Getting to know bonsai: the first specimen (part 3)

From the previous parts of this article, you may have already decided which bonsai tree would suit you best, and decided which style you would grow it in. Now it is time for the most interesting part – to get a plant, which will become the first specimen in your collection.

Choosing your first bonsai tree, you probably dream of growing a mature plant from scratch. Well, it’s not easy to do without some experience, and there are pros and cons to doing so. It’s also a question of how long you’re willing to wait before you get the results you dream of. Bonsai is an art for the sedentary. If you can’t wait to show off your new hobby to your friends, maybe buying an adult plant is the way to go.

However, growing a miniature plant is far more than just admiring the result, because you will have to strive for perfection every day, scrutinizing the branches and making new decisions. If you find yourself in the process, the sprout you buy today will bring you just as much joy 20 and 50 years from now.

The first bonsai: Let’s go on a quest

There are many ways to join the culture.

  • Bonsai from seed Inexpensive, but the longest lasting option. It will take you several years to get your first results in the smallest category.
  • A sprout bonsai also does not require a large investment. Such a plant will take a long time to develop, but it is a great chance to learn the needs of a particular species.
  • Bonsai from aerial branches is not expensive, but it also does not give much chance of success.
  • Bonsai from cuttings The method is inexpensive and, although time-consuming, quite effective. The only difficulty is to find a suitable mature tree from which you can take cuttings.
  • Bonsai by grafting If you want to see a tree bloom as soon as possible or get a rare species, this method will not disappoint you. One disadvantage – it is better to have some experience.
  • Bonsai from a horticulturalist You can purchase a young tree at a reasonable price. Unlike a natural specimen, this plant was originally kept in a pot, which increases your chances of success.
  • Bonsai from a seedling For a small price you get a plant with a well-developed trunk and good roots, accustomed to being kept in a pot.
  • Tree bonsai It won’t cost you anything to dig out a suitably formed plant in its natural habitat, but don’t forget the difficult process of adapting the roots to the limited space of the pot.

A young bonsai tree If you are afraid to start from scratch, you can find an inexpensive option among young bonsai trees with a crown already formed. All you have to do is take care of the plant and develop your skill in the style chosen by the master.

bonsai tree

A mature bonsai tree The shortest way to a perfect result, but also the most expensive. If you can afford it, you will have a finished tree to the envy of those around you.

Of course, the culture of bonsai, which has been formed over the centuries, cannot be summed up in three short articles. Many books have been written about it, and the words of one master, Morten Albeck, are truly true: “I’ve been doing bonsai for about 20 years. […] And today, when I have learned how to germinate seeds, how to choose fertilizers, how to shape a miniature tree from a sprout, how to take care of its health and harmonious growth, etc., I am still learning. Nature constantly reveals her infinite potential to me.

Good luck!