Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Useful Tips and Techniques on Bonsai Gardening and Care

July 11, 2007 by  
Filed under Lawn & Garden

Beautiful Japanese White Pine Bonsai Tree
Photo by Chris stamboulis

Bonsai is considered an art form of planting and pruning miniature trees in trays popularized by the Japanese but is generally thought as having its beginnings in China. Bonsai trees keep their small shape and size because they are grown in a small pot or tray and very careful pruning of roots and branches. With dedication and perseverance, anybody can learn the techniques of bonsai gardening and care.

Bonsai tree care is admittedly very difficult and takes many years of practice to perfect. A bonsai gardener needs to have knowledge about each bonsai tree that he plans to tend and care for and how to prune the branches and roots to keep his bonsai collection small and healthy. Bonsai gardening and care is considered an art form because of the underlying Japanese philosophy behind bonsai trees in that they bring together three variables of nature – truth, essence and beauty.

The Japanese method of bonsai tree care is to prune bonsai trees in such a way that there is no indication of any kind of interference from outside forces. The bonsai tree must always look as if it grew naturally with no outside help or intervention.

At present, bonsai gardening and care is not limited to Japan or China; there are literally millions of bonsai enthusiasts from all over the globe. Bonsai tree care has become a very popular hobby for people who want to establish a sort of spiritual connection between themselves and nature. Bonsai gardening and care is also considered as one of the most therapeutic and healing gardening techniques because it affords the enthusiast the luxury of seeing his or her creation take form slowly but surely.

Ironwood Bonsai Tree from China
Photo by Chris stamboulis

If you are interested in having your own bonsai collection, here are some worthwhile tips and techniques on bonsai gardening and care.

Bonsai trees must be planted in limited amounts of bonsai soil which necessitates frequent watering based on the dampness of the bonsai soil. To determine the dampness of bonsai soil you can either use a water meter to determine whether water needs to be added or simply insert your finger into the soil up to the first joint. If the soil is dry, then you need to add enough water. Remember to increase watering frequency during the summer months and decrease the frequency during winter. Do not soak the roots of the bonsai tree otherwise they will rot.


Bonsai tree care includes enhancing the bonsai soil during the spring and autumn season by adding nitrogen, potash and phosphoric acid into the soil. You should fertilize your bonsai tree soil twice a month during spring and once a month from autumn all throughout the winter season.

Depending on your bonsai collection, the rule of thumb is that most bonsai trees require direct sunlight. If your bonsai tree is indoors you should dutifully place it outdoors in between the hours of 7 to 10 in the morning taking care to limit sunlight exposure if you have just transplanted your bonsai tree into a new tray or if it been trimmed to a large extent.

Always choose the right bonsai pots. The pot is an integral part of the presentation of your bonsai collection and it should be able support the tree. Remember, the display is everything in the presentation of a bonsai tree so choose your bonsai pots with discrimination.

You should decide beforehand what outcome you would like for your bonsai trees. Bonsai trees can be shaped and manipulated to make them appear differently and take on different shapes. Decide what you would like your trees to look like before growing them too large and have a difficult time pruning them.

Don’t let the art of bonsai gardening and care intimidate you. It is not as hard as you think if you have the right information. And don’t fall into the misconception that there are bonsai seeds that when planted will grow into beautiful bonsai trees. You can plant any tree seeds in a bonsai pot and make bonsai trees out of them if you dutifully follow the steps on their pruning and formation. Bonsai seeds are simply tree seeds preferred by bonsai enthusiasts all over the world.


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