In Japanese the word “bonsai” sounds like “grown in a tray”. This ancient art, aimed at growing a miniature copy or dwarf varieties of some plants, gradually conquered the whole world. You can create your own original plantings if you follow certain rules of crown formation and organization of care.
What it is
A unique method of growing reduced copies of plants originated as early as 200 BC in China. They called this art “punsai”, which translates as “tree in a bowl”. The Japanese have perfected the technique by creating miniature gardens in a limited area near houses or by growing reduced trees indoors.
WARNING. If you simply transplant a dwarf plant into a vase, it cannot yet be considered a bonsai. This is due to the lack of action to give the original shape.
Bonsai technology is distinguished by specific characteristics:
- As a result of competent cultivation, the miniature tree has a thickened trunk.
- The plant has a natural, created in accordance with a given style, crown.
- The overall proportions of the miniature correspond to its adult natural counterparts.
Growing bonsai requires a lot of time and patience. Constant control over the development of the planted plant is important, which allows you to timely prick the roots, trim the shoots, conduct fertilization and watering.
Varieties of forms
Over the centuries of bonsai creation, a variety of forms of obtaining unique tiny plants were formed. When independently growing any tree, it is necessary to pre-determine the main style directions, from which will depend on the techniques in the formation of the crown, as well as the selection of a place to place the green miniature.
Popular forms of bonsai:
- Bankan – snake rings. It is a small tree in which the trunk is twisted into a knot.
- Bundzingi – a literary style. The plant is characterized by a straight trunk with a minimal number of branches.
- Ese-ue – a group style. The composition is usually made of an odd number of plants. The group of trees with different ages and heights looks original. In this solution, there is a feeling of a forest.
- Ikadabuki is a flat style. Reminds me of a tree that fell into a swamp in the form of a raft. The unusual shape of the bonsai is formed due to the recumbent trunk with vertical branches of different lengths.
- Ishitsuki – growing on a rock. Illustrates the endurance and good adaptation of trees that have their roots in rocky crevices.
- Kabudachi – a multi-stemmed style. Represents a 3-5-trunk tree with a common root system. Over time, the stems acquire different thicknesses.
- Kengai (Kengai) – cascade. It feels like a miniature plant growing in the mountains or near a body of water. The trunk leans heavily to one side, falling below the level of the soil in the pot.
- Moyogi is a straight, informal style. The trunk may have a few twists in the center, but the top must be strictly perpendicular to the ground.
- Neagari (Neagari) – a root form. This style is used to grow tropical tiny plants. Assumes the appearance of the roots above the surface of the ground.
- Netsunagari. Part of the trunk of a tree in this type of bonsai is covered with soil or flooded with water. As a result, the branches grow as separate trees.
- Sokan is a twin trunk. A purposeful formation results in a crown based on two trunks, which are often of different sizes.
- Sekijoju – a root on a rock. A miniature tree is based on a rock that protrudes above the surface of the soil. The entire surface of the cobblestone is braided with roots.
- Syakan – a sloping style. The main feature is the straight trunk growing obliquely to the soil. Such a bonsai symbolizes a strong person who resists the difficulties of life.
- Tekkan (tekkan) is a straight, formal style. The straight trunk, which often has only three skeletal branches, the lower thickened part is bare, opening the view to the surface very powerful root system.
- Khan kengap (khan kengai) is a semi-cascade style. The base of the trunk is straight and the top is slanted so that it is placed at the level of the ground surface in the plane.
- Hokidachi is a broom style. The branches are placed on different sides of a straight trunk, forming a globular crown, occupying about 1/3 of the total height at the top.
- Sharimiki – dead wood. When forming miniature plants, individual fragments of bark are cut off and the wood is bleached. This method is more commonly used for junipers.
Flat shallow varieties of containers are used for the cultivation of miniature crops, which allow you to restrain excessive growth and conduct the necessary formation of the root system, as well as the crown.
Both unglazed and glazed pots with a shiny decorative surface are used. They can be monochrome, multi-colored or painted. Usually straight containers with sharp corners are chosen for traditional compositions. If evergreen species of trees are grown, unglazed containers will be the most suitable. When selecting, focus on a harmonious combination of the shades of plants and the surface of the pot
IMPORTANT! When buying check the presence of drainage holes at the bottom of planting containers, which allow you to get rid of excess moisture flowing into the tray. To prevent the soil from falling out, cover the holes with a plastic or ceramic piece.
Prefer ceramic or clay, heavy enough pots. They are stable, so they will not topple under the increasing mass of the tree. This is especially important for cascading forms.
Follow a few rules for selecting pots:
- For a miniature plant, assuming the presence of several trunks or forming with a dense, spreading crown, a shallow, wide pot will be required.
- Tiny trees with many aerial roots will need a shallow container.
- Bonsai cascade type requires a narrow enough deep vase.
On average, take into account that the width of the container should be about 2/3 of the total height of the plant. The pot in height should not be less than the diameter of the trunk.
Suitable species of shrubs and trees
Use to grow bonsai a variety of woody and shrubby varieties that tolerate pruning well.
Conifers. Used to create miniature compositions according to bonsai technology conifers such as araucaria, spruce, cypress, larch, juniper, pine, thuja.
Deciduous species. A variety of unique types of bonsai, for the development of which grow the following deciduous tiny plants: barberry, birch, hawthorn, elm. And also used hornbeam, oak, willow, maple, myrtle, aspen, ficus bendjamin.
Flowering crops.Not only in landscape design, but also in home interiors, plant miniatures look great, the basis for which are such woody and shrubby flowering varieties as azalea, acacia, quince, Chinese privet, cherry, wisteria, pomegranate, magnolia. Peach, plum, skimpy tannery, citrus crops, and apple trees are also used.
TIP! An unusual type of bonsai is obtained from an evergreen succulent common in indoor floriculture – the Tolstiana.
When selecting a certain type of plant to create a bonsai, study its features beforehand. This will provide suitable growing conditions and organize the necessary care. The main attention is paid to the rules of selecting a pot and carrying out measures for the formation of the root system and crown.