is the ancient Japanese garden art of training miniature trees.
Here's a quick and easy way to create miniatures that have some of
the character of true bonsai without the painstaking demands.
Steps to make your Bonsai:
a tree. Start with common garden plants such as azalea,
boxwood, camellia, cotoneaster, gardenia, hibiscus,
holly, juniper, pyracantha and rhaphiolepis. Look for
1-gallon-sized shrubs with branches that either grow
upward or hang facing down - whichever you prefer.
2.Using bypass pruners,
make an initial pruning of the plant while it's in the original nursery
container. Find its central trunk and remove enough growth until you plainly
see the structure of the front - the side that will be displayed. ( Image a.)
the plant from its container and place the root ball
in a bucket of water. This will make it easier to
reduce the soil around the roots for fitting into a
bonsai container. ( Image b.)
as much of the soil around the root ball as possible
to fit the plant into a shallow decorative container. ( Image d.)
the roots until they are reduced to 2/3 of their
original size. You will have a shallow root ball when
you are finished pruning. ( Image e.)
a piece of plastic window screen over the container's
drain holes to prevent the soil mix from washing out
as you water. The screen will also prevent insects
from entering through the holes. ( Image f.)
a 1-inch layer of potting soil mix to the bottom of
the container. ( Image g.)
the plant in the container, spread the roots out over
the layer of soil, and cover them with more soil. Make
sure you leave at least 1 inch of space below the rim
of the container so you can water.
pruning the remaining foliage. Trim away stems and
branches in such a way that the remaining growth has
the branch structure of a tree. Keep in mind that once
you cut something off, you can't put it back. ( Image h.)
the tree well to soak the soil thoroughly.
the surface of the soil with aquarium gravel for a
finished appearance. ( Image i.)
with small amounts of fertilizer at frequent intervals,
or choose a slow-release fertilizer. Fish emulsion or
cottonseed meal are recommended sources of nutrients.
your bonsai tree in a protected outdoor location that receives
about the same proportion of foliage as roots to keep the
plant in balance.