Category Archives: Bonsai

How to Choose the Right Bonsai for a Unique Stag Do Gift

Finding a perfect quirky gift for a best friend’s stag do is not the easiest task in the world. It needs to be nice enough to make a statement, but unusual enough for the guys to appreciate it. Why not consider a bonsai tree.

Bonsai trees are the perfect way for a bachelor to remember this special occasion and the fun that he had with his mates. Before rushing out to make your purchase of just any bonsai, however, you might want to consider the following:

Space

Most newlyweds begin married life in a small home. Bonsai trees are usually smaller than 45 cm in height and less than 25 cm wide, including the pot. This makes them a perfect fit for coffee tables or the edge of an office desk. Some, like the Chinese Elm can be placed inside or outside; this makes it an easy care variety.

Varieties

Bonsai plants come in two basic varieties, those that thrive in tropical climates and those that prefer more temperate conditions. Serissa, bougainvillea, and ficus, all tropical bonsai plants should never be exposed to frost-like conditions. Maples and junipers are much hardier plants and do not mind cold weather quite as much, but they do require a dormant period each year.

Care

Some men need plants that require little attention, and a bonsai plant fills this need perfectly. If a man can keep a plant watered, he can keep it alive. The suggested routine for a bonsai tree is to immerse it in water about once a week until no air bubbles appear. During the week water from the top to wash off dust and give the leaves a bath, but avoid watering any blooms that appear.

Shaping

The shape of a bonsai tree can be directed through pruning. The growth will occur in the areas that have not received pruning. Pruning a bonsai tree to change its shape can be a great creative experience, but it is important to trim the branches periodically to prevent the plant from becoming too heavy at the top for the root system to support the shape. All twigs growing in a downward direction should be pruned, as well as any branches that want to cross others.

When choosing a bonsai plant for a stag do gift, the most important factor should be matching the tree with the recipient. Is a blooming plant better, or would the groom prefer a braided bonsai? Would a Brussels bonsai be the most appropriate, or would the couple be more appreciative of the shape of a Hawaiian Umbrella tree? With plentiful choices available, it should be easy to find a bonsai gift to truly match the personality of the bridal couple.

About the Author: Andrea Thompson writes for Stag Do Ideas, a site that has lots of tips on planning a bachelor party.

 

4 Essential Bonsai Care Tips for Beginners

Many don’t know this, but gardening is a very relaxing hobby. Re-potting, watering and caring for your plants is a great way to release stress and it allows you to think. But for those who don’t have the space or the time for a big garden, one option they have is to care for a bonsai tree.

Bonsai literally means plantings in a tray. This Japanese tradition of raising miniature trees actually dates back thousands of years. Taking care of a bonsai tree is an art not meant for the half-hearted. It requires more than just watering it and placing it under the sun. Here are some of the basics you need to know about caring for your very own bonsai tree.

Know the Species

There are many species that you can use for your bonsai tree. It is important to at least know the general name, because the needs of each specie differs. One of the more popular types to be used, however, is the juniper. If you want a flowering bonsai, you can opt for the bougainvillea, which is easy to grow. Another flowering variant is the azalea. If you want the fruit bearing type, you can try a citrus bonsai tree. The only difference between fruit/flower bearing and non-bearing bonsai is that the former needs more light.

Age Matters

You might think that since you’re a beginner when it comes to bonsai trees, you would need a young tree. In this case, age matters more. The younger the bonsai, the more sensitive and fragile it is. If you pick an older bonsai that is around 10-15 years old, you have a higher chance of keeping it alive. An older bonsai is more sturdy and can last longer without water, just in case you forget to water it on time. Compared to the younger bonsai, it can withstand a wide range of temperatures and is more resilient in handing the ph imbalance in the soil.

Watering Needs

Bonsai cultivation means you have to master the art of watering, not too much and not too little. You have to give your bonsai just the right amount of water at the right time. Remember how important it is to know what kind of species your bonsai is? This is so you will understand how much water and light it needs to thrive.

Generally during summer, you have to water it every evening. Watering it in the morning will dry it out quickly. In spring and fall, the amount of water should be lessened. When the soil’s surface begins to dry out, then you can water it. In winter, bonsai requires only a little water, just enough to keep the soil moist. Do not over-water it and do water it when the soil starts to dry.

Fertilize

Since the bonsai is being cultivated in a contained environment (small pot with little soil), it is vital that you supplement it with the lacking nutrients. For any beginner, you can’t go wrong with balanced fertilizer. Organic fertilizer also works better than most. Just make sure to use the daily recommendations and your bonsai should be fine. Remember that practice makes perfect. Don’t stop with one bonsai. Get more and hone your skills in cultivating bonsai trees.  

 

Based in San Diego, California, Tiffany Matthews is a passionate writer and an avid reader. She has worked for several successful companies, including Total Landscape Care. When not writing, she can be found in her little garden, exploring her newly discovered green thumb.

 

Beginner's Guide to Bonsai Gardening

Bonsai gardening is a way for you to unleash your creativity. It is a chance for you to get involved with a living piece of art. Bonsai affords you to become more relaxed because it needs a Zen-like peace of mind to start with the hobby. This will eliminate the cause of stress that you are getting from work or at home. If you are planning to start Bonsai gardening it is best to learn more about it so you can enjoy it to the fullest and achieve a healthier state of mind.

 

Patience is a virtue

 

Growing Bonsai is never easy. It takes a lot of patience to begin this hobby.  If you don’t have the patience it is best not to dabble on Bonsai gardening. If you master the art of patience it will give you better control over causes of anxiety because you have a better state of mind to begin with.

 

Look for the right Bonsai

 

Looking for the right Bonsai tree is an excellent way to start your garden. Although Bonsai can be grown from the seed, you can skip this part by choosing a tree from a Bonsai nursery. A good tree should be at least six inches tall. Choose the one with a tapered trunk and is free from any kind of blemishes. The pruning and the wiring of the tree usually starts after 24 months. You may also ask the experts or you may browse the internet for more information on the types of bonsai.  This way, you will be able to choose the kind of bonsai that you would want to take care of.

 

Learn how to style

 

In styling your Bonsai tree, you need to consider the natural characteristics of the bonsai tree. This will give you an idea on the kind of pruning method you are going to use. You need to also consider the type of pot that you will be using. Most Bonsai plants are planted off-centered; thus the need to have a pot that considers the center of gravity. Once you learn the art of putting some style on your bonsai, you can even choose to join bonsai style competition.  These competitions will allow you to be exposed to other bonsai growers and you can also learn from them, especially from those who have been taking care of several bonsai plants for many years.

 

The costs

 

You will have to spend well in order to have a respectable Bonsai plant. You can buy one at the mall but the virtues that you will learn and the amount of relaxation that you will get from growing Bonsai do not come with a price. Pruning and special instruments are needed to maintain your Bonsai plants. You would also need to have some supplies. Simply ask the nursery where you bought your plant for information on the needs and the tools that you would use in bringing up the beauty of your Bonsai.

                                                           

Check the plant’s health

 

The plant’s health is crucial in maintaining it alive. There is a chance that the soil may cause the plant to wither and die. Also don’t fiddle with the tree. Bonsai needs to be repotted annually. Bonsai is like any other plant that requires moisture. You must remember that growing bonsai takes dedication.  You have to invest time and effort in order to make this plant grow healthy and beautiful.

 

Bonsai gardening is truly a very rewarding hobby.  It gives you some sort of diversion especially when you are so stressed out from work or from doing your house chores. As you focus on tending to your bonsai garden your mind will become more relaxed.  Thus, you will be able to relieve yourself from any symptoms of stress and anxiety.  Taking care of these bonsai plants will keep you close to nature which also helps increase your environmental awareness. However, these are just few of the many benefits that you can get from bonsai gardening.  The rest of the benefits will be yours to discover and explore.

 

About the Author:

 

Ryan Rivera used to suffer from the symptoms of anxiety attacks for seven years.  He now advocates healthy living as the best weapon against anxiety and depression.  You can read more of his articles at Calm Clinic

Accent and Companion Plants for Bonsai

Bonsai are often displayed with accent plants, also called companion plants or by the Japanese terms shitakusa and kusamono.

A bonsai companion should act to enhance the display of a bonsai while not detracting from the main exhibit which is of course the bonsai itself. Traditionally bonsai companion plants should let the viewer know something about the season and where the bonsai itself grows.  To be clear accent plants are planted most often in their own container or in no container at all. 

In this first example the companion plants are ferns and strawberries which evoke a sense of a dense forest. This companion planting would pair extremely well with deciduous trees. Companion plants should not look freshly planted, and should never have any visible soil. In order to show your bonsais in the best possible way you should have a number of companion plant arrangements to pick from and pair with your bonsai depending on the setting.

Kusamono_with_fern_and_strawberry

Companion plants should follow a few additional guidelines, first they should be shown in containers that are shallow, and not flashy.  If you choose to use no container or a container with very small walls you need to be sure to use a sticky soil with almost clay like qualities to ensure it stays in one place. In order to ensure your plants look well established you should plant your containers a few months ahead of the time you wish to show them; at the very least try to plant a few weeks ahead of time. In order to give your companion plants a fully finished look you should mulch them, or completely cover the soil with a groundcover like moss.

 

Lucas Barnes is an avid gardener and enjoys writing about a variety of topics related to the cultivation of plants. Lucas has a BA from the University of San Diego and is the writer of Plantdex