bonsai is the art of miniaturisation of trees. creating bonsais and taking care of them is one of the best mind relieving and self satisfactory experiences in plant breeding. every stressful worker must try this relaxing hobby. owning and taking care of a tree in a small pot at home or in office is a fantastic experience. here are the tips.
easiest way to own a bonsai is buying a bonsai and placing it on an exhibit where you can watch it.
you can create a bonsai from scratch. this is more self satisfactory. there are many ways of doing this, we will learn how to, later on in this page...
the smaller the bonsai it is better. but larger trees in pots are also good in terraces or in your garden...
looking after a bonsai is as difficult as growing a pet. maybe more time consuming...
growing a bonsai is an art and science, you must have a vision and soul in this effort...
owning and growing and exhibiting a beautiful and healthy bonsai is a pride...
the idea behind the art of bonsai is simple. do not let the tree grow. put it in a small pot and constantly cut the roots and the leaves and small branches. the technique is as simple as that. be patient and watchful. while limiting its growth be careful not to let her suffer. feed it with enough nutrients because the small soil content of the pot is not enough. as it grows, limit branch and leaf growth forcing the tree to be dwarf.
creating a bonsai from scratch is my favorite. this is hard job. you must first find a suitable tree or you must grow one from seed. i usually visit nurseries and try to find dwarf trees which for some reason left in the nursery and not chosen to be bought. these are usually awkward shaped small trees which for these reasons not preferred by buyers. these are left in the nursery for years and be naturally shaped and prepared as a good bonsai. this natural training process is invaluable in bonsai technique. you then buy the suitable tree and bring at home. later you cut the tree from its excess roots and unwanted branches and fit it to a small pot which you prefer to suit the tree.
here you see various bonsai prepared by myself. in the leftmost and the middle images you can see my glorious lime-tree seen in rectangular pot in autumn and fall colors. with its 30 cm height this tree is a real beauty. in the front of it in the middle image you can see my small 30cm tall plum which is grown from seed. the rightmost image shows some of my small pine trees 50cm tall each.
update at july,2004 : above you can see my latest bonsais. the rightmost is a young elm which i grew up from seed. this is her third year in training pot. the middle-right image shows my little plum ( the one on the round table in the middle of upper image) after 5 years. she began to fruit for the last 2 years. the middle-left image shows an almond pre-bonsai which i collected from nature and potted this year. the leftmost is a flowering tree (sorry i don't know the latin name for it) which is 5-7 years old. you can see the marvelous root formation and her lovely heart-shaped leaves.
|here you can see my little buxus tree. after 3 years in training pot, i transferred her to this bonsai pot this year. she is only 15 cm tall.|
|this is my pretty little blue cypress which i love most. she is a beautiful tree but very fragile to grow indoor. also she doesn't like cold and very difficult to winterize.|
|these two are bonsais prepared by myself. the leftmost one is a nut tree 20cm tall, age 3 and the rightmost one is a peach tree 21cm tall, age 4. both are marvelous trees. ( update at july,2004: both died last winter)|
you can see my apple tree with fruits in this image
with my wife in front to scale.
|left pic shows my peach tree blossoms in spring. this lovely tree is not taller than a human with the pot. the holders and the ropes are for training. pics at right shows my little almond tree which is 90 cm tall with the pot. she also has lots of blossoms and both trees are 15 years old.||
update at april,2008 : after all these years i gained a lot of experience in the art of bonsai. below you can see some of my latest bonsais and the latest look of my previous bonsais. i killed a lot of trees in the meantime but i learned a lot. now i can better summarize the art of bonsai making. patience and conviction to what you are doing, keep on learning, experimenting, investigating, reading and listening to experts. do not forget that you are working with living organisms. try to understand their needs and be patient. your little tree will surprise you and give you an undescribable feeling of well being...
during all these years i have learned a lot about creating a bonsai. i have experienced some classic methods such as air layering and multiple tree fusing. you can see the last air layering i have made to the rightmost extended branch of my 10 year old chinese elm. those elm trees are very hardy and suitable for cultivation by air -layering. below i presented some close-ups of the air-layering i have made to one of the branches. i decided to remove that branch but first i made air-layering before i cut the branch, this way i will not waste it and instead i will turn that branch into another elm bonsai. also you can see a small apple bonsai which i made previously with air-layering, pictured besides her mother... she is flowering and fruiting nowadays...
Multiple tree fusing: an interesting method of bonsai creation. you take more than one bonsai candidate young tree and fuse them together. the aim is to create a thicker and old looking small tree with more root and more branches. i experimented with some young ligustrum bushes and ripped some of their outer stem tissue near to their root with a kitchen utensil. then i bonded them tightly together with some cable wrap and plant wire. later i applied some plant wax for the wounds to heal quickly. i also placed a plate inside the pot in order not to let the tree grow unwanted vertical roots.
Update on April 2010 : Below u can see my fused trees after 2 years... you can see that the trunk formation is complete and the tree now looks like an old bonsai... this year i pruned the roots and repotted the tree to a much shallow pot... next year i will start with pruning the branches and wiring...
Update on August 2011 : My trees are getting more mature over the years... Below you can see the little baby of my maple, propagated by air layering ( top left, on april and rightmost below is the same tree in autumn leaves)...
Update on July 2015: My trees are growing... Working hard over the years and learning more about bonsais, I am mastering on the art... Me and my trees are still on training....
Garden Ornaments : I began to prepare some garden ornaments and miniature scenes of living gardens this year... Here are some examples... I love the lady statue with living hair... Below also you can see my cute little bridge i made and stone walkway under the bonsai buxus tree... All other mini wooden furniture is my design and artwork... Mini potteries are also designed and 3D printed by myself...
|Miniature gardens and ornaments are a joy to deal with... I tend to use many mini succulents and sedums as well as mini cactus in my miniature pots... They look natural and fantastic... Realistic appearance is my premiere concern in those fairy gardens... The above photo shows one of my mini succulent mix... A small Aloe is surrounded with some mini sedums and succulents, also some spagnum moss is planted at the corner which will eventually cover the entire pot as time passes... You may have recognized this mini bonsai pot from the top of the page, with tiny Adenium bonsai seedling. That adenium has grown during all these years and repotted to a bigger container and flowering now. As seen in below photo, low middle picture...||After building my 3d printer, I had the opportunity to design and print my own mini pottery and garden accessories... Those are very hard to find to purchase, not to mention these mini accessories are also not cheap... Most important of all, it is nice to build your own... The Milo Venus statue is 3d printed and placed on a concrete foundation which is also cast by myself... Foundation material is some white cement, carbon powder, polymer glue and fine sand mixed to last in outdoor environment. This substance is very durable and can be further surface processed with a dremel tool to appear as mosaic, because it has some amount of sand in the mix...|
Gourd Art : I wanted to share some of my painted gourds as garden ornaments... The windmill is also made for outdoors, which will be an object for my next Penjing...
|however it is always a pleasure for a bonsai enthusiast to grow bonsai from seed...|
bonsai care :
due to being in small pots bonsai needs extra nutrition. except sleeping periods i.e during winter, every bonsai should be given chemical nutrition via watering periodically. we call these chemicals NPK fertilizers. N stands for nitrogen, P stands for phosphorus and K for potassium. these are basic nutrition of plants. what varies is the amount of ingredients. most bonsai is satisfied with a NPK fertilizer of 6-6-6. these products can be bought from any plant selling store. these water soluble fertilizers should be given to bonsai at least once a month. second important thing is what we call pruning, that is basically cutting the plant and inhibiting growth. all of these should be done carefully avoiding the plant to starve to death. There are many useful info on bonsai care on internet, bonsai wiki and millions of bonsai related pages... However, mastering in Bonsai Art is a process of learning, trial and error and mostly patience. There is no single recipe and every bonsai has its own character and needs which you will learn throughout many years...
Some Useful Links:
American Bonsai Society
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