How to look after bonsai trees – top tips for compact plant care

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Whilst flowers might seem an obvious choice for budding gardeners bonsai trees can help add a sense of calm to your home. These plants have long been associated with the art of Bonsai which originated in China in 221a.c.

The ancient art of growing Bonsai trees is well over a thousand years old.

Although these beautiful trees are usually associated with Japan, Bonsai tree cultivation began in China, where they came to be associated with Zen Buddhism.

Shannen Godwin, a spokesperson JParker’s said: “Bonsai is a form of living art that has resulted from the vision of replicating trees’ natural growth and shape, even on a much smaller scale.

“We’ve noticed that this technique has now started to become more popular, as people are looking to upgrade their skills and the look of their gardens.

“It’s important to learn that everyone can engage in this ancient practice and find solace in it, as it’s much more than a variety of tree; it’s a way in which many varieties can be brought to life.”

Most Brits when they think of bonsai trees, picture a small potted tree kept in the corner of a sitting room.

But, some bonsai trees can and should be located outside here is a guide to caring for these tranquil plants.

How to choose your bonsai tree

There are numerous types of Bonsai trees and not all types are the same.

Not every species will be suitable for the unpredictable British weather.

In most cases, it will be too cold to grow Bonsai trees outside in the UK.

Most Brits choose to grow Bonsais indoors, these compact plants take up little room and can be grown in a container making them the perfect house plant.

A popular bonsai species well suited to growing indoors is the Ficus, it is easy to grow for novice gardeners so if you have recently taken up gardening this could be the perfect choice for you.

Other popular varieties include; Carmona Bonsai, Chinese Elm Bonsai, Crassula (Jade) Bonsai and Serissa Japonica (Snow Rose) Bonsai.

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How to care for your bonsai tree

You should aim to discourage growth at the top of your bonsai instead, encourage it to grow down below.

Your tree should look full and mature at the lower branches and more spindly at the top.

A popular option is to choose a tree with an interesting trunk as bonsai tree roots are visible.

The roots of the bonsai are as much a part of the plant’s display as its green foliage.

The branches of your tree will also require attention. They can be shaped to a pattern of choice or you can even train the branches to grow on one side over the other.

This can be done by fully stripping the tree of its branches, then rubbing the buds on the side where growth is not desired.

How to water bonsais

These plants have very specific watering needs, to water your bonsai, you should immerse the entire bonsai plant in a bucket of water whenever the topsoil feels completely dry. This is usually around once a week.

Once you have fully submerged your tree in the bucket of water, wait until all the air bubbles have risen to the top.

When this has occurred the bonsai has absorbed enough water and can be taken out of the bucket.

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