclusion

Using cutting to cultivate bonsai ensures that you get all the characteristics that you need. However, do not introduce your cutting to the medium immediately after watering. The water may wash away most of the rooting hormone, which is not ideal. Proper drainage is also essential because you don’t want your roots to start rotting before your plant starts emerging. Finally, you should understand that bonsai cultivation requires a lot of patience.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Are Bonsai Trees Hard To Take Care Of?

When most people think about bonsai growing, they immediately start picturing a lot of hard work. However, contrary to popular belief, taking care of bonsai trees is not as complicated as it seems. All you have to do is follow a few simple bonsai care guidelines.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at some of the basic bonsai care guidelines. We will also walk you through the easiest and hardest bonsai to care for. Let’s get started on your fantastic journey in bonsai cultivation!

The Easiest Bonsai To Care For

Although several trees make good bonsai for beginners, the easiest to care for is the Ficus bonsai. This is because Ficus can withstand a lot, including low humidity and lack of sufficient sunlight.

Most beginners in bonsai cultivation usually start with indoor bonsai. Most plant species do not do well indoors, due to a lack of sufficient sunlight. However, Ficus bonsai is quite tolerant when exposed to harsh conditions.

Other easy-to-care-for bonsai include Carmona (Fukien Tea), Crassula (Jade), Sageretia (Sweet Plum), and Schefflera Arboricola (Hawaiian Umbrella). However, these bonsai become dormant during winter and growth resumes at the start of spring.

The Hardest Bonsai to Care For

Although quite popular, pine trees are among the hardest bonsai to care for due to their growth pattern. What makes pine bonsai quite challenging to cultivate is that they are quite hard to turn into bonsai.

You, therefore, need to study the appearance and growth pattern of your pine bonsai carefully. Turning pine into bonsai can be rather tricky, especially when you are a beginner.

Bonsai Care Guidelines

Taking care of bonsai can be rather simple once you understand the basic guidelines. Below are some specific bonsai care guidelines to help you get started on your transformative journey.

1. Light for Your Bonsai

You must provide proper lighting for your bonsai. Bonsai trees are similar to regular trees that require sufficient lighting.  The low intensity of light indoors might not be adequate for your bonsai tree, and you might need artificial bonsai lighting.

Outdoor lighting is best for the growth of bonsai trees. Only keep your bonsai indoors when you don’t have sufficient room outdoors. Generally, your bonsai tree needs about 8 hours of light per day.

2. Watering and Fertilizing Your Bonsai

bonsai watering

Only water your bonsai when necessary. You mustn’t underwater or overwater your bonsai tree. Although many people often give you a watering timetable, each tree is different.

You have to carefully observe your bonsai to determine the amount of water it needs and frequency. Understand that overwatering might lead to root rot, which is quite difficult to remedy. Underwatering, on the other hand, will cause your tree to dry up and die.

Fertilization is vital in the development of your bonsai tree. Your bonsai needs just as much fertilizer as a regular tree does. Weak bonsai, however, need to be fertilized all year round until they regain their form.

3. Temperature for Your Bonsai

Bonsai trees will perform quite well in standard room temperature. It would help if you kept your bonsai at room temperature at all times. Doing this can be rather challenging, especially when you are a beginner.

However, different tree species have different temperature requirements. It would help if you carried out extensive research to determine the optimum temperature for your bonsai. With outdoor bonsai, however, you don’t have to put a lot of thought into the temperature requirement.

Conclusion

Taking care of bonsai is not as difficult as it might seem. All you need is patience and determination, since it takes a lot of time. However, the end result of bonsai cultivation is usually worth the effort. Follow the care guidelines provided above to help you get a healthy bonsai.

Starting bonsai cultivation can be rather challenging, especially when you are a beginner. Choose the right tree species to ensure that you start on the right track. Start with the most natural tree species to care for and slowly move to the harder tree species. With bonsai cultivation, you get to experiment, which means you will learn from your mistakes.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Why Is My Bonsai Turning Yellow?

Bonsai means ‘tray planting.’ It is a form of art that originated in East Asia centuries ago. A bonsai tree is a replica of a full-grown tree as it would be in the wild, but scaled down so as to be grown in the comfort of your household. As with any tree, it requires set conditions to grow and thrive well. Yellowing of bonsai leaves is not an uncommon occurrence, and it is natural for some types of trees to change the color of the leaves. Sometimes it is not natural, however, and it indicates that something is wrong. This could be due to insufficient lighting, too little water, or a mineral deficiency, among other factors. Here are some of the reasons that may cause yellowing on bonsai leaves.

Watering Your Bonsai Incorrectly

Without a doubt, water is the most vital requirement for any plant to grow. Water provides the plant with all the nutrients it needs from the surrounding soil. Not only is it detrimental for a plant to be under-watered, it is also undesirable for it to be over-watered.

  1. Underwatering

When a plant is given too little water, it begins to wilt and dry up. This will be accompanied by yellowing of leaves, as the plant lacks what it needs to grow properly. You will know a plant is under-watered when it shrivels up and has droopy leavesl yellowing of the leaves soon follows. The soil is also parched.

  1. Overwatering

Just like anything else, water should always be administered in moderation. Too much is poison, since it imposes still water inside the pot. This is a harbor of deadly microorganisms that could potentially kill the plant. Still water surrounding the roots may cause them to rot and ultimately kill the plant. You should take note of any presence of mold, as this means rotting has begun.

Providing Your Bonsai With an Insufficient Amount of Light

The other main necessity for any plant to grow is light. Light is so essential that plants growing in light-deprived areas tend to grow toward the light. Like any tree, the bonsai requires a great exposure to sunlight to grow to its full potential. Light provides the plant with the energy to create its food to sustain its life. Also, chlorophyll found in the leaves of the plant gives the leaves its green color. With more sunlight, the plant produces a greater number of chlorophyll cells, which in turn bring about a vibrant green color. When a bonsai is underexposed to light, yellowing of leaves is inevitable and will lead to an unhealthy looking tree.

Type of Bonsai

You also must familiarize yourself with the nature of the tree you are rearing. Evergreen trees can remain green throughout the entire year, given their growing conditions are met. Tropical trees and conifers may be seasonal, hence changing the color of their leaves and dropping them at certain times of the year. This is hardwired into the system of the tree and no amount of care may change this. So before you panic, know the type of tree you have.

Stresses on the Bonsai

A tree is a living thing, and as with any living thing, stresses in the surrounding environment affect the tree’s general health. The plant’s environment may include the atmosphere, the soil, or features of the plant itself. Changing the soil and altering the temperature may adversely affect how a plant grows. The change in color means that the plant has not acclimated to its new surroundings and may take time before it adjusts. Hard pruning is another way you could lead your plant to ruin. When you snip away too many leaves, you limit the amount of sustainability it can generate for itself. This may lead to depleted resources and the yellowing of leaves. Always make sure to prune the tree when and only when it is healthy.

Bonsai Lacking Minerals

All plants require certain minerals to thrive to their maximum potential. This is the same case with a bonsai. When it lacks specific minerals in the soil, its leaves may turn yellow to indicate a deficiency.

Fertilizer is the needed boost required for the plant to grow healthily. It provides the plant with all the necessary nutrients which make the plant thrive. However, excess fertilizer will scorch the plant and cause it to change the color of the leaves. Fertilizer should be approached carefully and knowledgeably.

Type of Bonsai Pot

From the definition of the word bonsai, it is evident that the pot used will affect the tree. The type of pot will not only serve as the habitat of the tree but will also be aesthetically pleasing to all those who see it. A good-looking pot elevates the overall style of a tree and should be carefully considered when growing a bonsai tree. If the pot used cannot let out excess water, you will waterlog the plant and potentially kill it. Also, the roots may grow too big for the pot and require repotting.

Improper Bonsai Placement Causing Browning of Leaves

Some plants do better outdoors than indoors. The intense sunlight, humidity, and wind all work hand-in-hand to aid trees that grow outside. If these plants were to be planted indoors, it would be problematic and cause a struggle for growth. This will be indicated by the leaves turning colors. You should know the type of tree you are growing to know which conditions best suit it. Indoor bonsai trees include Jade and Ficus, while outdoor trees include the Elms and pine.

How to Revive Yellowed Leaves on Bonsai

If your bonsai tree has turned yellow and you are attempting to restore the leaves to their normal state, you should first know that this is not a process that will happen overnight. Patience is key. Keep a close eye on subtle changes and try to combat them as soon as they appear. Troubleshoot and try to find out what the likely cause of the problem is and deal with it.

Give your bonsai just the right amount of water. Do not be tempted to add water in excess as this is detrimental to the plant’s health. Only water the tree if the top of the soil is parched. Add water till it drains out the bottom, and do not add any more till you are certain the soil is dry.

Always expose the tree to enough light to continue to grow healthily. Sunlight helps in building the plant and so positioning of the plant is quite key.

Get to know your tree so you can understand why it sheds leaves. In a matter of weeks, the tree’s leaves are bound to revert back to the green you are used to. 

Make sure the soil you use is well aerated with all necessary minerals. A bonsai tree typically needs phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium for good growth.

Add fertilizer with care and make sure it is not in excess, as this will only make the problem worse. Research the type of tree and what nutritional supplement it may require for healthy growth.

Keep the tree in fairly stable conditions. Avoid drastic changes in the environment so as not to stress the plant.

You shouldn’t over-prune your tree. Make sure you prune the tree when it is healthy to avoid putting too much strain on the plant.

Growing a bonsai tree is a soothing endeavor and quite rewarding if done right. It requires your constant attention so make sure to take time out of your schedule to look after your plant and prevent yellowing before it gets out of hand.