Log in

No account? Create an account
Kittens +  Grenade

bonsai schmonsai

I have now mangled a juniper.


This stuff is harder than it looks. I am suitably humbled.


I tried it to...never again! Poor tree.
I bought a Bonsai kit.... Haven't done anything with it yet - but you grow the bonsai from seeds that are included with the kit...

I'm planning on planting it when we move to a place with a balcony - but I'll let you know how it works =D Looks like fun, thats why I got it. And I love taking care of plants =)

The problem with Bonsai...

...is that it's not something you just 'do' and are happy with the results. Bonsai is like mounted archery, with the added problem that you have to be mailed back if you hit the target or not.

Many times, the first steps to a Bonsai look like you're crippling or killing the little plant, or at least mutilating it badly. This is, in fact, true in many regards. You're trying desperately to keep the plant in it's young stage where it's resilant and able to survive a lot more abuse, while making it look like a far older, more mature and stoutly example.

Growing a Bonsai from a seed is something that, if I'd planted it when I first moved into the Prancing Skiltaire, I'd be ready to do the very first steps of 'training' it to how I wanted it to look... about now. Yes, that's 2-3 years of waiting if you get the seeds and plant them yourself.

And I'd want a good dozen or more Bonsai for my first time, as I'd expect to mangle at least half right off, as Bonsai is like that at first. An adjustment, then 3-9 months of waiting to see how that adjustment went, then another adjustment, etc, etc. Wrapped around this, a constant and relatively normal maintenance cycle throughout the year once the Bonsai is in a 'Bonsai Pot' instead of a growing pot.

The difference between a Bonsai Pot and a normal pot? It's too shallow to be able to safely allow the tree to make a normal root system. As in, once every couple years you have to unpot it, carefully rinse most of the dirt off the roots, and trim them both to keep them in the confines of the pot and prevent any roots from getting too thick. Commonly, any roots thicker than a pencil are cut, forcing constant growth of much thinner, feeder roots. These soak up the water better and support the plant in too-shallow soil in a way that the standard 'solid core root' plants like wouldn't.

And don't even get me started on watering. *giggles* It's like feeding a baby bird, check more than once a day, especially in summer, because there's no 'spare soil' in the Bonsai Pot to keep extra water in, so you need to water it more often, and fetilize it accurately as well.

There's a reason some of the most 'majestic' Bonsai have taken entire families generations to perfect, and are still being 'perfected' even today. This is a hobby born of patience, and meditation, that still requires accuracy and forethought.

But if you have the patience for it, and are willing to let things sit to see if you did right or not, do so. It's a very rewarding hobby as well, and one I'd like to get into now that I have my own room, along with some kinda fish. =^.^=