A miniature tree may seem to be the perfect gift for that hard to buy individual on your gift list, but growing bonsai for beginners is more involved than for the typical houseplant.
Bonsai is a creative art form that involves using regular, full sized plants that are grown and maintained in specialized methods that result in the plant growing in only miniature size. This tiny version of a natural tree that in nature normally grows to heights of 15 to 20 feet can be pruned and manicured to only reach about a foot in height. Even in its diminutive size, the tree is a perfect replica of a natural tree; branching out and leafing out just as it wood in its natural habitat.
Department and specialty stores often offer these trees at the holiday season as exotic and unique gifts. Their beauty and one of a kind appearance may seem to many to be the perfect gift for the person on their gift list that has everything, but for the success of the plant, it is imperative that bonsai, for beginners in particular, be understood for the intricate art form that it is. Bonsai masters have striven for years to develop this creative art into the specialty that it is now.
The word “bonsai” breaks down into two English words, bon for tray and sai for tree. When thought of in this manner, the word “bonsai” simply means “tray tree”, or the growth of a tree in a shallow tray. When done properly, with meticulous pruning and training of the branches, the result will be a tree exact and perfect to the smallest detail to their natural cousin growing in nature. Each branch, the full canopy of the leaves and the thickening trunk will be identical to the natural tree variety in every way. Just as the appearance is similar to the natural full grown tree, so are the requirements of the bonsai tree. The diminutive trees still retain the needs of their larger counterparts; needing full to partial sun and good drainage to realize their optimal growth and beauty.