The Care of Your Bonsai Tree
Bonsai is an art form that uses ancient Chinese cultivation methods to create, usually in miniature, realistic trees that closely resemble the real size and shape of larger trees. Bonsai trees are typically grown in small pots and require a special type of Bonsai tree care. Unlike other forms of art, Bonsai does not have a history. Creating Bonsai requires a lot of research and understanding of the form.
For those who are just beginning to appreciate the beauty of bonsai trees, it can be difficult to understand the full nature of bonsai. It is all about the balance and harmony between the branches, roots and trunk of the tree. The art of Bonsai has been practiced for centuries in China, Japan and Tibet. Each region has its own unique style of cultivating artistic trees. In China, for example, the tradition of Bonsai begins with the installation of a small tree called the “ping pong tree”. By placing this small, live tree into a small bowl filled with water, over time the ping pong tree changes in shape, enlarging and deepening in the center and becoming a beautiful Bonsai flower.
In addition to the artistic tree, the method of replanting and caring for a Bonsai requires attention to the genetic makeup of the tree. While some plants can grow very well in a Bonsai pot, there are many that cannot. This is because of the many factors that determine the aptitude of a Bonsai plant for the soil, environment and climate in which they grow. The most important aspect of caring for your Bonsai includes the consideration of these genetic factors including:
The number one determining factor in Bonsai growth is the horticultural soil. There are two primary types of soils used by Bonsai artists. These are organic soils and Clay soils. Clay soils are more nutrient dense than organic soils. This means that the plants in a Bonsai pot will thrive better if they are grown in this type of soil. It is important to note that while the quality of the soil is important to Bonsai success, so are the frequency of watering as well as the frequency of pruning.
Water is the next key factor to consider when caring for your Bonsai. Bonsai plants should never be allowed to remain dry. If a Bonsai tree remains dry, it will become susceptible to fungus attacks from insects and bacteria. It will also become dormant and eventually die, causing a loss of your investment. The best watering techniques are often used by the bonsai artist with the help of a watering jug, a hose or a sprinkler head that can be placed directly on the plant.
It is often recommended that Bonsai be trained using what are known as wire grafts. This involves actually placing individual branches of the Bonsai tree into the shape of a cross. This is not the only way to train a Bonsai tree. You can actually bend the branches of the Bonsai using a metal rod in order to make the tree thinner and more open to view. There are many books and magazines on gardening that recommend wire grafting as a great way of training and showing off your Bonsai.
One of the most common mistakes of beginners is the way in which they begin their Bonsai planting and care. Often, Bonsai begin life in a standard garden pot, however, if that is not the case, the roots of the Bonsai need to be firmly planted into the dirt in which they will be growing. Bonsai can be successfully grown in small containers such as pails and small tubs of water. The key to successful Bonsai gardening is providing the correct Bonsai container. When purchasing a Bonsai container for your Bonsai tree, it is essential that you match the size and shape of the container to the specific needs of your Bonsai. Many Bonsai container stores offer a variety of Bonsai pots, but if you are not sure which ones will best meet your Bonsai’s needs, the Internet can serve as your Bonsai nursery.
In the final analysis, the ideal place for your Bonsai tree is at least in part outside. Providing a well cared for Bonsai tree in an outdoor environment will increase its chances for survival. In addition to being a beautiful focal point for your garden, well cared for Bonsai trees also have more time to enjoy the natural beauty of nature.