What is bonsai? If you haven’t already Googled it, bonsai is the art of planting and growing a miniature tree in a container. This Japanese art style is made for better concentration and contemplation, the labour for small things, and learning how to shape and maintain plants of small sizes. Bonsai is a piece of magnificent scenery in a pot which can decorate any corner of your house or balcony. It teaches the viewer to appreciate art and is a lesson for the gardener about ingenuity and effort.

The Plants

The types of bonsai that can be grown are basically the same as the types of tree in the world. Almost every otherwise huge tree that would occupy space in a forest can be used as a model and for seeds, but the ones that people most often stick to are the pine and maple. Depending on your preferences, and how much of care you can provide, you can grow your own cypress, elm or oak, or most other types. Preferences vary from gardener to really good and expert gardener, so if wondering what to plant, pick a tree to your taste.

The Techniques

Leaf Trimming
This is the most commonly used technique, recommended by reliable and professional florists,  in bonsai planting. As the name would suggest, you simply trim leaves to help hidden or covered branches grow out from beneath the clusters of needles and leaves.

Pruning
The other most commonly used technique, and also the most vital one if you want to keep the tree in the small shape it is. Bonsai trees would grow beyond the confines of their pots were they left unpruned. You need to exercise this process to keep the tree in the shape and size you want it to be in.

Wiring
If you want the plant to show some flexibility, like lean to a certain direction, or take a certain shape, then you need to practice wiring. Use a copper or an aluminium wire to wrap around the trunk and branches and gently bend the tree. This does not work for all tree types, as some of them are too gentle for the process.

Clamping
For thicker trees that cannot be bent with just hands or wires, you need to use the screw-based clamping system to shape the plant.

Grafting
If you want a bud, a branch, or a root in a specific area, learn how to graft. You can graft almost everything on a tree as there are many grafting techniques.

Defoliation
This is the bonsai version of leaf clearance. For this leaf collection process you need to cut the petiole of the leaves in order to reduce their size next time they grow. Careful, as this process weakens the plant and might kill it.

Deadwood
This amazing technique can make your bonsai tree look ancient. It involves de-barking some or all of the tree’s trunk to make it seem time-weathered and scarred.

When you learn to do all the techniques and get acquainted with all the types of bonsai you can plant, you can go ahead and attempt making your own. Refresh the scenery of your home and do remember that frequent garden maintenance will be the key to keep the plant alive and thriving.

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