Introduction: How to Grow a Bonsai Tree

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so, I love gardening and I found a kit on bonsai trees at Barnes and Noble for $7. It is surprisingly more complicated than it sounds.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

first, we will need to make sure we have all needed supplies.

-The Mini Bonsai Kit
-small wire
OR
-small pot
-small tray to hold pot
-seeds (I am using jack pine seeds)
-peat pellet
-small scissors
-small wire
-detailed booklet (optional)

the kit is way easier than starting completely up from scratch, but alas, it is up to you.

Step 2: Germinating Your Seeds

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first, soak your seeds in water for 24 hours. (I only used 3 seeds.)

second, take your seeds out and put them in a sandwich size baggie with a damp paper towel. put them in the fridge for seven days. this is cold stratification.

third, warm up about 16 oz. of water, and pour it over your peat pellet in the tray. it should grow vertically, tripling in size. drain water from tray.

take your seeds and gently press them into the peat pellet.

then, place the pellet into the pot. place the pot in the tray.
fill tray with about 1/4 of an inch of water.

set the tray in a north or west facing window until the seeds sprout. keep soil moist!

after plants have grown a bit more, remove the weaker plants, leaving one strong plants. you could remove the smaller plants and place them in another similar pot, if you wanted more than one bonsai tree.

place tree outside in dappled sunlight, for one month. then move into direct sunlight, inside. (or out, up to you.)

Step 3: Taking Care of Your Bonsai Tree

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a lot of effort goes into maintaining a bonsai tree.

-the following spring, after first planting your tree, replant the tree in a slightly bigger pot, with 100% bonsai soil, which can be found online or in select stores.

-while your tree is growing, you can manipulate the branches to grow to your liking by using small wire, and wrapping it around the branches in the way you want it to grow.

-fertilize your bonsai once a month, and water everyday in the summer, and every other day in autumn, winter, and spring (or just whenever the soil becomes dry.)

-spring time is the best time to prune, wire, and repot your plant.

-summer time, make sure the wires do not cut into your bonsai tree, and prune new growth to maintain the size and shape of your bonsai tree.

-autumn time, when temperatures start to drop, the tree will enter a dormancy. in the early autumn, the bonsai will go through a mini growth phase. this is a good time to remove any wires and remove unwanted branches.

-winter time, care depends on the type of tree you plant.

much of the care depends on whether you have a tropical tree or a temperate tree.

there is a diameter to height ratio that is suggested, found from the study of Japanese masterpieces. 1:6 to 1:10.

Step 4: The Art and Science of Bonsai

Picture of The Art and Science of Bonsai

there is a very large background to bonsai trees. the plant is an artistic expression, with roots coming from mainly China and Japan.

men of great wealth and education would travel from cities into the country to be in nature, create art, and write. they used these small trees as an artistic representation of tranquility and perseverance.

feel free to continue researching the origins of this miniature art form. it is very interesting!

thank you for looking at my first instructable! I encourage you guys to have fun with your creation, and use the care taking of this tree as an outlet for stress and anxiety. please share your bonsai trees!

Comments

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-07-10

Cool. It would be nice to have a live bonsai around the house.

indeed, it is. (:

parisusa (author)2016-07-10

Bonsais are great when they are happy! I had this kit but forgot the seeds in the fridge for too long! But they did grow! Congrats on your 1st 'Ible!

wowashlyn (author)parisusa2016-07-12

thank you!

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