What is a Bonsai ? How to Grow it ? How is it related to Feng-Shui ?How does it affect the environment around us ?

Bonsai tree is a Japanese technique to limit the growth of a plant in a container, also known as tray planting,is done to primarily contemplate the viewer , and to create a positive environment of effort and ingenuity for the grower as well as those in the surroundings.The word “Bon-sai” (often misspelled as bonsai or banzai) is a Japanese term which,when literally translated, means “planted in a container”. This technique is derived from an ancient Chinese horticultural practice, part of which, was later redeveloped under the influence of Japanese Zen Buddhism.Techniques such as pinching buds, pruning and wiring branches, and carefully restricting  yourself to the plant species that can be grown in a container and have woody stems and branches. But Bonsai tree needs extra care and a special environment to grow. Use of Fertilizers has to be minimum a lot of hedging and trimming has to be done in order to keep the plant short and plump.

bonsai tree

Old bonsai trees can be dated back to 300 years old.Bonsai tree was initially grown in japan and china around 300 years back by monks , scholars and healers to maintain a natural environment around themselves and create an atmosphere of positivity to meditate or practice yoga or concentration.Bonsai trees are of many kinds.The oldest one is  of Banyan tree.There are many more types of bonsai plants like cherry , peach , maple , Fig tree , Juniper bonsai ,etc

Growing and Cultivation of Trees

The first step to grow a  bonsai tree is to select a tree suitable for your environment.First-timers usually go with Banyan tree due to it’s growing ease,capability and wider branches but other choices like peach tree , cherry tree,etc could be used as well.These trees are famous for their red color in autumn which an awesome look to your house and creates an aura of positivity around you.A less expensive, but slow method is to cultivate a tree using seeds or cuttings yourself.

bonsai tree


Pruning of the Bonsai Tree

Pruning and cultivation of the tree has to be done on regular basis. There are two type of pruning:

  • One is maintenance pruning to trim of grown hedges and branches to give bonsai an appealing shape
  • Other is rigorous pruning which involves trimming of stem and branches in order to prevent it from getting out of shape.

bonsai tree

The goal of maintenance pruning is to maintain and refine the shape of the tree. It is important to prune these out-grown areas regularly in order to encourage growth of the plant from within.You simply have to prune branches/shoots that have outgrown the intended canopy-size/shape using twig shears or a normal cutter.As opposed to deciduous trees, pine trees and conifers should be pinched by hand. Use scissors to prune some species of conifers that have dead brown foliage at their ends. To prevent this from happening hold the tips of the shoot between your thumb and index finger and carefully pull it away. The shoot will snap at its weakest point and no brown ends will appear there-after. Different species need different maintenance techniques of pruning and pinching,Some even need a combination of both

To give a tree its basic shape large branches are pruned away. Deciding which branches should stay and which ones should be removed can be difficult, not only because it is an irreversible action but also because the decisions made at that time will decide how the plant will grow up to be.Place the tree on a table at eye-level;

Wiring of a Bonsai Tree

Wiring is a crucial step in growing of bonsai tree.It is done by wrapping up wire around branches of a plant to bend it and to give an appealing shape to the tree.It can be done throughout the year however most deciduous species have to be wired in winters only since absence of leaves in such plants makes wiring much easier.

Basically, two kinds of wire can be used:

  • Anodized aluminum
  • Annealed copper

Aluminum wire is used for deciduous species, while the harder copper wire is used for conifers and pines. For beginners anodized aluminum wire is advised.

Wire is available in a range of different thicknesses, varying from 1 to 8 mm. There is no need to purchase all the available wires.

Buying 1 mm, 1.5 mm, 2.5 mm and 4 mm thick wire should be perfect to start out with.

When wiring thick branches it is recommended to wrap them up with raffia, which will protect the branches from being damaged by the wire when bending them.


Watering Bonsai

How Often Should You Water?

How often you should water a bonsai tree depends on several different variables:

  • What type of tree is it
  • What time of year is it
  • Where is your tree kept
  • Where do you live
  • And more than a few others.

Watering bonsai is a constant balance between too much and too little.

How Should You Water?

The “best” way to water is to first wet the soil a little, this will improve the soil’s ability to absorb a larger volume of water, and then you should water thoroughly until the soil is saturated. Make certain that the entire soil mass gets wet – every time – you water and wait for the excess to run out of the drainage holes to be sure.

When Should You Water?

The “best” time to water is arguably early in the morning, before your bonsai begins its day of photosynthetic activities. However, it is important to be vigilant about its watering needs throughout the day, especially during the summer. Bear in mind that bonsai trees do not grow when the soil is wet and they do not grow when the soil is dry: it is only during the in between periods that your bonsai tree takes in water and nutrients. You also need to be aware of the amount of light your new bonsai tree is getting, the temperature of the room your bonsai is located in and the humidity levels of that immediate area. You also need to be realistic about your other life responsibilities, not only for their sake, but also for the sake of your bonsai tree.

What Kind Of Water Should You Use?

Water your new bonsai tree with room temperature tap water, because cold water has the potential to shock its roots. If you have the ability and the time to collect rain to water, that is great, but it is unnecessary unless the water in your neighborhood is unfit to drink – and, if it is, you might consider moving yourself and your bonsai somewhere safer.


Light

How Much Light Does A Bonsai tree Require?

Providing the correct amount of light for your bonsai tree  is crucial in order to keep it healthy. Light requirements are specific to the type of tree and are further dependent upon specific parameteres depending upon the location they are kept.

What Kind Of Light Is Best?

Sunlight is the best type of light for bonsai trees and other living creatures on earth as well. As such, the brightest window in your home is arguably the best spot for your indoor bonsai trees. However, the brightest window in your home may be located next to the fireplace. So, in case like this you need to find an alternative and more practical location and use some type of artificial lighting system.

What Kind Of Artificial Light Should You Provide?

A combination of grow and timer light are a simple solution for providing additional light. Set your timer for 12 to 16 hours of supplemental lighting and position your bonsai within 1 to 4 inches of your light source.

 


Humidity

Why Is Humidity Important For Bonsai tree?

Although indoor bonsai slow their growth in winter and do not need as much water,but they still require sufficient humidity. Humidity helps to reduce water loss through the processes of transpiration. Transpiration will have a negative effect on your bonsai’s ability to retain water and remain healthy.

How Can Humidity Be Improved?

The sometimes dry climate of a home or apartment can be altered to benefit your bonsai tree. Placing your bonsai on a “humidity tray” filled with decorative pebbles, that should be kept wet at all times, will help increase humidity levels. Another solution is regular misting. Misting is the most common humidifying method. It has an additional benefit of removing dust from your bonsai, which blocks sunlight and interferes with the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Be sure to mist using room temperature water to avoid shocking your bonsai.

What Else Is Helpful To Prevent Dry Conditions?

Keep your indoor bonsai trees away from breezy doors, windows and heating sources, such as vents, radiators, and fireplaces to avoid quickly drying them out. While more sunlight is desirable, it may dry out your bonsai. So, maintaining a watering schedule during winter is just as important as during summer.


Temperature

Why Is Temperature Important For Bonsai tree ?

During winter months it is vital that you keep your new indoor bonsai warm — Not Hot — but warm, somewhere between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. How much warmth your bonsai should get depends on where your bonsai is from “originally”, the warmer the native climate, the warmer the area in your home, it should be located in.

How Can Temperature Be Monitored?

Placing a thermostat on the wall is a good place to start. However, a small thermometer is better suited to monitor the actual temperature of the micro-environment that your bonsai tree is located in. Most garden centers will have small thermometers available at a reasonable price.

What Is Helpful To Avoid Temperature Fluctuation?

Doors, windows, fans, heating systems and breezy hallways will all affect the actual temperature of a particular area. It is important for a healthy bonsai tree,room temperature should be maintained at a certain temperature. A sudden drop in temperature, as well as, a sudden spike in temperature can injure your indoor bonsai trees. Indoor bonsai should not be kept near a door that is frequently opened during winter months to avoid harmful cold drafts.


Air Circulation

Why Is Air Circulation Important?

A location with adequate air circulation is very important for the long-term health of your new bonsai tree. The process of photosynthesis requires an unrestricted exchange of fresh air and stagnate environmental conditions,absence of which could otherwise compromise your bonsai’s ability to continue its photosynthetic processes, by clogging the pores or stomata, located on the bottom of leaves, which bonsai trees use for their vital air exchange, through dust and debris accumulation.

What Else Is Air Circulation Responsible For?

A closed or confined space is the perfect environment for pests and disease,These two are the most terrible enemies of bonsai trees. The regular movement of fresh air helps prevent pests, like spider mites, from establishing their webs and infesting any damage on your bonsai trees. Air circulation also assists your trees in the transportation of essential fluids from the roots to the leaves, by osmosis. Air also prevents possible root rot conditions, from soil saturation, by assisting in water evaporation.


Pests and Diseases

How Can I Prevent Pests & Disease?

When working to prevent the possible injury or death of your beloved bonsai tree, the best defense is a strong offense.Be vigilant by keeping your bonsai clean, dust and debris free and cleared of fallen leaves and flowers

Make sure,sufficient lighting is supplied, along with good ventilation and lots of fresh air.

A healthy bonsai tree will no doubt help you prevent pests and disease in whole of your environment and homes.


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Post Author: Shivam Kumar