Bonsai Formation

Table of contents:

Bonsai Formation
Bonsai Formation
Video: Bonsai Formation
Video: Beginners Guide to Bonsai Shaping 2023, February

The choice of capacity, soil, transplanting, watering, fertilizing with fertilizers

Placing bonsai

The placement of the bonsai depends primarily on the type of plant being grown in the bonsai style. So, if you are growing, for example, a tree of a fat woman, milkweed or adenium, then you need a well-lit place with some direct sunlight. Cypress and rhododendron trees will definitely require shading or light partial shade. I must say right away that the bonsai bought in the store are grown under the conditions of the so-called filtered lighting, i.e. in diffused light. If you grow bonsai from trees and shrubs taken in nature, then the conditions should be as close to natural as possible. That means plenty of fresh air and plenty of light.

The place chosen for bonsai largely determines the formation of the crown. If the plant stands with one side to the light, it will lead to the development of stronger, strong and leafy branches on the sunnier side. Therefore, the container must be periodically rotated so as not to violate the formed style. It is best if the plant receives sunbathing early in the morning - on the east window or in the evening on the west. Shading is desirable between 11 am and 4 pm.

If for some reason natural light is not enough, the plant will respond well to additional illumination with fluorescent lamps or phytolamps. It is easy to determine the lack of light: the leaves turn towards the light source, the shoots are thinner, the petioles of the leaves are longer than usual.

Do not place the container on a windy area or under strong air from an air conditioner or fan.

Making a traditional bonsai


What distinguishes a ficus in a pot, from the same ficus formed in the form of a bonsai? Miniature size? No, not only. As already agreed above, signs of a century-old tree grown over the years. You can also give a look to such a tree from a plant that is 2-3 years old and which is 10-20 years old. It all depends on the desired barrel thickness. It is clear that the thicker the trunk, the older the plant. In an old plant, it is not only thickened, but also covered with bark. To get hold of such a plant, you need to either grow it for many years, or find it in nature. The found tree is dug up, the roots are cut off, part of the foliage is cut and planted in a container.

In order to give the trunk a thickening, they resort to certain techniques. The first one is that the trunk of the tree at the base is tightly pulled with wire, but not to such an extent as to break it, but so that only the upper tissues are squeezed, and sap flow is not disturbed. When the trunk thickens above the overtightened place, the wire is removed. Another trick is when the barrel is too long. The bark is cut in the right place, i.e. remove a circular strip of bark (cambium) about 1-1.5 cm, and plant a tree in a deep pot so that the place with the cut is underground. After a while, roots are formed at this place. Then the trunk below these roots is cut and the plant is transplanted into a bonsai container. It can take a year to develop new roots.

figurine for bonsai
figurine for bonsai

Another distinction of bonsai is the roots that rise above the ground. This is achieved by the fact that when transplanting, the roots are raised higher and not covered with earth. You can also form the desired shape of the roots using wire.

In nature, as a rule, on a tree, you can distinguish the main branches that grow not straight up, but obliquely or almost horizontally. When forming bonsai, this is achieved by pruning, when two or three main branches are left on the trunk, and the direction is given to them with the help of a wire. In addition, the outlines of these main branches should be clearly visible, therefore excessive foliage interferes, the foliage is thinned out, and new shoots and leaves are removed from the base of the main branches.

The final look of bonsai is given by covering the soil with natural elements. It is either covered with moss, or sprinkled with sand or gravel. How to cover the soil depends on the type of plant. So coniferous trees will look more natural on white sand, deciduous on moss-covered soil. Succulents look beautiful on gravel.

Very often the bonsai composition is supplemented with various figures representing a Chinese peasant, a Chinese girl, a house in Chinese or Japanese style, etc.

Bonsai formation and planting

I repeat - there can be only two options for obtaining bonsai - if you bought an already formed bonsai, then you just have to continue to care for it, maintain the created style, and if you yourself form a bonsai from a suitable indoor plant or specially grown seedlings.

In any case, only healthy plants with a strong and well-developed root system, with a well-defined branch line, are suitable for growing bonsai. You can start forming a plant from two or three years. All actions begin in the spring, when buds appear on the tree.

First, you should define the style of bonsai, which depends on the appearance of the plant. Sometimes difficulties with the formation of the appearance are associated with the fact that a person has a poor idea of ​​which branches, and in which direction, will begin to grow after pruning. Therefore, it is worth remembering one simple rule: the shoots from the uppermost buds on the shoots grow stronger and more actively. Those. on the plant as a whole, the top stretches and bushes faster and the tree grows in height faster than in width. The same applies to the lateral branches of the buds at the ends of the shoots grow more actively than the lower ones. If you cut off the upper kidney, then the one that remained below will begin to grow more actively.

All this is due to the fact that more light gets to the outer buds and leaves around them. That is why buds develop more actively on the shoot, which are on the upper side of the branch and grow upward, and if we talk about the plant as a whole, then the side facing the light grows denser and faster.

Bonsai step by step


Step 1. First, let's examine the tree and remove all dry branches. And also the branches at the bottom of the trunk. Let's select three main branches on the tree crown, usually those three branches are left, the tops of which form an equilateral triangle. Now you need to delete all branches between the selected three.

Step 2. If you want to grow a tilted tree, you will need a wire that is soft enough to bend with your hands, but strong enough not to bend under the weight of the branches and trunk.

Step 3. Now you need to free the top of the roots from the ground and carefully tilt the trunk to the required degree. One end of the wire is buried and anchored into the soil at the base of the trunk on the inside of the bend. If the tree is not just inclined, but made in a cascading style, then the trunk will be bent quite strongly. Firmly holding the tree trunk, we wrap it with wire, which should fit quite tightly, but without injuring or peeling off the bark. The coils should not fall too rarely, so that the bent trunk does not crawl out of the coils. Thus, the trunk is twisted to the base of the left branches. So that the crown of a tilted tree does not hang down like a broom, the wire must support them in the right direction.

wire for bonsai
wire for bonsai

Step 4. Making a coil of wire around the branch, gently straighten thin and fragile shoots so as not to break them off. Moreover, more wire segments will have to be wound to the main wire, creating a frame of the desired bonsai shape. The ends of the wire can be bent downwards or you can put on them pieces of a regular eraser so that they do not scratch your hands and damage the plant.

The length of the wire should be at least one and a half times the length of the section to be wrapped. The bending angle of the wire in relation to the shoot line or trunk determines the frequency of the turns - ideally it should be 45 °. Note that when forming a tree or bush with a thin and delicate bark, or with fragile leaves, as well as a bonsai with thorny shoots, the wire is not wrapped around the stems and trunk, but simply applied to it and fastened or tied (with woolen threads or pieces of wire in winding).

bonsai wire
bonsai wire

Step 5. A tree bent in a wire should be at least 1.5-2 years old. If the wire is removed earlier, the barrel may return to its original position. The wire on the branches is removed earlier than from the trunk - 6-8 months is enough for it. When shaping the direction of thin and delicate branches, you cannot use ordinary wire, but you can use braided wire - the one with which the cords of household appliances and computers are usually tied.

In some rather complex forms of bonsai, in addition to the trunk and branches, the direction and shape of the roots is formed with the help of wire, usually if they bizarrely protrude above the soil surface.

6 step. When the desired shape of the plant is reached, you can transplant it from pot to bowl. First, the drainage holes are closed with clay shards, with the convex side up. Then a layer of moss or chopped fern roots is placed on the bottom. Then a small layer of prepared potting soil.

7 step. Now you need to cut the roots. To do this, first examine the root system, determining whether the roots are healthy - healthy roots have a light cut (white or light yellow). Pruning damaged roots. Your task is to form the root system so that it is evenly distributed in all directions.

If the root system is fibrous, i.e. has a weakly expressed central root and many small roots, then it is simply trimmed and cut evenly. If there is a long taproot and weak lateral shoots, then additional techniques are required. The bottom of the root is trimmed first and the rest is formed. To do this, you can use the same wire, or U-shaped wire staples - for plants with soft and plastic roots. The root is fixed in the soil with a bracket from the edge of the bowl, then bends horizontally towards the center of the bowl.

The prepared plant must be carefully placed in a container, spread the roots and covered with soil mixture. If there is a possibility that the trunk of the plant is not firmly held in the ground and can move and stagger, then additional fixation is required. It is difficult to do this using a peg, as with ordinary houseplants. the depth of the bowl is small, so the most painless way is to fix the trunk after transplanting with heavy stones.

After transplanting, the plant is carefully watered. Plants from which many roots have been removed are first watered with great care, so as not to cause decay. Perhaps the earth will settle and be compacted and it will have to be filled up from above. When the earth settles, it will be sufficiently compacted and the stones holding the tree can be removed.

Bonsai crown formation

The main techniques for giving and maintaining the desired shape of miniature trees are pruning and pinching.

The main thing to know: pruning and pinching leads not only to branching, but to the growth of new thinner shoots with small leaves.

bonsai wire
bonsai wire

Pruning is the removal of large branches and shoots and is carried out annually, usually in the middle or late winter. Before trimming the branches, you need to imagine the final shape of the plant, because the shoots will no longer grow back in the old place like the hair on a person's head. The real art of bonsai involves long contemplation, studying the appearance of a plant, imagining its shape. Each leaf or twig deserves a “to be or not to be” thought.

An important rule is that the flowering plant is cut off only after the end of flowering, most often this happens in the fall at the end of September - October. Accuracy in everything that concerns pruning - a sharpened and disinfected tool is a guarantee of health. The places of the cuts should dry out and heal, therefore it is best if a garden var is prepared. It is not worn in a thin layer in place of the cut. It disinfects and dries, and in addition, the cut site remains almost invisible on the bark, which allows you not to spoil the appearance. If there is no garden varnish, then the place of the cut can be sealed with a medical plaster until it heals.

Pruning is simply trimming or shortening elongated shoots to maintain shape throughout the growth period. Pinching is carried out in the spring, with the growth of new shoots, it allows the crown to branch out and form the plant in the desired style.

Giving a miniature shape to the plant is provided precisely by the annual pinching of new shoots. The frequency of pinching and its appropriateness depends on the type of plant being grown. For some trees, only spring pinching is enough, for others, you will need to repeatedly pinch the tops of the shoots to give the desired shape over the summer, or even throughout the year. The more often the bonsai is trimmed and pinched, the smaller and thicker the crown is.

  • The choice of capacity, soil, transplanting, watering, fertilizing with fertilizers
  • Indoor bonsai

Bonsai Formation Stages (Potensai)

Pavel Karpenkov (beomaster) gives a short instruction for beginners on the formation of bonsai using the example of ficus benjamin:

bonsai ficus
bonsai ficus
bonsai ficus
bonsai ficus

1. Formation of roots

We need to get 2 main things:

  • Flat root system. Initially, a plant is selected that can actually be transplanted into a wide, but low dish, without causing lethal injuries to the plant. Therefore, we exclude those who live with a taproot and are taken from nature, since I consider it inexpedient to waste time on their resuscitation after extraction. It is recommended to stay at ZKS, pot plants.
  • Beautiful thick lateral roots, evenly extending from the base of the trunk as a star and visible above the soil surface (nebari). Initially, when choosing a plant, you should pay attention to the presence of such or those that can become. Therefore, plants with root scourers are undesirable - from hydroponics. Typically, such roots are formed in plants growing in the ground, former cuttings or allotted.

2. Base of the trunk

Nice thick lateral roots cannot come off the thin stick. The base should have a pronounced taper when moving from the roots to the trunk itself, I'm talking about the first 2-3 cm above the surface. Having chosen the initially correct plant, in the future this place, which is most important for visual perception, will only be improved.

3. The trunk itself

Pay attention to the following:

  • Discretion. The trunk should thin out evenly and pronouncedly from the base to the top, while the height should not be large, for about the beginning 15 base diameters will be normal, during formation it is worth bringing this ratio to 10.
  • The form. Natural bends, bends, screw twists are always welcome and give food for imagination when shaping, if our goal is not an upright style or a broom in the first place.
  • Texture. We aim to form a small but old-looking plant. Therefore, a coarse bark, wrinkled, flaky, forming nodules, traces of overgrowing of long-cut branches, natural hollows, etc. very well. In short, light, tender, smooth, not ice. If we do not clean it specifically for contrast, but more on that later.

4. Skeletal branches

After the acquisition, your hands will immediately be combed, and you will want to select the future frame by pruning. When buying, you should immediately estimate which branches will become the skeleton, they should alternate evenly, have a thickness evenly decreasing from the bottom upwards and the thickness should be commensurate with the thickness of the trunk. In short, the lower branch is the thickest and not equal in thickness to the trunk (note the forks) and it is not more than a third of the estimated height of the plant. A very important point, then it will be difficult to correct.

5. Branching structure

The selected skeletal branches should branch well so that we can select the second order branches we need, so that they do not look bald, so that the internodes are short. Then, by simple pruning, you can quickly give the desired shape to the crown of each skeletal branch and the crown of the plant as a whole.

6. Leaves

Under all other conditions, the size of the sheet plate plays an important role. Our tree will never look like an adult if the leaves are large, comparable to the diameter of a branch, or God forbid the trunk. In nature, old trees do not have this. There are ways to reduce the size of leaves, but for different plants the reduction factor is different and there is always a limit, it is better to start with small ones initially

Density of leafing. Leaves may be small, but rarely grow. Then the plant will always look bald.

7. Crown shape as a whole

This refers to the tendency to grow upward or in breadth. We, of course, better in breadth - a small spreading tree always looks more profitable than a tree with a small span of skeletal branches. And no ligature will change this trend, so it will be under wire or stretch marks all the time, which is not good.

8. Growth rate

If the above wishes are observed, the plant itself must be fast-growing, otherwise the results of formation can be expected until Japanese Easter. In this case, the trunk should thicken well. For this reason, myrtle is not suitable.

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