A Beginners Guide to Bonsai

Bonsai, the artistic representation of a natural habitat with various species of plants and trees, originated in China. In traditional Chinese culture, Bonsai has been viewed as an important part of everyday life. Bonsai tree are admired for their exceptional beauty, hardiness, and long-lasting use as houseplants. For these reasons, Bonsai art has become increasingly popular in the United States and Europe. There are many reasons for this increase in popularity.


The majority of people who begin growing bonsai trees do so to decorate their living rooms, dens, or gardens. Because the art of Bonsai uses traditional Chinese ways to create entire natural forests in miniature plants, it is naturally appealing to the majority of people. Unlike ordinary homeplants, such as rattlesnakes, which are usually imported from Asian countries, bonsai tree can be grown virtually anywhere. Many people choose to start Bonsai in pots rather than stand-alone tropical trees, because they are easier to maintain and keep alive in the end.

In traditional Chinese culture, Bonsai thrives on a variety of conditions. Bonsai trees are traditionally placed in a window, away from direct sunlight, for an assortment of reasons. Direct sunlight will quickly kill most bonsai; however, Bonsai that are genetically dwarfed plants are able to survive in sunlight without being affected. In areas where temperatures remain cold for extended periods of time, the tiny trees will endure without food for nearly one year. This indicates that a Bonsai tree may not need to be fed for one thousand years.

The root system of Bonsai trees is one of its most attractive features. When Bonsai are created with traditional methods, they often take over large amounts of room. Because of this, the roots of the tree are typically kept separate from the trunk, allowing the tree to grow into a full planter when mature. When growing Bonsai trees, it is crucial that the root system is strong. The lower part of the trunk should be supported by strong roots, and the branches should be kept short. By cultivating a strong root system, it is possible to keep the Bonsai tree small, requiring only a few inches of clearance on the sides of the pot or container.

If a Bonsai tree has any solid or minute roots that extend deeper than the trunks, it is extremely difficult for the tree to sustain life. If a Bonsai has roots down to its trunk, it may be necessary to dig the trunk up and repot it, as well as remove any decaying branches and leaves from the trunk. Repotting a Bonsai tree can be done in the spring, when temperatures are cooler, or after the summer, when it is warm. Bonsai grown in pots must be watered only once or twice a day, and there is no need to mist the tree, as it will not retain moisture.

Many Bonsai plants are designed with a “vertical growth” habit, and these Bonsai trees are an excellent example of how Bonsai should be cultivated. For the most part, Bonsai trees grown in pots have small, upright growths. This helps keep the roots of the Bonsai tree strong and helps the tree remain small. Growing Bonsai trees with a vertical growth habit keeps the trunk short, while allowing the roots to grow horizontally throughout the length of the trunk. Both types of Bonsai are very attractive and look spectacular when trained to the desired level of miniature beauty.

Some of the more common, and favorite Bonsai styles include those that resemble traditional houses or small town structures. In these styles, the main trunk is upright and is often adorned with leaves. Smaller Bonsai styles resemble outdoor shrubs or climbers. The Japanese use Bonsai to create small sculptures, and they usually decorate these Bonsai with small rocks placed onto the dirt of the trunks in order to form a figure.

As you can see, Bonsai is an art form and not a gardening practice. Most people that raise Bonsai trees and other shrubs view these creations as collectors’ items. While this may be true to some degree, Bonsai does involve the maintenance of the plant, the pruning of the tree, and the selective watering of the plant. If one does not have the time or patience for this type of work, they may want to consider other forms of landscaping.