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Discover the Art of Bonsai: How to Grow and Care for Miniature Trees

Bonsai trees refer to a miniature tree that is planted within a container. They originated in China more than 2,000 years ago and became popular in Japan as an art form that allows people to contemplate change, and ideas of nature.

Aarushi Chadha
Bonsai trees that can be grown both indoors and outdoors
Bonsai trees that can be grown both indoors and outdoors

In many ways, bonsai plants are living sculptures that never fail to look elegant and impressive. Bonsai trees are regular trees that have been intentionally dwarfed by pruning the branches and roots. These trees are perfect to grow if you have limited space and wish to add some greenery to your home.

Types of Indoor Bonsai Plants

There are several species of bonsai trees that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Bonsai trees that are native to tropical and subtropical regions are preferred to grow as indoor plants. Some types of indoor bonsai plants include-

Flowering trees- Gardenia bonsai, snow rose bonsai, and Fukien tea bonsai are some popular bonsai flowering types.

Deciduous trees- Chinese elm bonsai tree and Japanese maple bonsai are some popular varieties of deciduous bonsai trees that shed leaves in the fall.

Succulents- Succulents are plants with small fleshy leaves. Jade plants and dwarf jade plants are some popular varieties of bonsai trees with succulent leaves.

Evergreen trees- The money tree, juniper bonsai, ginseng ficus, golden gate ficus, and weeping fig are some popular varieties of evergreen bonsais. Evergreen bonsai trees will stay green year-bound as they shed old leaves and grow new ones around the year.

How to grow and care for bonsai trees?

Soil- Soil is essential for the growth and development of a healthy plant. Soil is a medium to store food and water, and is made from organic matter and microorganisms, along with air and water. Bonsai trees thrive in soils that are well-draining and well-aerated. This is because they need to have access to air. Therefore, most bonsai tree soil mixes are a combination of lava rock, soil, pumice, and hard-baked clay.

Fertilizing- You must fertilize your bonsai tree during its growing season. This plant requires frequent fertilization because it is pot-bound and depletes the soil’s nutrients fairly quickly. We recommend that you fertilize your bonsai plants once every week or two during their active growth period, from early spring to fall. And in the winter, decrease the feeding frequency to once a month. If the leaves of your bonsai plants have started yellowing prematurely, then it is a sign that the soil lacks nutrients.

Watering- It is advised to not put your bonsai tree on a watering schedule instead monitor the plant closely to assess exactly when it needs water. You must monitor the soil between watering so that the soil doesn’t dry out completely because that can cause the plant to die. How much water your plant needs also depends on the species, climate, pot, and overall health. It is best to water the plant while the soil is still slightly damp.

Pruning- The leaves, stems, and roots of the bonsai need to be pruned. We recommend pruning the roots every few years by removing dead, diseased, or broken roots, and encouraging the formation of a compact mass. We also advise that you prune the branches, stems, and leaves of your bonsai plants to encourage bushier growth and remove all unhealthy growth.

Maintain Humidity- If your bonsai tree is native to tropical or subtropical regions, then it will require ample moisture to grow properly. Therefore, place your bonsai tree next to a humidifier or mist the plant several times throughout the day. You can also lay the bonsai on a humidity tray. Fill a tray with decorative pebbles and pour water on it. As the water evaporates, the plant will receive humidity.

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