First, we need to clarify that there are no such thing as bonsai seeds, or seeds that when planted naturally become a beautifully trained bonsai. The seeds only grow into bonsai upon special care and miniaturizing methods, which entails no genetic alteration of the trees. If not properly treated, the so-called bonsai seeds will produce normal sized trees.
Aside from seeds, there are many ways to develop a bonsai: nursery stock, garden plants, or cuttings. Beginners would usually start with a bonsai that is already in some level of development, and slowly learn the special care required by the bonsai. At some point, a bonsai enthusiast would delve deeper by learning miniaturizing techniques, and how to wire and prune the bonsai. Advanced bonsai enthusiasts would not stop here, and the urgency to start from scratch becomes irresistible. They will attempt on developing bonsai from seeds.
Growing bonsai from seeds provides many rewards to any bonsai enthusiast. Obtaining bonsai from seeds is the simplest and most natural propagation method, and perfecting the art will make life easier for a bonsai enthusiast. Doing so will make one take absolute control over the bonsai’s development right from the start. However, growing bonsai from seeds require a sufficient amount of patience. Not only does it entail the risk that the seeds will not grow, but it also requires a huge amount of time, more specifically with slow-growing trees. If one is lucky enough, the bonsai will develop from the seeds within five years time.
If one is up for more adventure and risk, he could search the seeds on his own and identify what type of tree the seed will produce. It is best to seek seeds during autumn. It is risky because one does not have an idea on what the seeds had gone to, whether it had been attacked by parasites or exposed to some other diseases. On the other hand, commercially produced seeds have less risk of parasites and diseases.
Obtaining bonsai from seeds sure is tedious, but it can be very rewarding if one plans to become an expert in acquiring plant materials. The uncertainty factor of growing bonsai from seeds also make bonsai enthusiasts want to learn more in perfecting their craft. The different factors that contribute to the seed’s failure to grow into a bonsai give bonsai enthusiasts a never-ending room on improving currently known methods – serving as an inspiration to discover and investigate new ways to make propagation easier. Lastly, it is nonetheless rewarding to see a sprouting bonsai from a seed that one has taken care of from the start. What more of a fully grown bonsai that one has planted on his own, pruned and wired by himself, and taken special care by himself. It surely is a labor of love.