green bonzai tree on table
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on

I have recently taken an interest in the art of the Bonsai. The oldest Bonsai tree to date is over 1000 years old! It is the infamous, Ficus retusa linn, and can be found in the Crespi Bonsai Museum in Milan, Italy. Can you imagine? All I can say is WOW! All in all the Bonsai is a treasure that will last a lifetime (and possibly longer…) if cared for properly.

Bonsai 101

The art of Bonsai is about trees, trees grown in miniature. It is also about respecting time, the implementation of proper care and exercising patience. Bonsai can also simply be a horticultural past time requiring no more than a measure of common garden sense and some artistic ability.

With proper care, your bonsai will remain healthy, beautiful and miniature for many years to come. Since your bonsai is a living miniature tree, it will increase in beauty as it matures through the years.

Having the ability to maintain a healthy plant is the key to being a Bonsai owner. It is the art of being able to control the degree of stress that a plant will take and still remain healthy. The term stress here is referring to the horticultural practice of being able to know how much is too much, and how much is too little. This principal applies to all aspects to Bonsai care; including air, water, soil, sun, nutrients, temperature, altitude, pruning, etc. The challenge is to have the willingness to learn, experiment and accept the results of these efforts.

Each type of Bonsai tree varies and requires different care instructions whereas certain instructions are similar. I have included a few of my favorites for you to peruse if you too are intrigued by the art of Bonsai.

  • FICUS RETUSA BONSAI (Ficus retusa) Also known as Banyan Fig. The Retusa has small dark green leaves which alternate up the stem. Grey to reddish bark dotted with small horizontal flecks, similar to tiger-like markings. All have a heavy trunk and many with exposed or aerial roots. Among the most tolerant, versatile and trouble-free bonsai trees for indoor use.
  • JUNIPER (Juniper procumbens) This dwarf Juniper is the most popular evergreen in the United States. When we think of a traditional bonsai and what it should look like, we think of a “Juniper procumbens.” It is very hardy, long-lived, and tolerates many adverse conditions.
  • HAWAIIAN UMBRELLA TREE (Arboricola schefflera) The Hawaiian Umbrella Tree bonsai tree is beautiful in appearance and is very easy to care for and propagate. The Hawaiian Umbrella, or Schefflera arboricola, is a flowering plant in the family Araliaceae, As it is an evergreen, it has dark green leaves year round that fan out into an umbrella form. The Hawaiian Umbrella tree has many characteristics that make it an excellent choice for beginners, as it does extremely well under various lighting conditions and isn’t too picky about watering and soil conditions. It also can be found in the Golden variety.
  • FLOWERING BRUSH CHERRY (Eugenia myrtifolia) Brush Cherries have a hearty nature which makes them ideally suited for bonsai. Also called Syzygium paniculatum, the Australian Brush Cherry has small handsome evergreen leaves which are firm and glossy and the flowers are white. If it receives enough light, the leaves will develop red highlights. When placed in an adequate environment Brush Cherries form a small cream colored ball that later opens into a beautiful starburst bloom and beautiful berries. With a few simple guidelines your Brush Cherry bonsai can be grown without difficulty.
  • FLOWERING AZALEA BONSAI he Azalea Bonsai tree has beautiful shell pink double blooms with soft ruffled edges. Small-medium rounded flowering indoor bonsai.
  • MONEY TREE (Pachira aquatica) The Money Tree is also called the “Good Luck Tree” and is an age-old token of good luck and an invitation to good fortune. It is the most popular plant for “Feng Shui” because it creates positive energy (“Chi” or “Qi”). It is rumored to bring prosperity and wealth to your surroundings and decorates your home with nature and good luck. The name “money tree” refers to the story of its origin, where a poor man prayed for money, found this “odd” plant, took it home as an omen, and had great fortune in selling plants grown from its seeds. Resilient and does not require much care. The Money Tree is hardy and extremely tolerant of low light and dryness.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Priti says:

    Beautiful! 👌

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