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Bonsai Garden

A Beginner's Guide To Caring For A Bonsai Tree

by Vincent DeLuca

Bonsai is the specialized Japanese art of planting, shaping, and growing trees in a confined and controlled space. Bonsai trees are beautifully styled miniature trees that are fully grown and cultivated in small flower pots.

Although a bonsai tree matures and grows like any other tree, the care taken in styling, pruning, and cultivating a bonsai allows the bonsai tree to grow to a desired height usually less than three feet tall. If you are new to bonsai, this guide will give you a general overview of some of the aspects you need to be aware of when caring for a bonsai tree.

Caring for a bonsai tree requires more attention than the typical indoor or outdoor plant. For starters, most bonsai trees need a mixture of indoor and outdoor weather. Because a bonsai tree is a tree, it cannot survive long term if kept solely inside the house. At the same token, because most species of bonsai trees will die in continued direct sunlight, they can't be permanently left outside in an open area.

The key to proper placement of your bonsai is to try and recreate or mimic the natural environment of how your specie grows in nature. Does a natural fig tree require only partial sunlight with plenty of shade? If so, your bonsai fig is going to need to be positioned in a similar style of environment. Don't worry. There are plenty of resources on each species of bonsai tree that will give you advice on positioning your bonsai.

Next to proper placement, the most important part of caring for your bonsai tree is regularly watering your bonsai. This cannot be stressed enough. Water is the lifeline of a plant. Without proper watering, your bonsai will die. Some species of bonsai may require more water than others. Find out how much water your particular bonsai tree will need.

Outside of placement and watering, the last main source of care for your bonsai tree deals with maintenance. Bonsai tree maintenance consists of styling, pruning, and shaping your tree. Maintenance is the hardest and most rewarding part of caring for a bonsai. With every snip of your shears, you are shaping the way that you bonsai tree is going to grow and be displayed when it reaches maturity. Bonsai maintenance is an ongoing task for the life of your bonsai.

Proper placement, watering, and maintenance of your bonsai tree are the three most critical areas of caring for your bonsai. However, watching your bonsai tree grow and blossom into a stunning fully matured bonsai is well worth every minute spent in carrying out these tasks.

About the Author
Vincent DeLuca is author of Healing Health from Home and owner of Heavenly Orchards, an "herbal eatery and spice for life" store. Vincent is also an avid gardener and horticulturist. To learn more about caring for bonsai trees or to inquire about purchasing a bonsai, go to