Bonsai trees were created by the Chinese almost two thousand years ago when they intentionally “shrunk” a full-sized tree by methodically trimming it’s branches and roots. The Bonsai tree is said to be a very powerful meditation tool, as it is commonly worshipped, and is thought to bring peace and calming to areas of the home.
Bonsai trees can be a bit tricky to grow! I mean, intentionally “dwarfing” a plant can get to be pretty difficult! Bonsai trees can be grown from seed, or bought from many local nurseries. TIP: Because Bonsai trees are thought to be exotic, you probably won’t find them at your local nursery! Head to a nursery that sells tropical plants and exotics for better luck locating one!
If you bought your tree from a nursery, begin the repotting process by removing it from it’s plastic container (I absolutely hate the plastic trays from the nursery; I think they’re so hideous!) and cut off the bottom two-thirds of the roots. Use a miniature rake to expose the roots, and then mist really well with water.
Next, it’s important to remove any dead and unsightly branches. It’s not very zen to have a tree full of dead branches hanging around! Put your tree in the pot of your choosing, and pack soil around the roots. Better Homes and Gardens recommends topping the soil with a few pebbles or a bit of moss. After your plant has been potted, make sure it is watered exceptionally well. Transplanting is often traumatic for plants, especially Bonsai’s!
Finally, it’s time to decide what shape you wish to make your branches. Shaping your Bonsai tree can get to be really difficult, and even harmful to the trees at some point. Unless you’re skilled, it’s best to leave the tree shaping to the professionals. To shape any unsightly or crooked branches, many gardeners recommend applying wire to the branches. Wrap them snugly (but not super snug, the tree still has to grow naturally!) with some wire. Remove the wires when the tree has grown used to it’s new shape.
It’s important to remember how crucial adequate watering is for your tiny trees. Never allow the soil to get fully dry; always make sure it is damp! Fertilizer should be applied to your tree once monthly (but never in the winter) Feel free to keep your tree outdoors if the temperatures don’t reach below forty degrees. Check out this guide from Bonsai Boy for more information.