Where did bonsai come from? Now, before we go over some of the best indoor bonsai trees for beginners, let us briefly look at the history of Bonsai.
Relax, this history lesson won’t take long—I promise! Please just indulge me for a few seconds, okay guys?
Okay so, although bonsai trees are associated with Japan and Japanese culture, the Chinese were actually the first to miniaturize trees grown in containers. They did this in Penjing, around CE 200. The early focus of bonsai gardening was to shape the trunks to appear as animals or mystical figures.
The art of bonsai gardening spread to Japan in the Heian period. During later periods, the cultivation of artistic plants became a popular activity, especially amongst the wealthy. However, bonsai trees from this time would be considered rather large compared to modern ones.
The term that was used in these early days of bonsai gardening and bonsai tree care was “a tree in a pot”. The term “Bonsai” did not become popular until around the 19th century.
These days, indoor bonsai care is something that is enjoyed by many different people all around the world. There are also numerous different bonsai gardens around the world that display prime examples of bonsai trees.
All right, history lesson over! Now, I humbly present…
The Best Indoor Bonsai Trees for Beginners
Before you take a look at the types of bonsai plants which are well-known to be friendly for the newbies, I just thought I should warn you. There’s a humongous wall of text incoming!
You will find that in this post, I also throw in a whole bunch of tips and advice for folks who are new to this whole bonsai growing and upkeep business. I’m not providing bonsai for beginners step-by-step kind of guide. You are going to need a whole book for that, obviously.
Speaking of books though, you can find several excellent recommendations near the end of this post. Anyway, like I said, there’s a massive wall of text coming up and some folks don’t like that.
Some folks might want to straightaway access some sort of catalog listing the best indoor bonsai trees for beginners. Basically, they are not interested in reading too much this and that.
If you are one of those folks, then feel free to use the link below. It will direct you to a catalog that features a wide range of indoor bonsai trees that are real easy to care for. Beginners will love them for sure. Go ahead and check out the catalog via the link below.
Now, check out the #1 beginner indoor bonsai tree in this post.
Baby Jade Medium Bonsai Tree – Variegated (portulacaria afra variegata)
Baby Jade is a native plant from South Africa. You should water the plant when the soil is almost dry. You can place it near the window to provide enough lighting for the baby jade. It grows rapidly, and you can trim it according to the style you want. It bears star-shaped purple flowers that have pink borders.
Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai Tree Water/Land Container – Medium (arboricola schefflera ‘luseanne’)
Hawaiian umbrella tree is a good variety of bonsai for beginners. It is easy to cultivate and maintain as an indoor bonsai. It can survive in environments with low lights. You should never allow the plant to get dry and fertilizer should be given in springtime.
Also, you should check the plant regularly for possible insect infestation. Hawaiian umbrella tree blossoms during the late part of winter and early part of spring.
Ginseng Ficus Bonsai Tree – Medium (Ficus Retusa)
The ginseng ficus is a very common indoor bonsai, but should be kept near a window. Make sure the bonsai is not in direct sunlight because that can burn the leaves.
The ficus can be kept outdoors in the shade if you live in a warm climate where the winter nights are not freezing cold, but the ideal location is still indoors. Like all bonsai trees, the ficus should not be moved in and out too often because bonsai trees hate sudden changes in climate.
The ficus bonsai should be watered every other day and soaked for about 10 minutes once a week. To soak your ficus, set it in a bucket of water or kitchen sink so that it can absorb the water thoroughly.
The ginseng ficus is a pretty forgiving plant as far as under watering and over watering is concerned, but you should never let the soil dry out completely. Make sure to feel the soil every day to determine if the bonsai needs watering.
During the winter, the ficus will not need as much water so pay attention to the humidity of the soil to determine when to water.
The majority of bonsai trees do best with slow-release organic bonsai food, and the same applies to the ficus bonsai. The ginseng ficus can be fed all year round, but you only need to feed it from early spring to late fall when the most growth occurs.
You can simply use your fingers and pinch off the leaves as you see fit. Also, the ficus will grow stems that may vary in lengths. I recommend that you cut off the longer stems to make your ficus bonsai appear more organized. When you cut the longer shoots off, new growth will appear making the branch system fuller.
When wiring your ficus, make sure not to wire it too tightly since the ficus bonsai grows a bit faster than your traditional bonsai. If you wire too tightly, the wire will cut into the bark as the ficus grows. However, if you wire your ginseng ficus during the winter, you will find it easier to avoid damaging the tree since the ficus doesn’t grow that much during this period.
The ginseng ficus bonsai will need to be repotted every two to three years. The best time for repotting is during early spring. When repotting, make sure to cut back a third of the root system to prevent future root bounding.
All in all, this is a really good beginner indoor bonsai tree. I’m sure you will love its appearance and how easy it is to upkeep.
Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai Tree Banyan Style (arboricola schefflera)
If you can imagine a tree that covers an acre reduced to a bonsai sized ornamental tree for your patio, then you have a great imagination. The native Banyan, a Ficus fig tree that originates in India has a huge root system.
In Hawaii, one Umbrella Banyan is said to cover 2/3 acre with shade—and that’s not even the largest Banyan tree, which is found In India.
Banyan Bonsai Popularity
The Banyan Bonsai is very popular for bonsai lovers. It is classified as a Ficus fig tree, although the fig is not edible. The Banyan bonsai is typically an outdoor tree that requires moderate light. It grows in an amazing way, spreading through its roots and branches to form a very unusual tree.
In fact, when you look at the Banyan tree in its native habitat, you may be confused as the center trunk is not the only trunk to the tree. It can have many trunks; however they are all joined together in some fashion, either by the roots or by other parts of the tree.
Characteristics of the Banyan Bonsai
The Banyan bonsai is extremely popular because of its unusual shape. While you must bend and twist other trees to achieve an artistic shape, the banyan tree has its own unique design and style, with a layered appearance caused by the aerial growth of the roots. By controlling the root system, you can achieve a very interesting bonsai shape.
You must also keep in mind while controlling the shape of the plant that it is aggressive, and will quickly get out of hand as the tree reproduces itself through the root system. It is important to have a regular pruning of the banyan bonsai to keep it in good, healthy condition.
It is interesting to note that these trees can live to be over two hundred years old, so it is imperative that you properly care for the tree and keep the root system pruned.
Potting the Banyan Bonsia
Another important consideration is the pot size for your banyan bonsai. As stated earlier, the root system is very aggressive, often referred to as the “strangler fig” because it encompasses whatever it comes in contact with.
For example, you could put a rock in the container and the banyan roots would grow around the rock. In their native habitat they have been known to enclose buildings within the root system!
So, for growing your own banyan bonsai, keep the following points in mind:
- Start with a small tree
- Change the pot as the size increases (about every 2 years)
- Keep the roots trimmed, but don’t over-trim
- Don’t forget to moisturize the tree. Remember it is comfortable in very humid, hot climates in the wild…you must mimic that environment as closely as possible.
Oriental Ficus Coiled Bonsai Tree – Large (ficus benjamina ‘orientalis’)
The oriental ficus coiled bonsai is an exceptional choice for the Bonsai grower. This tree will respond very well to training, via both pruning and wiring. It is a member of the Fig family of trees.
The oriental ficus coiled bonsai features an exposed knotty root structure and very thick trunk. These are accompanied by small shinny leaves. These visual properties help to create an image of a very old rugged specimen. This tree is often potted with small boulders that help to amplify this aged visual look.
The oriental ficus coiled bonsai in indigenous to both south and Southeast Asia, making it a tropical rather than temperate plant. Typically grown as an indoors plant, this specimen grows best when exposed to temperatures that range from 60° to 85° F.
If you live in a non-tropical region of the world, your tree will require frequent misting to help compensate for the lack of humidity that the tree desires. If misting is not practical, then it is recommended that you use humidity trays. These are shallow trays that have either pebbles or small rocks along the bottom of the tray.
The bonsai tree is placed on top of these rocks. Water is then added to the rocks, until the water is just below the bottom of the bonsai pot. It is important that the water not be allowed to come into direct contact with the pot. This would cause the pot to leach the water into the soil of the pot. This could cause severe damage to your plant from root rot.
This specimen grows best when exposed to bright sunlight in either an eastern or northeastern window. However, when exposed to this direct sunlight, the soil can dry out quickly so frequent monitoring of the soil conditions is recommended.
It is also advised that you do not place this specimen near either electronic components that generate heat or near a stove or heater. Both of these groups of devices can deprive the plant of the moisture it needs to prosper.
During the first 10 years of the life of this tree, it should be re-potted on an annual or biannual time frame. After that time period, you can reduce the re-potting cycle to every 3-5 years. As with most other bonsai specimens, the Oriental Ficus Coiled Bonsai grows best in a well-drained loose soil.
The best time for pruning of this tree is in early summer or late spring. Pinching of unwanted leave production can be done several times a year. Removal of an entire branch can be extremely stressful on the tree.
If you elected to remove an entire branch, ensure that you make a neat clean cut. This will help the tree mend quicker with less scaring. The coiled portion of this tree’s name comes from the fact that the truck of the tree is often trained to grow in coiled formation.
If you elect to train your tree in this manner, remember not to force the tree into too tight of a coil. This could cause the trunk to break completely. Train your tree to bend in small increments and support the coils with wire as needed.
Ponytail Palm – Large (Beaucamea Recurvata)
A ponytail palm is not a tree, contrary to its name. It is actually a flowering plant that is native to the desert in Mexico, where it is called Beaucarnea recurvata. In America, the plant has several other names including a Bottle Palm because of its thin base and as Elephant Foot because of the shape and thickness of its base.
Ponytail palms grow in a planter just as a traditional houseplant does. It should be placed in bright light to little shade, and does not need to be watered as often as other plants. You can water your flora every seven to fourteen days. Watering a lot at one time is better for its growth than watering a little each day.
Just be sure not to over water and allow the pot to drain water as necessary. You can place the plant outside in the summer, but it must be moved indoors when the temperature begins to reach below the mid-fifties.
Because the large plants can break plastic pots, you may want to plant it in a ceramic pot. Ponytail palms grow very slowly, so do not overcompensate for this slow growth cycle by watering too much. That will actually kill the plant. It can actually grow to be around twenty feet high with proper care.
Although it looks like a palm tree, the ponytail palm is actually a member of the lily family. Acquiring one of these floras will make an interesting addition to any decor in your home.
Here are a few more types of bonsai plants that are ideal for beginners.
Key Lime Bonsai Tree (citrus aurantifolia)
Flowering Ligustrum Bonsai Tree Curved Trunk Style (ligustrum lucidum)
Flowering Brush Cherry – Tiered Branching Style (eugenia myrtifolia)
Not enough for you? Well then, please check out this catalog for a selection of the best indoor bonsai trees for beginners.
– What is a Bonsai?
A Bonsai is a miniaturized tree that is placed in a pot or a small container.
– Isn’t it cruel to keep a tree in a pot?
– Absolutely not! When correctly looked after a Bonsai can outlive its counterpart by many years.
– Where did Bonsai originate?
There is evidence dating back to 200BC that people in China were growing these marvelous little trees!
– What does Bonsai mean?
Literally translated it means ‘tree in a pot’
– What are the main Bonsai styles?
There are 5 main styles. Scroll a bit down to read about them.
– Can anyone take up Bonsai?
Yes! Once you understand the basics, you will be well on your way to growing Bonsai trees that will last for many years.
– Do I need a garden?
No—that is the great thing about this hobby, it can be done indoors or with very little garden space. Just buy a beginner indoor bonsai tree, some tools, and the right book for guidance. Scroll further down to find recommendations on the best bonsai books from newbies to experts.
– Do I need expensive tools?
No, but you will needs some tools. Beginners often opt for a bonsai starter tool kit as opposed to buying the tools individually. See Bonsai tools below.
Bonsai Tools + Basic Bonsai Seed Planting Guide
When growing a bonsai tree, you will need to get the proper supplies and tools in order to grow a beautiful bonsai tree.
When shopping for tools you will find Japanese bonsai tools and Chinese bonsai tools. I recommend you buy the Japanese because they are of better quality, but of course will be a bit more expensive.
They are long-lasting however—provided you take good care of them. My Japanese bonsai starter tool kit still works great and I purchased them over 5 years ago.
However if you are a beginner in bonsai tree gardening, then Chinese bonsai tools will do fine. As you become more skilled and serious about bonsai gardening, then you can purchase more expensive Japanese bonsai tools.
Here is a list of bonsai tools you will need:
– Concave Cutter
– Satsuki shears/long neck shears
– Small leaf trimmer
Of course these come in several sizes, but you will most likely need the smaller sizes since bonsai trees typically grow only 2-3 feet. If you are starting from scratch then you will need a couple of more tools:
– Bonsai container
– Soil Mix
– Bonsai Seeds
– Fine Gravel
– Digging tool
Planting bonsai seeds is very simple. Place your bonsai seeds in a tub of water and the ones that float should be thrown away, the remaining will be best to grow.
In the bottom of your bonsai container, you should have an earth mix. Above that layer, place a mix of fine gravel and potting soil that reaches up to about an inch below the containers rim.
Now simply place the bonsai seeds, 1 inch apart. And then the last layer will be the potting compost. And to finish, water the seedbed with a watering spray.
Using Bonsai Wire
Bonsai wire is another very common and necessary bonsai tool for any bonsai maintainer. Select between copper wire or aluminum wire and what size you will need. What’s the wire for?
Well, the branches of a Bonsai tree need to be hold in place so that you are able to shape them, and the wire will help you achieve that. The bonsai wire remains wrapped around the trunks and branches until the tree is able to maintain the desired shape, during which the bonsai wire is removed.
You can get bonsai wire from any supplier of bonsai tools and accessories. The types that they will have are plain silver aluminum, and a copper-colored anodized aluminum wire.
You can choose either bonsai wire. The advantage of a plain silver bonsai wire is it will be easier to see under developed branches, than the anodized one when you need to check your wiring later. On the other hand, the copper or brown color of the anodized wire will blend well with the tree branches so they would be more pleasing to the eye.
If you cannot obtain bonsai wire, you can substitute with any type of wire that is easily bendable and removable. Bonsai wire comes in different sizes from 1 mm to 7mm, usually weighing 100 to 150 grams and can be over 100 feet long.
Choosing the right size of bonsai wire can be tricky. Some find it easier to buy coils in different sizes but still, you do not want to waste money buying wires that you will not be able to use. In order to ascertain the size requirement of your bonsai wire, what you should do is find a wire that you can bend with the same effort as you would bending your tree’s trunk or branch.
If it is easier for you to bend the wire than the wood, then you would need a thicker bonsai wire. Alternatively, if you find that the wire you bought will not be strong enough to do job properly, then you can try double wrapping the wire by applying two wire pieces.
By having the right bonsai tools in your arsenal, you will be able to maintain your bonsai trees with more accuracy.
An Introduction to Basic Bonsai Styles
For the beginner bonsai artist, bonsai styles and forms serve as guides in classifying and understanding the factors that make bonsai trees artistic and appealing. By studying these styles and forms, you can learn how to create certain effects that are considered to be desirable in a bonsai tree.
Treat it as a road map if you will, as you improve your own techniques. But to become a bonsai master, you are expected to “break the rules” and create something truly unique.
Everyone has an idea of what looks aesthetically appealing and bonsai as an art form, goes back to your individual expression of what beauty and perfection in a bonsai is.
Before we proceed, we have to first differentiate between bonsai styles and bonsai forms. Form refers to the predominant feature or movement of the trunk. Style on the other hand, pertains to how the bonsai was trained and shaped to be.
When it comes to bonsai forms, there are 2 types. You have the classic or koten and the comic or bunjin. In the classic form, the base of the tree trunk is wide and narrows as you go up the tree. The opposite is true in the comic form. As you can imagine, the comic style is the harder one to achieve.
Most books that discuss bonsai styles and forms will tell you that there are 5 basic styles. These are the formal upright, the informal upright, slanting or windswept, cascade, and semi cascade.
When choosing what style to apply to your bonsai tree, many will consider the shape that the tree displays in nature. Very often this will give you an idea of what is possible and what will be very, very hard to achieve with your particular bonsai.
Here’s a brief description of what these 5 main styles look like:
- Formal upright – In this style, beauty is defined by perfection, balance, and symmetry. Bonsai trees trained in this style will demonstrate straight upright trunks that are wide at the bottom, and taper off evenly at the top.
Branches grow symmetrically and should be balanced from every angle that you look. This style represents how the tree will naturally grow in perfect conditions. Trees that are great for this strict style includes pines, spruces and junipers.
- Informal upright – This style seeks to mimic what a tree will look like when exposed to the elements. Although its trunk and branches may have bends, it still conveys a sense of balance and symmetry. Trees trained in this style will still feature the classic form where the base of the trunk is wide, tapering off at the apex.
You will also see twists and bends on the trunk and branches, but none of these are facing the viewer when the tree is viewed from the front. Despite the bends, the apex of the tree still ends up aligned with the base of the trunk. Trees that respond well to this style are maples and beech.
- Slanting or Windswept – This style hopes to recreate the appearance of a tree that is grown in a windy or shaded location. The trunk may be leaning straight or may have bends and twists similar to the informal upright style. The apex of the tree is never aligned to the base of the trunk.
You may also have trees where the trunk is upright or slanting towards one direction but has branches that grow towards the other direction, creating a very dramatic, windswept look. Many trees can be trained in this style.
- Cascade – In this style, you have a tree that seems to defy the forces of gravity. Trees trained in this style will have the tip of the trunk resting way below the base of the container.
- Semi Cascade – In this style, the image of a tree that grows out of cliffs or mountain ridges. Trees in this style have trunks that grow sideways, almost horizontally, with the apex at the same level or slightly above the container.
Bonsai Pot Selection Tips
Bonsai pots are small pots that are designed for the bonsai tree. When choosing a bonsai pot, there are several things you have to take into account including shape, size, materials, drainage holes, color, and depth. The pot is available in different shapes including round, oval, and rectangular.
Normally, people choose the shape of the bonsai pot that compliment with the shape of the tree. For example, for a round bonsai tree, you should select a round pot. If your bonsai tree has a rectangular shape, you should use a rectangular pot.
The root of the tree is long and can’t be fit into the pot. Due to this fact, gardeners have to plant it in a training pot first. There are many types of bonsai pots including Tokoname, glazed, unglazed, etc.
Tokoname bonsai pots are manufactured by the Tokoname company in Japan. It is the most famous and finest ceramic pottery in Japan. Tokoname pots were in production since the 1100 A.D.
It is durable and resistant against the cold weather. It is a high fired pot that is made with high quality material and good craftsmanship.
Glazed bonsai pots are pots that undergone the glazing process. Glazed pots are able to retain the water effectively so you don’t have to water frequently. It is suitable for trees that like soil with lots of moisture. It is often used to plant flowering tree.
Before buying it, make sure the inside is not glazed. If the inside is glazed, the plant will have problem in gripping to the surface inside the pot. It will improve the overall appearance of the tree.
With unglazed bonsai pots, the water can easily seep away. The air is able to circulate in the pot more effectively compared with glazed bonsai pots. It is suitable for evergreen trees.
Wooden containers and baskets are also used to grow bonsai plants. Varnished wooden containers are porous. If the wooden container is not treated, it can become porous. It is recommended that you put a saucer underneath the wooden pot so that the excess water can accumulate in it.
Korean mica pot is made from the mica mineral and polyethylene plastic. Eighty percent of the pot material is made from mica, while fifteen percent of the pot material is made from polyethylene plastic. Graphite accounts for 5% of the pot material. Mica pots are available in different shapes including rectangular, round, and oval.
The bonsai pot should contain sufficient drainage holes to allow the excess water to flow out. If the pot doesn’t have drainage holes, the soil will retain the excess water. When the water cannot be eliminated from the soil, the root will become rotten.
Once the root is rotten, the plant will die. The color and design of the pot should match with the bonsai tree which you plan to plant in it. Most of the bonsai pots are yellow or brown in color.
However, the pink bonsai pots are quite popular among gardeners. In addition, the bonsai pot should have the right depth. The height of the pot should be 1/3 of the bonsai tree plant.
Watering you Indoor Bonsai Tree
Watering is the most important part of indoor bonsai tree care, and where people are most likely to make mistakes. If you water too much, the roots can rot and kill the tree. If you water too little, the tree will wither up and die.
So when is the best time to water? How often should you water? How should you water your bonsai? Finding out the answers to these questions can mean the success or failure of your indoor bonsai tree.
When to Water Your Indoor Bonsai Tree
Watering should be done either in the early morning or evening. You do not want to water in the heat of the day. The reason for this is that if you water in the heat of the day, the soil can dry out before the water gets to the root of the tree.
How Often to Water Your Bonsai
This is a tricky issue and will take some trial and error to get right. You should not waste the time trying to come up with a sophisticated schedule on when to water.
Every type of tree is different, every individual tree is different, and every tree’s environment is different—so watering on a schedule, or watering when someone else tells you to simply won’t work.
The easiest way to test for whether your indoor bonsai tree needs water or not, is to press the pads of your fingers in the soil near the trunk of the tree. If the soil feels cool, damp, or spongy, the tree has enough water for now. If the soil feels warm, dry and grainy, then it’s time to water.
How to Water Your Indoor Bonsai Tree
To properly water your indoor bonsai tree, use a watering can, and slowly add water until water starts coming out through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Once water starts to come out of the holes, stop watering and discard the water that drained out.
You do not want to leave the pot in standing water as this can lead to root rot. Do not water again until the soil near the truck is dry and slightly gritty.
If you follow these watering guidelines, you can avoid many of the most common mistakes people make with their indoor bonsai trees and be well on your way to enjoying a hobby that can last a lifetime!
Bonsai Trimming Tips
There are many things that you have to do when taking care of a Bonsai tree. One of the most crucial is the art of pruning. This is the technique that is used to create the shape of the Bonsai and to help it to bring about new growth. This is a difficult technique and when done wrong could damage the tree.
You need to start off by trimming the Bonsai tree when it is inside of its one gallon container that it came in when you bought it. Make sure to remove enough branches and leaves so you can see the trunk. This will help to decide what angle you want to show it off.
Once this is done, you will need to transplant the tree into a special Bonsai container that you have. If the root ball is too large for it, then you need to soak the tree in water so that the soil can be removed from out of the roots. Then you will need to trim one third of the roots till it fits.
Add the necessary amount of soil and fertilizer and pack it around the tree. It may need a humidity tray to keep the soil from draining away when it is watered.
Due to their handy sharp edges, bypass pruners are the ideal tool to use. It is important to prune your bonsai often to give it the shape you think would be best for it. If you do not take care of it often the tree will not grow properly.
Help the branched to grow in different directions through the use of training wires. These can be attached carefully to the branches to pull them up or down.
Give the new growth a chance to expand the way they should and to fill out the look of your Bonsai tree. You don’t want to prune the new growth too often or too much because it will not grow properly.
Bonsai Diseases Protection and Prevention
To raise healthy and robust bonsai trees, we need to be observant of the changes that our trees undergo. If we spot unusual changes in the habits of our tree, these could be signs of bonsai diseases.
Identifying bonsai diseases will help us address the problem and control it before it spreads and affects the entire tree, and even other trees in our bonsai garden. When it comes to treating bonsai diseases, the most basic thing that we need to do is re-examine our regular care routine for our bonsai tree.
Most trees that suffer from bonsai diseases are often stressed trees that are not receiving the right kind of care that they need. Any of these things can leave a bonsai tree susceptible to diseases: insufficient sun, poor watering or over watering, poor soil condition or soil that is too compact or improper fertilizer application.
In many cases, giving the bonsai tree the proper can help the tree resist disease and recover quickly from attacks. One of the most common signs of a distressed tree is when it begins to lose its leaves out of season. You’ll see yellowing, dried, and falling leaves.
If left to persist, it can result to plant death. If you observe this in your bonsai tree, consider the following:
– Is your tree receiving sufficient water? Has it been left to dry completely?
– Is your tree receiving too much water? Root rot can cause the tree to drop leaves.
– If your tree is native to the tropics, has it been exposed to cold temperatures?
– Has your tree been exposed to poisonous substances such as a weed killer or toxic mulch?
– Has the pH level of the soil change and is this change unsuitable for the tree?
– Is the top foliage too thick, causing the inner areas to receive insufficient sunlight? This can cause the tree to lose leaves in the lower and inner portion of the tree. What’s worse is it can slow down new growth in those areas.
Bonsai trees may also be attacked by viral and fungal infection. There are several types of viruses and fungi that can infect bonsai trees, but they share common traits. Here are some things that you should look for:
– Distorted and discolored leaves
– Leaves that dieback, and slow growth of new leaves
Common viral and fungal infections that attack bonsai trees include mildew, black spots and rusts. When you detect a fungal or viral infection on your tree, your priority is to make sure it doesn’t spread. Here’s what you should do:
– remove affected leaves
– sterilize implements used in pruning and grooming the affected tree before you use them on other trees
– spray the healthy foliage with a fungicide
– check the location of the tree. Make sure it’s located in a well-ventilated area to prevent re-infection.
Growing a Miniature Tree from Bonsai Seeds
Growing a bonsai tree is a wonderful thing to do. It is a good recreational activity and will help you develop your creative as well as gardening skills. There are various ways on how you can start creating a bonsai tree and one of them is, of course, growing a bonsai tree from bonsai seeds.
Bonsai seeds can be bought from garden stores and online shops. You’ll find many different bonsai seeds available there. You just have to choose and inquire what bonsai seeds would suit you, especially if you are a beginner in bonsai cultivation.
As discussed in this post, there are tree species that are versatile and are not difficult to grow. Another thing you should remember is that you need to know from what tree species it belongs.
It is very important for you to identify from what species it belongs because this will guide you on what are its specific needs and requirements for proper growth and development.
Every tree species has its own characteristics and needs, and you need to be aware of them so that you will not fail in cultivating your seeds to become a marvelous bonsai tree.
You should take good care of your seeds so that they will be free from any damage. You should keep it fresh at all times so that they can germinate well when you planted them.
You can keep the seeds fresh by placing them inside plastic bag and keep them in a refrigerator with a temperature of 5 to 6 °C. You also have to put a name or label it so that you will not forget or miss the species of the seeds.
Once you are ready in planting the seeds, you can get it from the refrigerator and perform necessary things in planting.
Two Methods of Germination That Can Be Used In Bonsai Seeds
There are two methods of germination: natural germination and forced germination.
In natural germination, you will allow the seeds to germinate in the natural way. This method involves planting the seeds for bonsai in an appropriate type of soil during the autumn season.
You have to determine what type of soil is suitable for your seeds. After planting the seeds into the soil, scarification and stratification normally happens during the cold season. Then, you will expect that your bonsai seeds will sprout by the next spring.
Forced germination happens when you artificially accomplish the germination process. This means that you forced the bonsai seeds to germinate by applying artificial means or ways in order for the bonsai seeds to germinate.
Forced germination includes three steps: scarification, stratification, and sowing. You have to verify from a professional bonsai cultivator on what steps will you follow because the steps will vary from one species to another.
Three Steps In Forced Germination for Bonsai Seeds
Scarification is the process wherein the outer shell of the seeds is softened. When the outer shell has already softened, water can now reach its interior. For about 24 to 48 hours, you have to submerge the bonsai seeds in a bowl of water.
The temperature of water will be determined depending on what species your seeds belong. Seeds that remained at the bottom of the bowl are viable, which means you will only use these seeds for planting.
And, the seeds that are floating are empty. You can discard them since they cannot live.
Cold stratification is a process wherein, you expose the bonsai seeds to a cold weather because they need it before they can proceed to germination by the summer.
Seeds should be placed in a moist medium, which can be a paper towel, peat, or sand. Next, put them in a ziplock bag or container, and then refrigerate it for about 90 to 120 days. The seeds are dormant in this period.
Heat stratification is required by some bonsai tree seeds. Cold stratification comes first, and then heat stratification is done, and finally followed by the cold stratification process again.
Heat stratification is done by placing seeds in a container, and exposing them under room temperature. But you should consider the species where your seeds belong because it may require a different procedure or process.
Then on springtime, you can now sow the seeds in a soil suitable for its species. You need to bury the seeds about ½ inch below the ground. Then, keep the soil moist at all times to support the seeds’ growth and development.
Best Bonsai Books for Beginners, Intermediates, and Advanced Enthusiasts
I love bonsai trees so much that I’ve bought quite a number of books on them over the years. Here I will list 5 books that I appreciate and find very useful in my bonsai endeavor.
Of course, the basis of all the books is the same, but the presentation of the material is different from each book and author.
The books most bonsai fans often recommend is the books of John Naka called Bonsai Techniques One and Bonsai Techniques Two. But here are the 5 books I suggest you ought to read to learn bonsai.
The Complete Book of Bonsai: A Practical Guide to Its Art and Cultivation
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This book is a comprehensive crash course in the art of bonsai cultivation. The book covers all the basics that a beginners needs to be educated about before indulging in the art of bonsai growing. There are hundreds of photographs with detailed information regarding which months to stop feeding the plant and more.
The photos in the book display a large variety of bonsais at various growth stages. There is also information about techniques that world famous bonsai artists adopt to grow their world acclaimed bonsai trees. The book helps you decide on which plant to choose and then go about educating you on the wiring, pruning and aging techniques for that bonsai plant.
A bonsai novice will gain a lot after he is done with this book, and it also offers a lot of expert tips on maintaining the bonsai for a long time. The index is detailed and helps you find the topic of your choice within seconds, which makes it easy for you to refer back to the book whenever required.
The book is perfect for beginners and intermediate bonsai enthusiasts and will help them a great deal while they are on their way to becoming bonsai experts.
Indoor Bonsai for Beginners: Selection – Care – Training
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Growing indoor bonsai is a favorite pastime among many avid gardeners. However, growing indoor bonsai is unlike growing any other indoor plant because it takes special care and effort on the part of the person growing it.
The Indoor Bonsai for Beginners: Selection Care Training book is the perfect buy for beginners who want to master the art of growing indoor bonsai. The book contains several colorful photos to help beginners understand the entire process better.
The clear illustrations give specific instructions that will help the bonsai grow properly. It also gives you some steady advice right from what kind of soil you should be using for your indoor bonsai to what steps you can take to prevent any pests from attacking your beautiful indoor bonsai.
One read through the book will get you well educated on the different kinds and types of indoor bonsai plants that you can grow, along with details about every indoor bonsai plant. Indoor bonsai takes a great deal of patience along with strategic positioning of the plants.
This book will teach you every detail you need to know to become successful at this art. It’s one of those bonsai for beginners step-by-step books, and this certainly one of the best ones out there. After reading it you will know all about pruning, wiring and stretching you indoor bonsai plants.
The Complete Practical Encyclopedia of Bonsai: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Creating, Growing, and Displaying Bonsai with Over 800 Photographs
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This book by Ken Norman is a must have in the library of any avid bonsai enthusiast. The author is a person who is very knowledgeable about the art of bonsai growing and has more than forty years of experience in the same.
The book comes with over 800 unique photographs of some very beautiful bonsai pieces and is also very inspiring for any bonsai enthusiast. The initial pages offer information regarding the history of bonsai and the art form in general.
Each bonsai type that is spoken about in the book comes with information regarding the tools required to grow that bonsai, along with detailed photographs of the bonsai type. The book contains a great amount of detail and can keep a bonsai enthusiast hooked for quite a while.
Indoor as well as outdoor bonsai types are discussed in the book. Everyone right from a novice to an expert bonsai enthusiast will gain knowledge from the book. The book will also get the attention of people who have never tried bonsai cultivation before.
The photos and the colorful pages make it a nice coffee table read. The book also gives out useful information about bonsai suppliers around the world.
Bonsai with Japanese Maples
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If you are looking for a book with ample information about growing maples in bonsai, then the Bonsai with Japanese Maples by Peter Adams is the ideal book for you. Peter Adams has elucidated on the various techniques that you can adopt for growing maples in bonsai successfully.
The book gives out expert advice on how to turn a young maple into a classic bonsai shape. The various styles and techniques that can be adopted to make sure your maple bonsai plant grows beautifully and lives a long life is clearly explained in the book.
In addition to the techniques, Mr. Adams has also thrown a lot of light on why such techniques are practiced which gives more insight on the entire bonsai growing process. Moreover, there are also a lot of colorful illustrations and photographs that will inspire you to grow your bonsai well.
The book is a no fuss book with clear cut steps that one can easily follow in order to become a successful bonsai cultivator. The book will also be of great help to experienced bonsai enthusiasts.
The book can also be very helpful to beginners. However, one must have basic knowledge about terminology used with regard to bonsai because there is no glossary of terms used in the book.
Bonsai Master Class
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If you are a beginner at growing bonsai, then this book is not for you. This book is more of an “advanced technique for growing bonsai” kind of read. If you have been growing bonsai for a while and have experience in it, and want to learn advanced topics which can further elevate your skills in this terrific hobby, then this book is perfect for you.
The book is written very well and will be of great help to an advanced bonsai owner. It gives exclusive facts about bonsai making that I have not come across anywhere else yet.
The book has a lot of details regarding how to start growing your bonsai tree. Learn about various wiring techniques also through this read. The book also explains how different environments affect the bonsai plant, and gives you information on the perfect kind of environment that you should create to successfully grow your bonsai tree.
If you are looking for detailed information regarding specialty tools and pruning shears that you should be using for growing your bonsai tree, then this is the book that you ought to buy. All in all, it is a good purchase for advanced bonsai owners who are looking for additional tips and information that will help them cultivate their bonsai trees better.
The Breathtaking Beauty of Indoor Bonsai Plants
An indoor bonsai tree can lift the decor of the home through its breathtaking beauty, as the cultivation of bonsai requires immense dedication and thorough application of knowledge. Great care and attention is necessary once the bonsai is bought home as these bonsais are costly, and the lack of dedication will lead to an early demise.
Bonsais thrive outdoors but with lots of care and vigilance; indoor bonsai can flourish as a magnificent addition to any home decor. It is best to place indoor bonsai near the window where there is sufficient sunlight for it to grow into a healthy plant. The choice of location may vary from each person to blend in with the décor, but choose one with sufficient sunlight.
Although indoor bonsai should be placed near a window, remember that too much sunlight will destroy it, so choose the location with care. In addition, you can add artificial light to keep the indoor bonsai sufficiently warm.
As bonsai is kept in a small container, it needs plenty of water and it is best done watering from the top. Keeping the soil moist is essential so you will have to monitor it. All the best indoor bonsai trees for beginners require constant care, or it might deteriorate beyond repair.
Through proper care, practice, maintenance, and patience, anybody can cultivate a bonsai tree into a beautiful visual piece for home.