Monday, September 25, 2017

Fascinating Bonsai Trees

December 17, 2006 by  
Filed under Lawn & Garden

Chinese Bonsai Tree - photo by James HelminskiIn bonsai, the bonsai tree and the pot should form a single harmonious unit where the shape, texture and color of either one must compliment the other. Simply planting a tree in the pot is not enough, every branch and twig of a bonsai tree is shaped or eliminated until the desired shape is achieved. From then on, a constant system of pruning and trimming is dedicated to the bonsai tree to maintain and improve its appearance.

Not all bonsai trees are of the coniferous or deciduous species, fruit bearing trees are equally an important part of a well-rounded bonsai tree collection. Moreover, the bonsai artist can choose a type of bonsai tree with more interesting properties.

One such exotic variety is the Wisteria bonsai. Wisterias are native to China, Korea, Japan and the central and southern USA. They can reach as high as 10 meters in their natural habitat. Forming them into a bonsai is a difficult challenge, since they don’t conform to any of the usual styles.

Wisterias do not conform to normal bonsai styling; they are styled and shaped artistically to show off their flowers. Two normally seen Wisteria bonsai trees are the Japanese and Chinese Wisteria. Flower colors are a mixture of blue, purple or white and appear in late spring or summer and carry a distinctive fragrance similar to that of grapes. Caring for the Wisteria bonsai tree is fairly straightforward. They simply need adequate drainage, ample fertilizer and plenty of water in the spring when flowers begin to bloom. Fertilizer is also necessary in the fall before the leaves fall off.

Another one the most sought after bonsai tree is the Orange Jasmine, a summer flowering tree native to western and southern parts of China that can also be grown indoors. It is very eye-catching, has small leaves and possesses sweet-smelling orange-like blossoms and bright, decorative, red fruits. Taking care of the Orange Jasmine is very easy as it only requires light watering throughout the year and fertilizer application every 3 to 4 weeks from early spring to mid-autumn.

The mimosa thrives in the sun but requires protection during winter. It requires very little watering and should only be pruned in winter or early spring; keep in mind to wire its branches when the tree is young as the branches become brittle as the tree gets older.

The mimosa silk tree flowers bloom in late April to early July. During its blooming season, it should receive moderate amounts of water. Take care to avoid over watering the flowers because they wilt and deteriorate when wet.

The Desert Rose is another unconventional choice of the exotic, indoor bonsai tree. It is native to East Africa, with a very globular base, thickset leaves and fascinating 2-inch pink, open-trumpet shaped flowers year-round in full sun.

It needs plenty of light and fresh air but during the winter months, it should be positioned in a bright location, preferably indoors. It needs very little water during winter; however, watering should increase during the growing and blooming periods taking care not to overdo it as the plant will shed its leaves if watered excessively.

Liquid bonsai fertilizer is required on a monthly basis during spring and summer. It is primarily styled using the clip and grow generally after the plant’s rest period (spring). Extreme care should be exercised when pruning because the sap is poisonous and the tree bleeds copiously.

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