Many homeowners enjoy spending time in their gardens and maintaining their yard. If you enjoy growing and caring for plants, then decorating your garden or lawn area with bonsai trees can be a great new hobby. Bonsai combines art and nature into a compact package that can add style and interest to the landscape of anyone's lawn or garden.

What Bonsai Really Is

Growing a tree in a pot is not Bonsai. Although they are potted, these trees are grown in a way that makes them retain a miniature stature throughout the duration of their lives. The pots are traditionally ceramic and rectangular shaped. They are also very shallow which makes root pruning another requirement to be classified as a true Bonsai.

Obtaining A Bonsai Tree

Authentic Bonsai trees can be ordered online in a variety of species and styles. They can be purchased with professional training and styling already begun or with little to no training at all. For those who are more experienced with common Bonsai species, you can also dig up some types of infant trees and apply Bonsai standards to them. This is actually quite easy if you begin with a juniper or similar species of evergreen.

Soil, Watering And Foliage Pruning

Bonsais are grown in a way similar to hydroponics. The soil is made up of mostly rock, wood chips or perlite. A good rule of thumb is to use a mixture of all these combined with a 1/4 soil ratio. This will provide exceptional drainage and strong rooting potential.

Decorating Your Garden With Bonsai Trees

Watering a Bonsai is very different than other potted plants because of smaller pots and the use of high drain soil mix. In milder climates they retain water for sometime, but in the summer heat you will often have to water an outdoor Bonsai 2 to 4 times in one day. A ceramic pot can get very hot in open sunlight.

In addition to this, nutrients must regularly be mixed with the water to ensure your Bonsai gets the nourishment it needs. The poor soil that Bonsais are grown in can only hold nutrients for a limited amount of time. A low ratio nutrient solution like Bonsai Pro will make your trees thrive in almost any conditions. Even pseudo hydroponic applications like this will promote fast and aggressive foliage growth. More frequent watering with low level nutrients makes them be rapidly absorbed by the roots. This is the essence of hydroponic growing.

Pruning will likely need to be done initially regardless of how your Bonsai was obtained. Your style plans for present and future should be considered during pruning for the sake of appearance. While this is typically personal preference, removing too much or too little can both inhibit the development of your tree.

The general Bonsai guideline is to remove around two thirds of the original foliage. This makes nutrients be able to more quickly reach the leaves on the tree and regrowth can take a relatively short period of time.

The Secret of Bonsai Is In Its Roots

The thing that really makes a potted tree a Bonsai, is the way its roots are prepared before potting and during the life of the tree. The long and lanky roots of all Bonsai are trimmed down to a bulb size that is roughly 2 or 3 inches smaller than the width of its pot.

The bulb is also trimmed until it is around 1 inch shorter than the depth of the pot. A Bonsai's root bulb literally sits on just a tenth of an inch of soil. It basically lays against the bottom of the pot and is secured in place by wires before being filled in with additional soil mixture.

Common Styles of Bonsai

The term "Living Art" has often been used to describe the practice of Bonsai. Styles typically used range from simple cascading junipers to the gnarly twisted ficus. More advanced styles like the pom pom are used to make one small tree look like a scaled down version of several large ones.

These looks are achieved over years with wire training. Depending on the desired outcome, training can take anywhere from three years to an eternity. With many interesting and challenging styles to choose from, Bonsai is a great hobby for the more artistic gardeners of the world.