A bonsai is a tree in a pot. It is pretty much as simple as that. And being in a pot means it is a very small tree. A tree that could possible grow 30 feet or higher has been groomed and cultivated to be a foot high. And even at this size it very much resembles it's larger counterparts.
But it is of course much more than that. Bonsai is an art form and it is significantly different from many other forms of art because it is living art. And cultivating and caring for bonsai is a lot different than many other forms of gardening or plant growing.
It takes a certain amount of commitment if you want to grow and raise bonsai. For example, unlike many other types of plants, they often require daily watering.
The hobby of Bonsai is however extremely rewarding and it is a long term commitment. If you start with just seeds it could be from 5 to 7 years before your bonsai starts to look like a bonsai. But the rewards are remarkable. There is a certain contemplative and peaceful aura that surrounds bonsai and the caring of bonsai. It is almost spiritual and many eastern cultures hold that it actually is a very spiritual pursuit.
A person who cares for bonsai connects with the cycles of life and the seasons. The seasonal progression of the tree is very important and you have to understand and adapt to it. You have to know when to over winter your tree and when to prune and repot it. Bonsai delves into a world that combines nature and art. There is a blending between the human way of manipulating the world and the natural way of harmonizing with it.
So, if you are new to bonzai you can continue your adventure and learn a bit about it here: Bonsai Basics
A Note from Will: If you have bonsai and have pictures or tips I would love to hear from you! I will post your pictures and your tips on bonsai right here on my website :)
New: Air Bonsai!
Every once in a while you stumble across something that is unique and beautiful. Air bonsai is one of those things. It is a bonsai pot and tree that floats and rotates in mid-air over a magnetic base. I love it :) Watch the video and learn more here. It is sublime. Air bonsai
New Project: The Bonsai Trio kit (Bonsai from seed)
I bought a very economical kit that helps you to grow three different types of trees from seeds. Gives you everything you need and costs less than if you just bought seeds! Here you can see my progress with this kit: The Bonsai Trio Kit
A Trip to New England Bonsai Gardens
Not far from Boston is an amazing place where they are devoted to the whole spectrum of bonsai. They have eight greenhouses full of them, offer classes and more. It was about an hour drive for me and well worth it. Learn about my trip here: A trip to New England Bonsai Gardens
I recently returned to the hobby of stamp collecting and one of the wonderful things about this hobby is that it stretches across all kinds of other pursuits. And of course I love bonsai and of course there are bonsai stamps! Take a look at them here: Bonsai Stamps
Ice Cube Bonsai
I was in the home depot in March, buying supplies for the secret project I am working on and I went through the garden section of the store. I am always on the lookout for interestings stuff that could go into terrariums. And I spotted this little baby! It is called an Ice Cube Bonsai. Learn more here: The Ice Cube Bonsai
Bonsai Potato !
This is a hilarious and fun little kit that promises enlightment in just ten minutes a day! Loved it. The little book is an absolute hoot. Of course this isn't real bonsai but why not have some fun.
Check out my experiment with this kit: Bonsai Potato!
Make an Origami Bonsai Tree
I love this project because it is a combination of two things I love: Bonsai and Origami. The only way it could get any better was if it were alive and needed care! But, you might consider it a bonus that this tree needs very little care. lol!
Make an origami bonsai tree - oh and the tree itselft is a brown paper bag that has been twisted and shaped. Neat.
A web visitor has decided to try his hand at starting up some bonsai from seedlings and cuttings. My thanks to him for sharing the pics and information with us. You can check the trees out here: Rick's Pre-Bonsai.
Scarification and Stratification of Bonsai Seeds
Wow Those are some fancy words but all it really means is what you do to get bonsai tree seeds to germinate. You have to soak and cool them. I show you how right here: How to scarify and stratify bonsai seeds.
Bonsai Seed Kits
Amazon.com now carries some wonderful little bonsai seed kits. They are really quite neat. I made a page for them. Check them all out right here: Bonsai Seed kits
Make a Bonsai Tree out of Wire
I show you how to make a realistic looking bonsai tree out of simple materials like wire, aluminum foil, and pencil shavings. How to make a wire bonsai tree.
Cover bonsai to help them
You probably It's a nice little tip to help your bonsai stay healthier and grow nicer. And all you need is clear plastic bottles. Covering Bonsai with a bottle
Growing Bonsai from Cuttings
You probably know that you can grow plants from cuttings off other plants. Well, you can do this with bonsai trees by cutting from mature trees. I show you how here: Growing bonsai from cuttings
Pruning Young Bonsai
Typically we learn about pruning older bonsai but you have to start trimming them at a younger age. Here is a quick look at trimming a bonsai that is 3-4 years old. Pruning a Young Bonsai
We started a new batch of bonsai seeds
Whole lot of fun to start a new batch of exotic seeds for bonsai. Follow along as the project progresses.There is even a type that takes 2-3 years to germinate. New batch of bonsai from seed
It's a Bonsai Christmas tree
Well, we took two of the bonsai trees and decorated them for christmas. That 5 year old Dawn Redwood sure does look like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.. See more pics here
This is a tutorial on how to transplant bonsai into a new dish. They need to be transplanted every couple of years. I transplant one for you and give you the tips and techniques including a video you can watch. How to transplant bonsai
This is an often overlooked part of the art of bonsai but pots are very important to the aesthetics of bonsai and also to the health and care of the trees. Take a look at some of my bonsai pots and learn a little bit about them: Bonsai Pots
Bonsai Styles (with illustrations)
There are many different ways that you can train and wire bonsai to achieve certain looks. Here are ten of the more common styles of bonsai including informal upright, slanted, cascade and more. Bonsai Styles
Boston Bonsai! (Harvard University Bonsai Collection)
Harvard University has an arboretum in Boston called The Arnold Arboretum. The arboretum also has a magnificent Bonsai Collection called the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection. It has some of the oldest and most magnificent bonsai in the country. The Boston Bonsai Pics and information.
How soil affects the growth of Bonsai
I have two bonsai plants here (Japanese Pagoda) That are from the same batch of seeds. It is quite dramatic how the soil can affect growth and leaf size - Learn more here: How soil affects bonsai growth
Troubleshooting an ailing bonsai
It wasn't too difficult to rescue this bonsai from trouble. Read about it here
Transplant a seedling from outdoors
New Project: You can get a head start on bonsai by transplanting tree seedlings. Here is a tutorial with pictures that shows you how: Transplant bonsai seedlings
Bonsai From Seed Project
I have started a project that starts at the very beginning where I plant various bonsai suitable trees. I have posted an update to this project because the seeds have begun to sprout. You can see the videos and keep updated on this project here: Growing Bonsai from Seeds
Bonsai For Free Tutorial
This is all about harvesting your own tree seeds and growing your own bonsai from them. I have some great tips and hints for you so you know exactly how to do it and how to make it successful. Bonsai for free
Resources and more
Looking for living moss for your bonsai? Hirts Gardens now sells The perfect moss and it is available on Amazon.com I have ordered two of these and will fill you in on how they are.
Living Moss - For Bonsai
Living Moss is the perfect groundcover for your bonsai tree. Hirt's moss is greenhouse grown and only requires a misting once or twice a day to flourish. It can even be grown by itself on a shady window sill. Just keep it evenly moist, not wet or dry and mist it daily!
If you are interested in working with moss I have completed a moss terrarium tutorial that is very attractive and easy to do. . It is located here: How to make a moss terrarium part 2
If you are looking for beginner bonsai Kits I have them here.
And I have a selection of interesting little figurines that you can add to your arrangement.
Indoor Bonsai for Beginners: Selection Care Training Creating beautiful, healthy bonsai is a wonderful skill that anyone can learn, with a little time, patience, and this all-inclusive manual. With color photos and drawings to illustrate the points, it introduces all the cultivation techniques; offers expert advice on location, soil types, watering, and pest control; and provides intricate instruction on training the bonsai--including pruning, wiring and stretching it. An A-to-Z guide of all the popular species showcases varieties that range from a flowering Camellia Japonica , with its beautiful smooth stem, to an easy-to-care for Olive tree. Each entry gives some background on the plant, and includes suggestions for acquiring the bonsai and directions on how to position it in the room for best results.
Bonsai Boy's Professional Bonsai Soil - 2 lbs. (1 Qt.)
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