Bonsai Tree Care, Tips, Ideas, Soil, Watering, Design

Bonsai Tree Care, Tips, Ideas, Soil, Watering, Design

Bonsai Tree Care, Tips, Ideas:

Today, Let us discuss Bonsai Tree Care, Design, Tips, Ideas, Soil, and Watering.

Introduction of Bonsai to Bonsai Design and Care:

The name “Bonsai” is derived from two Chinese written characters (kanji), the first of which means “tray,” “basin,” or “pot,” and the second of which means “planting.” Then, it is planting in a container or potted plant. A tree-shaped as a bonsai, but left in the ground is a garden specimen, as is a tree developed in a planter that is too large to be proportionate, and unrelated to the design of the tree. A Bonsai includes the container as a necessary part of the artistic composition.

Bonsai Tree.
Bonsai Tree.

The purposes of bonsai are mainly contemplation for the viewer and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity for the grower. By contrast with other plant cultivation practices, Bonsai plant is not intended for production of food or for medicine. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on the long-term cultivation & shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container.

A Bonsai is produced beginning with a specimen of the source material. This may be a cutting, seedling, or small tree of a species fitting for bonsai development. A bonsai tree can be created from nearly any perennial woody-stemmed tree or shrub species that produce true branches and can be cultivated to remain small through pot confinement with crown and root pruning. Some species are popular as bonsai material because they have characteristics, such as small leaves or needles that make them appropriate for the compact visual scope of a bonsai tree. Bonsai does not want genetically dwarfed trees but rather depends on growing small trees from regular stock and seeds. Bonsai uses cultivation techniques like pruning, root reduction, potting, defoliation, & grafting to produce small trees that mimic the shape and style of mature, full-size trees.

Design of Bonsai Garden:

Bonsai design styles

  • Formal upright
  • Informal upright
  • Windswept
  • Slanting
  • Semi-cascade
  • Full-cascade
  • Multiple trunks
  • Group planting
  • Raft
  • Broom
  • Rock-grown

Maintenance of Bonsai:

A crucial part of information about how to grow a Bonsai tree is its maintenance & care. The required frequency of watering a Bonsai depends on a wide range of factors, including species of tree, pot-size, soil & climate. Over-watering can effect in root-rot, one of the most common causes of death. However, as Bonsai are planted in such small pots, they also tend to dry up easily. Choosing the right soil mixture & re-potting regularly (on average every 2 years, to make sure the trees don’t become pot-bound, making it hard to soak up and store water) is crucial to keep your tree healthy. The main rule for watering is to check frequently on your tree (instead of, basically, watering it once per day), & when watering to do so thoroughly (to make sure the soil absorbs the water accurately).

Maintanance of Bonsai.
Maintanance of Bonsai.

Besides watering & repotting, fertilization is another important thing to keep in mind. Since the trees are put in little pots, with little space and nutrients available, fertilizing regularly in the tree’s growing season is key to keep it healthy. Again, it depends on the tree species when, how much & how often it needs to be fertilized. The brand or type of fertilizer (fluid or solid) doesn’t matter all that much, as long as you make sure to affect smaller quantities than normal plants would require.

Techniques to develop Bonsai:

The practice of bonsai growth incorporates a number of techniques either unique to bonsai or, if used in other forms of cultivation, applied in unusual ways that are particularly suitable to the bonsai domain. These techniques include:

  • Leaf trims, the selective removal of leaves (for main varieties of the deciduous tree) or needles (for coniferous trees & some others) from a bonsai’s trunk & branches.
  • Pruning the trunk, branches, and the roots of the applicant tree.
  • Wiring branches and trunks allow the bonsai designer to make the desired general form and make a detailed branch and leaf placements.
  • Clamping using mechanical plans for shaping trunks and branches.
  • Grafting new growing material (normally a bud, branch, or root) into a prepared area on the trunk or below the bark of the tree.
  • Defoliation, which can provide short-term dwarfing of foliage for convincing deciduous species.
  • Deadwood bonsai tree techniques such as Jin and Shari simulate age and maturity in a bonsai.

Read: Kitchen Garden Tips, Ideas, Benefits, Desing.

Growing Bonsai In Containers:

All Bonsai begin their development in training pots, where they settle until they have a good, fibrous root system and relatively full foliage development which make them look like bonsai rather than now a shrub or tree in a pot. Training pots help trees grown for bonsai tree make the transition between deep nursery containers, a balled and bur lapped root system, or landscape, to the shallow confinement of a bonsai pot. Above all, resist the urge to gather (dig) a tree and put it directly into a bonsai pot, where its chances of survival are slight.

The most excellent sort of training pot is often a large-diameter nursery container with good drainage holes, and with its top cut off to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. During its time in a training pot, the tree should be developed in coarse, fast-draining soil. Traditional bonsai pots, accessible at bonsai nurseries, and some large nurseries and import stores are round, oval, square, rectangular or hexagonal. Some are unglazed on the exterior (traditional for evergreens) and some are glazed & are suitable for most types of trees, as long as the pot complements but does not compete with the tree. Pots for cascade, semi-cascade & flowering bonsai are deeper than others. All bonsai pots have large drainage holes, which are necessary for the rapid drainage that promotes root health, but which must be covered with screening on the inside bottom of the pot to avoid coarse soil from washing away with draining water. Bonsai containers should be unglazed on their inside walls, & on the bottoms, both inside and out.

Bonsai Tree Care.
Bonsai Tree Care.

Watering in Bonsai:

  • Bonsai requires plenty of water and nutrients to express their maximum beauty of flowers & foliage.
  • Living in a restricted space these are completely dependent upon their attendant for meeting the requirement of water & nutrition.
  • Best time for watering is morning time or evening.

Selection of plants for Bonsai:

  • A lot of knowledge, perseverance & experience is required to select the right plant.
  • Plants with smaller flowers and fruits are selected as foliage mechanically gets reduced to about 1/4th.
  • Plants bearing flowers on leafless branches are extremely good.
  • Plants selected must be able to grow in stress conditions of small growing medium & low nutrients.

A base formula for the construction of a Bonsai:

A good Bonsai tree has a triangular shape. It has a front designed for the main viewing but looks good from all angles. It is clear, of branches for the first third of its height and contains the 3 primary branches (included in most bonsai tree designs) within the second third of the height of the tree.

The last third of the height of the tree contains the remaining branch structures. The trunk is clear and visible for the first two-thirds of the height of the tree with the remaining branches beginning to cover the trunk line in the last third. The branch structures are visibly layered, well organized and asymmetrically placed on the outside of trunk line curves whenever possible. The top of the tree “bows” slightly toward the viewer & the apex of the tree (in the case of an informal upright style) is in a direct line over the base of the trunk.

Pomegranate Bonsai.
Pomegranate Bonsai.

Taking care of Bonsai:

Small trees grown in containers, like Bonsai, need specialized care. Unlike houseplants & other subjects of container gardening, tree species in the wild, in general, grow roots up to several meters long and root structures encompassing several thousand liters of soil. In contrast, a typical bonsai tree container is less than 25 centimeters in its largest dimension and two to 10 liters in volume. Branch and leaf (or needle) expansions in trees are also on a larger scale in nature. Wild trees typically grow five meters or taller when mature, whereas the largest bonsai rarely exceed one meter and most specimens are significantly smaller. These size differences affect maturation, transpiration, nutrition, pest resistance, & many other aspects of tree biology. Maintaining the long-term health of a tree in a container requires various specialized care techniques:

  • Watering must be regular and must relate to the bonsai species’ requirement for dry, moist and wet soil.
  • Repotting must happen at intervals dictated by the vigor and the age of each tree.
  • Tools have been developed for the specialized requirements of maintaining bonsai trees.
  • Soil composition and fertilization must be specialized to the needs of each bonsai tree, although bonsai soil is almost always a loose, fast-draining combine of components.
  • Location and overwintering are species-dependent when the bonsai tree is kept outdoors as different species require different light conditions. Few of the traditional bonsai species can survive within a typical house, due to the usually dry indoor climate.

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Important plants for Bonsai:

Amaltas, Araucaria, Babul, Bamboo, Banyan, Ber, Bottlebrush, Bougainvillea, Casuarina, Cherry fruit, Chinese orange, Coranda, Cryptomeria, Deodar, Duranta, Excoecaria, Gulmohar, Hibiscus, Ixora, Jacaranda, Java fig tree, Murraya, Malpighia, Oleander, Peach, Pines, Pilkhan, Pipal, Plum, Prosopis, Silver oak and Tamarind, etc.

Important plants for bonsai in hills:

Araucaria, Aucuba, Azalea, Camellia, Chinese hat, Coral tree, Cryptomeria, Cypress, Flame of the forest, Ginkgo, Juniper, Koelreuteria, Magnolia, Plane tree (Chinar), Peach, Pines, Podocarpus, Sal, Silver fir, Spruce, Taxus, Thuja, Willows, Zanthoxylum, etc.

How to choose the right pots for bonsai?

Choosing a suitable pot for the bonsai plant is not a simple task for beginners. A pot with good reliability, effective drainage, and suitable aeration is the ideal option. Good harmony between pot & tree is a must for giving an aesthetic appeal to your bonsai art.

Pots made out of Bonsai-friendly clay mixture should be used, which exists in the markets. Pots made of ceramic, porcelain, concrete, metallic and plastics are obtainable.  Here are some of the basic guidelines given by Bonsai Empire.

  • Gender of the plant is important, firstly, you must decide whether your plant is masculine and feminine. In the case of trees having both characteristics, then you want to identify which one is dominant. Feminine attributes are curves, grace, smooth bark & few branches. Masculine traits are the strength, old bark, dead wood, thick trunk & dense branches.
  • Size of pot is directly proportional to Bonsai tree height and spread. If your pot is oval or rectangular in shape, then the pot size should be 2/3rd of the tree’s height. Round or square shape pots should be 1/3rd of the tree’s height. An excellent height to size ratio is a must to maintain proper growth and stability of bonsai.
  • Design of pot is important to add additional beauty to your bonsai art. Choose a design which shows masculinity, if your tree is masculine, dominant & vice versa.

Equipment and tools for Bonsai:

  • Plant
  • Pots: square, round, oval, rectangular, heart, hexagonal shape or octagonal shape with one drainage hole at the bottom.
  • Potting mixture: soil, sand & leaf mould
  • Potting sticks
  • Sieves
  • Copper wire of 10 to 22 gauze
  • Wire cutter
  • Pruning knife and secateur
  • Watering can and the tub

What’s the best temperature for bonsai?

Temperature becomes a prominent factor for indoor bonsai. Select a tree suitable for the climate and get rid of the implications due to temperature change. For example, attempting to develop a Japanese maple bonsai tree in a tropical climate will be a disaster. Here you will get a complete species point from Bonsai Empire, so choose a right tree for your location.

  • Check temperature & humidity at regular intervals. To change the location of the indoor bonsai pot based on temperature. Move your indoor bonsai closer to the window during day time so that it gets sunlight for at least five hours a day.
  • Outdoor bonsais need optimal temperature. Based on the season, adjust the bonsai tree pot location so that it gets enough sunlight for its growth.
  • Avoid keeps in direct sunlight for prolonged periods through the summer season. It will quickly lead to leaves turning a yellow color.

Can I choose any soil for my bonsai?

Growing Bonsai In Container.
Growing Bonsai In Container.

Choosing the right recipe of potting soil for bonsai is a vital step in bonsai tree care and it is a much-debated topic. The components for making the bonsai potting soil mixture depend on different factors. You should believe the availability of soil components locally. Growing conditions that are climatic condition and pH of the soil mixture is another factor. An ideal soil mixture would be one in which all the ingredients will be of uniform size so that it will help in fast drainage of water and proper aeration.

To realize the fact that there is no soil in the bonsai soil mixture.  The components used to make a good potting mixture are, in fact, soilless. They are designed to offer an ideal environment for root growth. In fact, the mixture used for bonsai tree potting doesn’t contain any nutrients. It can neither hold moisture for a very long time. This makes regular watering & fertilization unavoidable steps in bonsai tree care. The ideal bonsai mixture is composed of 75% inert aggregate & 25% organic material. The main criterion is that all materials have to be of uniform size. Clay is an excellent choice for organic material; some examples are Akadama, Kanuma & Turface.  River rock and the fragmented granite form ideal non-porous aggregates; Haydite, Lava Rock and Permatil form ideal porous aggregates.

  • All components need to pass during different sieves to filter out fine dust particles.
  • A neutral pH of 6.5 – 7.5 is ideal for bonsai potting soil.

Advantages of Bonsai:

  • Growing and tending to bonsai trees is a superb hobby & a great stress reliever.
  • Bonsai trees want proper water, care, trimming, and fertilizing to be healthy. Constantly caring for the plant can help develop your patience.
  • Working with nature, including bonsai trees, can help you become an additional peaceful person.
  • Indoor plants, including bonsai, are able to clean & help purify the air in your home or office.
  • Bonsai trees can help you get over your cold. Plants grown indoors can help fight fatigue, coughs, & sore throats.
  • Successfully growing and caring for a bonsai tree can leave you with a great sense of accomplishment which is good for your health.

Read: Passion Fruit Cultivation.

Last Updated: February 3, 2019
Author: Jagdish

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