Bonsai tree cultivation has been a Japanese tradition for hundreds and hundreds of years.? Bonsai literally translates to “tray planting,” and involves actively growing and shaping trees into a dwarfed, artistic versions of themselves.? A bonsai tree is not a special dwarf or hybrid species of a common tree; they?re genetically the same as their much bigger brothers and sisters.? It?s the careful cultivation that keeps these trees miniture is size.? However, the trees are not sick or damaged.? In fact, given the correct attention, the dwarfed version of a tree can live longer than the same tree if it was allowed to grow in the wild.

Grown from seeds or cuttings, Bonsai trees usually grow from two inches to three feet in height.? They are kept small through pruning both branches and roots.? Additionally, new growth is frequently removed when the bonsai plants are repotted periodically.?

Growing and cultivating bonsai trees is actually as much about art as it is about horticulture.? Bonsai trees are not only kept small, they are also shaped into pleasing forms.? They frequently follow a number of different patterns of growth, from simple triangles to waterfall shapes cascading down over their pots.? The shapes are usually a product of both the pruning of the tree and through the wrapping the branches and trunk with wire, pushing the tree into its desired shape.? Chosen to compliment the color and shape of the tree itself, the pots are also part of the art of bonsai.? Mosses and rocks are often added to the base for aesthetic appeal.?

Care of a bonsai tree is more complicated than maintaining most houseplants.? Since the bonsai, by definition, has has a smaller root system than most plants, it needs fertilizer and water more often than most garden-variety houseplants.? Occasional pruning is also essential, since without pruning the bonsai tree would grow into just a normal large tree.? Also, if wire is used to help mold and form the tree, it is important to take care that the wire doesn?t dig into the bark of the tree, scarring the branches permanently.? Depending on the type of bonsai tree and your climate, you may be able to keep some bonsai trees outside year round, while others will need to be kept inside for at least part of the year.? Moisture is also important, not only in the soil but in the branches and leaves of the bonsai.? They need to be misted occasionally for the bonsai to remain healthy.?