How to grow a baobab bonsai tree
How to Grow a Baobab Tree
Gigantic, exotic and gargantuan, baobab tree is special. Learn how to grow a baobab tree as growing baobab tree is not that difficult if you understand the basics. You can also make a baobab bonsai, it looks superb.
What is a Baobab Tree?
Baobab is a low maintenance tree and regarded as world’s largest succulent. It can also be grown in pot, baobab bonsai is famous and is particularly well suited for beginners and if you have a large backyard, you can grow it outside. The baobab tree flourishes on poor soils, tolerates heat and has the ability to store large amounts of water, to survive in drought.
USDA Zones: 10 – 12, can be grown in other zones in pots with care in winter
Other Names: Adansonia (scientific name), boab, boaboa, tabaldi, bottle tree, upside-down tree, and monkey bread tree.
Height: up to 30 meters
Bloom Color: White
Even gardeners without green fingers can make it with a little patience, to multiply the baobab tree. This is done in two ways:
Growing Baobab from Seed
Before sowing, the Baobab seeds needs soaking at room temperature. For this, soak the seeds for one day in warm water. After that, scarify the baobab seeds on sandpaper to expose their inner white layer.
Dry seeds indoors for a day before planting. The germination rate of baobab seeds is low, so sow 3 times more seeds than required.
Sow baobab seeds 1 to 2 inch deep and keep the soil temperature above at least 15 degrees Celsius. It is important to keep soil evenly moist, but not kept wet.
Once the roots are formed, baobab can be planted into individual pots or on the grounds. The pot you use should have a minimum diameter of seven centimeters.
The germination of baobab seeds is sporadic, their germination can take anywhere from a week to a month. The cultivation of baobab from seed requires some patience. Because in some cases, the germination can take several months.
Propagation from cuttings
Baobab tree can also be grown from cutting. For this, take cutting in spring from the tree. The cuttings should have at least three leaves.
After taking a cutting, let it dry for a few days to reduce the chances of fungal attacks and stem rot. After that, plant the cutting in soil mixture of sand and peat.
Location and Soil
Growing baobab tree requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, it appreciates as much sun as given. If baobab receives too little daylight, it grows slowly and spindly and leaves turns yellow.
In order to create the optimum soil conditions for the baobab, soil must have good drainage and should be sandy. To make baobab soil at home, mix 3 parts of compost, 2 parts of sand in 1 part soil.
However, best to buy premixed cactus soil. This allows better aeration of the soil and prevents the roots rot.
Watering and fertilizing
Watering requirement of baobab is moderate to low as it is native to arid areas of Africa and it should be done carefully. If you’re growing baobab in container, choose one with good drainage holes, so that the excess water can seep out from bottom.
Overwatering should be avoided. Before watering the plant again, always check if the soil is dry. If it is moist, do not water. As baobab is very tolerant to droughts, do not water if unsure.
Mature baobab tree on ground does not need any fertilizer. Fertilize young and potted plant with liquid succulent fertilizer that is high in potassium and low in nitrogen every month.
Taking care of a baobab is simple. The sturdy exotic plant loves warm, sunny and bright location. Larger specimens survive longer drying sessions. Seedlings, on other hand need more water and should be kept moderately moist. Baobab tree if grown successfully, rewards you not only with its ornamental thick trunk and rich green leaves, but also with large white flowers and edible fruits.
Knowing how to grow a baobab tree is not as difficult as overwintering it especially if you’re living in extremely cold climate. You’ll need to do a lot of care to overwinter it.
Place it indoors, in a bright and warm position near a windowsill. Try to keep temperature around 10 C, lower than this will stunt baobab.
In winter, baobab tree drops its leaves and goes to dormancy. During this time water sparingly, watering in winter can cause root rot.
Also stop to fertilize. In the spring, place it back at its usual location. Resume watering when buds begin to swell.
Baobab tree can be easily made into a bonsai.
If you are growing baobab trees in pot, repotting is necessary. The growth of baobab roots is very strong. Therefore, the tree requires enough space to unfold. Repot baobab when plants seems root bound, roots starts to appear on upper surface.
The baobab tree can be pruned throughout the year except winter. It’s easy, simply remove the shoots, which are located under the main crown. If possible, make a cut near bud. So a new bud of the branch will be ensured.
In order to cut individual branches summer is the ideal time.
Diseases, pests and other problems
Some common pests that attracts on baobab tree are mealybugs, spider mites and fungus gnats.
Baobab Tree Facts and Adaptations
It has strong branches, impressive trunk and fleshy leaves.
Baobab tree forms large white flowers after a few years of growing, it also produces fruits that taste well and provide energy.
Fruits are rich in calcium and slightly acidic.
Baobab tree is drought tolerant and has the ability to store large amounts of water in its trunk and roots.
It is forgiving, robust and low-maintenance plant.
Baobab tree is a long living tree, it can live up to 1000 of years.
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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.
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 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.
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.
How to grow bonsai from seeds: a complete guide
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The fashion for miniature trees has swept the world. Planted in shallow pots, beautiful and durable bonsai are the result of many years of work. Let's figure out what is their beauty?
And what should be done to make a ten-year-old tree look like it is 150 years old? The rules for the formation of miniature trees are not dogma, but just tips that give the author enough freedom.
Observations of nature led to the emergence of various styles of bonsai. If the outer silhouette of the tree has a shape close to a triangle, the author should take the style of straight lines as a basis, the panicle style can be recognized by the abundant foliage and the crown, which has the shape of a semicircle, the cascading style is used when the silhouette of the tree is attached to the sea rock. A group of formed trees can symbolize a miniature forest.
The ideal of beauty
Classic pots are not always used for bonsai. Increasingly, gardeners are looking for species that can be planted directly into the soil.
Properly designed bonsai has a strong root system and a beautiful stem tapering towards the top, the curves of which are harmoniously arranged. At the same time, 1/3 of the lower part of the trunk should be completely cleared of the kidneys - and 2/3 of the upper part of the trunk should be partially open. A correctly created composition has its own "face" - the top of the tree should be directed towards the beholder.
The word "bonsai" in free translation from Japanese means "potted plants".
How to grow nolina - a bottle tree
This unusual tree is also known as rock brachychiton. The barrel is non-standard, reminiscent of a bottle, which is why the well-known name has gone. Historical homeland - Australia and Mexico. The hot climate and aridity of the southern regions have become the reason for the unusual appearance. The hollow trunk contributes to the accumulation of moisture, thanks to which nolina survives a long time without rain.
This is the bottle tree: home care requires some specific knowledge.
Please note! These houseplants are known as elephant feet and bokarneys.
More than 30 species of elephant foot are found in the wild, but only the bent leg can feel comfortable at home. In a pot, this plant rarely exceeds a meter in height; in the natural environment, there are bokarneys with a trunk of more than 10 meters. Artiodactyls can graze under the spreading crown of this giant.
In nature, this tree absorbs moisture during the rainy season and stores it in the trunk. In order not to disturb the natural way of life of a bottle house tree, the soil is plentifully irrigated in spring and summer. The recommended method is not from a watering can, but by immersion.
Do it like this:
- The plant should be planted in a pot with a drainage hole.
- To irrigate, place the container with the bokarney in a basin filled with settled water.
- Wait until the soil is completely wet.
- Remove the pot, allow excess moisture to drain.
- Transferred to a permanent place.
Watering frequency - at least once every 6 days, it is unacceptable to allow the soil to dry out. On hot days, nolina is sprayed from a spray bottle. This will help prevent diseases and pests.
Bottle tree is a wonderful unpretentious inhabitant of indoor pots
Nolina is undemanding to the quality of the soil, because she is used to poor soils. But to stimulate growth, a home tree can sometimes be pampered with mineral complexes. The frequency of such procedures is up to 1 time per month, carried out after irrigation or simultaneously with it.
Please note! The peculiarity of the bottle tree is that it is permissible to introduce into the soil 50% of the dose that is prescribed in the instructions for the complex.
The flowers of the nolina tree are very interesting, cream colored, they are collected in panicle-shaped inflorescences. But you can only watch this spectacle in the wild. even with the most conscientious care at home, this guest from hot latitudes will not please with its flowering.
At the end of autumn - beginning of winter, nolina needs to be transferred to a special period - rest. Irrigation stops, the pot is transferred to the balcony or to a cool room, where the thermometer shows 10 degrees.
Please note! In winter, the plant receives moisture from reserves in its own trunk, at which time drought is more dangerous for it than excess moisture. You can water only when signs of wrinkling appear.
It implies a smooth transition to the dormant mode: lowering the temperature to 9 degrees, reducing irrigation, increasing the time intervals between them. Feeding is also not carried out.
The bottle tree looks very unusual and draws attention to itself
The lowest branch of everything is the thinnest and thickest, the rest - the higher, the thinner and shorter. By the same principle, lateral sprouts growing from the main branches are also located. Even if all the branches are pressed to the ground, their ends are still directed towards the sun. The correct proportion between the thickness of the trunk and the height of the tree is 1:10, 1:15. This means that a tree with a 10 cm trunk in diameter should not be higher than 150 cm. The exception is an umbrella-shaped bonsai - the rules do not apply to the thickness of the trunk of such a tree.
one of the most popular ways to create a garden bonsai is to dig up a young tree from open ground in autumn, the crown of which has already been sufficiently formed, and transplant it into a container. This saves time allotted for the formation of the crown.
Bonsai - a miniature copying the proportions of a culture that grows in nature
Forming a bonsai sometimes requires drastic action. Since young trees should give the impression of centuries - they are shortened, the gap between the branches is discharged by cutting them, sometimes the branches are tied to nets or arched on racks. It is important to remove the entire structure at a certain time, when the plant takes the desired “natural” form, while leaving no traces. Shaping a bonsai is a special job, not at all similar to the usual cutting of trees, where it is enough to have only shrub shears.
Bonsai does not like to rush
In this case, it is necessary to analyze every step and constantly monitor the reaction of the plant, which will soon have new branches instead of a bud.
For work, you need to use special equipment. For example, in pines, new buds, the so-called candles, must be removed only by hand so as not to leave marks. In general, it is believed that there is less work with conifers, since it is enough to cut them once a year, and for deciduous trees this procedure must be repeated twice a year - in early spring during the period of leaf development.
Try it yourself
If you have a balcony or terrace, try growing a small tree. These miniature plants in flat bowls, blooming in spring and changing color in autumn, are a great substitute for a large garden. They can even survive frosts if they are constantly looked after (it is important to ensure that the root system does not freeze and dry out). In this case, it is better to place the plant, along with the container, in a decorative wooden box filled with wet leaves or peat.
As a bonsai plant, you can choose any tree that is common in your area and winters in the open field (if not grown in a bowl).
In a Japanese garden, just one bonsai tree is enough. It is then that it will attract the eye and become something unusual. A heap of far-fetched forms in a small space scatters attention. And completely contrary to the principles of this art.
If you plan to place a well-formed tree in the garden, it is better to choose a quiet corner where it will be able to shine with beauty against the backdrop of calm greenery or a smooth wall.
And remember, bonsai from the garden cannot be transferred to a warm room, this will prevent him from calmly surviving the winter.
Before you start shaping a tree, study it well. In search of inspiration, look closely at old oaks, pines struggling with the wind, junipers located on a sea cliff. Bonsai should imitate them. Try to imagine how your tree should look like in the future, then proceed to its gradual formation, analyzing each step. Never create it contrary to nature. If you do not have imagination and a strong desire to deal with plants, it is better not to start doing this art ...
Ways to use indoor trees
Decorative trees for the home - the choice of owners of spacious properties. They will help to place bright accents, harmoniously fit into the style of country, Provence, rustic, Mediterranean. Planted in stylish black or metallic containers, such representatives of the flora will be appropriate in ultra-modern interiors.
Nolina bottle tree - an original natural decoration of the room
Home trees are an easy way to give your home originality and originality. They simultaneously give rise to comfort and emphasize the special taste of the owner. Such plants look good in a room decorated in antique or the mysterious East. And tiny bonsai trees can become a decorative element that promotes relaxation. In the East, the practice of caring for a bonsai garden is popular to restore peace of mind and peace.
Here are some ways to use living trees in interior design:
- Place potted plants about 1.5 meters high on either side of a sofa or chair. They will help you completely relax, make a mental journey into the forest.
- They can be used for decoration of office premises, shops, studios, catering establishments. The main thing is that the selected breed grows in suitable conditions for it and looks harmoniously against the background of the situation as a whole.
- Not limited to trees. Some create a real tropical forest in their home: mosses and ferns find shelter under the crown, lianas hang from the ceiling. It turns out a very beautiful space, the only drawback of which is the laboriousness of care.
- Large plants are used to highlight functional areas.
Please note! There is a special direction in interior design, phytodesign, which involves the use of not only living plants, but also trunks and branches. Knots and branches are suitable for creating crafts - decorative ornaments, accessories for animals, such as cat scratching posts.
Exquisite compositions of live plants are a sign of the refined taste of the owner
Oriental art of growing bonsai trees is also a popular trend in phytodesign. The birthplace of bonsai is China, but the Japanese managed to bring the technique to perfection.
Conifers and deciduous species, both native to the region and overseas guests, are suitable for growing in this manner. To give a dwarf form, these trees are shaped in a special way.
Important! Bonsai are best grown in poor soil to prevent overgrowth of the crown.
Bonsai style allows you to grow more than 300 types of small trees, including blue maple, white pine, lemon, birch, cedar, sakura and many others. The standard height of plants is no more than 1 meter. The required shape is given with a wire.
A house tree in a pot is an original element of a room interior. To care for the plant was minimal, you should choose the right variety. Suitable for planting:
- Bottle tree.
- Various citrus fruits: lemons, oranges. They can be grown even from the bone of a purchased fruit.
- Coffee and laurel trees. With proper care, some owners even managed to get a crop.
- Palms and ficuses. These are classic potted plants, not perceived as exotic.
- Indoor maple. A tree up to 1.5 meters tall with long elegant flowering in winter.
- Snake tree. The name was given to him by the specific color of the leaves, imitating the skin of a reptile.
You can choose other varieties, the main thing is that they are unpretentious in care, they tolerate the forced lack of light well. A brand new pot, in which a unique plant grows, will help the owner to survive a lot of pleasant minutes.
We create bonsai
Larch, cypress, juniper, pine, cherry plum, hornbeam, beech, oak and even mountain ash are well suited for bonsai.
Sometimes you can buy a plant already formed at the initial stage - prebonsai. You should also stock up on special equipment for the formation of bonsai.
You will need a file and pliers for forming branches and knots, scissors for leaves and branches, wire. And don't forget the wound care products. They are necessary, as heavily cut wood is susceptible to bacteria and fungi. For small trees, a special mass is best - "Bonsai Lac", it protects the tree from infections and stimulates the development of tissue around the wound.
Do-it-yourself bonsai from apple trees, pears, quince and other trees
In fruit and berry trees and shrubs in the form of bonsai, you change the foliage depending on the season, they bloom beautifully, and when the fruits are tied, it is impossible to take your eyes off them . Among such trees that can be kept without any problems in the conditions of central Russia are apple trees, pears, hawthorns and quince, more rare plums and cherries, as well as berry bushes that are very rare in bonsai, such as red currant.
Not every home owner has the patience to grow typical bonsai dwarf trees. Therefore, those who still want to decorate their window sill, balcony or just a room with a tree should not limit themselves, because there are a lot of alternatives to them - from natural to artificial.
Artificial dwarfs are quite common. They do not require watering, but they look quite natural due to the high-quality imitation of living textures. Creating them is also a real art, but not a single such tree will give that energy charge that a seedling growing in a pot or even a tub gives.
Dwarfs will easily be replaced by tree-like plants, and not by dwarf citrus species and low-growing indoor conifers. Similarly, cardelins, dracaena and fast-growing bamboos will cope with the task. They will compete well with flowering azaleas and hibiscus.
Dwarf lemon on the balcony
Bright azalea will decorate any interior
Indoor plants in a modern interior
Bonsai in the bedroom interior
fruit. For example, citrus fruits can have both at the same time, which makes them simply unique.
As for other fruit plants, such as dwarf varieties of apple, pear and almond, they will require special wintering conditions, but they have another advantage. Such plants, planted in containers, can be taken out to an open balcony or terrace for the summer. But what will be the chosen tree depends purely on your preferences. After all, not every plant will equally successfully fit into the created interior.
Bright and beautiful hibiscus looks good in the bedroom
Abundance of greenery in the modern interior
Dracaena in the interior
Where does bonsai come from
Of course, given the low height of bonsai, for proportionality, you should choose species with a small size of the fruit (and flowers), since no tricks and tricks can achieve their reduction. Therefore, in order to create bonsai, preference is clearly given to trees and shrubs of small-fruited species and varieties. It is also desirable to choose specimens with a medium-sized leaf and short internodes, however, these characteristics can be changed in the right direction by the skillful use of agricultural practices.
There are many varieties of ornamental fruit trees on the market today, especially apple trees. If it is possible to purchase a plant with a thicker and interestingly curved base, then this is the best option for creating a bonsai from such a tree in the future.
Ornamental apple trees, as a rule, are distinguished by small fruits. When buying, it makes sense to pay attention to the following.
First of all, bonsai appreciates naturalness, the naturalness of the tree, so varieties with red, and even more so with variegated foliage, are poorly suited for bonsai. Particular attention should be paid to the accuracy of grafting (and all ornamental apple trees are grafted). Very often, the grafting site looks like an unattractive thickening on the trunk, and over the years this only becomes more noticeable.
I think it doesn't make much sense to point out that when choosing wood material for bonsai, one should avoid weakened plants, trees with abundant root growth, large damage, dead wood, cracks, peeling bark, discharge, hollows, obvious signs of the presence of pests and diseases, recently transplanted plants, etc. It goes without saying that these considerations should be taken into account when choosing not only apple trees, but also other fruit and other trees that are planned to be formed in the form of bonsai.
In addition, wild fruit trees can often be found in nature, and in and around garden plots, owners often get rid of certain fruit trees or shrubs that can become good material for bonsai. However, older specimens are often too thick and heavy. Transplanting such trees requires not only knowledge, but also considerable physical strength, which must be taken into account when deciding whether to dig such a tree. Even more difficult is the survival of such specimens after digging.
People often ask when is the best time to dig up trees. From experience I can say that it is preferable in the fall. Trees dug out at the very end of summer or early autumn have more time to restore the root system before the onset of frost. If a tree is dug up in the spring, then the risk is much higher that, under the influence of heat and light, the tree will grow due to the internal forces of the trunk, practically not using the root system that has not yet been functioning after transplantation, and, accordingly, having spent strength, it will die.
I prefer to prepare old trees for digging in early autumn by cutting the roots around the base of the trunk in a circle with a sharp shovel and leaving them in place for a year or two. Thus, the tree grows a compact root system and then transplants much more easily. However, even in this case, it is necessary to reduce the crown as much as possible when digging, since a radically cut root system will not be able to support the entire crown of the tree as a whole.
Do not forget about such a method of obtaining thick and interesting material for bonsai from fruit plants as air layering. Layering is done in the spring, immediately after bud break on the desired branch, which has a beautiful shape.
The best substrate for growing new roots is sphagnum moss or vermiculite, which retains moisture for a long time, especially if it is not possible to regularly water the layer. To minimize watering, you can completely wrap the grafting site with cellophane, tying it above and below the layers, and additionally wrap it with foil on top, which will reflect sunlight and prevent the layering site from overheating and drying out quickly.
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Variety of assortment
Folk wisdom: if you want to do something nice, give a flower in a pot. And if a simple flower brings pleasant emotions, then a real tree will make them unforgettable. An extremely large assortment offered for sale will make them especially unforgettable. Dwarf trees for the home can be bought just for yourself, for example, and not as a gift. So, for sure, there will be no problems with taste preferences.
Dwarf trees grown at home are conditionally divided into several categories:
- Selected dwarf breeds.
- Artificially reduced habitual trees (bonsai).
Podocarpus bonsai in a modern interior
Dwarf citrus tree in a kitchen interior
Bonsai with red leaves in the interior of a living room in a private house
Regarding the latter, their number is quite small on sale. But this is not at all due to a shortage of high-quality planting material, but to the difficulties of their cultivation. Some specimens of bonsai in their age reach several hundred years, but despite this, they do not lose their miniature size and, as a result of long-term cultivation, only increase their value. So, for one collectible copy, you will have to pay about several thousand USD. Similar copies are shown at exhibitions and are inherited.
Bonsai trees can be made from completely unremarkable varieties of trees, but to achieve the mastery of cultivating such plants, it will take more than one year before a unique specimen is obtained from an elm shoot. Why are fast-growing forms of dwarfs created.
Bonsai expensive and hard to care for, but extraordinarily beautiful
Beautiful bonsai with abundant lilac color in the interior
Dwarf hot pepper will be an unusual solution for decorating the interior
Baobab in miniature
Regardless of how you purchased your bonsai stock, the first step is likely to be to shorten the trunk as much as possible, leaving only the part of it that is needed for future bonsai. Best of all, if the tree has a vertically growing branch that can become a new crown, then the trunk above this branch can simply be cut off. If there is no such branch, then you need to cut the trunk a little higher and wait one vegetative season until dormant buds wake up in this part of the trunk and new branches grow, one of which can then be chosen as a new leader.
Such a radical pruning of the trunk, as a rule, serves as an impetus for the appearance of dormant buds throughout the trunk, from which new branches grow. A year later, from these branches, it will be possible to select the skeletal branches of the future bonsai, and cut off the rest.
However, if some parts of the trunk need further thickening, it is necessary to leave the maximum number of branches in this place and let them grow and “work” to thicken this particular section of the trunk. Then, after waiting for the desired thickness, these branches can be cut. It also makes sense to temporarily leave as many branches as possible around large cuts, as they help heal wounds more quickly.
Look at the "face" of the tree
A tree that has grown over a year after cutting the trunk is usually ready for primary formation. First of all, it is necessary to determine the "face" of the future bonsai. those. the most advantageous view of the base of the tree with roots protruding from the ground (nebari) and the trunk itself, in which the most interesting bends and its slope are most visible.
Having determined the "face", you can begin to select the skeletal branches. Usually the first branch is located on the left or right at a height of about 1/3 of the future height of the bonsai.
The next branch is slightly higher on the other side, the third one is even higher and behind, and so on. It is important to bear in mind that the higher the branches, the smaller the distance between them should be. It is desirable to ensure uniform alternation of branches. Avoid T-shaped branches, and in the lower two-thirds of the trunk, forward-facing branches.
Having selected future skeletal branches in this way, all the rest can be cut off so that the tree does not waste energy on them.
When cutting both the trunk and thick branches, it is desirable to leave large cuts on the back side. It is optimal to carry out such pruning in early spring, before bud break. A few days after pruning, you can wire the remaining branches to give them the desired direction and shape.
As a rule, fruit trees grow and get fat rather quickly, so you need to regularly monitor if the wire has begun to cut into the bark, and if this happens, remove the wire in a timely manner and wind it again, but in a different place.
This is the most important, fundamental stage in the formation of bonsai, during which it makes sense to act as thoughtfully as possible. Correcting serious mistakes in the choice of the “bonsai face and the location of the main, especially the lower skeletal branches, will subsequently take a very long time.
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Bonsai trees for the home: combining plants after that, only maintain the state of the plant, which is much easier. One in the interior will be quite enough if it is a full-fledged adult tree, and not just a prepared seedling.
If these are very small dwarfs, then there may be several of them. If you follow Eastern philosophy, it is better if there are an odd number of them in neighboring containers, for example, three. However, an adult dwarf can also be supplemented with a pair of young specimens of the same age or different in proportion to the corresponding sizes of a third and two-thirds of the older specimen.
Elm dwarf tree
Araucaria dwarf coniferous tree
If you decide on an alternative to growing other tree crops, you can use the technique used by experienced florists and designers. In a large container, they grow not one plant, but a pair at once, which mutually complement each other. The main condition for this is the same conditions necessary for growing, namely humidity, temperature and soil quality. So, plants from the same climatic region are well combined with each other.
Benjamin ficus bonsai
There are several options to consider. For example, a tree can be combined with a vine, for which it will be the main support. In another case, provided that the container is high enough, the tree can be supplemented with ampelous (hanging) houseplant varieties.
Dwarf flowering tree loropetalum
Bonsai called Eugenia
Without noise and dust
In the future, more detailed work is to be done on growing and branching skeletal branches and crown, clarifying their shape and slope. In order for the skeletal branches to gain the desired thickness (usually no more than 1/3 of the thickness of the trunk at the base of the corresponding branch) as quickly as possible, it makes sense to continue to keep the bonsai in a large training container and transplant into a small bonsai container only when the tree is largely formed . On the other hand, shaping the bonsai initially in a bonsai pot often helps to better appreciate the aesthetic aspects and make the right decisions when choosing branches, pruning and shaping the bonsai as a whole.
It is important both at the stage of plant engraftment and during its formation to use the most airy soil, since it is rough soil without fine particles and dust that maximizes the growth of the root system, which, in turn, is the basis for rapid growth, thickening and branching of skeletal branches and crown, as well as tightening wounds from pruning.
During the summer, trees are best kept in full sun and fresh air, watered regularly as needed (every day in hot weather) and maximized fertilizer application to promote green growth and thicker stems and branches.
In the photos you can see the results of my work on bonsai from fruit and berry trees and shrubs and in some cases compare them with the original appearance of the tree.
I wish you all inspirational work on bonsai and stunning trees!
Oddly enough, the conditions for growing dwarf crops are practically no different from those familiar to other indoor plants. Watering is weekly, and the temperature regime is usual for apartments and houses both in summer and winter. At the same time, no one forbids taking out dwarfs in the summer in shaded areas outside the rooms. They feel great both on closed balconies and loggias, and on open terraces.
Canonically, dwarfs are placed one at a time, highlighting them as much as possible against the background of the general space. They are installed on an elevation, window sill or in a niche where the plant will feel comfortable. But no one forbids turning on fantasy and recreating a whole garden of midgets in miniature.
Proper watering for bonsai is very important
Irrigation of bonsai trees
Giving a certain appearance to the bonsai tree with scissors
Some bonsai require not only watering, but also spraying the leaves, which not only provides increased nutrition and respiration for the plant, but also significantly improves its appearance. But you should not overmoisten the soil, as this will lead to adverse consequences. By the way, very little soil is used for cultivation. If you literally translate the term "bonsai", it will mean "grown on a platter." That is, the land should be enough only to keep the dwarf and provide minimal nutrition.
This is also related to the peculiarities of transplantation. Transshipment habitual to all does not suit them. For such indoor plants, it is modified and is carried out quite rarely (no more than once every 5 years for fast-growing species and 10 years for classic bonsai).