Bonsai is a Japanese art form that originated in China and known as ‘penjing.’ The miniature tree was taken to Japan by travelers and presented as gifts for members of the royal family. Owning a mini bonsai is east to care for and lasts well all year round.
- When choosing a new plant, it is best to find one with a twisted stem as this will be more interesting.
- To make a “root over rock bonsai,” choose a pencil thin sapling and plant it in a tall container of sand to encourage long roots. When they are long enough, drape the roots over a fancy piece of rock and bind all together firmly with clear tape.
- Re-pot in a bucket of sand, covering the rock. After about nine months, begin to expose the rock and top of the roots a little at a time to harden it off. It is ready to plant in a shallow dish when a mat of roots have formed under the rock.
- A mix of bonsai potting compost with peat and fine gravel is best.
- Trees need to be taken out of their pots every two years to trim the roots. All pruning of branches and roots should be done in the spring.
- Feed occasionally with an all purpose granular feed and water with filtered or bottled water twice a day in summer, and once in winter.
- Bonsai can be kept out of doors when the weather is temperate but choose a shady and wind free spot.