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According to legend, the Chinese emperor decided to watch his country with his own eyes, for which the Masters of the Celestial had to create a small brush to create a small pencil, for which the Masters of the Celestial had to create a small pencil, to draw their own hands, for which the Masters of the Celestial Empire had to draw a small pencil, to draw their own hands, for which the Celestial Empire had to create a brush, for which the Chinese Emperor had to create a bonsai.and of course the trees. Bonsai, a tree in miniature, almost fifteen centuries ago, first conquered Japan, and today this amazing art has conquered the whole world.
Like many centuries ago, the aim of a grower who is passionate about bonsai is the reproduction of nature’s creations. Reduced copies of oaks, maples, pines, sakura or ficus have realistic proportions, they live according to the routine of nature. If a deciduous tree is grown in a pot, it blooms, leaves and leaves for winter rest.
Since the skillful semblance of a real tree is formed by hand, growing and caring for bonsai is a laborious, time-consuming, requiring knowledge, patience and understanding of the needs of your green pet.
Still, more and more newcomers are enthusiastically taking on hard, but very exciting work. How to grow bonsai at home and care for a small copy of this tree?
Among the uninitiated in the subtleties of the ancient agrotechnology, there is a perception that Japanese bonsai trees are plants obtained from their special seeds. This is not true. Experienced growers are well aware that miniature spruces, pines, apples or wisteria came from ordinary seeds, and only human hands could make them moderate their growth and change shape.
How to grow bonsai at home: common ways
If the florist is just beginning to be interested in bonsai, the easiest way is to purchase a plant already formed, for example, from ficus or citrus. It will help to master all the techniques of avoiding the usual watering to pruning and adjusting the shape of the trunk and branches. The accumulated experience will allow you to move to more complex tasks.
It is possible to grow bonsai at home in several ways:
- through sowing seeds of the crop you like and subsequent “raising” the seedling;
- using rooted cutting;
- sapling from nursery or wildlife;
- by transferring to the pot and correction of an already grown cultural or wild specimen.
The fastest of these methods is the formation of the crown and root system of a one- or two-year-old sapling. Such a plant already has developed roots, while its ground part gives room for imagination and can be modified according to the plans of the grower.
Enthusiasts who are interested in how to grow bonsai from seeds should know that this is the longest, but also grateful path. Here, a person has control over a plant literally from the moment the seed is pricked, and it is easier to change the shape of the shoots and roots because of their flexibility.
It is not necessary to choose an exotic tree or shrub. The main thing is that the plant has small leaves and a small annual growth, otherwise it will be much more difficult to “tame” the future bonsai tree.
. Choosing the right bonsai tree.
. What types of plants are suitable for bonsai, Japanese-style trees? To quickly get an attractive tree, you can pay attention to:
- for indoor citrus varieties, for example, calamondin or ordinary lemon;
- on dwarf grenades;
- on the incredibly common and unpretentious ficus Benjamin;
- on ornamental apple varieties;
- on willow;
- on stunted pines;
- on the most different types of maple.
The selection of trees suitable for bonsai is incredibly large, and many of them are native inhabitants of Russia and are found in gardens, parks, city squares and forests. Magnificent compositions are obtained from barberry and shadberry, hawthorn, acacia and birch, elder and linden, euonymus and oak.
Before growing bonsai, based on the type of plant, determine its future height and style.
How to grow bonsai from seeds?
Seeds of trees and shrubs suitable for bonsai are divided into two types. Part of the cultures is immediately ready for germination, but the “program” of many types of evolution includes a hibernation period when the sprout waits for the cold season. At home, stratification will help mimic the winter.
Tree seeds for Japanese bonsai for 3-5 months are laid in wet sand or sphagnum moss, after which the container is placed in the refrigerator. With a small positive temperature in a humid environment, the seed prepares for growth. When it is transferred to heat, the sprout quickly awakens. For evergreen species and plants with seeds that have a particularly durable shell, use warmth or temperature contrast to wake up.
Sowing of seeds is carried out from spring to the beginning of autumn. Seedlings obtained in the second half of the summer, need to be illuminated, which is simply indispensable in the fall and winter.
For germination and the first months of seedling life, a light sand-peat substrate or peat pills soaked and wicking moisture are used. Until the germ appears on the surface, the container should be in the dark under the film. The air temperature is selected depending on the bonsai tree grown.
In order to avoid condensation and rot, the greenhouse is airing. When shoots inside, provide a small amount of fresh air and transfer the seedlings to light. As needed, seedlings are watered and fertilized with complex compounds. When the plant reaches a height of 10–12 cm, it is transplanted.
At this stage, the main root is shortened by a third to slow down the vertical growth of the tree. Immediately proceed to the formation of the future of the trunk, for which use copper wire.
Choosing a pot and soil for bonsai
Bonsai tree is not for nothing called grown on a tray. To limit the pet's height, it is planted in a deliberately small and shallow capacity, in parallel forming and cutting off part of the root system.
When choosing a pot for bonsai, you need to take into account that over the years the tree becomes heavy and, especially with an irregular, oblique or cascade form, can lose stability. Therefore, for bonsai, ranging in size from a few centimeters to 9 meters, traditionally they make massive, often ceramic pots, bowls or containers of various shapes and styles.
At the bottom of the tank should be a drain hole and not one. They are used not only to drain the water, but also for attaching the plant.
Treating a bonsai pot with a hot solution of potassium permanganate or scalding with boiling water will help to protect the plant and protect it from the fungal infection of the root system.
Bonsai soil is not only designed to provide the plant with nutrition and retain moisture, it should help the roots to gain a foothold in a relatively small pot volume. Therefore, for miniature copies of real oaks, lindens, lemons, maples and other trees use a special substrate.
In Japan, for many centuries, such a mixture based on certain grades of clay is called Akadama. For greater nutritional value and looseness, fertile soil and sand are added to the granular substance:
- For deciduous bonsai trees, a substrate is recommended with the inclusion of 7 shares of sod land and 3 parts of large washed sand.
- Flowering crops are grown on a mixture of 7 parts of sod land, three parts of sand and 1 part of highly nourishing humus.
- Conifers, the most popular among bonsai lovers, need particularly loose soil, for which they take 3 parts of turf soil and 2 parts of washed sand.
Before filling the pot, the soil for bonsai is sorted out, removing extraneous inclusions that can damage the roots, sift and sterilize. At the bottom of the tank arrange a drainage layer for the outflow of excess moisture.
Taking care of a bonsai tree at home
It is not enough to buy a miniature tree, get a young seedling or root a cutting of the breed you like. It is important to know how to care for a bonsai tree.
Constantly limiting growth, forming a crown and growing bonsai in a small pot, a person completely changes the life of a tree or shrub. Therefore, care for such a culture is very different from caring for other indoor plants.
The main task of the grower is to organize bonsai watering, which is difficult to cope with when there is a small amount of soil and a shallow pot filled with roots.
In the past, only a special form of watering can was available to florists or the opportunity to immerse a bonsai pot in a bowl with water to wet the soil from below. Today, irrigation of plants or drip irrigation is being actively used, which allows to moisten the soil for bonsai without any risk of blurring.
For irrigation, take only soft, thawed or defended water. During the growing season, plants need more moisture, with the onset of autumn and the approaching rest period, watering is reduced and carried out less frequently, focusing on the state of the substrate.
Feedings are carried out at intervals of 2–3 weeks, using their mixtures for different cultures and seasons. For Japanese bonsai trees, there are algae-based mineral supplements.
You can not leave plants without food, but it is equally important not to overfeed bonsai. Therefore, when caring for bonsai trees at home, fertilizing is done very carefully:
- in the spring, with the maximum growth rate including fertilizer twice the amount of nitrogen than potassium and phosphorus;
- summer proportions remain the same, but the concentration is halved;
- is closer to autumn, especially for deciduous crops, the content of potassium and phosphorus is doubled, and nitrogen, on the contrary, is reduced.
- flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs need more potassium, going to the formation of buds and ovaries.
With the arrival of winter for exotic evergreens, nothing changes, but conifers and deciduous trees must be prepared for wintering. How to care for a bonsai tree in winter? If the climate allows, they are left outside or put on unheated terraces. The root system in a small bonsai pot may suffer first, so it is additionally covered, and the soil is slightly dried. With the onset of spring, the plant awakens and again needs watering, fertilizing and the formation of the crown and roots for bonsai.