Bonsai For Beginners: How To Start The Heartening Art


Bonsai is a Japanese word that indicates the art of planting miniature trees and plants in pots to create a homely yet natural scenery for aesthetic purposes. It is believed to have originated during the Tang dynasty in China, then must have spread to Japan around 800 years ago. It got modified by the unique Japanese aesthetic of beauty. The purpose of growing bonsai is to give the grower an opportunity to practice patience, effort, creativity, and personal expression. Another purpose of raising a bonsai tree is to teach the grower the value of hard work and caring for other things. Some famous types of bonsai are bamboo bonsai, Azalea bonsai, boxwood bonsai and more. If you’re interested in growing your own miniature trees, we have a treat for you. Our bonsai for beginners guide will tell you what exactly you’re getting into, and what you can do to make your bonsai experience the very best. 

Types of bonsai 

Bonsai For Beginners: How To Start The Heartening Art

Bonsai plants can find their spot anywhere in your house. It could be your bedroom, living room, or balcony. You can also keep them in your offices. According to Japanese tradition, there are four group sizes of bonsai plants. Starting with miniature bonsai which grows upto 15 cm, the small bonsai grows up to 30 cm. These sizes are followed by medium bonsai which grows up to 60 cm and large bonsai that grows up to 100 cm and beyond. 

Bonsai For Beginners: How To Start The Heartening Art

The type or style of a bonsai plant is described based on the maturity of its trunk. There could be more types depending on the artist’s imagination, but the general demarcations are:

  1. Formal upright
  2. Informal upright
  3. Slanting
  4. Semi Cascade
  5. Cascade style

What are you getting into?

Bonsai For Beginners: How To Start The Heartening Art

The plant species selected for making a bonsai are usually woody tree or shrub species. There have to be a lot of factors that must be taken into consideration while raising a bonsai. The size of the leaves, flowers, fruits and the trunk is very important. Bonsai plants that are raised from seeds will take longer to train, but techniques like layering, cutting or grafting will help immensely.

Bonsai For Beginners: How To Start The Heartening Art

Large seedlings can be obtained from nurseries. A shallow container must be used for bonsai plants – the shape of this container can be rectangular, round or oval. It should have enough drainage holes based on the size. Whether the pot is glazed or unglazed does not matter to your little tree.  

What kind of soil should I be using for my bonsai tree?

Bonsai For Beginners: How To Start The Heartening Art

The preferred soil mixture for bonsai should consist of 3 parts garden soil, 3 parts compost and 2 parts sand.  The soil you use must have a strong water holding capacity, should have enough soil nutrition, andz needless to mention, good drainage.

Grooming and caring for your bonsai 

Stem pruning is done regularly to make the branches grow in the desired direction; root pruning is done simultaneously during the time of repotting to train the roots to fit the new pot. Want to train your little tree? Training is done by tying a copper wire around the trunk or branches and bending them in the desired direction to adopt the shape. 

Bonsai plants need light watering frequently and consistently. Always make sure the soil surface doesn’t get too dry. Whenever it is necessary, spray water on the leaves.  

How can I help my plant? 

Bonsai trees grow well when liquid organic manure is used. It can be prepared by taking a decomposed oil cake and cow dung in equal form and diluting them. This manure can be used once every two weeks. 

Shoot tip pinching is a necessary step for the growth and management of bonsai plants.

Keep your miniature trees away from pests and diseases at all times, and use pesticides and insecticides regularly to ensure good health. 

This was our guide on bonsai for beginners. Did we help? Do you have any more questions? Ask away in the comments below!

Liked our guide on bonsai for beginners? You’ll also like the easy-care plants every garden needs.


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