Bonsai is the art of aesthetic miniaturisation of trees and plants in containers. In Japanese a Bonsai, means tray-planted. A bonsai plant is not a dwarf plant but equal to the full sized flowering plant. The main objective of bonsai plants is to create a tree or plant, and even landscapes, in miniature. The flowering perennials grown as bonsais are called as Flowering Bonsais.
Flowering Bonsai plant need feeding, watering, pruning and training at regular interwals for its healthy growth. The bonsais are grown in small containers to get a desired shape by the application of wire coils. The three most essential aspects to be considered when we go for a bonsai are - 1) the selection of containers, 2) the position of the plant in the container, and 3) the choice of the plant variety.
Within the bonsais, there are four sizes of flowering bonsais: miniature, small, medium, and average. Miniature bonsais range grow to 2 inches in height, maturing in about five years. Small bonsai are from 2-6 inches, and take 5-10 years years to mature, and Medium bonsai are from 6-12 inches, and an average bonsai trees grow to 2 feet; both these can be produced in about three years time.
There are two basic styles of growing bonsai flowering plants. They are:
1) The Classic style (Koten): This type of bonsais have wider trunk at the base and tapers off towards the top.
2) The Informal or Comic style (Bunjin): The comic style is just the opposite of classic where the top end is wider than the trunk.
Facts About Flowering Bonsais
- Bonsai originated in China over a 1000 years ago known as pun-sai (the practice of growing single specimen trees in pots)
- Flowering bonsai plants can be developed from seeds or cuttings, or from young trees or from natural stunted trees transplanted into containers.
- If proper bonsai care is taken, a bonsai can live for hundreds of years.
- Most popular bonsai trees are the Japanese Maples, particularly the Laceleaf varieties.
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Bonsai General Care
- Watering: Watering is the most important step in bonsai plantings. Bonsai trees should be regularly watered the soil should always be kept moist. The soil should not be allowed to dry.
- Pruning: Pruning and trimming of stems as well as the roots is very crucial. The former allows for the bonsai to be kept in shape and the latter contains the growth of bonsai.
- Lighting: Bonsai have very different lighting requirements. Most of them need good light conditions. Place such bonsais where there is a good light. A place near the window should therefore be a right place.
- Junipers: Take care that Junipers do not get dried up.
- Fertilization: Fertilization is a very crucial part of bonsai gardening. It should be done at regular interwals.
Tips for the Best Bonsai Gardening
- Allow the bonsais to get good light. Place them in a sunny window, where there is plenty of light.
- Let a bonsai tree get some fresh air. Keep it where there is good ventilation.
- Water the bonsai until water comes out of the pot. It does not mean waterlogging. the excess water should flow out. It means the container should have a hole to allow for this overflow.
- See that bonsai tree grows straight. Provide some anchor if need be to do so.
- In order to keep the tree healthy, fertilize it every 6 months.
- Bonsai pot should be a little more than two-thirds the height of bonsai tree. It is good both in terms of support s well as adding beauty for the bonsi itself.
- For a tree to be a miniature, prune the roots, occassionally.
- Keep the Bonsai away from frost. Most of the bonsais arenot frost tolerant.
Some popular Flowering Bonsai Trees
Some of the flowering Bonsai trees popular with bonsai growers are: Bonsai Anthurium, Japanese Wisteria Bonsai Tree, Dwarf Pomegranate, Bonsai Japanese Maples, Japanese Flowering Quince Bonsai Tree, Dwarf yellow Flowering Jasmine, Flowering White Serissa Bonsai Tree, Tree of a Thousand Stars, Rhododendron Bonsai Tree, Wine Grape Bonsai Tree, Orange Jasmine, Desert Rose Bonsai Tree, Flowering Apricot, Surinam Cherry Bonsai Tree, Mimosa Bonsai Tree, Tamarind Bonsai Tree, Lavender Star Flower Bonsai Tree, Bonsai Gardenia (jasminoides radicans), Dwarf Black Olive, Azalea Bonsai Tree (Indica Duc de Rohan), Flowering Camellia Bonsai Tree, etc.