Growing Bamboo Bonsai

One of the things I have really come to love about Japan are its gardens. I particularly fell in love with Bonsai. I will be writing a series of articles on the Bonsai as I get to know them. This is the first.

Enjoy!

bonsai

There are many places that you can acquire bamboo. You can purchase it at many stores carrying plants, buy new shoots online that can be grown and transplanted into bonsai pots, or you can cut shoots from other bamboo plants and transplant them to begin your new plant. How quickly the bamboo bonsai will grow and take root is based off of the species of bonsai you are growing. Some species of bamboo will not take root as well from cuttings as others.

You can purchase your bamboo bonsai online or through a local nursery.

Bamboo bonsai uses many of the techniques for care that more difficult bonsai trees use. You will need the same types of tools to maintain them, and you can use the same style of wire to help guide the trunk and branches of the bamboo. When you are pruning bamboo, like many other bonsai trees, there is a certain time of year that pruning is best done at. When you prune your bamboo is dependent on the type of bamboo that you have. Each species of bamboo is different and requires different care. As many people own the ‘lucky’ bamboo, you will most likely want to prune your bamboo bonsai in the fall and winter, removing all of the leaves. If you are working with a dwarf bamboo, you will need to prune in the early spring before the new growth has occurred.

Frost damages the bamboo and stops its growth, often shocking and killing the plant. It is for this reason that many bamboo species can not thrive in northern climates unless they are kept indoors.

For beginners, bamboo bonsai is extremely rewarding due to the fact that the plants are so quick to grow. A new grower can start a plant and see a large amount of growth within the first year of owning the plant. This lets the beginners experiment with wiring and caring for bonsai without having to wait for five to ten years to see the results of their efforts.

Bamboo bonsai is an extremely popular, easy to care for bonsai that allows growers of all skill levels work with a fast growing, beautiful plant. The most common type of bamboo bonsai found in homes is the ‘lucky’ bamboo, which is believed to bring luck to their owners. This variety of bamboo is hardy, and can be grown indoors or outdoors, provided that the bamboo is protected against frost. Like most species of bamboo, the plant does not thrive well in places where frost occurs.

The Difficulties of Growing a Bonsai

Growing a Bonsai

Growing bonsai is a challenge for beginners, as there are a lot of steps that are involved in the growing process. While there are a lot of steps, the process of growing a bonsai is extremely simple if you have patience and take your time learning what you need to know. The first step in growing bonsai is to learn about the type of tree you want to grow. All bonsai trees differ from one another.

You can not use the same care for a juniper as you would a ficus bonsai. This is because the trees grow in drastically different conditions, and require different amounts of water, light and general treatment. Learning about your specific type of tree will greatly assist you in growing bonsai.

Once you have learned about your tree, growing bonsai is pretty simple. There are several things you should remember in addition to properly watering and feeding your tree. Wiring is a key part of guiding your bonsai into growing into the shape that you desire. As bonsais are considered a work of art, growing bonsai is part skill at keeping plants alive, and part artistic talent.

When you are growing bonsai for the first time, you will want to approach aspects like wiring with caution. When growing bonsai, the wires should be placed on the tree in such a way that it causes bending without gouging or breaking the branch. This takes a subtle amount of pressure on the branch of the tree, and consideration on how to place the wires. Wires that are placed incorrectly may permanently scar the tree, damaging the overall appearance of the tree, as well as impacting its lifespan. When placing your wires, you should be careful not to place them too close between where the branch and the trunk meet, but not so far that it encourages the branch to break.

Wires should be placed at a 45 degree angle to the branch when wrapping, and the wires should be spaced evenly. Proper spacing and angles of the wires will allow the tree to modify its growing patter, and help in the design of your bonsai.

There are some supplies that you will need when growing bonsai. You will need a good soil for your tree, a proper pot with good drainage, and the basic tools for working wiring and trimming your tree. This typically is a minor investment, and most of the supplies will last you for several years. Depending on the type of bonsai you are growing, you may need to invest in other materials, especially for trees that require more delicate care.

Supplies can be typically purchased from online stores or from local bonsai nurseries.