Monday, March 14, 2011

Learn The Art of Bonsai

Small-wonder: the cute bonsai trees! Ever wondered how they are grown and maintained? They are pruned, repotted, under watered, wired, and defoliated regularly to give them desired shape and size. But first of all you need to prepare the pot.

1-Prepare the pot- Start with few pieces of stone at the bottom of the pot. This obstructs the root to go deep down. Then put a layer of soil mixture made up of chick pea grit, sand, leaf mould, gravel and normal garden soil. Cover the top layer with moss. This helps to retain water in the soil.

2-Pruning the root- Pruning is the most important step of bonsai because unless it is done your tree will grow big with huge branches and leaves. Be bold! Cut at least half of the roots off. Use a wound sealant if it bleads too much. Ensure that its base is flat, so that it sits well on the pot.

3- Watering- Once you settle the tree in soil properly, water it as per requirement. Don’t water too much. It will suffocate the roots. The surface of the soil should be starting to be drying between watering.

4-Under watering- This is the most unique technique of bonsai making. Sometimes you have to water the tree from the bottom of the pot. Keep the pot in a tub filled with water few days. This is needed to be done at the initial stages of bonsai.

5-Branch pruning- Once the tree grows well, you have to trim its branches time to time to give it shape. You can use a plant scissor or a concave cutter for this purpose. Remember not to overdo this step. Trees need to grow freely at times to get the vigour and vitality. So sometimes leave your tree to grow and simply enjoy looking at it!

6-Wiring- You can take the help of a bending wire to style your tree in a particular shape.

7-Defoliation- Removing old leaves from the tree time to time helps growth of new leaves. It gives a fresh new look to the tree. You will feel really excited when you see young, tiny leaves in your bonsai which didn’t exist before.

8-Repotting- When your bonsai grows you have to transfer it from existing pot to a bigger pot. Repotting needs to be done annually or at least biannually in early spring.

You can choose from a variety of species like, banyan, peepal, Scots pine, beech, almond, apple, citrus plants like orange, lemon, mango etc.

So bring home a new healthy plant and turn it into a beautifully shaped bonsai tree. Most importantly keep in mind; it is not the actual age but the impression of age that gives the bonsai its beauty.



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