by Emma Snow
The term bonsai literally means 'a plant in a tray', however, the
generally accepted meaning is a tree in a pot. To "bonsai" a plant
is to keep the plant from growing in its natural form, therefore
controlling its growth to suit the owner.
Almost any type of plant can be made into a bonsai. A Japanese
Juniper is traditional tree commonly used for bonsai, and makes
a great plant for the beginner. Chinese elms are also a good starting
plant for anyone interested in bonsai. If there are any large roots
that might prevent the plant from fitting on the bonsai tray, use
clippers to remove them. By clipping the roots back and wiring the
limbs, and keeping it in containers helps to keep the Bonsai small.
A tree becomes a bonsai by applying a variety of horticultural techniques
to miniaturize the plant.
A well-grown bonsai plant will miniaturize in all its parts and
eventually have the appearance of a mature tree. The goal of bonsai
is to create a plant, small in size, that would suggest a larger
natural scene. In other words without a size reference you would
have no idea that the tree is a miniature.
The pot should be in scale with the tree. Trim your bonsai gently,
removing sick or dying limbs. There are no universal rules about
how much to prune a bonsai; the techniques vary according to the
species. Researching how a traditional full grown tree responds
to pruning will provide insight into how a specific bonsai specicies
should be pruned.
In young, vigorous bonsai, shaping the branches with copper or
aluminum wire is an extremely important part of the training process.
Wire's should not be too tight or remain on the tree too long or
scarring will occur. Using good soil is essential. Healthy soil
will help plants recover from the trauma of pruning.
Growing bonsai takes dedication and patience but the result is
well worth the investment. A Bonsai will live can live for hundreds
of years and can have incredible beauty and value.
About the Author
Emma Snow works in marketing at Bonsai Garden http://www.bonsai-garden.com
and Pilates Shop http://www.pilates-shop.net
leading portals for bonsai gardening and natural exercise.