Growing bonsai is about more than growing miniature versions of mature trees. Bonsai is an art form, a composition of shape, color, and presentation. It’s all about starting with a tree with good bonsai potential and training it to achieve artful balance and form.
Growing, Training and Displaying Bonsai Trees
Bonsai can be started from seeds but may take many years to become good bonsai trees. It’s easier and faster to start a collection by purchasing a starter bonsai tree from a reputable vendor. If this is your first attempt at bonsai you may want to start with an inexpensive juniper or ficus bonsai which are relatively easy to care for while learning how to prune and train bonsai.
Choosing a Bonsai Tree
Many factors determine the best bonsai tree for your growing environment. Will you be growing indoors or outdoors? In a cold-frame, greenhouse, or unheated porch or sunroom? If growing outdoors, what trees are indigenous to your area? If you can provide or mimic the natural seasonal changes of the tree variety you choose your chances of success will be much greater. If you are planning on growing indoors you are more likely to succeed with a tropical plant such as a ficus or umbrella bonsai tree, especially if your indoor temperature remains relatively static and you cannot provide a night time drop in temperature.
If you have an unheated porch or sunroom your options are greater, and if you plan to grow outdoors you can choose any tree native to your area as long as you provide some protection in the winter since container plants are more susceptible to freezing temperatures.
The first step in choosing a tree is to research the kinds of trees that grow in the type of environment you will provide, taking care to note any special requirements such as winter protection. Once you have a list of appropriate trees you’ll want to decide whether you want a flowering bonsai, an evergreen, or a deciduous tree (one that sheds its leaves and goes dormant for part of the year.) Bear in mind during your research that bons You can read more about bonsai trees, their care and culture, with this handy bonsai care guide.
You can read more about bonsai trees, their care and culture, with this handy bonsai care guide.