For many people, growing bonsai trees is a hobby. Some think it a huge challenge. For others, it becomes a joy and a lifestyle.
Bonsai (pronounced bone-sigh) is a Japanese word, meaning 'tree in a tray'.
It is often misspelled bonzi, bonzai and even banzai.
This Bonsai Mary site will share the magic I discovered during my many years of growing these small treasures, resolve some of the mystery and dispel a few of the myths.
Let's start with the basics ...
What is bonsai?
Scientifically speaking, there is no such thing as a "bonsai tree."
There are many types of bonsai trees.
Many different kinds of plants are used to create them. They are not a species.
Some are not trees at all, they are often shrubs, vines or even succulents.
The tree shown above is a Tamarindus indica, the true Tamarind tree. It was created by me from nursery stock.
No matter what plant you use to start growing bonsai trees, all bonsai consist of two basic elements:
China is usually credited with the origin of growing
bonsai trees. (In China they are known as Penjing.) The Chinese frequently use figurines and/or rocks in their compositions.
In Japan bonsai matured to an art form. Today it is a global pastime.
In the Orient, many bonsai trees, hundreds of years old, have been maintained by families through generations.
Around the world today, newer beautiful bonsai tree specimens are also given loving care.
New artists are developing bonsai trees in areas such as the South Pacific, South America, Africa, Canada, North America and Europe. I can't think of any area not fascinated with the living art of bonsai.
There are over 100 pages on the BonsaiMary site. Select a subject from the left column that interests you.
If you're a bonsai beginner, and want to create a bonsai, I suggest you start with How to Make a Bonsai.
Then look at the Beginner Bonsai Trees page for a list of recommended plants to use.
If you have a new bonsai tree and want to learn how to care for it ... see the Bonsai Care page.
Still not sure? Go to the site map which lists every page!
If you're stuck and have a question, you're welcome to Contact Mary
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Of all the flowering bonsai, azalea bonsai are perhaps the best known. Amazing colors and styles.They are one of the most popular bonsai in Japan.
Basic bonsai bougainvillea care notes: be careful not to overwater, do give them lots of sun and trim often. Indoors, very bright light!
Growing bonsai makes you aware of nature. Lichen is one of the many interesting aspects. This article originally appeared in Florida Gardening magazine.