Suitable Species for Bonsai

As mentioned earlier, all trees and shrubs can be made into a bonsai. However, not all may give you the results you are looking for. As you already know, the major charm of a bonsai is capturing the elements of a large tree. Thus, using a tree with large leaves would defeat the goal of growing a bonsai. It may be possible to reduce the size of the leaves through leaf trimming. However, for trees with large leaves, leaf trimming will not get the leaves of the trees to an acceptable size for a bonsai.

The good news is that there are a lot of suitable species to choose from. You may not have to go somewhere else to find one, as they may be available in your backyard.

Below is a list of suitable species for bonsai.

· Red Maple

· Desert rose

· Cryptomeria Sugi

· Cupressus

· Common Quince

· Shrubby Cinquefoil

· Vine Maple

· Amur Maple

· Montpelier Maple

· Japanese Maple

· Sycamore Maple

· Alder

· Amelanchier

· Honey Locust

· Hibiscus

· Ampelopsis

· Fir

· Trident Maple

· Field Maple, Hedge Maple

· Camellia

· Carmona

· Hornbeam

· Strawberry tree

· Cedar

· Lebanon Cedar, Blue Atlas Cedar

· Hinoki Cypress

· Sawara Cypress

· Privet

· Sweetgum

· Eastern Juniper

· Crape myrtle, Indian Lilac

· Australian grape vine, Wild Grape, Kangaroo Vine

· Dogwood

· Smoke Tree

· Chinese Hackberry

· Flowering Quince

· Cypress

· Japanese Larch

· Shrubby Honeysuckles

· Barberry

· River Birch

· Bougainvillea

· Buxus

· Marijuana

· Jades

· Hawthorn

· Elaeagnus

· Enkianthus

· Brush cherries

· Wolfsmilk

· Spindle

· Fagus Beech

· Banyan

· Weeping Fig

· Fig tree, common fig

· Chinese Banyan Fig

· Willow-leaved Fig

· Ginkgo biloba

· Australian Silver Oak

· Ivy

· Holly

· Port Jackson Fig

· Dwarf orange

· Ash

· Fuchsia

· Gardenia

· Blue jacaranda

· Winter Jasmine

· Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper

· Chinese Juniper, Shimpaku

· Blue Juniper

· Spanish Flag

 

Shaping Bonsai

Pruning to Shape

To help an artist achieve the style, shape or form of the bonsai he has in mind, he must train the tree. Training the tree is making it adhere to the artist?s envisioned image. One way to achieve this is through pruning.

Pruning a bonsai is similar to pruning real-life plants. But because the bonsai is a small-scale representation of the original tree, pruning it can take more work. Some of the implements used to pruning a bonsai are pliers, tweezers, nippers and leaf-cutting scissors.

Maintenance pruning is usually applicable when the tree grows more branches and leaves than you would want it, thus altering the intended width of its canopy and height of the tree. However, for coniferous trees, pruning by hand is recommended as shears can result to dead foliage. If you want to make the canopy become denser while following a certain form or style, pruning through defoliation is used. When defoliating, an artist removes leaves from the tree during summer to encourage new leaf growth while reducing its size.

An artist may look at nature for inspiration so that styling and pruning his bonsai also become in-tune with nature, giving the tree a more charming, aged and oriental look.

Reshaping by Wiring

In order to give the bonsai it?s desired shape, form and style, wiring is oftentimes necessary. Wiring is the process of coating the trunks, limbs and branches of the tree with wire so that it follows a certain angle and direction. Through wiring, a bonsai artist is able to manipulate a motionless tree into movement. As much as wire is essential in reshaping the bonsai, his imagination should come first in order to visualize his desired finished product.

There are two common types of wires used in wiring a bonsai: copper and aluminum. While copper is stronger of the two, it can also become less forgiving. If an artist fails to constantly monitor the conformity of the tree to the wire, copper can bite into the barks of the tree, leaving some ugly marks.

On the other hand, aluminum may be less strong but it is more flexible and pliable. Beginner bonsai growers may begin with aluminum wires because they are easier to move and remove.

Secure wires into the bonsai following a 45-degree angle. The wire should just be not too tight or too loose. If needed, gently bend the branches with your hands and securely place the wire around them. Make sure that wiring is done towards so you are able to see and avoid damaging leaves and buds of the tree.

The ideal time to wire a bonsai depends on the type of tree you are working with. For instance, pine trees have lower sap levels during early winter and late fall, making them more flexible. On the other hand, deciduous trees have no or lesser leaves in early spring, making the branches more visible. Lastly, wires are best applied when a bonsai is repotted while they should be removed before they bite into barks and branches.

History and Growing Bonsai Today

A couple of centuries ago, bonsai, then referred to as punsai, was first introduced in China. This practice of planting single specimen trees in containers or pots could also be attributed to the influence of Japanese Zen Buddhism. Contrary to popular notion, bonsai is different from dwarfed trees. Bonsais are developed from cuttings and branches of young trees or from naturally undersized trees. By pruning their branches and roots, the height of the bonsai is kept to approximately 2 inches to 1 meter. Wires are also applied into the branches and trunks to shape the tree into the desired form. The bonsai is considered a representation of a separate and individual entity. It should be noted that bonsais are not planted with their roots. Aside from the container and the soil, the bonsai is totally independent.

Bonsais can enjoy an extremely long lifespan, reaching up to hundreds of years. How long the bonsai will live is totally dependent on the care it has been given. It is no longer a surprise that families who share the love and appreciation for bonsais end up passing their valued specimens from one generation to another. Bonsais have become their heirlooms. Through the bonsais, younger generations will get the opportunity to feel the love and care of those who originally cared for the specimen.

Indeed, the meticulous care that bonsais are showered with will always be worth honoring. Nevertheless, how long the bonsais can live actually comes secondary. Most bonsai enthusiasts pay greater importance to the aesthetic effect created by the plant, its suitability to its container and its health. In the eyes of a bonsai artist, these three factors will make up a successful bonsai. Other positive features are just icings on top of the cake.

What most people are not aware of is the fact that any tree species could actually be made into a bonsai. If you are searching for suggestions, you can never go wrong with the most highly recommended species for bonsai ? the small leafed varieties. Bonsais are not designed to be an exact replica of nature. However, it is regarded to be a reflection of the artist?s personal aesthetic philosophy. Any artist is free to integrate his individuality into his bonsai. However, the rule of thumb has to be followed. The resulting look should still remain as natural as possible. The intervention of human hands should not be easily detectable. In most instances, you would see bonsais in the outdoors.

In the earlier ages, bonsais were naturally grown and cultivated in the wild. Because of their natural exposure to elements, bonsais became a point of interest with the many adventures and challenges they were witness to. Sadly, the number of naturally-grown bonsais dropped down as time passed by. To cope with the decreasing availability of natural bonsais, societies started venturing into experimenting with landscape and nursery plants. Interested individuals started developing means and techniques to replicate the look of the natural bonsai specimens through the trees that were available in the natural habitat.

Growing Bonsai of Today

As bonsai rose into popularity, it has also become a subject of a debate ? horticulture vs. art. Some bonsai enthusiasts focused more on the design while others took greater interest on the plant?s overall health. Different folks may have different opinions on this issue but one fact remains true after all these years ? bonsai has become deeply embedded in both fields.

Nowadays, even those who are not actually interested in art or horticulture would find themselves falling in love with the mystery and depth of a bonsai. Some make this practice as their hobby. Others even make a profit out of bonsais by selling or by teaching others on how to make their own. The possibilities on how a bonsai could be a part of your life are countless.

Whether you are a beginner in this practice or you already have the basics under your belt, you could never go wrong by reading this book. If you are already confident of your gardening or aesthetic skills, the instructions and principles you will find in this book may end up challenging what you think you already know. After all, bonsai is like no other. Once you get hooked into this hobby, it will require you to make an investment in time. There are lots of things you need to learn so you can successfully grow and take care of your own bonsai ? ranging from pruning techniques to storage and display parameters.

It will require much patience and determination. Mastering the techniques for bonsai is not possible in an overnight. You may commit a lot of mistakes along the way. The learning curve may not be as smooth as you expect it to be. However, do not let these frustrations get in your way. Continue reading and understanding the techniques and principles this book has laid down for you. Then, complement what you have learned from this book by applying them in actual. You will never be a master of anything that you have not tried.

Even the bonsai experts whose names are often cited in magazines and books nowadays also had their own share of blunders. What made them successful in this craft now is their persistence to keep on going. Continue learning. Without a doubt, the sight of your well-crafted bonsai masterpiece will be worth all the efforts you exerted.

 

Creating Own Bonsai Tree

Dwarfing a large tree into a small pot may seem challenging, if not impossible, but the art and science of making a bonsai makes this speculation a fallacy. You may begin creating your own bonsai a seed or a cutting, but beginners will find it easier to begin with a seedling plant from a nursery. Once a chosen tree is in order, the following steps will commence so you can successfully create and grow your own bonsai tree.

Choosing the Right Pot

Where the soon-to-be-bonsai will be placed will play a huge role to the tree?s growth and beauty. Pots come in different forms, shapes, sizes and colors. As the bonsai owner, you have the freedom to choose whatever pot that you like. But to achieve the right combination of aesthetics and functionality, you may begin by assessing the purpose of the pot at that point of the bonsai?s life.

Training pots are containers where bonsai are first planted or potted. Training pots can be made of various materials ? plastic, wood, mica etc. But the main point of a training pot is that it should be practical enough that it can hold the soil, provide good drainage and stable enough to support the weight and height of the bonsai as it grows.

When the bonsai is matured enough, it can then be repotted to a display pot. A display pot should also be able to support the growth of the tree, but it should also complement the beauty of the bonsai. Display pots also come in different materials, colors and textures. As a guide in choosing a display pot, its depth must be equal to the trunk?s diameter just above the soil. Deeper and relatively larger pots are suitable to trees that look strong, rugged and masculine, while narrower pots are for trees that look delicate and smooth.

It is also important that the pot?s appeal does not overshadow the bonsai?s beauty, otherwise, it defeats the purpose of making the tree as the center of attention. The pot and the tree should look harmonious together.

Preparing the Pot

Place a thin gauge wire at the bottom of the pot, followed by some gravel for drainage. Follow this up with a layer of bonsai potting soil which you can avail from various garden centers. You can also make your own by combining loam, peat and sand into equal parts. You can then begin transplanting the tree by carefully removing the soil from the roots and trimming two-thirds of its size.

After trimming the roots, place it gently into the gauge wire, cover the roots with soil, then tap and firm the soil with your palms. The soil should fill the pot to its brim. Place the tree in shady area for a week so it gets used to its new roots system and container pot, then eventually move the pot for some sun starting with a few hours a day.

Bonsai styles

 Growing a bonsai is both an artistic and a horticultural practice, and the artistic and aesthetic components of this hobby are most seen in the styles used by bonsai growers.

The Importance of Bonsai Styles

At the very basic, the aesthetics of a bonsai plant is easily seen in the styles. The style that a bonsai plant exhibits determines its shape and form. But more than an evidence of the artistry of the bonsai grower, the style is the easiest form of identification of the bonsai plant. In exhibitions, the bonsai specimen is categorized and described using the style.

A bonsai grower working on a pre-bonsai tree is also guided by any determined style manifested by the plant. Besides aesthetics, there are other internal factors to the plant that can affect the resulting bonsai specimen, including the pre-determined shape of the plant or the species. These and any predetermined style when bonsai training began may influence the resulting style of the bonsai specimen.

The Selection of a Bonsai Style 

There are various styles that a bonsai can exhibit and it is also common to find a mix of styles used in one plant. For bonsai plants that manifest a mix of styles, the most distinct or prominent style is used to identify the specimen. Furthermore, these styles may be organized based on the following criteria: (a) trunk number and orientation; (b) trunk and bark surface; and (c) root placement (whether roots are found in the soil or over rocks).

The Different Bonsai Styles

There are five basic bonsai styles (first five), and many bonsai growers have added new styles and forms over the years.

Trunk Orientation

  1. Formal upright style ? also known as Chokkan in Japanese, this style shows a straight trunk directly above the roots. It forms a triangular or circular shape with the thickest leaves at the bottom and tapering to finer ones at the top. There are no branches or leaves near the base. Besides the straight trunk, the branches are also balanced at both sides. The easiest and most basic of bonsai styles, the Chokkan style reflects balance and upward, steady growth. Coniferous plants are best for this kind of style.
  2. Informal Upright style ? also called Moyogi, this style shows an irregularly-shaped trunk, often forming the letter DzSdz with the tree?s trunk wider at the bottom than at the tip. At every curve of the trunk are the branches. Despite the shape, the tree?s tip is arranged perpendicular to the point where the trunk touches the soil. The curve gives the style an informal shape and also mimics the natural look of trees. This style is most suited to deciduous trees.
  3. Slanting style ? the Shakan style (Japanese name) follows the direct line of the formal upright style, but the trunk is slanted at an angle (60-80 degrees) from the soil so the overall effect is that the plant is leaning to the left or right side.The first branch from the base of the tree is arranged at the opposite direction to which the plant is leaning, giving the impression of balance. While any tree species are good for this style, coniferous trees are preferred.
  4. Cascade style ? also called Kengai, this style reflects trees growing down the side of the mountain or by the waterside. The tree grows upright at a certain height and then grows downward, with the branches at the tip falling over the pot. This kind of style is best displayed on a stand or on the edge of a table.
  5. Semi-cascade style – compared to the Kengai style, the tips of the tree of the Han-Kengai (semi-cascade) style do not fall far below the pot?s bottom although they grow below the level of the soil?s surface. Flowering plants are ideal for this kind of style.

Trunk and Root Orientation

6. Root over rock style ? the Sekijojo, the Japanese term for this style, has the roots of the tree positioned over the  rock at the top of the soil. The roots often cover most of the rock?s surface and extend into the soil.

7. Clasped to rock style ? also called clinging to a rock or Ishitsuki in Japanese, this kind of style has the roots of the tree growing out from holes and cracks of a rock so that the tree eventually follows the shape of the rock. In both styles, the rock is placed on a shallow container.

Ways To Acquire A Bonsai

Acquiring bonsai may be done in two ways. You can either buy yourself one, or you can grow it on your own. Growing a bonsai tree is not as hard as some people think. If it is your first time to own a bonsai tree, you will appreciate it more and you will gain a growing interest in the hobby if you experiment and become hands on. Buying a matured bonsai from a garden shop has its perks but the fun in owning a bonsai mostly comes from the part where you take care of it on your own as you see it grow.

Growing Your Own Bonsai

First thing that you have to do is decide which kind of bonsai tree you would like to grow.

You may want to consider hawthorns, fruit trees, maples or pines. These are amazing trees that can develop into a good bonsai. Once you have chosen the right tree for you, you may start planting its seed. For best planting condition, consider placing the bonsai close to its natural habitat. If you have a garden, it would be the best place for your plant. However, if you don?t have a garden, place the plant where its basic needs will be met such as sunlight and water.

Bonsai, just like any other plant, needs proper watering. You must make sure that it gets the right amount of water so as not to get it either dehydrated or over-watered. Aside from this, you must also choose the appropriate fertilizer and the right type of soil for the plant.

Another thing that you must take note of is the use of proper pruning technique. With bonsai trees, there are two techniques that you may choose from. You may either prune the bonsai by its branch or by its root.

Buying Bonsai

If you opt to buy bonsai trees instead of growing them, the options may be overwhelming.

One of the best ways to acquire bonsai is through specialist nurseries. These shops can help you choose the right fully developed bonsai tree for your home. The price range depends on the kind of tree and don?t be surprised if you?ll find them a bit costly. Most grown bonsai trees are expensive and the price can get higher especially if it came from another country.

Before heading to the nearest bonsai shop in your vicinity, make sure that you have done your research. Know the qualities of a well-grown bonsai tree to guarantee that you?ll get the one your money deserves. You must also read a lot of materials about proper bonsai care because buying one is just the first step. You will need to take care of it and nurture it for the plant to live long. The most common bonsai trees in the market that may be bought in reasonable prices include Japanese White Pine, Gingko, Juniper and White Cedar.

 

Multiple Trunk Orientation

trunk bonsai photo

Number of Trunks

  1. Twin trunk style ?the Sokan style features two trunks from one root, where one trunk is generally bigger and larger than the other. In some cases, the other trunk grows out of the larger, bigger trunk. The bigger trunk is also more upright than the other smaller trunk. The branches and leaves of the two trunks are oriented at opposing sides of each other but form a single crown.
  2.  Straight line style ? another name for this style is raft or Ikadanuki in Japanese. The style mimics a fallen tree with branches from the upper part growing out to become new trunks. The branches grow in a straight line, appearing as a clump or a cluster of individual trees and forming a canopy.
  3. Sinuous style ? the Netsunagari style, like the Ikadanuki, is composed of several branches that appear as a clump of trees. However, instead of appearing as a straight line, the trees have bends and curves.
  4. Turtle style ? this kind of style, also called Korabuki, resembles the back of a turtle, the result of several trunks rising from ground-level roots.
  5. Group planting style ? this style is also known as the forest style or Yose-ue in Japanese. This is similar to the other multi-trunk styles, but while the rest comes from a single trunk, this one is composed of an assortment of trees planted together, creating a mini forest. The trees used are of the same species, although of varied heights and sizes to create a more natural look. The bigger trees are placed in the middle of the pot, while the smaller ones are placed on the sides, creating a triangular canopy
  6. Driftwood style ? the Sharimiki style prominently features a bare trunk or one without bark. This kind of style is taken after the natural process of decay or damage to trees caused by disease, weathering or age. A portion of the trunk with bark connects the leaves and branches and supplies the needed nutrients.
  7.  Split-trunk style ? a similar style to the driftwood is the Sabamiki which features a hollow trunk. This kind of style depicts the natural weathering in trees or of lightning striking a tree.
  8. Broom style ? the Hokidachi style is popular among tree species with extensive branches such as deciduous trees. The trunk is upright and the branches extend in all directions and form a circular shape at the top of the tree.
  9. Literati style ? also called Bunjingi, this kind of style has a distorted twisting trunk and very few leaves. The style inspired by the drawings of Chinese minimalist artists depicting nature in harsh conditions or extreme competition.
  10. Windswept style ? the Fukinagashi style copies the effect of exposure to winds where the branches and leaves seem to be swept to one side.
  11. Octopus style ? the Takozukuri style features a short trunk with long curved branches that resemble the tentacles of an octopus.

Considerations in Selecting a Bonsai Type

More than just aesthetics, the selection of a bonsai style also depends on a number of things. One is the maturity of the tree to be used as a certain style may depend on the strengths and defects of the tree. Another consideration is trunk shape as some trees are better for certain styles. For example, trees that grow upright and straight can be used for the upright styles. On the other hand, trees with a tendency to curve or slant may be suited for other styles such as the slanting and cascade styles. Finally, the root system should also be considered. Trees with straight root systems are best for the formal and informal upright styles, while those with secondary root systems can be used for the twin trunks style.

Alongside the choice of bonsai style is the pot or container to be used. The pot on which the bonsai is planted can enhance or downplay the visual effect of a bonsai. For example, both the formal and informal upright styles work best with square, rectangular and oval containers. The slanting style also works with hexagonal and octagonal containers. The cascade and semi-cascade styles are best placed in deep containers rather than shallow ones, while the forest and multi-trunk styles may be used with oval or rectangular pots.

Despite these considerations, it should be remembered that a bonsai is an artistic creation and while these styles provide the basic guidelines, these should not limit the bonsai maker from exploring new styles. You may be able to get more inspiration from observing nature and its diverse phenomena, and the tree itself may determine the kind of style it is most suited to.

Selecting a Plant to make into a Bonsai

As mentioned earlier, all trees can actually be made into a bonsai. However, some specific features and characteristics make certain plants and trees more suitable for this type of gardening. Additionally, hobbyists who are still starting out or understanding this practice could have a shorter learning curve by choosing the beginner-friendly species over the more difficult ones. Some plants are also more effective than others. If you are clueless or confused with the tons of choices you have, you could never go wrong by looking at the following requisites.

· Perfect scaling of all parts of the tree or plant. You have to bear in mind that the bonsais are intended to be a miniature representation of nature. Once the tree has already been made into a bonsai, all parts should be perfectly scaled with the bonsai?s size. It is highly advisable to choose trees with small leaves or trees with leaves that can be trimmed down in size. Definitely, plants with overly big leaves would not be a good option.

· Attractive bark. In bonsais, the trunks are regarded to be the image of maturity. The girth is a must and should never be missed out. However, the proper proportion to the entire tree should also be observed and followed. A good bonsai is characterized by the balanced appearance of the trunk. To achieve this, trimming of one or two of the main branches may be called for.

· Balanced look of the branches. The branches serve as the basic form for the bonsai. Avoid trees with branches that look too lopsided or top heavy. While choosing your bonsai specimen based on plant features could be quite a challenge, you should also not take for granted the importance of where you are getting your plant from. There are also a handful of principles in sourcing your bonsai specimen that you should bear in mind.

· Indoor vs. outdoor. Where you intend to place your bonsai should be one of the first issues you decide on. This decision will play a crucial role on your choice of plants. Some plants are more suitable for indoors while others are intended for your outdoor Zen garden. Deciding on this could already shorten the entire process as it crosses out the other options that would not fit what you are looking for.

· Prevailing climate. The weather conditions in your area will dictate which plants will live long and which will not survive. You may be fancying citrus trees for your bonsai but the cold climate in your locality is not conducive for their growth and survival. Additionally, cherry trees would also not survive in areas with warm temperatures. The safest approach is to choose plants that grow well in your area.

Indeed, one could not underestimate the amount of effort and attention that one places on his bonsai fascination. Choosing which plant or tree to use could already eat up so much of your time. Nevertheless, this is just the beginning ? the start of a wonderful and fruitful relationship between you and your prized bonsai.

Introduction

Though the practice originated in Japan, bonsai has become a widely accepted and popular hobby, form of art or horticulture activity in different areas of the world. Most horticulture experts and enthusiasts would always label a successful bonsai as a masterpiece. It was first popularized in Asia several centuries ago but the practice has undeniably remained strong today.

In fact, bonsai has already made its mark in the Western culture. In this modern age, more and more individuals from all around the globe are still taking interest in this form of art.

Indeed, more than any other horticultural endeavor, bonsai bears charisma that is not to be undermined.

Caring for Your Bonsai

We all know what plants? basic needs are: water, light, and the right amount of fertilizer so that they would grow and thrive. However, every kind of plant has its own unique requirement and some plants are easier to watch over than others. Same is true with bonsai. Some trees may require unique care. This is most especially true with indoor bonsai.

If you want to get a little more sophisticated with your plant management skills, here are a few tips on how to effectively take care of your plants.

The Right Amount of Water

As caring for any plant, watering is important. Since bonsai are kept in small pots to keep the tree miniaturized, they require regular watering. This is most especially important during warm weather. You may be able to tell when your plant needs watering by lifting it and feeling its weight or by touching the top of the soil. When the soil is dry, it is time to water it.

Humidity

Humidity can also affect the health of the plant so you have to make sure that you water the plants regularly especially if you live in an area where hot weather is prevalent. Some use a special misting process to keep their plants healthy and nourished consistently with water. With indoor bonsai, you can use a simple sprayer to cool them down during hot weather as well as clean the leaves. Yellow or brown dry leaves are indications that the plant may not be getting the humidity that it requires. You can keep these plants for most parts of the day in the bathrooms or kitchen since these rooms are the most humid in the house.

But, as was already mentioned, different plants require different levels of moisture in between watering. There are plants which flourish on moist soils while there are those which prefer completely dry dirt. Do some research and ask professional horticulturists to determine the water requirement of the plant that you intend to take care of.

You can check the level of moisture within the soil by using a stick or your finger and pushing it below the topmost part of the soil. If the soil is dry underneath, you may need to water the plant again. When watering potted plants, it is best to use a watering can to conserve water. A watering also offers you the ability to water well around the base.

If you have the capability to do so, use warm water instead of cold water when watering plants because the latter has a tendency to shock the roots. After watering them, you can provide them with a humidity boost by spraying water on the leaves. Take a closer look at the pots that you buy because some decorative pots are not designed with drainage holes. You can still use these ornamental pots by placing the plant in a smaller container with a hole and putting the plant inside the decorative pot. Just make sure you do not put the pot at the bottom of the container. You can put some rocks at the bottom of the decorative pot and place the plant container on top of them.

The Right Amount of Light

Plants need light. They can only produce food through photosynthesis, a process which requires sunlight. Different plants require different amounts of light. Generally though, bonsai trees need more light. Thus, if you are growing a bonsai indoors, it is important to place them where there is enough light.

Here are the different types of lights that various plants may require:

· Direct sunlight refers to sunlight that directly hits the plant without any blockade

·Indirect sunlight means that there is light inside a specific area but it does not directly hit the plant

· Diffused light is the type of light that is filtered using a screen or thin curtain before it hits the plant Light enables the process of photosynthesis and this natural method only occurs in the presence of light and it converts carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and sugars.

Generally, flowering plants and those with colorful vegetation require direct sun. However, plants that are used as ornaments require less sunlight so indirect light is ideal to these types of plants. Signs of lack of light in plants include pale-colored leaves and weak stems. On the other hand, indications that your plants are being exposed to too much sunlight are burn marks and dry, shriveled leaves. If you see these on your plants, you better place them in areas in the house where they would not be reached by direct sunlight.

Heat

Avoid placing your bonsai close to sources of heat such as oven, stove, television or radiators. The heat will dry out the tree and eventually kill it.

Nutrients

Bonsai trees also have unique nutrition needs, and novice horticulturists ought to know the right amount of fertilizers for their plants so as not to overfeed them. There are three major forms of plant nutrients:

· Spikes are solid plant nutrients that are placed directly underneath the soil. They slowly release the nutrients needed by plants to grow.

· Water-soluble nutrients are the type of fertilizers that are mixed with water and poured onto plants. This type of fertilizer is ideal for house plants because they can be easily and evenly distributed all throughout the pot

· While the ones that are sprinkled at the base of the plant before watering are called granular plant nutrients

Feeding

Like any plant, a bonsai also needs proper nutrition. Feeding promotes growth and health.

There are various ways of feeding a bonsai tree and these include liquid or granular feed. Small trees/ bonsai benefit from liquid feeds while the larger ones benefit granular feeds. This is because the granules can easily be washed off smaller bonsai easily. Meanwhile, liquid feeds need to be mixed with water. Work on small amounts every two weeks.

Always follow instructions and the schedule in putting fertilizers into the soil. Feeding your bonsai less is a bit better than overfeeding them.

Repotting

Many of those who are new to growing bonsai are scared of repotting their bonsai tree, most especially when the tree has already established roots in its pot. However, it should be noted that bonsai trees, like any plants, need to be repotted from time to time. Your bonsai can grow quickly and when its roots are too big or too much for its pot, it may need repotting. Repotting will help keep your plant healthy. This usually is needed every couple of years.

To do this, you?ll need to ease the tree out of the pot. Check out the roots. Bonsai trees that need to be repotted needs have plenty of roots and little soil. If this is the case, you?ll need to tease out the long roots, letting the roots hang down from the root-ball. Trim the long roots, put fresh or healthy soil in the bottom of the pot and replant the tree gently into the soil. Avoid feeding in a month or so.

Other Plant Care Tips

Make sure that you always pick a container that is designed with drainage holes. To keep the dirt from pouring out through the holes, you can place a tiny piece of net on the holes before placing the soil for the plant. If possible, use gardening soil instead of the dirt in your backyard. Wet the soil first before planting.