Bonsai tree: growing and care at home


I can’t say that I am a fan of Japan and everything connected with it. However, Japanese art bonsai, as a gardener, a few years ago was very interested. Growing up a mini-tree with your own hands turned out to be a very exciting activity.

Interestingly, the roots of this occupation in China, it was there, in the 6th century, people learned to grow reduced copies of trees in flat containers. And the Japanese, in turn, built this skill into real art, into a special philosophy.

If you take a closer look at bonsai, then it is impossible to really grow a tree without much sensitivity and care. In loving hands, it is capable of living not one hundred years, and then it is no longer just a plant, but a kind of thread connecting several generations and personifying the symbol of the family.

Bonsai secrets

The size of these incredible plants can vary from large, whose height is 120 cm, to miniature heights of 15 and even 5 cm. The height of the tree is measured from the highest point of the crown to the edge of the tank.

It is impossible to take a large or medium plant and cut it to a miniature - either buy a ready-made one, or try to grow it on your own. For dwarf bonsai, crops with small leaves or needles are good - bamboo, cypress, myrtle, and boxwood.

Bonsai: the subtleties of growing

  1. The first two years you need to plant a tree in a bigger pot, so you will help him to form a powerful trunk,
  2. Watering is constant, but moderate,
  3. Transplant every spring with simultaneous thinning of the roots,
  4. Increased moisture content
  5. No drafts,
  6. Top dressing solutions of low concentration.

Bonsai is a continuous care, creating the most comfortable conditions.

Of course, the easiest way is to buy a ready-made tree and take care of it. You can try to grow your masterpiece from seed - but it will take a lot of time, and the result can be unpredictable.

If you still want to grow this miracle from the seeds, you can purchase the cherished bags in the flower shop, or take them from the tree.

In both cases, these will be the most common tree seeds, and without proper care they will grow ordinary birch and pine. Therefore, if you decide to choose this path, then be patient and endless love for your fragile germ.

Fortunately, there is another option, in my opinion, more reasonable and practical.

How to plant bonsai

First, decide which tree you would like to see a copy of at home. Moreover, the choice can be practically not limited. But nevertheless, it is better for beginners to start with plants that take root and form easily, for example, oak, elm, pine, birch, ficus or juniper.

A miniature tree develops according to the same laws of nature, the same for the whole flora. Deciduous trees also turn yellow and shed their leaves in the fall, while coniferous crops retain their decorativeness all year round.

Dwarf bonsai sizes are achieved by regular pruning and inhibition of its development.

Now back to landing. To start in the park or in the forest, find a tiny healthy seedling and carefully remove it from the ground.

The height should be no more than 15 cm. In the same place where the plant was taken, dig up some soil - acclimatization in a familiar environment will happen easier and faster. Use sharp scissors to shorten the roots to 10 cm, cut and branches, leaving only located horizontally.

At the bottom of a shallow pot, put a grate and put a mixture of sand, peat and soil from the former growing place on it (soil from the garden will do) in proportions 1/1/3. Plant a tree, water well and put it in the open air, perfect for this balcony. But from hitting direct rays, it must be protected for the first time.

Recommended planting dates and selection of a suitable pot

The ideal time for planting is autumn. During the winter, the plant will take root, release new roots, and in early spring it will start growing. The formation is started when, after reaching a height of 30 cm.

It is very important to choose the right capacity for bonsai, because it will play not only the role of “storage” of the roots, but also a significant part of the composition. The tree and the pot should be a single whole composition. There are special small bonsai flowerpots in the stores - they are environmentally friendly and more responsive to the needs of plants.

Their only drawback is that they have the ability to absorb a lot of water, which has to be taken into account when watering.

The pot is needed with drainage holes and small legs, it is necessary so that free access of oxygen is provided to the root system. It is advisable to choose flat pots, in which the roots are formed in a horizontal plane.

Rules for choosing capacity for planting bonsai:

  • The height of the pot should be two thirds of the growth of the tree,
  • Its width is slightly less than the diameter of the crown,
  • The depth of the tank should correspond to the diameter of the lower part of the barrel.

Pots of pastel shades with flowering trees, the foliage of which is pale green or slightly grayish, look very nice. Plants with a dark trunk that stands out favorably against the background of the leaves are beautiful in rich brown, blue or gray vases.

Location and lighting

  • From October to March, the tree requires additional lighting with fluorescent lamps, which will not lead to its heating,
  • It generally loves a bright light, so there should not be anything next to it that could shade it,
  • It will develop more actively on the eastern or western window-sill, the sun peeks here in the morning and in the evening,
  • If the weather is gloomy you have to use an artificial light source.

Content miracle

  • For bonsai, the usual room humidity is insufficient. You can raise its level by placing the pot on a tray with water. In the morning it is useful to spray the tree, in the evening it will just have time to dry.
  • If your miracle relates to subtropical crops (olive, pomegranate or myrtle), then in winter it needs a temperature of +5 to +15 degrees, and in summer it will feel great on the balcony.
  • For crops from the tropics, a higher temperature of 18–25 degrees of heat will be needed, in the warmer months it will be better for him in the house, and in winter it is better to remove it from the cold window-sill.

Note that bonsai need for water, nutrition and light depends on the temperature of the content - the higher it is, the more fluid and fertilizer is required.

Watering and feeding

The soil in the pot should always be wet, but not wet. Try to keep the soil saturated with every watering. Summer watering should be more abundant, but the trees from the subtropics in the summer months are rarely watered.

Plants from the tropics do not tolerate cold water, it is best to take melted warm water, in the extreme case well-settled water supply.

The most important thing when growing bonsai is to slow down its growth. However, in close capacity, it is easy to create conditions for controlling the growth of a tree, but to provide it with a sufficient amount of nutrients is not at all easy.

Therefore, fertilizers are vital for the life of the plant, but they must be carefully selected, taking into account the type and age of the tree, as well as the current season.

From time to time it is necessary to introduce micro and macro elements. The main substances needed bonsai include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

Far less often and in smaller volumes they are fertilized with copper, zinc, magnesium, calcium, boron, molybdenum and some others.

It is especially convenient to use mineral fertilizer complexes for bonsai, the dosage and time of the procedure are described in detail on their packaging in accordance with the age and size of the tree.

The first top dressing is carried out during the period of activization of growth, in early spring they use full fertilizer containing three main elements. Every month before the height of summer, such a fertilizer is repeated.

Then, taking a break until the beginning of autumn, fertilizing continues until the very rest period. To the nutrient solution is completely absorbed from the ground, it is poured into the pan, and not into the pot itself.

In the spring should be higher concentration of nitrogen, and in the fall - potassium. Fruiting and flowering bonsai need phosphorus.

Features of growing bonsai

In size, bonsai are large - up to 120 cm, medium - from 30 to 60 cm, small up to 30 cm, miniature - up to 15 cm, among which there are quite tiny ones with a height of 5 centimeters. The growth is measured from the edge of the pot to the maximum point of the crown.

No connoisseur will advise you to cut a medium-sized tree to make it miniature - buy a plant of the desired growth or grow it yourself. For the smallest bonsai, suitable plants with small needles or leaves, for example, myrtle, bamboo, cypress or boxwood.

Growing bonsai, you must consider the features:

  • In order to form a strong trunk, for the first couple of years a tree is grown on a growth pot.
  • Watering regular, but very moderate.
  • Transplant every year (spring) with the removal of excess roots.
  • Fertilizers of low concentration.

Potted bonsai require constant attention and reverent attitude. If you want to settle a miniature tree at home, get ready for constant care and creation of favorable conditions. Home bonsai require high humidity and do not tolerate drafts.

Planting bonsai

The easiest way to get a home tree is to buy it in the store and cherish it, following all the rules. At the other extreme, trying to grow bonsai from a seed is too long and the prospects are vague. We suggest choosing the middle path.

First of all, determine which tree you want to grow a copy of at home. The choice is practically unlimited, but pine, oak, elm, juniper, birch and ficus are most likely to take root and form.

The mini-tree will develop according to the laws common to all trees: deciduous trees will turn yellow in the fall and shed their leaves, and conifers will turn green all year round. Miniature is achieved by constant pruning and inhibition of development.

Find a small healthy seedling in a forest or park and carefully dig it out. The height of the germ is not higher than 15 centimeters. In the same place, take a little of the land to which the plant is accustomed. Roots cut with scissors to 10 centimeters. Branches also need to be cut, leaving only horizontally located processes.

At the bottom of a shallow pot, lay a grate and pour the mixture of peat, sand and garden soil or soil from the place where you took the sprout (1: 1: 3). Land a tree, pour the soil and bring it to the air, for example, on a balcony. Arrange the plant so that it is protected from direct sunlight.

Where to get bonsai seeds?

Bags with seeds are sold in flower shops and online stores; cute bonsies are drawn on the bags. But these are the most common tree seeds, a smaller copy of which you want to see at home. Without proper care, theoretically, pines, oaks and birches can grow from these seeds. If you decide to go a long way on your own, you can germinate a seed from a package or from a park, but the process will take several years.

How to choose a pot for bonsai

Choosing the right pot is very important, as it will be not just a place of rooting, but also part of the composition. For mini-trees, there are special small containers made of clay. Clay pots are eco-friendly and are better for plants than plastic or metal, but they absorb a lot of moisture, which you need to take into account when watering. There must be several drainage holes and short legs in the pot so that air can flow to the roots. Flat pots contribute to the horizontal formation of the root system.

There are several proven rules for choosing a bonsai pot:

  • The length of the pot is 2/3 of the height of the plant.
  • Width - a little less than the most prominent branches.
  • Typically, the depth of the pot is equal to the diameter of the barrel at the base.

Location and lighting

Plants need additional coverage, especially from October to March. When choosing a place for bonsai, consider the following conditions:

  • The tree loves bright light, if the bonsai pot is on the windowsill, remove everything that can shade the plant.
  • Growth will be more active in the western or eastern window, in a place where the sun penetrates in the morning or evening.
  • In cloudy weather, compensate for the lack of light artificial lighting. In the summer, this method should not be abused, but in winter and autumn it is recommended to install a fluorescent lamp that will not heat the plant.

Temperature conditions

If your bonsai is a reduced copy of a subtropical plant (myrtle, pomegranate, olive) in winter it needs a temperature of + 5-15 ° C, in the summer it is better to put the pot on the balcony.

For tropical trees require a higher temperature + 18-25 oC. In the summer, leave them in the room, and in the winter do not arrange on a cold stone windowsill.

How to water

Keep potted soil moist but not wet. When watering the land should be soaked through. Summer watering abundant. Subtropical plants are watered rarely in summer. Tropical trees do not tolerate cold water. Ideal - warmed melt water, warmed, but can be watered and tap water with settled water.

Top dressing and fertilizer

When growing bonsai, it is important to slow down its growth. In a close pot, you can create conditions for the controlled growth of a tree, but it is difficult to ensure the supply of necessary substances from the soil. Top dressing is necessary so that the plant does not die, but fertilizer should be selected taking into account the type of tree, its age, season. Periodically should be made macro - and micronutrients. The main feed includes potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus. Magnesium, zinc, calcium, copper, boron, molybdenum and other trace elements contribute less and in limited quantities.

The beginning of feeding coincides with the activation of growth. In the spring, they make nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizer and repeat feeding every month until mid-summer. Then you should take a break until the beginning of autumn, a series of dressings continues until the onset of the rest period.

Complex mineral fertilizers for bonsai are optimally suitable for tree care. The packaging shows the proportions and frequency of fertilizer corresponding to the size of the plant and its condition.

The most favorable time is spring and summer. Trees that also grow in winter should be pruned all year round.

If the shoot is strong, it is pruned diagonally under the bud. A weak shoot is cut horizontally above the bud. Soft shoots better pinch off with nails.

Without pruning, the plant will begin to pull up and stop branching. When forming the shape of a tree, the ratio of the height of the trunk to the whole plant is 1: 3.

Usually the first kidney grows on top, defining growth upwards. After the removal of this kidney, the lateral buds will begin to actively develop. Cutting shoots, consider the direction of growth of the kidneys.

It is necessary to begin pruning after the appearance of the first five leaves, cutting one or two upper to suspend the stretching of the branches. Extreme upper kidney will determine the future direction of growth.

Growing bonsai, you become an artist, creating a tree to your liking. Form the shape so that the pattern of the trunk and the branches are visible, there are no voids.

Bonsai transplant

The first year of life the tree must grow without external intervention, and in the next seven years bonsai are transplanted every year, and later every two years. The most successful time for transplanting is March-April, because with the onset of spring the tree will be provided with light and heat for adaptation. Taking a plant out of the pot, inspect the roots and remove the sick and drying out. If the root system looks unhealthy, the soil for transplant must contain gravel.

Transplantation is as follows:

  • Within two days, the plant stops watering so that the roots are easily cleared of soil.
  • New pot on the day of transplant wash, disinfect and rinse.
  • Drain hole cover shard or grid.
  • Transplantation takes place quickly, because the roots are sensitive to light and air.
  • While holding the plant firmly on the trunk, with a knife, hold along the walls of the pot and take out the tree with a clod of earth.
  • The soil is removed by a third from all sides.
  • Sick and dried roots cut off, the rest is slightly shortened.
  • At the bottom of the pot is laid a thin layer of fresh soil.
  • The plant is placed in a new pot and straighten the roots.
  • Asymmetric shaped trees are placed closer to the edge of the pot, symmetrical - in the center.
  • Roots should be seen above the surface, but not too high.
  • If the root system is weak, the plant is fastened with wire through a drainage hole, to which a wooden stick is attached.
  • Dust the soil, filling the voids between the roots and at the edge of the pot. Soil compacted fingers.
  • Bonsai are watered until water has leaked through the drain hole.
  • The pot is set on a well-lit place without drafts and the scorching sun.
  • New roots will be formed in a month.

Fleecy aphid

Settles on larches and pines. It looks like cotton balls that must be removed from the plant. Treat the bonsai with insecticide and wash the remaining pests with water.

It looks like a growth on the bark. Насекомых следует удалить, а растение опрыскивать через день инсектицидом.

Adult plants are striking and rarely get out from under the bark to the surface, so you can find a pest through the years. Pay attention to holes in the bark and colorless areas. Treat with insecticide for 8 weeks, after removing the damaged areas of the bark.

Popular species

  • Hibiscus
  • Garnet
  • Casuarin
  • Callistemon
  • Cypress
  • Ladannik
  • Olive
  • Myrtle
  • Spurge
  • Pelargonium
  • Rosemary
  • Boxwood
  • Pine
  • Fat woman
  • Ficus
  • Sheflera

Why do leaves turn yellow and fall off?

It is very difficult to care for bonsai - he does not forgive a scornful attitude and reacts sensitively to all violations of the regime. Perhaps the leaves turn yellow because you have poured it on tap water or a pot is standing in a draft. Just cold water can provoke leaf fall. Too hot sun and moisture deficiency also cause illness. Spray the plant and inspect it well, if there are any pests on it.

A brief description of Japanese art

Bonsai are not genetically dwarf plants. A miniature view of trees and shrubs attached to the permanent formation - pinching, trimming, overlaying the wire. The goal of all these procedures is to redistribute the energy of healthy growth.

Moreover, not only the crown is formed, but also the root system. In bonsai, you can turn almost any plant that has a woody trunk, relatively small leaves. For planting used small bowls and pots. Live moss is planted on the ground surface.

Plant selection

To form in the style of bonsai really almost any woody culture. But not all plants are equally easy to form. Two of the most successful: pine and maple. They use very young trees at the age of two to three years.

Plants taken from the forest are called yamadori. They are beautiful, but they need cold wintering. In winter, they can be kept on a glazed, but unheated balcony. Another disadvantage is slow growth. Here are some of the crops suitable for bonsai formation.

Lignified tropical cultures are easier to form, grow faster. The most common, suitable for creating a bonsai plant is a ficus. Beginners better choose species with a low trunk, small leaves and flowers. They are much easier to form in the form of a compact tree. The following house cultures have suitable characteristics:

Popular styles

For many years of practice growing dwarf trees, many styles have been invented. In most of them are natural forms of growth. In total, there are 13 main styles.

  1. Hokidati. Popular fan style. It is used for shaping crops with long, thin shoots. Barrel bottom straight vertical. Upstairs, it forks, forming a spherical crown.
  2. Tökkan. Standard vertical style. The base of the trunk is thick, gradually tapering to the crown. The tree forks at the crown, forming a magnificent crown.
  3. Moyogi More sophisticated, unconventional vertical style. The barrel is thickened at the base, tapers towards the crown. Its bends resemble the letter S. Branches depart from each bend.
  4. Sykkan Tree with a pronounced slope. Under natural conditions, this form is obtained with constant winds or growth in a shaded place. When forming the slope maintain an angle of up to 80˚ relative to the soil. On the opposite side, protruding roots are formed above the ground level. The barrel is made flat or curved, but it necessarily forms a thickening at the base.
  5. Kengai So called cascade style. At first the tree grows up, then it is bent down. Straight horizontal branches run to the side.
  6. Bunzings. If trees grow closely, they begin to drag upwards. In this case, all the lower branches lose their leaves and die. Barrel even or slightly twisted, bare. Branches and leaves are concentrated on the crown.
  7. Fukinagasi. Repeats the tree bent by constant winds. The trunk and branches are tilted in one direction.
  8. Sekan. A tree with two trunks. They diverge directly from the base or slightly above it. The crown of both trunks is on the same level.
  9. Kabudati. The style is similar to not cured, but differs in a large number of trunks growing from a single root system, forming a single crown.
  10. Yose – ue. Imitation of a whole grove of trees. In random order in a single pot several seedlings are planted at once. In the center are the largest trees, on the edges - small.
  11. Sec. Simulates the growth of trees on the rocks. Thick coarse roots twist the stone, then sink into the soil.
  12. Ikadabuki. This style copies fallen trees. In a fallen tree, the branches begin to grow upwards, gradually replacing the main trunk. A new root system is being formed. All young trunks have one crown.
  13. Sarimiki Under the influence of adverse weather factors, local areas of tree bark die off. In bonsai, the areas of bark from the base of the trunk are removed with a knife, whitened with sulfuric lime.

The basis for the composition

Adults, well-developed plants form already useless. Trimming and shaping work begins early. A young plant is easier to transfer all procedures, quickly adapt to the constrained conditions of growth than the old one. Therefore, the choice of the basis for creating bonsai must be approached responsibly. There are three ways to get the right plant.

  1. Growing from seed. You can grow bonsai from seed at home. Planting material purchased in specialized stores. If you plan to create bonsai from wild trees, the seeds of pine, birch or maple can be collected independently. To germinate bonsai from seeds, get strong seedlings, be sure to take into account the requirements for the conditions of the content of a particular culture. The difficulty of growing from seeds is in slow growth - it will be possible to start forming at least in a year.
  2. Growing from cuttings. It takes less time from the moment of rooting the cutting to obtaining a plant suitable for forming. Especially if fast growing crops are used. Initially, efforts are directed to the formation of a strong root system. It will not allow the plant to die with a radical pruning of the crown.
  3. Purchase seedlings. Growing a bonsai from a sapling is easiest. Sapling ready for shaping can be bought in a store or young trees - birch, oak, maple, pine - can be taken from the forest. When digging up a seedling, they try to preserve the root system as much as possible. Especially carefully you need to handle pine - conifers poorly take root. It is not necessary to start forming at once - it will take some time to adapt the plant in a new environment.

Trimming to shape

To form a bonsai, to achieve a beautiful tree shape, you will have to study a lot of literature. Each style is created by a special technology, but it necessarily includes such procedures as cutting branches, leaves and roots, shaping with the help of wire.

The crown is cut to give the desired shape, inhibition of vertical growth. Apical buds begin to grow first. Their removal suspends vertical growth, stimulates the development of lateral shoots. When forming a bonsai tree, this feature is used to narrow the stem to the top or to obtain a beautiful curvature.

Carefully monitor the uniformity of crown formation in young trees. The buds should be approximately at the same height, symmetrically. By removing extra buds, they achieve the growth of the desired shoots. Formation begins when the plant releases four to five true leaves.

Pruning bonsai should be in early spring. About a month later, the seedling is transplanted with trimming the roots. An important rule is that the root system must be a “reflection” of the ground system, that is, it must have approximately the same volume. Between the scraps kept an interval of at least two months.

During transplantation, pruning is done. An earthy ball is not destroyed - protruding ends are cut with sharp scissors. The total length is reduced by about a third. After pruning the roots begin to branch, form a dense lump. As a result, the plant gets more moisture and nutrition. After pruning, you can transplant the bonsai into another pot, the appropriate size.

Pruning the main root stimulates the development of thick surface roots that increase the resistance of the tree in a low flatbed. But, due to trauma, this procedure is permissible only for healthy plants with a strong root network.

If the plant has aerial roots, they are not cut, and sent to the soil in a predetermined position. This is achieved not only the best supply of food and moisture, but also increase the originality of the composition.

Flowering crops are sheared in the fall, before a period of rest, so as not to impede the establishment of flower buds. The rest of the cultures are trimmed in winter. All branches are cut strictly to the bud - each shoot must end with a point of growth. Cutting start from the top branches. The shoots are cut to the second bud, leaving four leaves. At the lower shoots leave six leaves. After building young branches pruning repeat, adhering to the same principle.

For cutting use only sharp sterile tools. Sections are immediately treated with special mastic. After the removal of the apical growth point, it is replaced by one of the side shoots - it becomes a new apex. When forming conifers, pruning is replaced by pinching. The procedure is carried out in the spring after the appearance of young buds.

If several powerful branches depart from one point at once, their trimming can lead to the formation of growths. Radical pruning is carried out in a timely manner, while the branches are thin and pliable.

In the art of bonsai a lot of subtleties. Each situation is considered separately - there are no strict rules on the formation. For example, if one powerful shoot escapes from the base of the tree, it can be used to thicken the main trunk. When it reaches the desired thickness, the branch is carefully cut with a special curved tool.

For shaping apply different techniques. In total, there are four main ways of trimming.

  1. Pinning So called pinch point growth. The tops of new shoots are cut immediately after their blooming.
  2. Pruning shoots. Used to slow down vertical growth, stimulates branching, provides high-quality supply of food to the lower shoots.
  3. Regulatory pruning. Used to give a beautiful silhouette of deciduous, deciduous plants. Delete all unnecessary and deformed branches. Only pruning of non-lignified shoots is allowed, with the subsequent smearing of fresh wounds with mastic. The optimal time for a regulatory cutting is winter.
  4. Clarifying trim. Perform for thinning thickened crown. Some leaves are cut so that the remaining branches receive more light and the central part of the crown does not become bare.

The procedure for trimming leaves is called defoliation. With its help achieve the growth of smaller leaves. Defoliation is used for deciduous crops, performed once a year. All leaves are cut with scissors at the point of their junction with the spine. At the end of the shoot, a couple of leaves are left intact so that the inflow of juices is not disturbed. After a few weeks, the growth of new leaves will begin.

The procedure for trimming leaves is performed only on healthy, well-developed plants. A month before the planned pruning of bonsai foliage, people begin to systematically feed them with balanced fertilizer. After defoliation, the tree is placed in a slightly shaded place. Eliminate the effects of drafts and the sun. The procedure can greatly weaken the plant, so four conditions must be met.

  1. Root system It must be well developed and completely healthy.
  2. Age Defoliation is applicable only for adult plants with a well-developed crown.
  3. Foliage. A densely leafy tree after pruning can develop new buds.
  4. Conditions of detention . Bonsai is maintained at the right humidity, temperature, regular watering and dressing.

Wire Forming

The wire winding sets the growth direction of the main trunk, additional branches and roots. Depending on the style being formed, the wire can be used for individual branches or for the whole plant.

The most common use of copper wire. Before use, it is heated on fire, immediately immersed in cold water. Aluminum wire does not need additional processing.

The formation is started in early spring, before the buds start to bloom. If the procedure is performed in the summer, bonsai are pre-watered well to give flexibility to the branches. First wrap the lower shoots or base of the trunk. Gradually rise above.

The direction of the winding is also important. On the right side, the winding is performed clockwise. On the left side - in the opposite direction. The dense winding sometimes gives a side effect - the escape begins to turn around its axis. No need to tighten the wire too tight - it will worsen sap flow.

Wrapped branch bend, fixed in the desired position. The free end of the wire is tied to the trunk, pot, or stuck into the ground with special pins.

In the fixed position, the tree should remain from one month to six months. The duration of the formation depends on the growth rate of the culture. On slow growing trees, the wire is held for several years. All this time, closely monitor the status of the branch.

Young, fast-growing cultures with gentle bark form neatly. Thicker wire is usually used, it is reeled up freely. This way of forming is less dangerous for the plant.

Ways to thicken the trunk

A bonsai takes on the appearance of an adult tree in miniature when its trunk becomes thick enough. It usually takes a long time. Therefore, growers have resorted to procedures that stimulate the thickening of the trunk. In total there are five ways.

  1. Natural thickening. A young plant of approximately five years of age is transplanted annually in a larger tank. A hardened plant is planted in the pot.
  2. Flexion of the trunk. Young plants with already lignified, but still obedient trunks in spring, bend with their hands first in one direction, then in another. The procedure is repeated every week. There is minor damage to the trunk. In response to a negative mechanical effect, an active mass buildup begins.
  3. Wire wrapping. If a plant is formed with a uniform stem thickness, its base is tightly wound with wire. After fouling bark, the winding is removed. Gradually, a thickening will form on the damaged trunk.
  4. Wire loop. Dangerous, rarely used method. On the radical neck throw a wire loop and tightly tighten it. As a result of the stagnation of juices, an influx of tissue begins, and the main trunk thickens.
  5. Preservation of lateral escape. This method is applied to the extent possible, suitable for specimens with a developed lateral branch not far from the base of the trunk. It contributes to natural thickening. The branch is not removed until the end of the formation.

Bonsai tree care: general guidelines

How to care for bonsai so that it retains the look of a miniature tree, and does not become a regular houseplant? First of all, it is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of the specific culture used to form bonsai. In addition, there are some subtleties of care.

  • Lighting Most indoor crops used to form bonsai need bright but diffused light. They are not placed in the open sun; they are kept on the east or west side. In winter, organize additional lighting.
  • Temperature . In the summer, they try to keep bonsai at medium room temperature. Excessive heat is highly undesirable. In winter, for tropical crops, the temperature is kept no higher than 18 ° C, for all the others - not higher than 15 ° C. Next to open vents and radiators do not put heating. The negative effects of heat can be partially eliminated by frequent spraying.
  • Watering It is advisable to use soft water for irrigation. In winter, you can pour melt water in the summer - rain. Due to the growth in a small container, they adhere to moderate but frequent watering. Hardwoods are watered more abundantly than conifers. Some growers recommend immersion irrigation. Bonsai immersed in a bowl with warm water, hold until complete saturation of the soil with moisture.
  • The soil . Bonsai can not be planted in the garden land or universal soil. A mixture of equal amounts of acadam, lava and pumice is used. All these substances are sold in specialized stores for bonsai. If it is not possible to frequently water the tree, organic is added to the composition - well-rotten compost for flowers.
  • Transplant The intervals between transfers depend on the type of tree and the size of the flowerpots. Fast-growing cultures are transplanted annually or every other year. For mature, old trees, one transplant every three to five years is enough. On a strict schedule, bonsai are not transplanted. The need to change the pot is determined individually. Every spring, bonsai gently remove from the tank, inspect the root system. If the roots began to curl around the inner perimeter of the bowl, it's time to transplant.
  • Top dressing. На протяжении всего периода вегетации удобрения вносят раз в две–три недели. Для взрослых растений используют сбалансированные минеральные подкормки с минимальным содержанием азота.

Что такое бонсай?

The main feature of bonsai is its height, it should be no more than 80 cm, and more than one generation of growers can grow it. A small growth is achieved by shortening the branches and young shoots, plus limiting the root mass by pruning. One of the factorsrestraining the growth of a bonsai tree, is the limited use of mineral fertilizers. At the same time, the tree needs constant attention and care, despite this, you will be rewarded with pleasant moments of peace, tranquility and contemplation of beauty.

Types of bonsai

Bonsai are grown both indoors and outdoors, or combine these methods. It all depends on which tree you choose, what are its life cycles in nature. So, maple, elm, juniper, pine are grown on the street, bringing them into the house to decorate the room for a certain time. If you want to grow bonsai in the room, suitable: dwarf pomegranate, tea tree, silver bumpberry, birch, oak, from fruit trees - cherry, apple, pear. When indoor growing deciduous trees, it is necessary to remember that they have a period of rest, which requires a change in conditions.

For beginners, it is best to buy bonsai in a flower shop with an already formed crown. So you will have the opportunity to try various ways of forming and trimming branches, that is, to gain some experience. In the future, it will help in the cultivation of more complex forms, and it will not be difficult to grow a mini-sapling from seed or a seedling chosen at will.

Ways to grow different types of bonsai:

  • root a cutting
  • sow seeds for further cultivation,
  • use a seedling grown in natural conditions.

Growing bonsai from seeds is the most difficult, time consuming and laborious process. At the same time, this is also an advantage, since it allows not only to set the shape of the crown, but also to perform various manipulations with the trunk of the tree.

You can get results faster if you use already one or two-year-old seedlings of wild-growing or cultivated tree species for planting. Their advantage is the presence of an already formed root system, after pruning which you can immediately proceed to shaping the trunk and further shaping the crown. Nevertheless, choosing a tree with a large annual increment is not worth it, because of the forced constant struggle with the growth of the tree. The formation of the trunk exercise using soft copper or aluminum wire, the end of which is fixed in the drainage holes of the bowl.

Bonsai seed: where to start?

Not all seeds are suitable for immediate sowing and germination. There are those who need a period of rest (in nature it is winter), at home this is achieved by stratification. For stratification, the seeds must be placed in a plastic bag with moistened sand, and in turn placed in a refrigerator for 3-5 months. This situation simulates a rest period, while the seed will swell and prepare for germination.

And the next step will be sowing of the seed in wet sandy peat soil or peat tablets, which should be covered with a film or glass, thereby creating a mini-teplichku. Before the sprout, it should stand in dark and warm places, but one should not forget to air the mini-hothouse. After the sprout appears, the pot with it is transferred to a well-lit place and the glass is removed. Care at this time for seedling consists in regular watering and fertilizer. After reaching a sprout of 10 cm, you can transplant to a permanent place in the bowl chosen by you, do not forget to cut off a third of the root, which will reduce the growth rate of the tree.

What is needed pot and soil for planting?

It is necessary to land in a small, and most importantly - a shallow container. It is convenient and practical to use special ceramic bowls and bowls, they will help to give a steady position to bonsai, because your tree does not have to grow vertically. The oblique or cascade form of the crown as the tree grows becomes heavier and unstable.

Before using the bowl, it must be disinfected with potassium permanganate solution (potassium permanganate) or treated with boiling water, thus avoiding the appearance of fungal disease on the roots - gray rot. The cup must have 2 holes in the bottom for the removal of excess water, as well as for the possibility of additional attachment of the tree to the pot.

The soil should have such qualities that will allow it to retain moisture well, but at the same time help the roots to gain a firm hold in a small bowl. Such a primer, designed specifically for growing bonsai, can be purchased at a flower shop. In Japan, such a substrate is called Acadam.

If you decide to make your own substrate, you need to adhere to the following recipes:

  • For softwood use 2 parts of sand and 3 parts of turf soil,
  • For flowering bonsai, the substrate is made of 7 parts of turf soil, 1 part of humus soil and 3 parts of sand,
  • For bosai hardwood trees use 7 parts of sod land and 3 parts of sand.

As with all potted plants, bonsai also need drainage (expanded clay), which helps remove excess water.

Bonsai: home care

Caring for bonsai has its own specifics, which is to contain the growth of a tree and to use a small amount of land for vegetation. Therefore, there is always an acute problem of watering bonsai, because the soil in small quantities quickly dries out, and watering at the root often becomes the reason for exposing the root system of a tree. The way out of this situation will be the use of special watering cans, the special design of which prevents the roots from leaching to the ground surface. You can use drip irrigationOr water in a special pan under the bowl.

Planting moss under a tree also reduces the likelihood of exposing the root system and contributes to better moisture retention under the tree. To create the necessary humidity in the summer, it is necessary to spray every day with an atomizer or use an air humidifier.

Chlorinated water should not be used for irrigation; it should be allowed to settle or use melt water. With the advent of autumn, when deciduous trees are preparing for a period of rest, water less often, only when necessary.

In the same period, coniferous and deciduous bonsai breeds need a significant decrease in temperature. To do this, they are taken to unheated verandas or greenhouses, while the ground with the root system is well warmed, since a small amount of soil leads to a rapid freezing of the roots.

Bonsai grown on the basis of exotic and tropical trees do not need such manipulations. Do not place bowls with a bonsai tree on cold surfaces and near a heat source. For tropical plants, the normal winter temperature is 18 C. It should be remembered that an increase in the temperature of the content of a bonsai tree should entail an increase in the light regime. For additional lighting it is better to use fluorescent lamps, they are more economical and do not emit heat.

To restrain the growth of the Japanese bonsai tree often use a restriction in the use of mineral fertilizers. But still, moderate and dosed application at certain stages of the growing season, allows you to grow a healthy, flowering or fruitful bonsai tree. When to fertilize:

  • spring - nitrogen fertilizers are applied for intensive growth,
  • summer - complex fertilizer (nitrogen + potassium + phosphorus),
  • autumn - potassium phosphate fertilizers, nitrogen should be excluded.

Flowering bonsai and bonsai, giving fruit, need additional fertilization with potash fertilizers during the budding period and ovaries. As a fertilizer for the Japanese bonsai tree using ordinary fertilizer for flower crops. It is preferable to make it by immersion. To do this, prepare a solution of 2 grams of flower fertilizer and one liter of water. Then pour the solution into the pan and lower the dish with the plant there and hold it until the solution is completely absorbed.

Growing bonsai requires effort, a lot of time and labor, but the effort and results spent will bring a lot of pleasure and peace from communicating with nature and from the process of creativity.