Growing Bonsai in your Organic Garden
For those who are looking to grow their own bonsai tree for the first time, the amount of info out there can be suffocating. Many guides that you’ll find online assume that you’re only interested in growing bonsai. But what about those of you who just want to dip their toe in the water of bonsai growing, or want to add one of these tiny trees to their existing organic garden? Well, you’re in luck- read on to learn just which species are the best for beginners.
Firstly, let’s clear up the definition of bonsai. While many people think that these trees are specially cultivated species, the reality is much simpler. Bonsai are merely smaller versions of larger trees, usually sourced either from a cutting of one of these trees, or grown from a seed. The pleasure of bonsai lies in carefully shaping the tree into a form that’s pleasing to the eye. Growing bonsai takes time and patience, and requires the gardener to carefully trim and prune the tree so that it doesn’t get too big. Bonsai are therefore an excellent choice for those who want to take their gardening skills to the next level, and take pleasure from seeing their new bonsai slowly but surely mature into the perfectly shaped plant.
So, you can create a bonsai out of pretty much any tree, so long as the branch clipping can survive on its own. However, some types are much more demanding than others, so let’s focus on the perfect bonsai for beginners. The easiest bonsai trees to grow are evergreen trees. That’s because, as the name suggests, they stay green all year round, and are particularly hardy plants as a result. You might like to start out with a juniper bonsai, since these trees can be easily shaped into a variety of popular bonsai shapes. The chinensis sub-species is an ever-popular choice, because it has that “classic” bonsai look, and is especially easy to shape.
On the other hand, elm trees are another great choice for bonsai because they are fairly hardy plants- so you’re not likely to accidentally kill them early on! While they aren’t quite as flexible as juniper trees, they are nonetheless easy to grow and shape, so they are just perfect for when you are starting out on your bonsai-growing journey.
Bonsai trees are particularly delicate when they are just starting out, and as such, you should be careful when choosing the right fertilizer. You’ll need to fertilize your bonsai around once a week from early spring to late summer, the so-called “growing season”, to make sure that it’s getting all the nutrients it needs to grow properly. The rest of the year, you should scale that back to a monthly fertilizing. It’s best to opt for organic fertilizer, since this won’t contain any harmful chemicals which could harm the bonsai. What’s more, organic fertilizer also releases nitrogen slowly, so if you over-fertilize the bonsai, it’s not as likely to burn the roots. For that reason, an organic fertilizer like manure is ideal for bonsai growing- although not so much if you’re growing the bonsai indoors!
If you’re interested in buying your own Bonsai, you could do a lot worse than this:
Or just search for ‘Bonsai’ on our website!
If you’d like a starter kit, then how about this?