Bonsai For Beginners

We get many questions here at Biogold Original about how to grow bonsais. There are a lot of tricks to growing these beautiful little trees, more than we could ever summarize in a blog. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t try! Bonsai art is just that, art. And, like all art forms, it takes time and practice to perfect it. Though, with the right products, a little patience, you can be well on your way to creating a gorgeous piece of living art that will be with you for life.

But first, one of the most important things about bonsai art is ensuring your tree is getting the nutrients it needs. We are proud to offer Biogold Original bonsai fertilizer, and organic fertilizer that is specially formulated for bonsai plants, though it can be used throughout the garden as well. Shop our collection of bonsai feed today, and keep reading to learn how to start creating your own bonsai plant!

Start With The Right Tree

Contrary to popular belief, bonsai does not require dwarf versions of big trees. Rather, the bonsai artist will use certain techniques to keep a young tree small in stature, while still allowing it to aesthetically age. This is what makes bonsai so unique and interesting to look at. Rather than looking like a small sapling, they have the proportions of a large tree, yet stay only a couple feet tall.

Nearly any tree can be created into a bonsai, but some trees are easier to work with than others. When choosing a tree, you want to make sure it is suited to your climate. For example, a bonsai artist in Southern California can use trees that a bonsai artist in Colorado cannot. If this is your first time working with bonsai, you will also want to choose a hardy tree that can withstand shifts in weather if you decide to keep it outside, as well as one that can recover if you accidentally over prune it. Below, we’ve offered up some popular tree species for bonsai.

Juniper: This is one of the more popular trees for bonsai. They are willing to be trained, adapt well to cold temperature, and are easy to keep alive.

Hawaiian Umbrella Tree: This tropical tree does surprisingly well indoors and won’t die if you forget to water it a few times.

Fig Trees: There are many types of fig trees, and most of them are ideal for bonsai. One specific species that adapts well to training and make beautiful bonsai trees are the ficus retusa, which is particularly hardy and can bounce back easily if you neglect it. Another is the ficus benjamina, which can be grown indoors. And, finally, the ficus religiosa, also known as the Bodhi tree, which forms gorgeous aerial roots and grows quickly, making it perfect for anyone who wants quick results — or, as quick as growing a tree can be.

Jade: Jade is a succulent tree with a naturally thick trunk, making it look mature even when it is still very young.

Pomegranate: Many fruit trees make for a great bonsai, but pomegranates might take the cake. They adapt incredibly well to life as a bonsai, and their shallow root system ensures they can still grow strong in a small pot.

Start With A Young Tree

When you receive a young tree you wish to create into a bonsai, begin by examining the tree to truly determine its unique characteristics. If your tree is not already in a bonsai pot, you will want to remove the tree from its pot and examine the roots. You may need to carefully brush out some of the soil to look for particularly strong roots.

Clean It Up

One of the main appeals of bonsai trees is their flow. A tree that has flow creates a more unique appearance, making it look less natural and more manmade. You will want to remove any dead foliage and branches with pruning shears, as well as any unsightly branches. Determine which branches you want to see thrive, and get rid of those that you dislike.

Pruning The Tree

Trees naturally want to grow upward, and pruning a tree will help to keep it the size and shape you desire. While pruning small branches won’t have many consequences, cutting off larger, main branches can be a little trickier. Prune branches that are low to the base, dead, expanding out beyond the general shape of the tree, or branches that grow upward, downward, or inward. If branches are crossing each other, consider pruning the more minor of the two. As you prune, remember to step back and observe your tree from all angles to avoid over-pruning. In general, you can safely prune up to a third of the foliage on your tree without risking the health of the tree.

Wiring The Tree

Wiring a bonsai tree is what separates bonsai from other forms of horticulture. It is how bonsai trees twist and grow in such beautiful ways. Start by wrapping a sturdy wire around the trunk of the tree. By doing this, you can then bend the trunk in whatever way you choose. Some choose to keep their trunks growing straight up, others prefer a curved trunk, and others still enjoy the aesthetic of a windswept trunk. Trunk shaping should be done gently, as to not snap off the tree. If your tree seems too stiff to bend, skip this step and only focus on wiring the branches.

To wire branches, repeat the steps above. Gently yet firmly wrap a wire around each branch. Once the wire is spiraled around the branch, you can bend that branch into your preferred shape, encouraging it to then grow in that shape.

After you have bent the branches into the shape you want, it is time to pot the plant in your preferred bonsai pot. Remove the tree from its original pot gently brush out the old soil. Remove any roots that are significantly longer than the others, and place the tree in a pot with fresh soil.

Top off the soil with Biogold Original organic bonsai fertilizer in order to ensure your bonsai has the perfect blend of nutrients and minerals as it grows. Water your tree as needed, and be sure it has the right amount of sun exposure for its species.

As the bonsai grows, be sure to keep an eye on the thickness of the branches. Once they get too thick, be sure to remove the wiring and rewire the plant, otherwise, the wire may cause unsightly scarring.

Choose The Best Bonsai Fertilizer

Growing a beautiful bonsai takes time and commitment, but with the right bonsai fertilizer, you can increase the chances of your tree surviving and thriving. Bonsais undergo a lot of bending, pruning, and shaping, so ensuring it has the right food it needs to recover is the key to creating a beautiful plant.