How long for a bonsai tree to grow


How Long Does it Take to Grow a Bonsai Tree?

The art of growing bonsai isn’t a weekend habit or short-term hobby. It’s a practice that can last a lifetime, and that’s the best part! But how long until you get to enjoy the fruits of all that labor?

The question “How long does it take to grow a bonsai tree?” doesn’t have a direct answer. Some say a bonsai tree is never finished. Others argue once you’ve stunted a tree, the growing ends—and the nurturing begins. 

So, what does a bonsai-growing timeline look like? Here’s what to expect! 

A Bonsai Tree Timeline

Most new growers start by purchasing a mature bonsai from a nursery or inheriting one from a family member or friend. By the time a tree has been stunted enough to exhibit the “bonsai effect,” it’s likely at least five years old—but starting with an established tree isn’t cheating! 

Bonsai can live for hundreds of years. So think of it as a head start that puts you a little closer to the most rewarding parts of your practice. Don’t worry, you still have plenty of work to do!

How Long Does it Take to Grow a Bonsai Tree From Scratch?

To grow a bonsai from seed or sapling, be prepared to spend between five and 10 years stunting its growth before it’s ready for more stylistic shaping and training. This process is notoriously arduous, and we recommend newer growers start with established specimens. If you’re determined to go this route, keep the following in mind:

  • Plant multiple seeds, as many seeds never germinate.
  • Start with a sapling native to your region to boost your likelihood of success.
  • Make and keep your bonsai small with these care techniques. 
Teach Me: How to make a bonsai tree

What’s the Fastest Growing Bonsai Tree?

Nothing about bonsai happens in a snap, no matter which species you grow. There are, however, a few varieties that mature faster than others. Keep in mind, you’ll want a tree that grows quickly but is hardy enough to handle defoliation, structural pruning, and limited soil. 

These six varieties are a good place to start:

  • Aspen
  • Juniper
  • Maple
  • Ficus
  • Jade
  • Weeping Willow

Remember, bonsai is a marathon, not a sprint. While you can choose a faster-growing bonsai tree, our best advice is to practice growing more patient yourself. 

How Can I Make MY Bonsai Grow Faster?

Here’s the truth: There’s no magic way to make your tree grow faster. 

Your tree will grow at whatever speed it pleases. The best you can do is master bonsai tree care and practice the proper techniques. With that in mind, here are a few tricks to streamline the growing process.  

1. Provide Suitable Soil

Bonsai trees aren’t like other plants. Because they’re grown in shallow containers with limited space, they need specialty soil. The right potting mix will support their delicate root systems, hold moisture without becoming waterlogged, and retain nutrients through regular waterings. Conventional potting soil just won’t cut it. 

Teach Me: How to choose the perfect bonsai soil (or make your own!)  

2. Master Repotting & Root Trimming

Limiting root growth is an essential part of keeping your bonsai tree small. But when a tree runs out of space beneath ground and becomes root-bound, its growth can stall altogether. That’s where repotting comes in. You’ll repot your healthy, mature bonsai once every two or three years. Depending on how much your tree has grown, you’ll either trim its root system and place it back in the same container, or move it to a larger pot. 

Root trimming is like getting a haircut: you trim a little off the ends to facilitate strong and healthy new growth. The process can seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite easy if you master a few simple techniques.  

Teach Me: How to repot and root trim my bonsai

3. Provide the Right Fertilizer

All living things need nutrients to grow; trees get theirs from the soil. In nature, these nutrients are replenished by dead and decaying organic material. But a potted tree, like your bonsai, needs to be regularly fertilized. 

It’s important to master your fertilizer routine: if you provide too little, your tree won’t be able to power new growth. But over-fertilizing can damage its sensitive roots and stunt its growth.  

Teach Me: How to use bonsai tree fertilizer

4. Use Pruning Techniques

Proper pruning techniques can help your tree photosynthesize light more efficiently and grow faster. Trim small sticks and branches near the top of the canopy to force dense growth closer to the core. This keeps your tree short and full without reducing the number of leaves with which it can capture sunlight. 

Psst! Only prune your bonsai during the growing season! 

How Long Will My Bonsai Live?

Your bonsai tree can easily outlive you. With the right care, a bonsai can live for hundreds of years. Some of the oldest specimens are estimated to be 1,000 years old—painstakingly cared for and passed down generation after generation. 

That’s where patience comes in: You can’t rush the process, but your diligent care can be rewarded with a meaningful heirloom. Imagine descendants you’ll never live to meet tending to the bonsai you started today. It’s a pretty nice way to keep in touch! 

How long does it take to grow a bonsai tree? Keep the conversation going in the comments below—we’d love to hear from you! 

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The Bonsai Resource Center is here to help you learn how to make a bonsai tree and provide you with the tools you need to keep your tree healthy and strong. Explore our other articles, visit our online shop, and connect with other bonsai lovers in our Facebook group to learn everything you need to know about this rewarding hobby!

More Bonsai Tree Resources

6 Easy Steps to Wire Bonsai Trees

Growers Guide: How to Make a Bonsai Tree

5 Easy Tips to Master Advanced Bonsai Tree Care

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Growing a Bonsai — How Long Does It Take?

Successfully growing a bonsai tree is something that just about all gardeners aspire to do.

However, it’s not a task that’s going to provide you with instant gratification.

In most cases, taking a bonsai requires many years of work – and a whole lot of patience! 

 

How Long Does it Take to Grow a Bonsai?

Growing a bonsai tree from seed will require a 10 to 15 year commitment from the time you plant the seed to the time the bonsai is mature. At a bare minimum, it will take you at least four or five years until your bonsai tree will be large enough for you to do anything bonsai-like (like pruning, wiring, or modifying your tree). 

 

Time to Grow a Bonsai Tree from Seed

Without a doubt, bonsais are some of the most difficult plants to grow  – especially if you have a tendency to be impatient! It’s important to do proper research and exercise some patience if you plan on growing these interesting plants.

Growing a bonsai tree from seed can be extremely rewarding and will allow you to exercise complete control over the entire project. However, it takes a lot longer to grow a bonsai tree from seed than it does to grow a started tree.

Bonsai growing from seed is hard in another way, too – and that is that it is very difficult to get the plant from seed to tree. Seeds tend to germinate poorly and are sensitive to fluctuations in watering, temperature, and other conditions. 

 

How Long Does it Take to Grow a Started Bonsai Tree?

If you don’t want to wait a full five years to do anything with your bonsai tree – or if you are a novice grower – you may just want to begin your bonsai experience with a started tree.

Most bonsai trees are around five to seven years old. By buying a tree like this, you can dive right in and get started without having to wait for your tree to mature a bit more. 

It’s not cheating! Although some idealistic gardeners might view it as such, growing a bonsai tree that someone else has already started is a smart choice if you aren’t totally sure what you’re doing yet – and in the long run, by the time your tree is ten or eleven years old, will it really matter who started the seed?

 

How Long Do Bonsai Trees Live?

Whether you’re starting a bonsai tree from seed or you’ve inherited one from a friend, you might be wondering how long these trees actually live. The answer is – it varies.

From Desert Rose to Jacaranda mimosifolia, the type of bonsai tree you grow plays a big role in how long it will live.

When you first receive your bonsai, take a close look at it. How well taken care of is it? Has it been watered appropriately? Does it look healthy? This will give you a strong indication of its longevity or how long it will take to grow your bonsai to maturity.

The average bonsai tree will take 10 to 15 years to reach maturity, but some can take as many as 30 years. If that sounds like a long time, it is – but remember that the typical bonsai can live for hundreds of years if it’s healthy.

Of course, very few people actually see their bones live this long – most trees die in just a few months because they can be so difficult to take care of.

That’s why it’s important to educate yourself on how to prune, fertilize, water, and otherwise care for your sensitive bonsai tree. 

 

How Can I Make My Bonsai Tree Grow Faster? 

When you’re figuring out how long it takes to grow a bonsai, the timeline we’ve given you above may be a bit discouraging. “I’m going to put all this work into growing a bonsai,” you think, “and I’ll never get to see it mature!”

You will – especially if you’re patient. However, you can speed things along by starting with a faster-growing species of bonsai. 

Consider growing a bonsai tree like a maple, jade, Japanese white pine, or Chinese juniper. All of these are known for their fast growth rate.

Taking proper care of your bonsai tree is also essential. Brush up on your watering and sunlight knowledge and choose a species that matches the amount of light (and other conditions) you have available. 

Aim for trunk growth rather than branch growth. Your tree needs a strong core to help it grow healthy and fast. You can support trunk growth by repotting and fertilizing your tree on a regular basis. Fertilizing regularly can also prevent yellowing leaves!

 

How to Figure Out How Old Your Bonsai Tree Is

Want to know how old your bonsai tree is? The easiest way to figure this out is simply to plant it yourself! 

Otherwise, knowing the age of your tree is quite difficult, since bonsais often look a lot older than they truly are. That’s because the whole point of growing a bonsai is to shape and prune it to give it a curved, twisted, and ancient-looking aesthetic.

Now that you know just how long it takes to grow a bonsai, however, you’ll be on the right track to setting up the perfect timeline for cultivating your own!

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Topic “How Long Does it Take to Grow a Bonsai tree?”

 

How long does it take to grow a small bonsai? 

No matter the size, small or large, most bonsai take around 10 to 15 years (at a minimum) to reach maturity. Most small bonsais can be wired after four years of growing from seed. 

How to grow bonsai at home

Bonsai is the ancient Oriental art of growing trees in miniature, the main goals of which are maximum realism and similarity with prototypes. Many people think that doing this art is too difficult. But this is far from true. Of course, to get a beautiful bonsai tree, you need to make some efforts and strictly adhere to certain rules, but you will not need special gardening skills. You can also always buy a ready-made tree. In our catalog you will find a lot of indoor plants and flowers in Uzhgorod and other cities of Ukraine.

Which plants are suitable for bonsai

In fact, bonsai can be formed from any tree species that are not naturally prone to intensive growth, but the fact is that not all plants can withstand such frequent pruning. So, before you buy a tree, find out how whimsical it is, and whether your microclimate is suitable for this species. So, if you consider yourself a “teapot” among plant growers, we recommend stopping at the Chinese juniper. This woody plant of the cypress family takes root well in our natural conditions and reacts positively to pruning. The next undemanding species, which also has beautiful foliage and even bark, is the common hornbeam. Also pay attention to the Japanese maple, hawthorn and decorative apple tree. But certain types of trees with large leaves are best avoided, with those you will have to get confused. The most win-win solution is to grow bonsai from local tree species that are inherent in your natural area and climate type.

How to grow bonsai

There are several ways to create a bonsai composition. And the first thing you need to buy the source. If you are not in a hurry and ready for a slow but productive process, then choose young trees - you can easily create bonsai from them in your own unique style.

Growing bonsai from cuttings

If you are going to grow a floral masterpiece from cuttings, you will need to prepare for a long and painstaking process. For those who are not in the know, cuttings are nothing more than small pieces of twigs cut off from the mother plant. A very important point is which donor tree the cutting is taken from. The plant must certainly be healthy and preferably annual. At the same time, the length of the cutting should not exceed ten centimeters, and the number of leaves on it should not exceed five to eight.

Cut cuttings are devoid of roots, and they take root by planting in the ground. The best periods for cutting conifers are considered to be the middle of spring or the very beginning of autumn. And for hardwoods, it's always June. The most successful containers for planting bonsai are plastic mini-vessels.

In order for the cuttings to take root quickly, they can be additionally treated with a growth stimulator solution before planting. All stimulants are created on the basis of hormones, so the result will certainly be positive. Moreover, deciduous trees take root much faster - in just a couple of weeks. But the rooting of conifers can take a year or even more.

So, take your container, fill it ⅔ full with sand and peat mixed together, and start planting. In this case, the distance between the cuttings should be the same. Now you can pour the seedlings with water and wrap the container with a transparent film. Put the greenhouse in the shade and do not forget to check every day whether there is enough moisture in the soil.

A sign that the cutting has begun to take root will be the appearance of the first young leaves on the shoot. At this moment, it is already possible to slightly open the film so that the future tree slowly hardens and begins to get used to the general environment. After a couple of months, such shoots become suitable for transplanting into separate containers. The best substrate for cuttings is loose earth mixed with clay.

In the first year of life, the stalk does not need to be fed - in fresh soil, and so there will be enough useful minerals and trace elements. And in order for the shoots to survive the first winter, they need to build a shelter. To do this, take containers with seedlings, dig them a little into the ground and cover with a lid or a dense film that will not let the wind through.

It should be noted that not all tree species can be grown by cuttings. These include cedar and pine. But among the most “fast” in terms of growth, elms stand out (in particular, dwarf elm), as well as privet, maple and barberry.

Growing bonsai from seeds

Be prepared for the process of growing bonsai from seeds to be very long. So, it will take you no less than 10-15 years to form a mini tree. All those plants in pots that you can find on the shelves in specialized stores are just about that age. Why does seed growing take such a long time? Let's figure it out further.

The fact is that in order to obtain a certain form from certain types of trees, you need to start striving for this almost from the first minutes of the plant's life. This primarily applies to all types of elms. The only way to transform an elm tree into its signature vertical style is to remove some of the roots in the first year of its growth. Then you just have to regularly trim its shoots on the sides.

If done correctly, by the twentieth year of life it will be clearly seen that the bonsai is grown from seed and has been shaped as such from the very beginning of life. This is determined by the appearance of that part of the root system that is above the soil surface. Thus, the roots of a properly grown bonsai are like equidistant rays of stars that extend from a perfectly shaped trunk. At the same time, the ratio of the size of the crown of a tree and the height of its trunk is proportional. It is impossible to achieve such subtleties by cuttings.

By the way, if you grow bonsai from conifer, don't be afraid to experiment and try to bend its branches into curls. So you can create your own unique fantasy composition. To create another interesting effect, you will need a wire: lay it on the bark and wait until it grows a little into its top layer. Over time, the resulting line will resemble a scar, as if it were a healed wound on the human body. On a rough bark, such scars look especially impressive.

Black pine stems grown from seed are very good at curling. From this tree, the wire can be removed already three years after installation - the bonsai will just have time to get used to its new shape, and its bark will not suffer from this manipulation. Moreover, if desired, the wire can be fixed and re-fixed.

Any intrusion into the trunks and branches of the bonsai is not allowed even after the plant has reached the age of 45. The fact is that over time, the bark begins to coarsen and the “wounds” from the wire simply will not “heal”.

And now back to the question - where to get the seeds for growing bonsai? The easiest way to get them is to buy them in the store. But you can collect the seeds yourself just during an autumn walk through the forest or botanical garden. Do not pass by plantations of hazel, juniper, blackthorn - the seeds of these tree varieties have a hard shell and are easy to grow. To do this, take a container with wet sand, put the seeds, and sprinkle another layer of sand on top. Cover the seedlings with foil, put in a place without drafts and without direct sunlight, leaving the container there for the winter. Periodically moisten the soil with a spray bottle and do not allow it to dry out. This method is called freezing: winter frosts have a devastating effect on the seed coat, which causes cracks to appear on it, from where spring sprouts then sprout.

As a rule, not every seed can sprout, and this is quite normal. Do not throw away unsprouted seeds, they can still sprout for the next season. If the winters in your area of ​​​​residence are more like a long autumn, you can use the freezer to freeze.

As for the soft-shelled seeds, they can be planted in the ground as soon as they have been harvested. Maple seeds germinate the fastest. The only feature is that the container with maple seedlings needs to organize diffused light. In warm winter, the first sprouts will appear without even waiting for spring.

Maintenance and care of bonsai

In order for your bonsai creation to grow and develop, it must be properly and regularly maintained. However, do not forget that each tree species has its own special requirements. Earlier we already figured out what cyclamen care is, and now we will dwell in more detail on the rules for caring for bonsai.

Bonsai site

First of all, it is worth understanding that some types of bonsai require outdoor cultivation, and some can only grow indoors. So, street bonsai cannot be placed in the house, and home bonsai cannot be transferred to fresh air. Be sure to check this point before buying, so as not to accidentally harm the plant.

Seedlings from the subtropics will do best in places where there is a lot of light and high temperatures. You can put such bonsai in open space only if you live in the southern latitudes and are sure that there will be no sudden cold snaps. But it is better not to take risks and put a pot with a tree in a warm room. For outdoor bonsai varieties, even if you grow a representative of the local flora, one way or another, you will need to create a shelter for the cold season.

Soil and irrigation

A range of factors influence the frequency and volume of watering a seedling. And this is not only the type of tree, but also the size of the container in which you grow it, and the composition of the substrate, as well as the type of climate and environmental conditions. In any case, an excess of moisture will lead to the development of root rot, which can cause the death of the tree. And the lack of moisture will not bring benefits. Moreover, bonsai trees are always planted in small pots, which is why the soil in them dries out pretty quickly. Therefore, check daily that the substrate is sufficiently and, most importantly, evenly moistened.

The soil for bonsai must be fertile, rich in nutrients. Gardeners recommend repotting bonsai once every two years. It is in a couple of years that the root system of a tree can grow quite strongly and compact the soil, preventing it from being properly saturated with water, which is so necessary for the plant.

Top dressing

Top dressing is an important aspect of bonsai care. Of course, the type of soil plays an important role, but since trees are always grown in containers with limited space, fertilization is mandatory for normal growth and development of the crop. It is best to add top dressing to the soil during the growing season, that is, exactly when the plant forms its immune system. However, first of all, you need to focus on the needs of your particular bonsai variety. The form of release of dressings (dry or liquid) does not matter.

Methods of forming bonsai

The art of bonsai involves not only growing a tree, but also its formation or, in other words, transformation. This process is both creative and painstaking. It took Eastern craftsmen more than one hundred years to bring the methods of bonsai formation to perfection. But now everyone can master the subtleties of trimming and shaping bonsai with wire. The main thing is not to rush, because the miniaturization of trees is a leisurely journey that should be enjoyed every day.

Bonsai Pruning

Pruning is considered a very important method of keeping bonsai neat and tidy and maintaining the tree's original appearance in the wild. The best periods for pruning bonsai are considered the spring and summer seasons. Get ready for the fact that in order to work with thick branches you will need to acquire special gardening tools. And it is better if it is not a pruner, but concave scissors - the cuts obtained after them grow somewhat faster and more painlessly for the plant.

To understand which branches should be cut and which should be left, it is desirable, of course, to see the tree live. However, there are certain points that will become signals that you definitely cannot do without pruning. For example:

  • if two branches on your bonsai grow at the same level, then one of them must be pruned;
  • you need to get rid of all branches with too strong bends;
  • too thick branches in the upper part of the crown always look cumbersome and also not needed.

Shaping bonsai with wire

We have already mentioned above that you can give the desired shape to bonsai using ordinary wire - gently bending and unbending branches with an ingrown metal tape. The main thing is not to overdo it and remove the wire in a timely manner with wire cutters until the branches begin to coarsen and thicken.

Moreover, on trees with smooth bark, the wire should remain for a slightly shorter period than on trees with rough trunks. This is due to the fact that on a smooth surface the marks will remain more distinct and not always aesthetic. It is allowed to fix the wire in any season of the year.

Artificial aging of bonsai

Artificial aging of a young tree is a very popular method of shaping bonsai. Miniature old-timers always look very unusual. Coniferous species are most easily amenable to artificial aging, but in the case of deciduous, everything will also work out.

So, in order to age the plant, you will need wire cutters or a sharp knife. Remove a small layer of bark with a tool. It is unlikely that it will be possible to do this confidently and accurately the first time, so at first it is better to practice on any branches (the main thing is that they are not dry).

Please note that the bark must not be removed completely. Leave a few thin stripes - they are necessary for the access of moisture and organic matter from the soil to the crown.

Clean removal of the bark is allowed only on those branches that will be cut in the future, as well as on those that, according to the idea, will be “dead”. By the way, the trunks of dead branches can be transformed with engravers, chisels and other wood carving tools. Do not be afraid to experiment and you will certainly succeed.

Bonsai: description, cultivation, types (photo)

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Once upon a time, a Chinese emperor ordered the creation of a miniature empire for his palace, with mountains, plains, meadows, forests and rivers, the sight of which would please his heart and eyes. To fulfill the ruler's command, the gardeners created tiny living trees, a miniature analogue of growing giants.

Contents:

  • 1 Plants in a flat jar
  • 2 Appearance
  • 3 Dwarf trees in the house
  • 4 Growing features
  • 5 Necessary maintenance

Plants in flat jar

The art of bonsai (translated from Japanese means "a plant grown in a tray") is the process of growing in a small shallow vessel an exact, but reduced to a miniature size, copy of a tall tree grown in natural conditions.

The birthplace of this fascinating art form is China, where it originated about two thousand years ago, and six centuries later, together with the Buddhists, it ended up in Japan, where it developed: the Japanese not only improved the methods of growing graceful trees, but also systematized (Japanese bonsai differs from Chinese in great elegance).

If we talk about Japanese art, it must be borne in mind that it is not just a process of growing a bonsai, but is a whole philosophy, since the person involved in this must have the appropriate attitude: be wise, benevolent, delicate and have a sense of justice.

Since the art of bonsai became extremely popular in the twentieth century, this approach to growing miniature trees by Europeans was somewhat simplified: those who want to have such a miracle in their home, it is enough to take their work seriously, with love and show maximum attention to the plant. In this case, miniature trees are quite capable of living for more than a hundred years, uniting several generations of the family with their presence.

Appearance

Bonsai of pine and other plants must completely resemble a tree grown in natural conditions and even through the leaves have well-visible branches and a strong trunk with clearly visible roots. It is necessary to plant a homemade bonsai in a shallow vessel of a simple shape with a discreet color.

Trees grown by this method are usually small: the largest plant is 120 centimeters high, the smallest one does not exceed five. In this regard, the following classification of plants is distinguished:

  • Large - height from 60 to 120 cm;
  • Medium - 30 to 60 cm;
  • Small - 15 to 30 cm;
  • Miniature - 5 to 15 cm;
  • Tiny - up to 5 cm.

The most popular indoor bonsai are from five to thirty centimeters: they are so beautiful, fragile and graceful that, causing involuntary awe, they give the impression of belonging to an amazing magical land of miniature things.

Dwarf trees in house

Before you create a bonsai at home, you need to consider that experts do not recommend forcibly turning large and medium-sized plants into dwarfs.

In order to grow bonsai at home, it is advisable to either buy an adult tree of the right size, or grow it using seeds.

Experts recommend that people interested in how to grow bonsai buy seeds from plants that have little foliage or needles. For example, bonsai of pine, dwarf bamboo, cypress, buckthorn. Ficus bonsai Benjamin is also well suited - an evergreen shrub (despite the fact that this plant does not belong to traditional Japanese art, it is very popular in the world because of its ease of care and rapid growth).

Before growing a bonsai with your own hands, you need to take into account that the occupation is not easy and you will have to constantly take care of the tree: in order to get a full-fledged plant, it will take at least four years (this is how much it will take for the seeds to germinate and form a strong trunk).

It should also be borne in mind that indoor bonsai are trees, therefore, like other plants of this species, they need fresh air and enough light. For example, bonsai pine is quite a way to grow both indoors and outdoors, but Japanese black pine prefers to grow only outdoors, so in winter you need to place the plant in the coldest room and monitor the lighting.

Cultivation features

Create bonsai from tropical and native plants. Before you make a bonsai, you need to consider the following points:

  • What kind of soil does the tree grow on;
  • How light-loving it is;
  • Where it prefers to grow - in the shade or in the light, in wet or dry areas.

Having chosen a suitable soil, having looked at the place where the created bonsai will be located with your own hands, you need to decide which method to grow a tree: by cuttings or with the help of seeds.

A person interested in how to grow bonsai should consider that growing bonsai from seed is the longest process. To create a bonsai of pine, cherry, oak and other trees that are poorly cut by cuttings, it will not work in any other way: only with the help of seeds.

Seeds of plants growing in temperate latitudes must be cold worked. To do this, they must first be placed in a container with moistened sand and put in the refrigerator. At the same time, there is no such trouble with the seeds of plants of subtropical and tropical latitudes, but they must be soaked in slightly warm water the day before sowing.

The soil in which the seeds should be planted must be loose and well breathable (excellent soil for seed germination is obtained by mixing peat with sand). In order for the seeds to germinate, the soil must be moist, and the air temperature should not be lower than 25 degrees.

But after the appearance of sprouts, the situation changes dramatically: the air temperature should not be higher than eighteen degrees. At the same time, young sprouts need moderate moisture and a lot of light, otherwise they will become weak and prone to diseases. After three to four weeks, they are seated in separate vessels (it should be borne in mind that in large dishes the plant may die, since its small root system cannot cope with the abundance of moisture).

Propagation by cuttings is the fastest way. It must be borne in mind that the cuttings of many trees do not take root well, and therefore, in order for everything to work out, optimal conditions should be constantly maintained: combine high air humidity with low soil moisture.

The age of the trees from which the cuttings will be cut should be between 5 and 10 years, and if the plant is considered difficult to root, then younger (from 2 to 3 years). At what time of the year to cut the cuttings depends largely on the latitude where the tree grows: for deciduous plants in temperate latitudes, this is May and July, but for conifers, this period occurs either in early spring before the buds begin to swell, or in late summer, when active growth ends.

To get a cutting, you need to take the middle or upper part of the shoot up to 20 cm long, on which there are at least two nodes. A cut is made two centimeters from the lower shoot, after which the cutting is inserted into the ground so that its lower node is completely immersed in the ground: the root system will be located here.

As with seeds, the substrate must be porous to allow good air and water permeability. The sprout should be periodically sprayed or placed in a sufficiently damp place (the planted stalk can be placed under a glass jar or covered with polyethylene). The air temperature must be at least twenty-four degrees, and the place where the cutting will be located should be well lit and ventilated.

tree shape

When forming a composition, you need to remember that everything should look natural, and all components should be combined with each other. For example, it is impossible to plant flowering and fruit trees, grass and shrubs, or shrubs and trees in one vessel. Also, the composition should not have a lot of greenery or color.

One of the most difficult tasks is to create a tree of the intended shape, for which they use methods such as pruning, bandaging, cutting branches and other methods (the plant should not have more than two or three branches). Among the variety of forms, the main types of bonsai are distinguished:

  • Straight - the tree has a straight, slightly thickened trunk;
  • Oblique - grows at an angle;
  • Multi-stemmed - the tree lies on the ground, and several trunks grow from it;
  • Cascading - the top of the tree is inclined below the soil boundary.

Essential maintenance

While the plant is just being formed, it should be borne in mind that it needs to be watered very often, but not flooded, fertilizers should be given in limited quantities, and transplanted once a year, in spring, removing excess roots. As for the soil in which the tree will be planted, it is advisable to make it yourself by mixing humus, clay and fine gravel or coarse sand (soil sold in stores is not very suitable).

When caring for miniature trees, keep in mind that it is easier to grow it in the open air, since indoor air is too dry for it. If the plant is kept on a balcony or in a garden, it is quite easy to take care of it (the only thing is that in summer you need to cover it from direct sunlight, and hide it from rain and wind in winter). But indoor bonsai require careful care, so they are usually short-lived.

There are trees designed specifically for the apartment, and therefore, having greater endurance, they require less maintenance. But they still need to be kept away from heating devices: they need high humidity. Also, when caring for these plants, it must be borne in mind that they are afraid of drafts.

In any case, both outdoor and indoor miniature trees are among the most demanding indoor plants, and therefore care for them is not easy: improper care will either kill the tree or turn it into an ordinary, unattractive plant.

Given that bonsai is mainly a plant of tropical and subtropical latitudes, the climate of the temperate zone does not suit it, therefore, it must be created independently.

When growing a tropical tree, it must be remembered that since the day is shorter in temperate latitudes, additional lighting must be created for the plant (this issue is especially relevant in winter). Considering that each tree needs a different amount of light, it is advisable to check with specialists or on the Internet on special thematic forums about how to care for your plant (how much light it needs and where exactly to put it).

Subtropical trees, such as rosemary, pomegranate, olive, are kept in a room in winter, the temperature in which ranges from 5 to 15 ° C, and taken out into fresh air in summer. But it’s more difficult to take care of tropical trees: they don’t like cold, so they are kept indoors, the temperature of which ranges from 18 to 25 ° C, and even in summer they are not recommended to be placed on window sills made of stone. It should be remembered that the higher the temperature indicators of the atmosphere, the more the tree needs light, water and nutrients.

Since a small tree is in dire need of moisture, it needs to be provided.


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