What is Bonsai?


Ultimately, growing bonsai involves creating and growing miniaturized trees that are a realistic representation of nature. Unlike what many might believe, bonsai aren’t genetically dwarfed trees. As such, you can use any tree species to grow your bonsai.

The art form has existed for thousands of years while sticking to the same goals and ideals. This is our passion.

Bonsai, frequently misspelled as bon-sai or banzai, is a Japanese word when  translated, means “planted in a container.” This horticultural art form stems from early Chinese horticultural traditions. Bonsai has redeveloped traditional Chinese horticulture and blended it with Japanese Zen Buddhism.

Bonsai Art

At the core of the small creations that are bonsai is art. For instance, branches are removed while the tops of the plants are trimmed. Trunks and branches are temporarily wired, giving rise to new shapes. As with most art forms, there are rules/guidelines to follow.

The Basics​

Aside from shaping and designing, you also have to maintain the bonsai. Ultimately, you want the plant to be small and appear old while staying alive. And since they are grown in small vessels, taking care of bonsai can be challenging.

Where Did Bonsai Get Started?

China is known for being the origin of bonsai trees’ art, where they are known as Penjing. The Chinese tend to use rocks and figurines while constructing their composition. In Japan, bonsai is considered a mature art form by many Chinese. Crucially, it has gained global acclaim as a pastime.
In Asia, there are bonsai for hundreds of years and are maintained for generations as family heirlooms. And today, there are many more recent and spectacular bonsai tree species being given care.

Bonsai Size Classifications

The main goal when creating bonsai is to produce a realistic depiction of nature. When bonsai trees get smaller, they increasingly become abstract rather than resembling nature precisely.
There are several classifications of bonsai among the masses. While the exact size classification is still disputed, they always help us understand bonsai’s botanical aspects and aesthetics. The original category considered the number of men it took to lift a tree.

Bonsai as Horticulture

Aside from shaping and designing, you also have to maintain the bonsai. Ultimately, you want the plant to be small and appear old while staying alive. And since they are grown in small vessels, taking care of bonsai can be challenging.

Bonsai Bougainvillea

One of the most popular bonsai is the Bougainvillea. Its care is basic: lots of sunlight and not too much water.

Between waterings, allow the top of the soil to become dry to the touch. Especially during the first stages of bonsai training, you could have problems if you water it as much as many other bonsai. 

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Bougainvillea flowers. Pink flowering plants

Learning Bonsai


Bonsai involves the use of numerous miniaturization techniques that include:
– Pruning and wiring brunches,
– Pinching buds, and
– Careful restriction of fertilizer (without negatively impacting health and growth).

Typically, a bonsai tree’s height is restricted to under 4 feet (approximately a meter). It is not to mean that bonsai are genetically dwarfed trees. However, plants with smaller leaves make the composition of dwarf plants a tad easier to design.

Any plant can be used to create a bonsai as long it meets the criteria:
– It must have a woody trunk or stem,
– Grow actual branches,
– It can be successfully grown in a container that restricts its roots/food storage capacity and capability, and
– Has reducible or smaller leaves.

Look at the trees, hedges, bushes, and thickets around you, whether at your local park, in your yard, planted in nurseries, or thriving wild. They are all starter materials. When carefully selecting and collecting the plant during appropriate dormant or growing seasons, you can start your composition easily. For native plants, you can grow outdoors. When you choose plants that thrive in tropical climates, you will have to give your bonsai some protection from the elements prevalent in temperate zones.

Penjing [chinese bonsai]

Penjing is an ancient Chinese tradition that dates back more than 1,000 years. Penjing uses plants, soil, water, and art to create potted gardens. It compresses all the beauty of the universe into small pots and expresses human emotion and artistic beauty. 

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