Table of contents:
- Placing, creating a traditional bonsai, shaping a crown or pruning a bonsai
- Bonsai pots
- Bonsai soil
- Bonsai transplant
- Watering bonsai
- Top dressing with fertilizers
Placing, creating a traditional bonsai, shaping a crown or pruning a bonsai
The shape of a bonsai container can be rectangular, oval, round, or multi-faceted. Deep or nearly flat - oriented towards the style to be formed. All styles that have a sloping stem require a more stable container for planting, which means the container must be made of heavy material (clay bowls) or deep enough. The container should not be too bright or colorful; on the contrary, the simplicity of color and shape only emphasizes the style.
In addition, the container for bonsai should not violate the proportion of the grown composition by its shape.
For example, a pot that is too flat and wide is used for bonsai with a wide dense crown or multi-stem forms, and for styles with a single tree, in which the lower part of the trunk is bare, it will look good if only a piece of landscape or terrain is simulated on it (moss, stones, figurines or miniature houses, etc.). The large area of the bowl creates a sense of space.
Small but deep enough bowls are good for styles where plants have tall and open roots.
Very narrow and deep containers, reminiscent of flower vases, are used for cascading styles, with a hanging tree crown.
In any case, try to observe the following proportions - the height of the walls of the bowl should be no less than the thickness of the trunk. And the length of the bowl should correspond to about 2/3 of the height of the plant.
The containers require additional preparation before planting. First, some of them have no drain holes. They will have to be made by ourselves, since most often the bonsai bowls are made of clay or ceramics, then for the holes you need to use a regular drill with a drill for tiles and glass (with which holes are drilled in the bathrooms).
Do not forget that before transplanting into any container, it is not enough just to rinse it, it is safer to additionally scald it with boiling water.
As a rule, a special substrate is used to grow bonsai. These are akadama akadama-clay granules, in nature it is from the territory of the province of Kanto, in Japan. Used in traditional Japanese bonsai. The earth is heavy, nutritious, moisture-absorbing and breathable earth. It has various fractions, small and larger, on average about 3-5mm, has a pH = 6-6.5. They rarely plant in a pure Akadama.
The mixture for bonsai contains components - sand, clay, humus (humus). For deciduous trees, it is better to prepare a substrate from 7 parts of turf and 3 parts of sand. For flowering and fruiting bonsai - 6 parts of sod land, 3 parts of sand and 1 part of leafy humus. For conifers, you need to prepare a mixture of 6 parts of sod land and 4 parts of sand.
River sand before use is properly washed and thoroughly calcined in the oven, its main task is to provide the soil with sufficient looseness. Part of the sand can be replaced with vermiculite.
Clay-sod land has nutritional value, but it should also absorb moisture well and allow air to pass through.
You can use purchased potting soil mixtures, but the choice must be made with great care. The fact is that most earthen mixtures consist of peat with the addition of garden fertilizers. But there are special substrates for growing bonsai, for example, Aurica Bonsai Gardens.
If you want to prepare the soil yourself, find a green meadow, remove the sod layer, and dig in the top 20cm of soil. It needs to be sieved through a large grate to remove stones, sticks and grass roots.
The soil also requires preliminary disinfection. To do this, you will need a metal bucket and a sieve, wide enough to fit snugly into the bucket at about the middle of its height. Water is poured into the bucket, the sieve is lowered and a layer of earth is poured, no more than the height of the sieve. They put the structure on fire, which is reduced after boiling. The duration of the procedure is about 30 minutes. You can also just heat the earth in the oven on a baking sheet.
To maintain the miniature size of the plant, it has to be cut. But in order to maintain the balance of proportions, it is necessary to trim the roots. This is done at the time of transplanting. Transplanting time depends on the type of plant. As a rule, a sign of the need for transplanting is the appearance of new buds. For decorative deciduous plants, this occurs in the spring, at the end of winter. For flowering bonsai, transplant, crown and root pruning is carried out at the end of flowering, usually in the fall.
It is only necessary to transplant and prune when the roots have filled the entire container. If this has not happened, and the plant has already been taken out of the container, then the roots are not cut off, but only the old soil is replaced with fresh one. The main indicator of the need for a bonsai transplant, as for all indoor plants, is the germination of roots into the drainage hole of the container.
To get the plant out of the container, you must first thoroughly moisten the soil. The roots must be examined, and those that are too thick must be removed with pruning shears. The main strength is the wide fibrous root system. Therefore, the main bundle of fibrous roots is not touched, i.e. no need to pick it out and try to remove the remnants of the earth from it. But the existing taproot is removed completely.
If not a purchased ready-made bonsai is transplanted, but previously grown in an ordinary pot, and upon examination it is found that the taproot is well developed and the fibrous system is poorly developed, then it is too early to form a bonsai from it. You can trim the taproot to 1/3 or 1/2 and leave in the same pot until the fibrous roots develop.
It is believed that the thickened roots protruding from the surface of the soil in the container are one of the main features of a true bonsai. Therefore, when transplanting, the thickened roots are brought to the surface - this gives the composition a more natural look. The soil in the container can be covered with a layer of green moss. This also maintains a natural look and does not allow the water to evaporate too quickly. After transplanting, the bonsai are watered moderately to avoid rotting of the cut roots, shaded from direct sunlight and protected from the wind. It takes about 3-4 to adapt. weeks.
Due to the peculiarities of planting bonsai, the soil in the container dries out much faster than in ordinary pots with indoor plants. Therefore, bonsai is watered much more often. When planting bonsai, the soil is compacted, and water can be poorly absorbed during irrigation, therefore, bonsai are often watered by immersion in a basin filled with water.
The frequency of watering depends on the time of year and, accordingly, on the temperature, in summer it usually happens every day, and on hot days in the morning and evening. In winter, watering is much less frequent - about once a week, and more scarce. Damp soil should not be cooled.
The frequency of watering is a very controversial issue and it is pointless to give recommendations as when growing other plants - touching the soil at a depth with your finger. Yes, it should have time to dry from above, but it is impossible to test it at depth, so this is more a matter of experience. There are plants that tolerate drying out quite easily, it is worth watering and the wilted leaves and twigs become elastic again. For some, too long drying can be fatal. The less soil in the container and the more roots there are, the faster the water in the soil absorbs and dries up. Therefore, an important point - when watering, water should moisten the entire earthen lump, and not just the top layer of the soil. Those. it is necessary to water so that water appears from the drainage holes. Water should not remain in the stand! High-legged bonsain containers serve as a safety net.
In addition, the irrigation regime and water consumption depend on the type of plants; it should be noted that plants with fleshy parts (stems or leaves are succulents), as well as conifers, require less water for irrigation. The first because they are able to store it in tissues, the second because of the smaller surface of water evaporation. Accordingly, deciduous bonsai with a lush crown evaporate more moisture, and are more demanding both for watering and for air humidity.
Watering is best done in the morning and / or evening, i.e. when the heat of the day has not yet arrived or has already subsided. No plant can tolerate water splashing on leaves on a sunny day. All conditions of detention should be similar to natural ones, and in nature, as you know, dew falls in the morning and evening. If suddenly on a hot day the plant is dry and the leaves wilted, it must be transferred to the shade (to a cool place), then allowed to cool slightly, and only then place the container in a container with warm water so that it completely covers the ground. When the bonsai is "drunk", it can be sprayed.
What kind of water should it be? It is best to use soft tap water filtered with a household filter. If there is no possibility or desire to use filtered or rainwater (it is most preferable) water, then you can use tap water, which has been settled for at least 3 days. During this time, a precipitate will form from impurities, so you need to carefully drain only the top layer of water.
If the water in your area is very hard, then an ordinary filter is indispensable, only filters with ion-exchange resins will help (they remove impurities of calcium and magnesium salts from the water), for example, from the Geyser WS series.
If this is not done, then not only on the surface of the earth, but over time and on the bark of trees, a white chalk sediment forms, which can no longer be cleaned off.
The same goes for spraying. Bonsai requires and responds well to regular spraying, but hard water leaves a indelible white salt deposit on the leaves.
The water temperature for irrigation and spraying should be several degrees higher than the ambient temperature.
Top dressing with fertilizers
Bonsai fertilizing is carried out throughout the year, with the only difference that in the spring and summer, fertilizers are applied with watering once a week, and in the fall and winter - once a month. This is due to the fact that there is not much earth in the container, and water, as a rule, does not have nutrients.
As a fertilizer, both specialized fertilizers for bonsai and conventional preparations for indoor plants are used. You can not mix organic and mineral fertilizers at one time. All fertilizers are diluted in a concentration of two, or even three times less than the recommended one. Death overdose is similar.
There are special developments of well-known bonsai breeding authors who give recipes for special fertilizers for bonsai. For example, fertilizer based on cotton cake contains: cotton cake - 300 g; sesame cake - 300 g; superphosphate - 100 g; fish meal - 200 g; wood ash - 100 g; water - 10 liters.
But I personally will never use such a recipe, due to the fact that I have no idea where to look for cake or fish meal in urban conditions. In addition, the liquid will have a very unpleasant odor.
It is much easier, more convenient and safer to use a special bonsai fertilizer like Pokon for bonsai. I also recommend the Planet of Flowers fertilizers for bonsai. If you have not found specialized fertilizers, you can use Ideal indoor flower fertilizer.
You cannot apply fertilizers immediately after transplanting and pruning the plant, as well as if the plant is sick and weakened. Do not feed plants before flowering and during flowering. Moreover, some types of bonsai (for example, myrtle) will not bloom at all if they are often fed with a snake.
It should also be borne in mind that coniferous bonsai plants require less fertilizer than deciduous ones. Therefore, they are fed about half as often.
All fertilizers are applied to moist soil or diluted with sufficient water.
In order not to be mistaken, it is better to start a feeding calendar or set aside one day a week for this procedure. Let's say Monday is fertilization day.