What is a BONSAI?
A potted plant may only be called
a "BONSAI" when the plant to container are to the correct proportions and has
been correctly styled, then the whole evokes appreciation and beauty of nature
with the "BONSAI" as the focal point.
Where to keep and display?
Filtered sunlight is preferable,
under a tree, a patio or shadecloth. If indoors, it needs to be in a sunny
north facing room(Southern hemisphere) with good ventilation. Never place
in direct sunlight or on the ground, but on a table or a stand at eye level.
Using a small watering can or jug,
saturate the soil until the water drains out through the screened holes in the
bottom of the container.
Frequent watering leaches out the
nutrients from the soil, thus it is very necessary to feed a Bonsai with fertilizer
during the growing season when in full leaf generally (August to April Southern hemisphere).
Pruning and styling?
Your BONSAI will grow out of proportion and lose its character if not regularly pruned. Styling is done in early spring to a specific style and to remove any unwanted growth. Pruning and leaf nipping is done all the time to maintain leaf size and to reduce their size which is so important to it's appearance. Leave one or two sets of developed leaves, nipping the growth tip off only. Landscaping the container (decorating) it in order to portray a natural environment for your BONSAI can be done using rocks, gravel, "Peace-in-the-home" or moss as a covering. The latter two are good indicators of sufficient water and UV sunlight absorption.
Repotting and root pruning are
only necessary every two to four years (commercial Bonsai) and one to two years
(professional/collectable Bonsai) after purchase. This is only done once the leaf
buds, form early in the Spring into the same container, or a larger one according
to growth. Using a scissors or a sharp knife remove about twenty five percent of
the soil cutting out all the larger roots from the root ball. Fill the container
with new BONSAI soil. Dunk in water until the air bubbles stop. Let drain, replace
landscaping then place in a cool position, avoid direct sun for two weeks. Start
regularly watering only after the soil has partialy dryed, so as to set your bonsai.
Pests and diseases?
These must be identified and treated
using a suitable insecticide e.g. MALATHION®, FUNGINEX® as applicable etc. Apply
strictly as directed on the container. Avoid using an aerosol insecticide.
The above basic guidelines should
be sufficient, but for more in-depth information buy a good Bonsai book and or
join a Bonsai club.
Bonsai as an investment?
The older the Bonsai, together
with the uniqueness of the plant species and artistic style, the greater its value.
A Living Art Form, Your Green Heritage Investment and Unique Gift.
Assitance and availability?
The Sponsor "Jo-da Bonsai" provides re-potting, styling and an after care service at a nominal charge and recommends membership of a Bonsai Club/Society to gain experience. For the enthusiast who wishes to plant and style their own BONSAI a variety of plants in plastic bags are also available. Together with local and imported containers, tools also soil, fertiliser and all the necessary accessories for landscaping and plant maintenance. FREE ADVICE GIVEN!