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
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.

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.

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.

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.


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 parameters 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.


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.


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 Fluctuations?

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.

How to tell when something is wrong with your bonsai?

Even when you water and fertilize your bonsai tree properly and keep your bonsai in a location appropriate for their health,a lot of problems can arise.Insects, diseases, poor drainage or short periods of neglect can stress a bonsai and cause it to weaken. Working on stressed trees, whether wiring or cutting back, can cause further stress.

This may sound funny, but the best approach to dealing with sick bonsai tree is to prevent them from becoming sick in the first place. Even though most maladies can be successfully addressed, problems in one tree can spread to others in the case of insects or fungus, and signs of stress due to poor soil or neglect are likely to affect more than one tree at a time.The very best way to monitor tree health is simple – look closely at your trees as often as possible.

This is simple in theory but can be difficult to practice as days come and go when we’re too busy to take out time to see what’s going on under leaves or just beneath the surface of the soil.
Checking the foliage
Fortunately, no special technical skills are required for this. Simply inspecting foliage on a regular basis – at the tree’s exterior and interior and from above and below – is one of the best approaches to maintain bonsai health. Even if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’ll be better equipped to notice change if you look at your trees closely and regularly.

When you do notice a change in foliar appearance, you can begin the process of narrowing down the problem.

Spots indicate damage from fungus on coast live oak

Signs of fungus on trident maple foliage

Checking the soil

Checking the soil periodically can help you determine if your watering is effectively wetting the soil. Keeping bonsai too wet can weaken them over time, whereas letting a tree dry out can cause damage quickly. Extended periods of rain can be problematic too.

A 2 x 4 under one end of the pot reduces the soil’s ability to hold water

If you see fuzzy white, yellow, or tan material when you re-pot, you may have mycorrhiza – a good thing – or root aphids – a bad thing. Mycorrhiza refers to the symbiotic relationship between roots and beneficial fungi that provide nutrients to the tree. Mycorrhiza may appear white or tan in color. Just a little might be visible or it can fill the pot.

Lots of mycorrhiza

Root aphids are insects that feed on sap in the roots. They can look similar to mycorrhiza

The pine with yellow foliage needs attention

There is a near limitless number of threats and conditions that can adversely affect bonsai health. Experience can provide opportunities to learn some of the most common ones. In the meantime, here are some tips and resources related to identifying situations that need attention.
If you have a number of bonsai of the same variety, one of the best ways to spot trouble is to compare the foliage color and quality between specimens. If most of your pines are green, but one is yellow, it is time to investigate further.Your Bonsai tree may need water even when it’s raining. If the rain is gentle or if your tree has a thick canopy, the roots may not be getting the water they need. Dig into the soil to where the roots are and water it if the root-ball is dry.

Dry area under dense canopy on rainy day

Give your bonsai tree plenty of space on the bench and remove old foliage as it accumulates. Keeping trees too close together prevents foliage from getting the air and light it needs and it provides insects with good hiding places.

These junipers are kept too close together
Upon closer inspection, small white dots become visible – signs of juniper scale

Vacations can spell trouble for a bonsai tree.Even a few days without water can damage or kill bonsai trees in summer. If possible, find someone in the bonsai community to help with the watering while you’re away as they’ll be familiar with the care your trees need.


Bonsai aesthetics are the aesthetic goals characterizing the Japanese tradition of growing an artistically shaped miniature tree in a container.These are Established art forms that share some aesthetic principles with a bonsai plant include penjing and saikei. Over centuries of practice, the Japanese bonsai aesthetic has encoded some important techniques and design guidelines. Simply following the guidelines alone will not guarantee a successful result. Nevertheless, these design rules can rarely be broken without reducing the impact of the bonsai specimen. Some key principles in bonsai aesthetics include:

Miniaturization: By definition, a bonsai is a tree kept small enough to be container-grown while otherwise fostered to have a mature appearance.
Proportion among elements: The most prized proportions mimic those of a full-grown tree as closely as possible. Small trees with large leaves or needles are out of proportion and are avoided, as is a thin trunk with thick branches.
Asymmetry: Bonsai aesthetics discourage strict radial or bilateral symmetry in branch and root placement.
No trace of the artist: The designer’s touch must not be apparent to the viewer. If a branch is removed in shaping the tree, the scar will be concealed. Likewise, wiring should be removed or at least concealed when the bonsai is shown, and must leave no permanent marks on the branch or bark.
Poignancy: Many of the formal rules of bonsai help the grower create a tree that expresses Wabi-sabi, or portrays an aspect of mono no aware.

Bonsai Styles

The Japanese tradition describes bonsai tree designs using a set of commonly understood, named styles. These styles are not mutually exclusive, and a single bonsai specimen can exhibit different styles. When a bonsai specimen falls into multiple style categories, the common practice is to describe it by the dominant or most striking characteristic.
Formal upright style Bald cypress is a frequently used set of styles describes the orientation of the bonsai tree’s main trunk. Different variations are used for a tree with its apex directly over the center of the trunk’s entry into the soil, slightly to the side of that center, deeply inclined to one side, and inclined below the point at which the trunk of the bonsai enters the soil.
Formal upright or chokkan style trees are characterized by a straight, upright, tapering trunk. Branches progress regularly from the thickest and broadest at the bottom to the finest and shortest at the top.
Informal upright or moyogi  trees incorporate visible curves in trunks and branches, but the apex of an informal upright bonsai is located directly above the trunk’s entry into the soil line.

Informal upright style Juniper

Slant-style or shakan bonsai possess straight trunks like those of bonsai grown in the formal upright style. However, the slant style trunk emerges from the soil at an angle, and the apex of the bonsai will be located to the left or right of the root base.
Cascade-style or kengai specimens are modeled after trees that grow over water or down the sides of mountains. The apex (tip of the tree) in the semi-cascade-style or han kengai  bonsai extends just at, or beneath the lip of the bonsai pot.The apex of a (full) cascade style falls below the base of the pot.

Cascade style conife

A number of styles describe the trunk shape and bark finish.

Shari or sharimiki style involves portraying a tree in its struggle to live while a significant part of its trunk is bare of bark.

Slant-style conifer

Root-over-rock or sekijoju is a style in which the roots of the tree are wrapped around a rock, entering the soil at the base of the rock.
Growing-in-a-rock or ishizuke or ishitsuki  style means the roots of the tree are growing in soil available in the cracks and holes of a rock.While the majority of bonsai specimens feature a single tree, there are well-established style categories for specimens with multiple trunks.
Forest (or group) or yose ue style is planting of several or many trees of one species, typically an odd number, in a bonsai pot.
Multi-trunk styles like sokan and sankan have all the trunks growing out of one spot with one root system, so the bonsai is actually a single tree.
Raft-style or ikadabuki  bonsai mimics a natural phenomenon that occurs when a tree topples onto its side, from erosion or another natural force. Branches along the top side of the trunk continue to grow as a group of new trunks.

Other styles

A few styles do not fit into the preceding categories. These include:
Literati or bunjin-gi style is characterized by a generally bare trunk line, with branches reduced to a minimum, and foliage placed toward the top of a long, often contorted trunk.
Broom or hokidachi  style is used for trees with fine branching, like elms. Its trunk is straight and branches out in all directions about ⅓ rd of the entire height of the tree. The branches and leaves form a ball-shaped crown.
Windswept or fukinagashi  style describes a tree that appears to be affected by strong winds blowing continuously from one direction

Size classifications

Japanese bonsai exhibitions and catalogs frequently refer to the size of individual bonsai specimens by assigning them to size classes. Not all sources agree on the exact sizes or names for these size ranges, but the concept of the ranges is well-established and useful to both the cultivation and the aesthetic understanding of the trees. A bonsai’s size class implies the height and weight of the tree in its container.

In the very largest size ranges, a recognized Japanese practice is to name the trees “two-handed”, “four-handed”, and so on, based on the number of men required to move the tree and pot. These trees will have dozens of branches and can closely simulate a full-size tree. The very largest size, called “imperial”, is named after the enormous potted trees of Japan’s Imperial Palace.

Common names for bonsai size classes

Large-Size Bonsai
Common name Size class Tree Height
Chiu Two-handed 41–91 cm (16–36 in)
Chumono Two-handed 41–91 cm (16–36 in)<in)
Imperial bonsai Eight-handed 152–203 cm (60–80 in)
Hachi-uye Six-handed 102–152 cm (40–60 in)
Dai Four-handed 76–122 cm (30–48 in)
Omono Four-handed 76–122 cm (30–48 in)
Medium-size bonsai
Common name Size class Tree Height
Katade-mochi One-handed 25–46 cm (10–18 in)
Miniature bonsai
Common name Size class Tree Height
Komono One-handed 15–25 cm (6–10
Shohin One-handed 13–20 cm (5–8 in)
Mame Palm size 5–15 cm (2–6 in)
Shito Fingertip size 5–10 cm (2–4 in)
Keshitsubo Poppy-seed size 3–8 cm (1–3 in)

Charming the landscape

Including an artificial or a real bonsai tree in your landscape brings charms and is sure to upscale the atmosphere of the place. The amazing decorative faux bonsai trees cast a magical appearance to your indoor and outdoor landscapes. When you decorate your interior and exterior landscape with the bonsai trees, your VIP guests have a feeling of well-being in their mind, and this is congenial to business growth as well as a healthy life. Bonsai come in every detail like trunk, branches, leaves and fruits and give you the most pleasant impression. These can be installed at places like balconies, terraces or can be kept near the windows of your meeting room and also at the reception desk for creating a lush green environment. The bonsai trees have the immense scope of decorating. You can use those in office buildings, entertainment parks, hospitals, restaurants, shopping malls and in many other places for creating a visual lift.

Faux(fake) bonsai is not faux pass.Decorating your landscape with the artificial bonsai trees also good. The following lines will tell you why.

These mimic the natural bonsai trees in every respect and as these come in different varieties,bonsai is a cool decorating option.
Fills the voids with refreshing green lustre,creating a relaxed and chilling environment.
These are very easy to handle and extremely portable. So, you can easily change decoration as and when you like.
Being made of sturdy polyurethane material, the artificial bonsai trees remain unaffected in changed weather conditions and do not fade or get discolored.
These do not require sunlight, and therefore you can easily decorate the darkest corner with faux bonsai trees.
The natural bonsai trees need regular care and attention to keep them fresh, but these require no watering, no maintenance, no pruning and thus you do not have to wreck your brains.
The faux bonsai trees are fire resistant and hence absolutely safe.
Can be customized to your specific requirement.
Economically better option

Bonsai Myths Busted!

There are many bonsai myths connected with growing bonsai trees.

Many have long been proven wrong, but continues to appear in bonsai literature.Some of the more common ones are listed below.

Myth : “Bonsai are Only Made from
Real Trees
… not Shrubs or Bushes”

‘Pixie’ Bougainvillea bonsai shown above was grown from a ‘bush’ and is over 35 years old.

Reality : A Bonsai Tree can easily be grown from a bush,all you need is a little care and affection.

Myth : “Bonsai are House Plants”

Reality : This is also one of the very oldest bonsai myths.  Today, reputable sellers are much more explicit as to where trees should grow.

Bonsai Garden

Bonsai are best grown outdoors,we can’t deny that. In most climates, these small trees are treated the same as any other potted plants. In winter, the tropical plants are brought indoors or placed in greenhouses.Others are placed in pits and garages to be protected from bitter winters.

Myth : “A Plant Must be Imported
to be a True Bonsai”

Reality : Many exotic bonsai trees are imported, however, many more are grown using plants common to the area of the artist.
As the popularity of a bonsai spreads throughout the world, new bonsai plant species are constantly being discovered.

This is one of the bonsai myths that is rapidly disappearing.While junipers and pines are common bonsai in temperate climates, fig trees (Ficus) are popular in tropical areas.Native trees around the world are becoming very popular with bonsai growers.

Myth : “A Tree Stops Growing Once it
Becomes a Bonsai”

Reality : Hopefully not! A Good bonsai plant needs to shed and grow new leaves or needles, bloom and drop flowers, extend its branches and develop  roots.
As it matures, a bonsai may slow down and may need a less trimming, but it will continue to grow.

Myth : “Bonsai Wire Keeps the Tree
from Growing”


Reality : The purpose of wire is to bend and shape the branch or trunk of the bonsai.  It is not permanent. Wire is removed when the job is done.
Some bonsai enthusiasts use copper wire.Others use copper-colored aluminum.There is no magic in the type of wire used. Whatever does the best job for you, is the one to use.

Myth : “Pruning Roots will Kill the Tree”

Reality : Just the opposite!  Trimming roots keeps the bonsai plant healthy in a container.

Cutting roots (even the tap root) will not kill a tree if it is done judiciously and at the appropriate time of year. The “perfect” time of year to prune roots varies from species to species.

Myth : “You Can Make Tiny Grapefruit
on a Bonsai Tree”


Jaboticaba fruit

Reality : No way!There are bonsai techniques to reduce the size of leaves.
There are fruit trees with small fruits, such as Jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora)

Fortunella hindsii bonsai

Some people may swear they have seen miniature orange bonsai trees.  Calamondin and varieties of kumquat both look similar to tiny oranges. One of them is most likely what they saw.

Rather than grapefruit, try one of the small fruited plants as bonsai.

 Myth : “Always Use Humidity Trays Indoors”

Reality : Is this another myth?  Yes and no. A tray with water in it is not necessary.  The amount of humidity it puts in the air will make no difference.
There is a theory as to why humidity trays do work, and it has nothing to do with humidity.Someone with a humidity tray tends to water his plants indoors without concern for those in the trays.  Their trees are frequently watered and thus cared for in a better manner(while indoors) than trees placed on furniture, shelves and/or window sills.Without the tray, many people tend to go through lot of trouble in moving trees to watering locations (sinks and tubs) … drying them … and then returning them to their assigned growing area.

More and more often, the humidity tray is referred to as a “drip tray”.  The truth is they do not create enough humidity  to make a difference.  It’s all about the ‘drip!’

Bonsai Terms

Having a working familiarity with bonsai terminology will enable you to effectively express all facets of your bonsai activities to others, both more and less skilled than yourself, in the bonsai community.

The following list of words and definitions will help you on your way to becoming fluent in the unique language of bonsai:

1. Accent Plant – a small plant that is put on view in conjunction with a bonsai, usually when a bonsai is being formally displayed at a show or exhibition; also called a companion plant.
2. Air Layer – a method for propagating trees through the removal of a large branch or section of trunk from an existing tree, or bonsai, to create a new tree.
3. Akadama – a traditional Japanese bonsai soil that is comprised of the red volcanic matter of Japan; used for thousands of years by bonsai artists on most types of deciduous bonsai trees.
4. Apex – the very top or highest point of a bonsai tree.
5. Back budding – a process of encouraging new growth on a branch where growth is currently non-existent.
6. Broadleaved – trees, mainly deciduous, with broad, flat leaves; non-conifer trees.
7. Bunjin – a traditional Japanese bonsai style; also called literati. This is a tree that has a tall, slender trunk with foliage growing only near the top.
8. Buttress – the area of a tree trunk where the roots meet the soil surface.This area is usually styled to convey strength of the bonsai tree.
9. Callus – the scar tissue that forms over a wound where a branch has been pruned off, of a tree.It is part of the tree’s healing process.
10. Cambium – the thin layer of green colored cell tissue growing between the bark and the wood of a living tree.
11. Canopy – all of the upper-most branches that form the top of a tree.
12. Chokkan – a traditional Japanese bonsai style, also known as formal upright. This is a tree that has a very straight trunk with symmetrical branching; illustrating strength and order.
13. Collected tree – finding and taking a tree from its natural habitat; a tree that has been shaped by the forces of nature alone.
14. Conifer – a tree that bears cones; mainly evergreen trees such as: pines, cedars, spruces and junipers.
15. Cross – a hybrid resulting from cross-fertilization between species or varieties.
16. Crown – the upper section of a bonsai where the branches spread out from the trunk.
17. Cultivars – cultivars are plants that have features desirable to the person “cultivating” them. These desirable characteristics have been deliberately selected and can be reliably reproduced in plants under controlled cultivation.

18. Cut-leaved – a bonsai that has leaves which are shaped in very distinct segments.
19. Deciduous – a tree that has a seasonal growth cycle where new foliage is produced in the spring, then grows throughout the summer, turns colors in autumn, and drops in the winter, leaving buds on the branches for next spring’s new foliage.
20. Defoliation – the practice of removing all leaves to encourage new shoots and potentially smaller leaves.
21. Dieback – the death of the tips of branches, or whole branches, due to extreme weather or possibly one of several diseases.
22. Divided leaf – a leaf formed of separate sections that emerge from a common base.
23. Division – a method of propagating shrubs by carefully dividing the root ball and replanting the separated sections.
24. Dormant – the period of the year when little or no growth occurs; usually late autumn and throughout the winter months.
25. Dwarf – a variety or cultivar that is smaller than the species tree, but retains all of the characteristics of a full size species tree.
26. Evergreen – a tree or shrub that retains its leaves throughout the year.
27. Fertilizer – is “food” for trees, shrubs and plants; usually comprised of NPK: Nitrogen for the foliage, Phosphorous for the roots, and Potassium for the flowers.
28. Foliage pad – a mass of foliage on a branch; sometimes referred to as a cloud.
29. Fruit – the part of a plant that carries the seeds; usually berries or fleshy or pod like.
30. Fukinagashi – a traditional Japanese bonsai style; also called windswept. This is a tree that has its trunk and branches swept back in one direction; illustrating a tree exposed to very forceful winds.
31. Genus – a unit of classification for a group of closely related plants.
32. Germination – the moment a seed starts into growth, developing roots and shoots.
33. Girth – the circumference of the trunk of a tree, measured at just above the root base.
34. Grafting – is a commonly used method for propagating trees, when propagation by seeds or cuttings is impractical or impossible.
35. Han-Kengai – a traditional Japanese bonsai style; also called semi-cascade. Where the branches and trunk of a tree are swept down to one side, but not below the top lip of the container; illustrating a tree subject to violent winds and weather.
36. Hardy – a term used to describe trees capable a withstanding winter frost.
37. Hokidachi – a traditional Japanese bonsai style; also called broom. Where the trunk is straight with symmetrical branches and has its foliage arranged in a semi-circular dome or broom shape.
38. Humidity – the amount or degree of moisture in the air.
39. Internodal distance – the length of stem between two nodes or leaf joints.
40. Ikadabuki – a traditional Japanese bonsai style; also called raft. Where the tree is laid on its side and its branches are trained vertically and arranged in a group formation.
41. Ishitsuki – a traditional Japanese bonsai style; also called root over rock. Where the tree has its roots arranged so they have grown over and in the crevices of a rock.
42. Jin – is a branch, which has been stripped of its bark and cambium to represent a dead branch; illustrating great age or harsh conditions.
43. Juvenile foliage – the young leaves of a tree that produces two distinct shapes of leaves; the second type being mature foliage.
44. Kabudachi – a traditional Japanese bonsai style; also called clump. Where the trees’ trunks all grow from the same point on the root mass and are more crowded in appearance than a regular group planting.
45. Kengai – a traditional Japanese bonsai style; also called cascade. Where the branches and trunk of the tree are swept to one side and hang below the container; illustrating a tree on the edge of a mountain cliff subjected to fierce winds.
46. Leader – the main shoot at the top of a tree, usually indicating the uppermost continuation of the trunk.
47. Lime Sulpher – a chemical used to whiten or bleach a section of stripped branch or trunk in order to preserve a jin or shari.
48. Loam – a soil mixture comprised of clay, sand and organic matter.
49. Mame – a term used in size classification of bonsai trees; this being a small bonsai.
50. Moyogi – a traditional Japanese bonsai style; also called informal upright. Where the trunk curves through its taper up to the apex.
51. Nebari – the exposed surface roots of a bonsai.
52. Needle – a type of leaf that is narrow and usually of a stiff texture, like those found on a black pine tree.
53. New wood – a stem or twig on a bonsai that originated during the current season’s growth.
54. Nitrogen – an essential element of plant nutrition; identified by the chemical symbol N; aids in growth of stems and leaves.
55. Node – the point on a trunk or branch where the leaf buds emerge.
56. Old wood – a stem or twig on a bonsai that originated during the previous season’s growth or at an earlier time.
57. Peat – partly decomposed organic matter; when it is used as an ingredient of potting soil it assists in moisture retention.
58. Perlite – a form of volcanic rock that is heat treated to develop a lightweight, coarse granule that when used as a component of potting soil has advantageous ventilation and water retention properties.
59. Phosphorous – another essential element of plant nutrition; identified by the chemical symbol P; aids in development of roots, ripening of fruits and seeds.
60. Pinching – is a technique used in bonsai cultivation of controlling and shaping the growth of foliage by pulling off soft new shoots with the finger and thumb in a pinching motion.
61. Potassium – the third essential element of plant nutrition; identified by the chemical symbol K; it encourages strong new growth, development of flower buds and fruit formation.
62. Pot-bound – the adverse state of a container grown plant where the root growth has filled the container to the extent of eliminating all vital air spaces.
63. Prostrate – the characteristic growth habit of a plant that naturally tends to grow along the ground instead of upright.
64. Pruning – the process of controlling the shape and growth rate of a tree by cutting back the shoots, stems and branches.
65. Raceme – a type of elongated flower that is composed of individual stalks all growing from a central stem; ex. Flower type found on wisteria trees.
66. Ramification – the dense branching structure of a bonsai that only develops after years of repeated pruning of the branches.
67. Repotting – the practice of replanting a bonsai tree at regular intervals to perform health maintaining tasks such as: root washing, inspecting, pruning, soil refreshing, and potting in a different or larger pot; all imperative to the health of a bonsai.
68. Rootball – the large mass of roots and soil visible when a tree is taken out of its pot or pulled from the ground.
69. Root pruning – the practice of cutting back the roots of bonsai in order to make room in the container for fresh soil and to encourage new root growth.
70. Rootstock – is the root system and main stem to be used as the base of a new tree when propagating through grafting.
71. Scion – is a small section of a tree, which contains all of the desirable characteristics of the parent tree that will be propagated into a new tree through grafting on top of the rootstock.
72. Shakan – a traditional Japanese bonsai style; also called slanting. Where the trees’ trunk, appears similar to the formal upright style, but the trunk is slanting to one side.
73. Shari – an area where the bark and cambium have been removed from the trunk to suggest the struggle against fierce weather such as: wind, lightning, snow and ice.
74. Species – the unit of classification for a plant with identifiable characteristics.
75. Suiseki – stones that appear to look like large boulders or mountains and represent the spirit or essence of each; sometime used in a formal bonsai display.
76. Taproot – the large root of a tree that grows vertically downward, anchoring it into the ground; it is usually referred to in bonsai, because of its need to be pruned shorter or removed for container cultivation.
77. Tokonoma – a Japanese tradition of creating a specific area in the home where bonsai, accessory plants, Suiseki, and scrolls are displayed together in harmony.
78. Wound sealant – a number of compounds formulated to seal cuts made on branches or the trunk of bonsai to prevent the loss of moisture and promote heeling.
79. Yamadori – trees collected from the wild, which have been shaped by nature alone and have been collected to be developed into bonsai.
80. Yose-ue – a traditional Japanese bonsai style; also called a group or forest. Where the trees are arranged in a container to resemble a group or forest of trees.
What Is The Connection Between Bonsai And Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is all about fostering harmony and balance. In a similar manner, Bonsai trees are trained to grow in shapes that represent natural balance. The trees can be grown in many styles, including cascading, upright, group and forest styles. Each of these styles brings a certain harmony to the tree.

Feng Shui supports the growing of plants in homes. When placed in an office setting, the trees are believed to bring luck. This is especially true of plants placed in the room’s east, south-east or south corners. Bonsai trees can also be used to soften sharp lines and promote air flow through dead spaces.

Bonsai trees also bring the important element of wood into the home in a natural way. According to Feng Shui, wood is one of the five elements of life. As such, wood influences the flow of qi and is believed to have healing properties.

Symbol depicting the 5 Elements

Plants, including Bonsai trees, can be a good indicator of the type of energy present in a certain environment. Plants are far more sensitive than humans when it comes to environmental energy. If your Bonsai tree dies, replace it with another tree in the same space. The death of a bonsai tree usually indicates negative energy in the area.

When the principles of Feng Shui are applied to Bonsai, a balanced natural landscape is evolved which can bring balance to the surrounding environment. Bonsai trees are a practical way to bring both nature and the positive energy associated with Feng Shui into the home.
Where can I display a Bonsai in my Home ?

The best placement of any feng shui cure is defined by its feng shui element and the correspondence with a specific bagua area. A bonsai tree obviously belongs to the feng shui element of Wood, so place it in a bagua area that is either defined by Wood (East and Southeast), or nourished by Wood (South).
Can I have a Bonsai Tree in my Office ?

Yes, you can certainly have a bonsai in your office, if the look and feel of a bonsai speaks to you. Be mindful of the fact that there are better choices for feng shui plants for the office.So be sure you make the right choices to support your well-being and success at work.

As you can see, it is up to you, to honestly evaluate your own feelings about having a bonsai tree in your home. It might be an excellent feng shui choice for you if you love it and take good care of it.

It might speak to you of patience, order, the need to control, etc.There may be other associations that come to mind, too. Confinement, limited growth and root pruning are all used to create bonsai trees. Bonsai trees  are just another reminder of humans’ interference and control of the natural world.
So, is a bonsai tree good feng shui or bad feng-shui?

If you love it and take good care of it, as well as place it in an appropriate feng shui bagua area, you can be assured that your bonsai tree is good for you. That is, as long as you truly love it

Bonsai’s Link With Meditation

Keeping a part of nature with you is good for your health as after all it does provide you with oxygen and water (humidity).In ancient times Buddhist monks used to carry their bonsai with them to meditate and get positive vibes from their plant and it helped them meditate.Pronounced as bone-sigh, the Japanese translation of bonsai is “tree in tray.“ Grown in a container, separated from the earth, bonsai is a separate entity, complete in itself, yet part of our nature. Thus the expression, “heaven and earth in one container” is often used, to refer a bonsai tree. Positioned off-center, the bonsai’s asymmetry is vital to its visual effects, but such placement is due to the symbolism of the center point where heaven and earth meet. The triangular pattern provides visual balance, and is an expression of the relationship between the universe, the artist, and the tree.

Bonsai is not an effort to duplicate nature in miniature, but rather an effort to convey its essence and spirit. An outstanding bonsai is one that looks like a marvelous accident of nature. Tuning into the rhythm of nature and understanding the inter-relatedness of all things are key components of philosophy and art called bonsai.

Types of Bonsai Trees


Fig Tree

Japanese Maple Bonsai

Trident Maple Bonsai

Dwarf Pomegranate

Zalkova Bonsai

Hornbeam and Beach

Western Bonsai

Magnolia Stellta Bonsai

Oak Bonsai

Hackberry Bonsai

Privte Bonsai

Boxwood Bonsai

Snowrose Bonsai

Olive Bonsai

Jade Bonsai

Fuchsia Bonsai

Fukien Tea Bonsai

Bird Plum Bonsai

Money Tree Bonsai

Spruce Bonsai

Larch Bonsai

Cedar Bonsai

Benefits of Bonsai Tree

Bonsai tree keeps the environment and atmosphere positive and acts as a stress reliever .
Bonsai tree constantly needs watering and caring which teaches a person patience and calmness .
Bonsai trees clean the air around you .
Bonsai can help you get over your cold and other allergies along with many lung problems .

Health Benefits of Bonsai Tree

1) Bonsai relieves stress.
In a bonsai’s presence,your breathing becomes relaxed and life seems slower.

2) Bonsai can exercise your brain.

Like your muscles, your brain needs exercise as well.  Not in a stressful way but more in a playful way. Depending on what level you want to be,your bonsai will stimulate your creativity, awareness, memory, and learning.

Creativity – Bonsai is an art.  When starting a new  bonsai, there can be many possibilities.  This will require you to creatively think of what to do with the material you have, to maximize the tree’s future aesthetics and health.
Awareness – Sometimes bonsai people also call this “sensitivity”.   Bonsai is an art involving a live material.  The artist must be aware of the tree’s requirements for health and longevity. A bonsai Tree will require the basic water, fertilizer, lighting, and ventilation pruning requirements have to be fulfilled, branches, leaf, and roots.  Awareness of the season and the corresponding tree responses and growth.  Awareness is more than the brain working, it’s almost like becoming the tree and feeling the seasons .If  this is all new to you, don’t stress out.


Memory – Your memory is like your soul.

The body is just a walking shell.  When  did you last water, fertilize, root prune, etc. your trees.You have to remember everything,in minute detail.  Not to mention, remembering the names of your trees (common name and latin names).  That should be enough to exercise your memory.

Learning – You’ve probably heard of it before, “when you stop learning, you stop growing”. In bonsai’s life span, there is so much to learn.It just depends how far you want to go with it.  Learning keeps your brain active.

4) Bonsai tree is an example of Persistence and Resilience.

You favorite bonsai trees are usually the old looking, gnarly, and yet healthy and beautiful ones.Bonsai is an art that portrays victorious survival from harsh elements  and conditions and  when  the storm is over, the tree is even more beautiful.  The tree shows persistence and resilience. Wouldn’t it be great to learn from this this example?  What makes our life more beautiful it’s not just the outward look of our successes (money,  house, cars, other material things).  It is knowing that you’re a better person because of your hard work and struggles. If  you’ve struggled or struggling with health issues, be like a bonsai, persist and be resilient, your battle scars will add to your beauty.

5) Bonsai is about expectations in the future.

While creating a bonsai you have to think about the future.  You have to visualizea positive outcome from the tree.What do athletes do ?They visualize the outcome of their game in a positive way. Bonsai is no different.  Visualizing a positive outcome is a big part of growing a bonsai.  For your health, you must do the same.

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