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The Secret Of Bonsai Horticulture

Larry Morton

Posted on November 02 2018

Bella Bonsai Nursery

Bonsai emerged as a skill and a craft. The modern practice of bonsai is an easy systematic approach to bonsai care based on sound horticultural principles.

Most likely, we would rather be known as good bonsai artists than as good bonsai horticulturists. The horticulture involved is simply a combination of container growing and plant manipulation.

The constraints we work with are the size of the container and the size of the plants grown in a relatively controlled environment. We’re taking a plant out of its natural environment, but we can't change the plant’s basic requirements. Our main challenge is to know what the plant needs and how that particular plant responds to its controlled environment.

If you are just starting out, what information would be more valuable than knowing how your first bonsai respond from their point of view? Welcome to bonsai! The more we know about basic horticulture, the more capable we are in the process of transforming a plant into bonsai. Our most potent bonsai tool is possessing basic plant cultural information from the plant’s point of view.

Growing practices seem somewhat different for bonsai, but basic horticultural principles are the exact same as they apply to gardening or landscaping.

From its beginning, and for the life of the plant, you’ll be doing bonsai. Horticulture does seem a bit overwhelming at first. Start out with small, inexpensive plants. Growing becomes easier with each bonsai, then intuitive, and finally becomes a part of you. Doing bonsai, as well as any growing of plants, is never finished. Persistence and patience is the secret. Enjoy and understand the process and the outcome!

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