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The method of growing miniature copies of deciduous or coniferous trees has its roots in antiquity. The name of bonsai, how to care for it, is mentioned even before our era.
There is an opinion that the tradition of growing mini-trees in a human dwelling was spread by Chinese Buddhist monks to neighboring Asian countries.
For several millennia, in China and Japan, "growing on a tray" has become a real art. We will try to figure out which plants are best suited for this, as well as get acquainted with the types and styles of this art and find out if it is possible to independently cope with caring for a tree - bonsai at home.
- Which plants are suitable for growing in pots?
- Soil, light, watering for bonsai
- Crown care, transplant, root pruning
Which plants are suitable for growing in pots?
For growing miniature forms, both conifers and deciduous plants, both representatives of the wild and indoor flora, are suitable.
Conifers will feel good in a pot:
- Birch tree
- From room
- ficus benjamin
- indoor pomegranate
When choosing a seedling, you should focus on the abundance of branches in the crown, the size of the leaves and future flowers. There are traditional and distinct styles in the art of growing bonsai.
Traditional styles include:
- formally and informally direct
- cascading and semi-cascading
- root on stone and growing on stone
To the special:
- common roots
- forest shape
- tree on faith
- miniature landscape
Bonsai are also divided by size:
- tiny, 2.5cm to 18cm
- small from 19 cm
- medium from 26 cm
- large from 41
- huge from 100 cm
Growing a plant in containers of limited size requires, first of all, the choice of a certain soil, good lighting and adherence to the irrigation regime.
Soil, light, watering for bonsai
Even if a ready-made and formed plant is purchased, as it grows, the question of transplanting will arise and a special soil will be needed. For growing bonsai, a special mixture is taken - akadama, consisting of sintered clay granules. Akadama's species vary in granule diameter.
For acid-loving bonsai, such as azalea, canum soil is suitable, and for the best conifers, take kirio.
You can plant a bonsai in ready-made soil, or you can prepare a mixture of Akadama, sand, turf. All parts must be decontaminated before mixing.
You can do without Akadama granules and prepare meadow land yourself. In the warm season, carefully remove the sod and select the ground from under it, without deepening by more than 15 - 20 cm. Such soil must be sieved, freed from pebbles, branches, roots and calcined in the oven.
When planting or transplanting a bonsai into a new pot, you also need to scald it with boiling water, make drainage holes, pour drainage, fine gravel will do on the bottom of the container. Only after that plant the plant and cover the pot with soil.
To ensure good growth, the bonsai pot should be placed in a sufficiently well-lit area, with continuous sunlight for at least five to six hours a day. In dark rooms, bonsai will need artificial lighting. Deciduous trees, after dropping their foliage for a cold period, can be placed in a less illuminated place until spring.
Do not place the bonsai in direct sun immediately after transplanting, for 10 to 12 days.
Coniferous bonsai in the bright sun can turn yellow, and under more modest lighting it can acquire a bluish-gray color. In the summer, containers with trees can be placed outdoors.
Considering that, as a rule, bonsai grows in wide flat pots, then in strong sunlight the soil dries quickly and the plant needs regular watering and sprinkling.
In order to prevent a strong drying out of the soil and the death of the root system or stagnation of water on the surface, it is most convenient to moisten the soil by placing the pot in a container filled with water. Water should completely wet all soil layers, regardless of which irrigation method is used.
The watering regime depends on the season. In winter, in rooms with moderate humidity, you need to water once a week. On dry summer days, watering is necessary daily, and in some cases, morning and evening. Do not allow water to get on the foliage in the hot sun. Deciduous trees need more frequent watering than conifers.
If it happens that the plant is dry and the leaves wilted, it should be removed from a lighted place, watered well and sprinkled. Bonsai is responsive to regular sprinkling with soft, warm water.
It is worth saying that along with watering, regular fertilizing of bonsai with fertilizers is carried out. Optimal use of ready-made organic and mineral mixtures. Plants can only be fertilized separately; organic and mineral fertilizing should not be allowed on the same day. The frequency of feeding - in the summer, once every seven days, in the winter - once every thirty days. Deciduous trees need to be fed more often than conifers.
Subject to the regime of lighting, watering, feeding, the plant grows quite intensively and requires proper transplantation. At the same time, you will have to take care of the roots and crown.
Crown care, transplant, root pruning
The crown of miniature trees needs regular pruning to give and maintain a certain shape and proportions, according to the chosen style.
The main technique for pruning the crown is to remove the upper bud and stimulate the growth of lateral shoots. This also applies to the central trunk and lateral branches. After removing the upper bud on the main trunk, the plant is formed by a lateral shoot. In a young plant, you can remove the bud by simply pinching it off with your fingers. In deciduous plants, branches can be cut with scissors, and in conifers, twisted with your fingers.
The pruning procedure should be carried out only in winter, when the plants are at rest. Also, ugly and unnecessary branches that violate the silhouette of the bonsai are completely cut out. It is not recommended to prune the crown more than two months later, and replanting the plant is better a month after pruning.
It is important to transplant the plant into a large container when the roots completely fill the old pot. In addition, the size of the roots should correspond to the size of the crown, and if it was cut by 1/3 part, then the roots should be cut off in about the same way. When pruning the roots, the earthen lump around the main root is not destroyed, the free parts of the roots are to be cut off, each of them is shortened by one third of the length or a little more.
The main root should match the length of the main trunk, pruning it allows for rapid growth with thick shallow roots. But this pruning is recommended for sturdy, healthy plants.
When growing bonsai, you should not rush and comprehend all the subtleties of this art in one day, do not strive for excessive pretentiousness, do everything thoughtfully and slowly, at a certain time of the year, and if necessary, consult a specialist and keep your indoor tree alive and healthy.
Informative video about miniature bonsai plants: