Growing bonsai trees is an art that goes as far back as 200 A.D. The word bonsai consists of the words "bon" (tray) and "sai" (tree). These trees, which are grown in trays or containers, keep their dwarf size by meticulous pruning and pinching techniques that create aesthetically attractive forms. A tree’s design depends on the gardener who prunes it, and the tree’s design–including the pot it grows in.
The bald cypress is a popular bonsai tree even though it grows slowly. It has feathery, light leaves that are orange-brown in fall. This bonsai is grown in a wide variety of soils and can be cultivated in northern as well as continental climates. Bald cypress trees make ideal bonsais for beginners because they’re easy to grow. They prefer full sun and do better in an extremely wet soil that’s almost swampy.
Hawaiian Umbrella Tree
The Hawaiian umbrella bonsai tolerates low light, so it’s also excellent for growing indoors. It has miniature, umbrella-shaped leaves that form an attractive thick green canopy and abundant banyan roots. Hawaiian umbrellas need watering every two to three days with the soil drying out completely between watering. Occasional misting is also needed. The pH of soil should be between 5.6 and 6.0, according to the Bonsai Gardener website. This tree should be kept out of reach from pets and small children as all parts of the tree are toxic if ingested.
Bonsai tree ficus are one of the most popular bonsai trees that are grown indoors, in addition to outdoors. These bonsai trees are strong and capable of tolerating mistakes of a beginning bonsai grower. There are several varieties of the bonsai tree ficus, such as the narrow-leaf ficus, dwarf and weeping ficus. Watering is important as this type of bonsai needs to dry out between watering. Indoor lights are helpful in growing this tree.
The lavender star, a thick evergreen bonsai, comes from Africa and Australia with more than 400 species found worldwide, according to BonsaiGardener.com. Flowers from this bonsai are lavender and reach roughly 10 inches in height by the time the tree is 8 years old, according to BonsaiGardener.org. For seeds of this tree to germinate, temperatures need to be about 70 degrees F. It’s a fast-growing, hardy tree that is excellent for every level of bonsai gardener.
Boxwood bonsais have roughly 70 different species and are commonly found in the rocky hills of Asia, Africa, Europe and America. The two best types of species are the Common Box and Japanese Box, which have dark green, glossy leaves. Size and growth rate are the only significant differences between these two species as the Japanese box is smaller and grows slower. This bonsai displays brilliant yellow flowers in spring. The boxwood bonsai tolerates both shade and sun, but too much direct sunlight burns the leaves. The most attractive style for boxwoods is the informal upright style.