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List: Posted: 10/03/11
Do you need to learn about bonsai tree care? It isn’t all that simple to just create a little bonsai tree and see it thrive. This is as much a form of art as it is a horticultural practice and in this brief discussion, we will look at some of the best methods to apply to this fascinating practice.
Beginning the Hobby of Bonsai
The definition of the word bonsai comes from the Japanese, and means “tray planting”, and it is used to describe both the practice of growing tiny plants and the plants themselves. Thus, you can do bonsai and grow a bonsai.
They are always considered dwarf trees and much smaller than they are in the wild, and are meant to be shaped into artistic forms that would not occur naturally. They are supposed to be kept as tiny as possible, and this means that when you decide to create a bonsai tree, you have to accept that it is going to require regular training, trimming, and pruning to obtain its original form, and to continue to hold that form.
Basic Bonsai Care
Caring for any bonsai is not challenging or difficult, but it does require that you dedicate consistent time and attention to it. For example, we already mentioned that these trees need consistent trimming or pruning to maintain their shape, but this leaves the plant open to insect or disease infestation.
Because of this, one of the primary steps in their care is to inspect them on a regular basis for such things as aphids, mites, and any types of fungus or unwanted growth. If the plant is really struggling to eliminate some sort of pest or disease issue, it may be necessary to bug-spray or re-pot it.
Repotting a Bonsai
Fresh soil bought from a gardening center or plant nursery is a good way to give the plant renewed strength and eliminate any soil-borne pests and infections. Though a standard repotting would occur every three years, it pays to consider if the tray or pot that holds the tree is preventing it from being as healthy as possible.
Choose an appropriate tray or pot for the tree, use a standard potting mix, and be sure that you avoid fertilizing this soil for at least four weeks afterward. This allows the roots to expand a bit and to stabilize, and this ensures that there is no “burning” that can occur with too much fertilization.
Indoor and Outdoor Plantings
Most bonsai are kept as indoor plants because of their frailty and delicate natures. You can do “giant” bonsai with outdoor specimens too, but this is not a true form of the art. If you do want to use outdoor plants for a bonsai specimen, you can keep them in pots and rely on such species as junipers, maples, pines, and even some flowering fruits such as the crab apple.
Their care will demand that they have protection from hard freezing conditions (such as those in northern climates). Additionally, the outdoor plants can be a bit of a challenge where watering and fertilizer are concerned.
This is why true bonsai are indoor plants that are kept in sunny spots, and which give great joy for many decades.
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