It is an art because it gives you the opportunity to give a wild run to your imagination and give your own shape to trees from nature. And at the same time it is a science as well, because it involves the understanding of how plants react to soil, change of atmospheric conditions, water and fertilizers.
Hence for any new entrant into this beautiful world of miniature trees it is very essential to have a passion for both art and science, before he starts growing bonsai.
The first task for growing bonsai tress is to decide on the species of plant.
You have the option of choosing from hundreds of different plant species which are suitable for bonsai. In addition many plant species have multitude of sub varieties to choose from.
Many species of trees are genetically appropriate for growing bonsai trees because of there small leaves and small gaps between nodes. So choosing one from these species will reduce a lot of effort and time on your part in growing bonsai.
Every species require certain specific climatic condition to grow, so it is of paramount importance to decide on the species which would perform best under your climate and growing conditions.
The second task is to decide the sources of plant material for bonsai.
The foremost source of bonsai trees is to buy from a local garden or nursery.
This would give the option to choose the plant in the best of conditions and would save your from the initial hassles of worrying about seeds and all.
You could also source it from online stores available on the internet.
Another popular source is to reproduce from an existing plant. Propagation from existing plants can happen from seeds, by rooting the cutting from existing plant, grafting and layering.
It is always advantageous to propagate the plants through seeds as it gives you the power to control root spread and regulate the branch placement. It also gives you the control to negate any root malfunction in a very early stage.
Having said all this it is important to keep in mind that propagation from seeds will take a very long time and would delay your ambitions of growing bonsai trees.
You may also get saplings for growing bonsai trees by collecting plants which are already growing on the ground either in cultivated areas or from the wilderness.
To carry out this exercise you must consider the proper season during which the plant would be least affected. Ideally winter season is the most suitable time to collect your plant as the plant is under a dormant condition during this season.
Also ensure you carry proper tools and equipments necessary to aid you in your efforts to hunt your plant in the wilderness.
Once you have collected your plant for growing bonsai tree it is essential to take proper care.
You could consider pruning them once to keep the plant in confirmation with the desired shape and size. Both root and branch pruning could be considered. The maximum length of the roots should be less than the length of the container.
It is very essential to ensure proper watering of the plant. You should also ensure that the collected plant is protected from the extremities of weather, because after it is uprooted the plant is under stress and is most vulnerable to extreme weathers.
You also need to take proper care after the plant sprouts. Use diluted fertilizer for the bonsai trees after about one and half months of collecting it from the wild.
Once the plant is into growing stage, you are well into your way of growing bonsai trees. You would need to master the techniques of pruning, watering, repotting and fertilizing to ensure that your bonsai trees grow according to the desired shape and size.