Contrary to rumor, learning how to grow bonsai trees is very easy. By following a few basic instructions and principals, you can easily grow your own bonsai tree. It will take some work, but the satisfaction you will experience as your bonsai tree develops will make the time and effort entirely worth it.
The first thing you need to choose is the type of container you want your tree to live in. Remember the small pot limits the tree’s root growth, which keeps the tree small. If you want a tall upright tree, select a round or square container and plant the tree in the center. For a short, spreading tree use a shallow oblong or rectangle pot, with the tree planted to one side.
The soil should be a mixture of sand, garden soil and peat moss. The sand provides proper drainage, while the soil’s ability to retain moisture comes from the peat moss. Sustenance is provided by good garden soil.
Planting the Tree
Select a tree that is too big for the pot, as you will prune it down to pit the pot. Remove up to 1/3 of the soil around the root ball, and then cut way the outer edges of the roots. Don’t cut away too much, just enough so the plant will pit into the pot. Line the bottom of the pot with screen mesh and cover with a thin layer of crushed gravel, topped by a layer of the soil.
Hold the tree in place in the pot, and begin filling in around the roots will the soil mixture. Traditionally a chopstick is used to place the soil properly, but any blunt stick will do. Once the tree has been potted, soak it in water. Once the soil is saturated, place moss around the base of the tree, covering the exposed soil.
Remember a bonsai is a real tree, and should live outdoors. For special occasion displays, the bonsai can be brought into the house, but for best results, it should live in a sheltered area such as a porch or patio, where it receives sheltered sunlight. Although most types of bonsai can survive freezing temperatures, it is recommended that they be placed in a cold frame or in a sheltered area.