Anyone – with or without a green thumb – can create beautiful and intricate works of art with the easy and inexpensive craft of bonsai. The art of bonsai has beginnings in the Orient, first with China as Penzai, then later adopted by the Japanese who gave the craft its more famous name of bonsai. While the name in Japanese actually means “potted plant”, the term bonsai actually refers to the miniaturization of trees and plants in containers.
The most important aspect of bonsai is patience. You must wait for the chosen plants to grow, then meticulously groom them to the size and shape that is desired. Secondary is the choice of pots and plants. The pots chosen should be shallow, mainly very small to keep the roots from developing to the normal size of the plant chosen. Good drainage is important, with regular watering patterns built into the training of the plants. Tabletop pieces are ideal, but patio plants can be grown very effectively and the size and shape of the plants can be developed to fit a specific area for decorating. The pots themselves are also important for their beauty and decorating effects.
The plants that are chosen for bonsai are as varied as the plant kingdom itself. The natural attributes of the individual plants must be taken into account, with their growth patterns and habits established for the greatest effect. Both deciduous and evergreen plants can be used, and any variety of plant and tree that is easily accessible is a prime candidate for bonsai. Some prior knowledge of gardening and plants is beneficial, but not totally necessary to beautiful bonsai success.
Bonsai can be grown indoors or outdoors, depending on your personal preference. Either way they make an excellent conversation starter, and will impress even the most proficient gardener with the intricate and shaped plants you create. It only takes a little effort, a lot of patience, and a bit of practice to enjoy everyday bonsai gardening.