What is bonsai? Translated from Japanese "bonsai" means "a plant in a flat vessel" (bon - container, sai - tree). Like other oriental art, bonsai in Japan is not just a set of operations to grow a miniature tree in a vessel.
This is a whole philosophy that requires a person to have certain personal qualities: wisdom, benevolence, delicacy, justice, patience.
Bonsai masters can recreate the image of a powerful thousand-year-old tree, form a landscape of dense forest, mountains and gorges, the sea coast - and all this on a tiny piece of land. With proper care, bonsai can live for hundreds of years and become a living symbol that binds generations.
The art of growing miniature trees in vessels appeared in ancient China about two thousand years ago. Special care, composition and amount of soil, special techniques for cutting roots and forming a crown allowed the craftsmen to achieve that over the years a tiny tree in structures and proportions acquired the appearance of an adult tree.
For bonsai, plants are used that are capable of producing flowers and fruits - it is highly desirable that the formed bonsai bloom and bear fruit. It can be plum, cherry, apple, and from plants that tolerate indoor conditions well - myrtle or citrus.
Where to start bonsai? The Japanese identify several basic ways to induce trees to live in a pot.
Misho. Sowing seeds. If you are just starting to try your hand at bonsai, then it is best to start with sowing. In addition, seedlings develop faster, and it will be simply more interesting for you to observe their development.
For indoor bonsai, seeds of myrtle, citrus fruits, pomegranate are suitable. To grow garden forms - after the snow melts, collect the sprouted seeds with roots lying under the maples, oaks and plant them in bowls. Take whatever you like from the seeds of the trees in your region.
Toriki. Growing bonsai from cuttings, including air.
The first method is to find a branch you like and in the place where you want the roots to be (preferably a bud there), cut off about a two-centimeter ring of bark without touching the wood.
Another way: the bark is not cut off, but cut and bent, a pebble is inserted under it so that it does not turn back. The protected area is treated with a growth stimulant (heteroauxin, epin), wrapped in sphagnum moss mixed with peat chips. This whole structure is covered with a film and tied on both sides, it turns out something like a candy on the trunk of a tree. It will take at least three months before the roots appear (for conifers, this process will take much longer). The main thing is not to let the filling of this "candy" dry out: moisten with a syringe, rubber bulb or attach a plastic gutter so that wetting occurs with rain.
Yamadori. That is, I found and dug it up. In the spring, find a suitable tree in the forest or clearing. Dig it carefully in a circle, being careful not to damage the root system. If the roots are too large, you need to cut them within reasonable limits and leave the tree alone for a couple of months and wait for the plant to develop as many surface roots as possible. After that, the tree must be dug up and transplanted already as a bonsai. For the tree to survive, take as much of its native land as possible. At home, put it in a large bowl, shade it, spray more often and let it breathe fresh air. It will take several months before the tree adapts and grows new roots.
Ueki. Selection and purchase of a suitable tree in the nursery with a sufficiently thick trunk and a certain number of branches. There are two options for purchasing bonsai: buying a ready-made houseplant at the age of 2-3 years, which is then pruned and transplanted into a flat vessel, and buying a ready-made bonsai.
After purchasing, check the plant for pests and diseases on the trunk, branches, leaves, roots and ground. If found, the plant should be immediately treated with drugs. It is better to replace the old soil with a new substrate. Shake the soil off the roots (you can rinse them with water, except for conifers) and shorten some of the roots when replanting. A transplant is best done in spring or summer. If the tree was purchased at another time of the year or it is not possible to transplant and cut the plant, then the tree with an earthen lump is taken out of the container and transferred to another, prepared in advance, a pot, a bowl, large in size, and covered with new earth.
Water the ground with zircon, heteroauxin or dust the roots with root. In order not to leave pests in the old soil, the drug bazudin is added to the new substrate (at the tip of a knife for a small container) and mixed with the earth. You can sprinkle the surface of the soil with Aktara. It is imperative to put a drainage system on the bottom of the container to drain excess water in order to avoid rotting of the root system.
Read about the shape, types and styles of bonsai, planting rules and caring for bonsai in the following articles.