Category Archives: Where to Start

How To Look After a Bonsai Tree Indoors

Indoor BonsaiWhen caring for a bonsai tree indoors, it’s very important to first know what species of tree it is and what the needs are for that kind of plant.

The bonsai tree does not know it’s a bonsai. It only knows that it’s a tree. So if you have a Juniper bonsai, Its needs are the same as those of a juniper that’s not a bonsai. And if you have a Ficus bonsai, its needs will be the same as a ficus tree that’s not a bonsai.
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Brazilian Pepper Bonsai

Starting a Brazilian Pepper bonsai from scratch

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Brazilian Pepper Bonsai National Bonsai MuseumIn Florida the Brazilian Pepper Tree is an invasive species and is hated by all those Floridians who posses even a fundamental knowledge of gardening, landscaping or environmental conservation.

State, County and City governments cut them down with vigilance but the tree is nearly impossible to kill and new shoots will spring up from stumps in just a couple of weeks. I too hate the Brazilian Pepper and would enjoy seeing them all eradicated from the Florida Peninsula.

And with that attitude in mind, can you imagine my surprise as I stood in the National Arboretum recently in Washington D.C. admiring a beautiful bonsai only to read the sign and discover that it was a Brazilian Pepper?
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Bonsai Lessons for Beginners

Part 15 of a series by Eugene Howell

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Ficus BonsaiIn the previous post we began the discussion of how to start a bonsai by first identifying where the front of your new bonsai will be. The front of a bonsai tree is defined as the side of the tree you want to have facing the viewer when your finished bonsai is on display. By determining where the front is, you’ll then be able to perform the tree’s first styling. We learned that the root flair gives the first indication of where the front may be. We also learned that if the roots don’t fulfill this mission then we next look at the trunk. In today’s bonsai lessons for beginners, we’ll find out how the trunk can help us find the front the bonsai tree.

The characteristic that most people observe first about a bonsai tree is the trunk’s movement, meaning the trunk’s curves and twists. Observe your tree from all sides and decide which view provides the most interesting curves and twists. This will likely turn out to be the front, but there are a few more considerations that need to be made before the final decision such as large unsightly scars or if there’s any reverse taper which is always unwanted in a bonsai. If your tree has any of these you may need to select a different front that helps to hide those blemishes.
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How To Start A Bonsai Tree

Part 14 of a series by Eugene Howell

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Bonsai ExpoYou’re a newcomer to bonsai, you’ve joined a club and attend meetings, you’ve looked through bonsai books and magazines, you’ve even attended bonsai demonstrations and yet despite all of this, when you look at your tree you don’t have the slightest idea where to begin or how to style it. Added to this is the fear that whatever you do might be wrong and may ruin it.

But things are not as bad as they seem and the art of bonsai is meant to be an enjoyment rather than a stressful anxiety. The first thing you need to get over is fear. Almost any mistake can be corrected with time and planning. There are obvious exceptions to that statement, but assuming you have a tree that’s merely a pre-bonsai there’s no need to worry about ruining it when it isn’t yet even a finished bonsai.
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