The history of bonsai, i.e., the art of growing miniaturized versions of large trees and shrubs, can be traced back to ancient China. It was further fine tuned by the Japanese and eventually, spread to various parts of the world. Bonsai trees are categorized into various types, depending on their size, angle of the trunk, etc.
A Guide to Grow a Bonsai Tree
Growing bonsai trees is an art which requires the basic knowledge of horticulture and some creativity. When choosing a tree, you can choose between indoor plants and outdoor plants. If you are planning to grow bonsai indoors, you can opt for species like schefflera and weeping fig, and if you plan to grow it outdoors, you can choose species like juniper and maple. Taking a step further, if you intend to grow fruit trees, ideal options would be cherry, blueberry, fig, etc. After you have chosen the species, you should ideally decide on one of the numerous shapes available. Some of the most popular shapes include upright, slanting, and elongated.
Ideally, you should use a shallow earthen or plastic pot to grow this ornamental tree. The size of the pot will depend on the size and shape you intend for your tree to acquire. In order to make sure that its appearance is at its best, choose a pot whose color compliments the bonsai. If you intend to grow it from the cuttings, the next thing you need to do is to wrap the selected cutting or twig with a bonsai wire and give it the desired shape. Make sure that you wrap the wire loose enough to ensure that the tree growth will not be hampered.
As for the planting part, you can start by spreading an inch of soil at the bottom of the pot. Spread the roots of the tree over this soil, tie it if you feel that the tree wouldn't be able to hold ground, and cover it with the remaining soil. Make sure that you leave some space from the rim downwards, approximately an inch or two, in order to water the tree. You can also utilize this space to add to the decor. Once you have planted the tree in the pot, you can hang weights to the branches to curb its natural growth. Place the tree at such a place that it receives partial sunlight. Once your tree has settled, you can ornament the tree by using stones, sand, or green moss.
In case you intend to grow bonsai from seeds, you will have to keep these seeds in a refrigerator for a week before planting them. A day before you plant them soak them in water, and collect those seeds which sink and accumulate at the bottom to plant. Choose nutrient-rich soil and make sure that the pot facilitates proper drainage of water. Spread a layer of sand at the bottom of the soil and follow it up with a layer of soil. Using your index finger dig some holes in it. Plant the seeds in these holes and cover them with another layer of soil. Keep the pot in the dark, but well-ventilated area and make sure that dust doesn't accumulate on it. After a month or so, small plants will start appearing. At this time, move the pot to some area wherein it will get direct sunlight. Once they start growing, you can prune them and wire them in a similar manner like you would wire the thin branches in the desired shape.
One thing to make a note of is that the information given above is generic in nature, which may not be suitable for all the plants. For instance, the process for growing juniper bonsai tree will slightly differ from the process of growing cherry bonsai tree. Therefore, you will have to do a bit of research about the species you choose before starting the actual process of planting a bonsai.