Caring For A Bonsai Tree For Beginners

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Caring For A Bonsai Tree For Beginners

Caring For A Bonsai Tree For Beginners

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Bonsai Tree Care: The Ultimate Guide For Beginners

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“The first thing you need to know about bonsai is that it’s not a type of tree. That’s a pretty common misconception,” says Justin Hancock, garden expert at Costa Farms. “Bonsai is a way of growing a tree – a specially cut tree that is grown in miniature. Regular pruning of the roots and top growth helps to keep the plant at the size you like, no matter how old the tree or the shrub becomes.”

Caring For A Bonsai Tree For Beginners

The Chinese created the first miniature landscapes, a practice that Japanese growers changed when they began to focus on individual trees. “Bonsai became part of the ritual of some Buddhist monks before Westerners were exposed to the art of growing miniature trees and bonsai became mainstream,” says Justin.

Caring For Your First Bonsai Plants

The art of bonsai is more than 1000 years old. Discover the trees, shrubs, perennials and vines you can use to create your own sublime miniatures.

Justin has seen oaks, pine magnolias and even citrus trees pruned in the ancient bonsai tradition. “Ficus ginseng and Fukien tea are particularly popular, but you can also find Japanese maple, ginkgo and juniper,” he says. “Almost any tree or shrub can be grown in bonsai form.”

Bonsai expert Dolly Fassio suggests starting with a neighborhood, container-grown plant purchased from a reputable nursery, preferably one that specializes in bonsai. “You have to get a tree that’s easy to care for in your area so you know it lives in your environment.”

If you were to take a bonsai tree and plant it in the landscape, it would grow back into a normal tree. Of course, it goes against the purpose of art, but reveals an important aspect. Bonsai are not house plants. “They grow in the wild outside, so you really have to keep them in their natural environment,” says Dolly.

Ficus Ginseng Bonsai Tree (ficus Retusa) In A Garden Center. Ginseng Ficus Bonsai Trees Are Very Hardy And Easy To Take Care Of. Many Beginning Stock Photo

The tree itself will often dictate the bonsai style. But don’t forget the container. The bonsai pot should blend in with the tree and add value and interest. Containers vary in size and price. There are so many beautiful pots to choose from, but Justin says the perfect bonsai planter is one that is “about as deep as the width of the trunk and about as wide as the tree canopy.”

The base of the bonsai is the soil. Bonsai trees need a special soil because they are limited to small pots. Use volcanic mixes with pumice, fir bark and lava stones for a well-drained soil. The roots hit the sharp edges of the pumice stone and form more hair-like roots. Fine hair-like roots are better for the tree’s health than large roots, says bonsai enthusiast Fred Fassio.

Justin says that if you make your own mix, make sure it holds enough moisture so you don’t need to constantly water your bonsai. He says that the soil must allow excellent drainage so that the roots do not rot in a tight space and should be loose so that the roots can get enough oxygen.

Caring For A Bonsai Tree For Beginners

All bonsai must be repotted at regular intervals. Eventually the roots will grow and fill the pot. At this point, the tree is root bound and cannot absorb enough moisture, so repotting is necessary. Pulling the plant out of the pot, Fred uses a scalpel to separate the roots. It is best to repot during the tree’s dormant period, as cutting the roots will encourage new growth. Cut off about a third of the roots from the bottom and around each side of the root ball.

Bonsai For Beginners: A Guide To Getting Started

In nature, a tap root anchors the tree to the ground. With bonsai, wire does the trick. Thread thread through small holes in the pot. Then add some soil around the root ball and gently push the tree down into the soil to get as much into the tree’s roots as possible. Push the wire over the larger roots of the tree, cut the wire and tighten it again. If the roots are properly covered in the pot, you should pick up the tree by the stem and it will not come out of the pot.

Place a few more balls of soil over the roots and use a shovel to push the soil into the tree’s roots. This eliminates air pockets that can damage or even kill the tree. The icing on the cake is a layer of pre-moistened mousse; this helps to add beauty and maintain moisture.

The key to bonsai is to keep the amount of top growth and root growth in balance. “Too much top growth cannot be supported by the roots and the tree eventually fails,” says Justin.

Justin says watering requirements, pruning times, indoor vs outdoor location and light exposure all depend on the type of tree. “The key is to cut and remember to treat it the way it is,” he says.

A Beginner’s Guide To Bonsai Trees

Growing bonsai is not only an art – it is also a science. Learn more about how to grow a healthy bonsai tree and what could be wrong if yours looks a little sick.

There are some indoor and outdoor species that are more reliable and easier to care for, especially for bonsai beginners. Popular indoor choices include:

Ficus. This is one of the most popular bonsai species because it is easy to care for and will tolerate failure as long as you provide it with good light, adequate drainage and regular feeding.

Caring For A Bonsai Tree For Beginners

Schefflera. This plant will not easily tolerate abuse, so it is also good for beginners. Like all bonsai, it needs regular watering, good drainage and regular pruning.

Bonsai Tree Care: The Basics On How To Grow Bonsai

Fukien tea. This tree (also known as carmona) needs a lot of light, so you need to provide additional lighting. It also needs moisture, and a tray of wet rocks under the container can fulfill that need.

Dwarf Jade. Already an easy-to-grow houseplant, jade trained as a bonsai grows as a woody shrub with succulent leaves that can go a little longer between waterings. Frequent pruning allows it to become stronger; it is also easy to propagate from cuttings.

Juniper thrives in bright sunlight. Protect the tree in the winter when temperatures drop into the teens, but it must remain outside. Let the soil dry a little.

Japanese maples do best in a sunny location with light afternoon shade. It may need to be watered every day during the growing season – even several times a day on extremely hot days.

Everything You Need To Know About Bonsai Tree Care

Azalea likes the shade of the hot afternoon. Azalea bonsai will bloom in season; Flowers will last longer if the bonsai is protected from hot sun and heavy rain. Water regularly, but not so much that the roots are soaked.

Pine grows best in full sun. These evergreens are hardy, even in shallow containers, but should have some protection outside in the winter. Ensure good drainage, and protect the trees from too much rain.

What’s not to love about the peace lily, an easy-to-grow indoor plant that brings life and color to low-light areas while purifying

Caring For A Bonsai Tree For Beginners

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