According to a legend, when the Chinese emperor ordered a miniature empire, with, meadows, forests, and rivers, to be created in his palace, his gardeners, among other things, created tiny living trees as small versions of the big ones, to fulfill the order of the ruler.
The art of bonsai (from Japanese: “plant grown in a tray”) refers to the process of growing an exact, but reduced to a miniature size, copy of a tall tree grown in natural conditions in a small vessel. The homeland of this fascinating art form is China, where it originated about two thousand years ago, and six centuries later, along with Buddhists, it travelled to Japan, where it developed a lot. The Japanese improved and systematized the methods of growing elegant trees.
If we talk about Japanese art, it is necessary to take into account that it is not just a process of growing bonsai, but a whole philosophy. The person involved in the process must have the appropriate attitude: to be wise, friendly, delicate and have a sense of justice.
First, you need to select the seeds. Virtually every tree can be grown this way, but you need to know about the popularity of one or another. For example, the most popular tropical trees are boxwood, myrtle, acacia, wisteria and, of course, ficus. Among broad-leaved ones are maple, birch, elm, and pomegranate. Among conifers - fir, cypress, spruce, cedar, and pine. Seeds for growing bonsai can be found in botanical gardens or even in public parks, where beautiful and even unique trees are often growing. If you do not have such a possibility, you can always buy seeds for growing bonsai at home online.
Before planting, the seeds should be placed in water for several days to swell and begin the process of primary germination. It is also possible to germinate seeds in sphagnum moss or in vermiculite. In this case, it is preferable to break the hard shell of the seeds.
Prepared seeds are planted in the spring, late summer or even autumn. The excellent soil for germinating seeds is obtained by mixing peat with sand. In order for the seeds to germinate, the soil must be moist, and the temperature indicators of air should not be below 25 °C. However, after the appearance of sprouts, the situation changes dramatically: the air temperature should be no higher than 18 degrees. At the same time, young sprouts need moderate moisture and large amounts of light, otherwise, they will become weak and will be susceptible to diseases.
At the age of one to three months, it is necessary to form seedlings. The taproot is cut (in the process of prickling-out), by about 2/3.
The seedlings must be fertilized. It is advisable to do this in early summer, adding fertilizer to the soil in small portions. When the plant reaches a height of 10 centimeters, it must be transplanted into an ordinary flower pot. The plant can begin to accustom to the sun. Do not forget about the fact that the plant requires constant formation, only then it will grow into the tree of which you’ve dreamed of, truly decorative and beautiful. Depending on the type of bonsai, its formation can be made at the age of several years.
Since the art of bonsai has become extremely popular in our time, for those who want to have such a miracle, it is enough to take the work seriously, with love, and show maximum attention to the plant. In this case, miniature trees are quite capable of living for more than a hundred years, uniting several generations of your family with their presence.
“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” Liberty Hyde Bailey