The miniature world of Bonsai trees
Bonsai trees are growing in popularity. They first appeared 1,500 years in Ancient China where they were called ‘Penjing Trees’. The miniature trees were exchanged as gifts among the rich. Five hundred years later, Buddhist monks took the idea to Japan. The Japanese developed the art of cultivating and caring for Bonsai. Today the hobby is growing. People all over the world, are fascinated by the idea of owning such a beautiful type of tree and are discovering the magic of the miniature world of Bonsai trees.
Bonsai is both the art and science of growing beautiful miniature trees and shrubs in ornamental pots. Bonsai trees come in many different varieties, some suitable for indoors and others outdoors like the Juniper Bonsai. There are evergreen and deciduous varieties and even flowering Bonsai. Some species such as the Ficus group are relatively easy to care for, whilst others are notoriously challenging.
Many plant enthusiasts are apprehensive about caring for a Bonsai tree, but it is not too complicated to master but can be time-consuming because the process involves nurturing the tree and keeping it in its miniature size while also making it as aesthetically appealing as possible by shaping it. There are fundamentals to master too, as the size and shape of the pot the tree is planted in, the level of humidity and temperature can each make a big difference.
Why are Bonsai trees so expensive?
All Bonsai trees are more expensive than other plants. Their larger price tickets reflect their rarity, the age of the Bonsai and how much expert care has been needed to nurture it – and of course, there are transportation costs on top of this. If the Bonsai tree has been nursery grown, it is often not ready to sell until it is 6- 7 years old and many are much older and will have taken many hours of care by experts.
Older trees are more expensive because they look so spectacular with their gnarled and twisted trunks. At the top end of the price range are Yamadori Bonsai. These trees are ones that naturally grow in miniature in the wild, but are incredibly rare to find. The most expensive of all is the Japanese Pine – often up to 800 years in age and priced at over one million dollars. As well as buying the Bonsai, you will need to buy an array of miniature gardening tools and fertilisers.
Where can you display a Bonsai
In the last ten years, Bonsai trees have become popular around the world. Spot the Bonsai in hotel and company receptions and also on office desks. If you buy an outdoor variety, it can become a stunning focal point of your garden.
What care does a Bonsai need?
Caring for a Bonsai can take years to master which is why many people find it so challenging and rewarding. The Bonsai will need regular watering and pruning as well as certain light conditions, levels of humidity and nutrition. Unexpected pests and disease can present problems too.
Taking care of a bonsai tree is different from attending to the needs of just about any other type of plant. Bonsai owners are disciplined, well- organised and patient. Dedication to the idea of creating a beautiful miniature tree is key!
Are there certain Bonsai suitable for beginners?
The best Bonsai for beginners is Ficus. This attractive indoor evergreen Bonsai has a thick knotted trunk and dark glossy leaves. Ficus is a tolerant and resilient Bonsai and can grow in spaces with low humidity. The Ficus is easy to shape and will forgive you if you forget to water it!
The Chinese Elm is another good choice as it is an attractive semi-evergreen with numerous small leaves that can be placed outside in the warmer months and can survive a frost. This Bonsai does need regular pruning, but it is easy to create and maintain an attractive shape. If you would like a deciduous Bonsai, a Japanese Red Maple or Cherry Bonsai are both good choices for beginners. For further inspiration about which Bonsai trees are best for beginners, log onto:
How can I have a Bonsai without all the effort?
Does having a Bonsai tree appeal? Do you feel that realistically you not have the ideal growing conditions or the time to dedicate to nurturing one? The perfect answer is to cheat a little! An artificial Bonsai trees is impossible to tell them from a real Bonsai! Why not enjoy discovering the miniature world of the Bonsai tree without a single fallen leaf?
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