The gift that most people appreciate to get is a Bonsai tree. It is among the most given plants for birthdays or holidays because it symbolizes life and the greatness of nature around us, so any occasion is right to let someone know how much we love them. Taking care of it is not so easy, but learning how to grow is not as difficult as you might think. The rules to follow are few, but very precise.
The term Bonsai means “planting bowl” in Japanese. Although it is always associated with the Land of the Rising Sun, the origin is Chinese. Those with a green thumb have often measured themselves with bonsai cultivation which can be called a true art.
There are many varieties of bonsai and also many sizes. To start growing bonsai, we need to proceed step by step and follow two paths. We can decide to plant seeds and then see the plant blossom day after day, or we can buy it directly from experts. In any case, two golden rules should be remembered:
- If we rely on seeds the optimal time to plant them is spring.
- If we are novices, we should choose a variety that is simple and requires little pruning to avoid mistakes and not be discouraged.
What potting soil to choose :
It all starts with the potting soil, the lifeblood of the plants from which they take nourishment, and bonsai is no different; it is important to choose a potting soil that has:
- Good water retention to retain the necessary water.
- Adequate drainage to remove excess water.
- Proper aeration to ensure oxygen to the roots and maintain good bacteria.
When to water bonsai :
If water is important for us, it is even more important for bonsai because the right moisture can make the sapling survive longer. So, when is it right to water it? The moment we notice that the potting soil is dry to the touch and sight, it is time to give it its dose of water, taking care to eliminate any stagnation in the saucer. The potting soil also needs to be fertilized and fertilized with natural and quality products.
Where to place the bonsai :
Potting soil and watering are not the only “ingredients” for having a healthy and long-lasting bonsai, location also plays a central role. It should be placed in a bright area with no temperature fluctuations and not too much humidity. The location of the bonsai, however, does not always have to be the same throughout the year; it varies with the seasons. In spring and summer, the plant can remain outdoors. However, when it is cold, it is better to put it in a sheltered place especially if it is a delicate variety.
How to prune bonsai :
Bonsai trees have a distinctive, neat and well-groomed appearance, and this is thanks to pruning, which also helps keep the size down. For assured success, our task is to remove dry branches and leaves. The “young” ones, on the other hand, do not need to be pruned because they are the ones that generate new flowers or fruit. In addition to the branches, the roots can also be cut, and the best time to do this is at the time of transplanting.
How to transplant bonsai :
Seeing the bonsai grow is a pleasure for the eyes and the mood, but the younger it is, the more attention it needs, and transplanting is one of the most important steps. Initially, this needs to be repeated every 12 to 24 months, while for saplings over six years old we can avoid changing the pot. Spring is the right time for repotting, because in this season the roots can be pruned without compromising the health of the plant.