Everything You Need to Know About Bonsai Trees

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Bonsai trees make for a great addition to any modern home, and has captured the interests of everyone, from expert horticulturists to beginners curious about developing their green thumbs.

However, there’s a lot more to creating bonsai trees that’s beyond simple aesthetic appeal. In fact, one could easily say that bonsai is an art form using a tree as a medium, shaping and styling it in a highly specific and controlled manner.

Types of Bonsai Trees

The term “bonsai” itself is used to refer to the different types of plant species used to create bonsai, and because there are all kinds, it can be difficult to choose the one to your liking.  

Here are just some of the many different types of bonsai you can find:

  • Azalea
  • Boxwood
  • Ficus
  • Jade
  • Tamarind

If you’re not a fan of buying an already-grown miniature tree and would like to grow your own yourself, you can start with a pre-bonsai or a nursery plant (bonsai starter trees are usually nursery stock in most garden centers).

Once you have the plant you want, try to imagine what it would look like as a bonsai and take the steps accordingly.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Bonsai

Like most kinds of plants, bonsai can either flourish indoors or outdoors. Indoor bonsai plants are more difficult to maintain since they need only a certain amount of sunlight each day, and need to be brought back into shade afterwards.

Meanwhile, outdoor bonsai plants are much easier to maintain since you can leave them in the sun for longer. They also come in two types: coniferous, which keeps its foliage all year, and deciduous, which sheds its foliage and enters a dormant period. Of these, coniferous bonsai trees are a more popular choice.

Bonsai Styles

Aside from considering the climate, style is also one of the things you need to consider – and is arguably one of the more enjoyable aspects of growing your own miniature tree inside your home.

You can style bonsai trees in all kinds of ways, such as the following:

  • Formal upright – With this form, the bonsai tree has a perfectly straight trunk with minimal taper
  • Informal upright – The most common way to grow a bonsai, where it starts off curved but straightens out as it grows
  • Slanting –While this style has a mostly straight trunk, the tree itself grows at an angle, which depicts uni-directional growth
  • Cascade – This style is designed to replicate a tree growing on the side of a cliff, and the branches sometimes reach lower than the pot itself
  • Windswept – This style can be applied to other forms, such as slanting or cascade, but is meant to resemble a tree that grew in strong winds
  • Exposed root – The roots appear like extensions of the trunk and appear to “sit” on the ground, but can also be made to grow across the terrain

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