Bonsai is what some would call an art form which involves growing plants and trees to desired shape and size. The concept goes back to twelfth century Japan, and it is still practiced widely throughout the world. It allows a person to explore their creative skills, but most important of all, it will give you endless amounts of joy to do bonsai gardening. If you are into gardening, then learning how to do bonsai style of gardening is definitely worth putting on a resume.
Bonsai plants are usually grown in pots. The reason for this is because during winter time the plants will be able to be brought indoors. During summer time it can be put back outdoors. In a nut shell, bonsai gardening involves growing large trees to small sized plants. In other words, the tree will be grown in such a way that it will be a miniature replica of a full-grown large tree. Some of these trees are grown outdoors in the ground, but for the most part these types of plants will be grown in pots. So how does one get started? There are several trees which people work with to get their feet wet. However, a tree named Japanese maple is considered to be one of the easiest ones to start with. Of course you could always just go to nursery which sells bonsai plants, but then it would not give the same satisfaction as growing your own. Once you have got some experience with a tree like the Japanese maple, it will be easier to move on to other trees.
Before you attempt to grow your own bonsai plant, there are a few accessories which are needed to make it successful. These would be sphagnum moss soaked in water, string, a sharp knife, small plastic sheet and rooting hormone. Most gardening supply stores will sell rooting hormone. After you have all these in place, the next step is to select a branch from a tree you wish to grow into a bonsai plant. The branch should be approximately one centimeter thick and have a nice shape to it. Then, choose the length of the branch and then make a first cut in a circle or around the branch, but not through the wood. Care must be taken that the branch is not cut loose. Next, make another cut around four centimeters below the first one.
After these two cuts are done peel away the bark between the two cuts. The layer between the bark and wood should not be removed. Now it is ready to apply the rooting hormone. The sphagnum moss should be tied tightly around this area and kept moist. After three or four weeks the branch will begin to sprout roots. Now the branch is ready to be severed from the tree. When cutting the branch, choose a spot just below the roots. Your garden is now ready for its new addition.
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The next step is to find a pot that is not too shallow or deep. The bottom part should be filled with pebbles, to aid draining; the rest should be high quality top soil. Care should be taken when the branch is planted so that the roots do not get damaged. After planting in the pot, support for the plant should be given until the roots become mature and strong enough to hold it upright. Afterwards it can be pruned to your desired shape. Sometimes string is used to tie branches and pulled and tied down, so that they grow in particular way.
The bottom line is that bonsai is a highly evolved gardening technique which can bring joy for the avid gardener. There is just something about looking at a Lilliputian tree and realizing that small indeed is beautiful.