Bonsai trees overall symbolism represents life. This symbolism comes from the trees always being in constant balance, whether you have one tree, or 100 trees, they are always in harmony. The growing of these trees is an ancient tradition. Originating in China, then moving through Japan, the meaning of bonsai is literally “potted plant”. These plants are often associated with Buddhism as well. If you plan to grow one of these trees, you should be creative, while constantly giving it attention, and care. Bonsai trees are excellent for indoor growing as they can be pruned to fit in small spaces. That said, they are by no means easy, and be a very rewarding experience for those that see it through.
Choosing Your Bonsai
Bonsai tree’s very in multiple aspects. It all depends on your own personal situation, and what environment your tree will be in. Though it is a bit odd, some types of bonsai thrive in freezing conditions, while other will almost instantly wilt away. If you are planning on having a outdoor tree, you will need to be more careful when pick out your tree.
For beginners, the Ficus Bonsai is generally considered a good choice. The Ficus is an indoor Bonsai, although it can be placed outside in warmer weather. Frost will unfortunately kill the plant.
The Ficus, as we’ve already touched on, is but one type of Bonsai plant. So those looking to get creative have more than enough to work with. We’ll also be posting articles on some of the more popular indoor varieties to help you choose. Below find some general tips regardless of which breed you pick.
Another thing you are going to want to take into consideration when making your choice, is the size of your tree. Bonsai trees can be as small as 6 inches when their full grown, and get as big as 3 feet tall as well. Proper shaping can also help keep your plant’s size in check, but will require more work on your part.
Always take into account the location as well, as many varieties need full sunlight in order to thrive. Following general planting techniques for placement is always a smart bet, and Bonsai trees are no exception.
Planting Your Tree
Before you start the transition of moving the plant into your own container, you will want to make sure the base of your pot has a level of fresh soil on the bottom, leveled off to the height you would like for your tree. You will want the soil in the bottom to be more of a coarse, grainy soil. Then next layer of soil, you will need some finer, and looser growing soil. You will want this soil to be able to handle water well, and, can drain the water proficiently too. Regular soil from your garden is not a good fit for bonsai trees, as they hold too much water.
After repotting your tree, you will want to leave it in a spot that is semi-shaded, for 2-3 weeks, as well as keep it out of the way of wind, rain, and direct sunlight. You can use fertilizer with bonsai trees, but not until the roots have adapted to their new environment and are secure within the new dirt.
Fertilizing your Bonsai tree is crucial for its growth and overall look. With their location inside the pot or container you picked, their new home does not have many nutrients or resources that will promote its healthy growth. You will want to regularly fertilize the tree during its growth season, with the amounts and times varying for all plants. You are going to want to use less fertilizer than you would out in your garden, however.
Styling and Shaping
When you have a bonsai tree, you need to be somewhat artistic and creative with it. This part can prove to be fun, but it is also a bit challenging and difficult. The skill of owning a tree can take years to master, but there are some basics you can learn quickly and easily.
Pruning is essential to maintaining your tree. This will keep your tree at the size that you want, and will also give it the desired shape. The main idea, is to make your tree look like it is a part of nature. Ideal times for pruning would be in the Spring and Summer seasons, for most types, but not all.
Here are some tips to help you with maintaining the size and look of your tree. You will want to remove branches that had unrealistic turns and twists, in relation to nature. Thick branches that live within the top of the tree that are disproportionately bigger should also be removed. If you have two branches that preside at the same height within your tree, you will want to remove the least “natural” looking branch.
A technique used to shape trees is used with a thicker gauged wire. You can manipulate the way your tree grows by, carefully wrapping the wires around the branches which you wish to shift the position of. This process can be done all year. Though, you want to keep in mind that the wires should not be attached to the tree for long periods of time, and should be removed if branches start to scare from the wire.