Anyone, with or without a green thumb, can create beautiful and intricate works of art with the easy and inexpensive craft of bonsai. The art of bonsai began in the East, first with China as Penzai, then adopted by the Japanese who gave art its most famous name of bonsai. While the Japanese name actually means “potted plant”, the term bonsai actually refers to the miniaturization of trees and plants in containers.
The most important aspect of bonsai is patience. You have to wait for the chosen plants to grow, then treat them meticulously according to the size and shape you want. Secondary is the choice of pots and plants. The pots chosen should be shallow, mainly very small to prevent the roots from developing to the normal size of the chosen plant. Good drainage is important, with regular watering patterns integrated into plant training. Table pieces are ideal, but patio plants can be grown very effectively and the size and shape of the plants can be developed to fit a specific area for decoration. The vases themselves are also important for their beauty and for their decorative effects.
The plants that are chosen for bonsai are as varied as the plant kingdom itself. The natural attributes of individual plants must be taken into consideration, with their growth patterns and habits established for maximum effect. Both deciduous and evergreen plants can be used and any variety of easily accessible plants and trees is a privileged candidate for bonsai. Some previous knowledge of gardening and plants are useful, but not entirely necessary for the success of bonsai.
Bonsai trees can be grown indoors or outdoors, depending on personal preference. In any case, they create a great way to start the conversation and will impress even the most experienced gardener with the intricate and patterned plants you create. It only takes a little effort, a lot of patience and a little practice to enjoy the daily gardening of bonsai.
by Rhonda Cossey