An Introduction to Bonsai

An Introduction to Bonsai

Where do Bonsai come from?

Bonsai originated in China where it was an acitivity exclusively for the elite.  In the middle ages, Chinese monks took them to Japan, along with the Buddhist religion.  The Japanese adopted the art form and developed their own methods and styles.

Bonsai can be grown from seed, seedlings and cuttings or collected from the wild.  The aim is to cultivate a tree, which though small in size, has the appearance of being an aged tree.  This is made easier by following a set of guidelines developed by the Japanese over hundreds of years.

The following are a few simple guidelines about branch placement, stle and shape, you can create a beautiful Bonsai and ad a touch of Japan to your garden.  Your Bonsai will be your very own, every changing, living art form.

Classical Bonsai Styles

How do I look after my Bonsai?

  • Pot them in a good free-draining soil mix and feed them regularly with fertiliser.
  • Bonsai need to be kept outdoors, after all they are trees!  Keep them in a place that is protected from the wind.  The pots are quite small and will dry out quickly in windy weather.  Bonsai love the morning sun, so choose a position where they get lots of sun in the morning.  Water them regularly.  Most Bonsai should be watered daily.
  • Trim the tree regularly.
  • Repot them just before spring, removing the old soil approx. one third and trimming the roots.  Trimming some of the thicker roots will help the tree to grow more fine hair roots for feeding and also reduce the size of the root ball so it will fit back into the same pot.
  • Reading books, taking lessons or joining a club are great sources of information and will give you the skills to grow your Bonsai.