Bonsai is the art of growing ordinary plants in shallow pots

An exhibition of Bonsai plants organized at Korum, Thane witnessed smaller versions of common trees such as Banyan, Ficus, Jade, Baobab and many being displayed. An interactive session by Rajeev Vaidya, a bonsai expert was held to educate the visitors on bonsai plantation.

He spoke on basics of bonsai and the growing trend among urban households. Bonsai are common plants shaped to look like their bigger counterparts in nature having all attributes of a tree. Any ordinary plant from a number of plant species can be made in to Bonsai.

In Chinese and Japanese language the term Bonsai means ‘tree-in-a-pot’, which is an ancient oriental horticulture art form. “Bonsai is the art of growing ordinary plants in shallow pots by the selective application of common principles of horticulture and gardening,” he explained, while clearing misconceptions related to Bonsai plantation.

 

These are some of the tips he provided on essentials for bonsai plantation such as its placement, wiring and pruning and subsequent care that needs to be taken.

  1. Choose a small leafy size plant for bonsai.
  2. Beginners of bonsai plantation can buy small plants from nurseries to start off with.
  3. Choose a plant with thick woody stem but small stature. If possible the plant should have good attractive foliage, all around root spread, tapering trunk and a profusion of branches distributed along the length of the trunk line.
  4. Training of a plant in to a bonsai can be started once the basic shape of plant is formed.
  5. On an initial basis cut short the top growth of the plant to make the plant look shorter.
  6. Cut off the branches which look un-necessary and cross each other.
  7. Shorten the length of the top branches so that the lower branches appear bigger and longer.
  8. Prune the branches periodically without changing the shape of the plant.
  9. The plant should have a mature and a stronger look which is basic for a bonsai.
  10. Daily watering and exposure to sunlight for at least two to four hours a day is necessary for bonsai.
  11. Monthly fertilizing, pruning and re-potting the plant after 1 to 3 years should be done depending on the growth rate of the plant.
  12. Do not expose the bonsai plant to air-conditioning or extreme heat.