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purple dragon

Bonsai!!!

Sorry, just had to :)

So, I successfully created 3 bonsai trees and I've uploaded pics of two of them. The third one is somewhat sorry looking so I'll hold of photographing it until I see if it survives. So, here you go:

Bonsai Tree #1:


Bonsai Tree #2


I feel productive and hopefully the greenery will liven up the house a bit. Granted this is assuming that my luck with thise things continues. So far I've made 4 bonsai trees which have all died after a year or two when I had to move. Of course now the goal would be to keep them alive for a year or two until I move and then have them survive the move. Now that would be an accomplishment :).

Comments

You should post a picture of yourself, Mr. Victor! ;)
yeah, Victor!
The fans have spoken.
I second (erm, third) that :)
that song really frightens me.

SGW: Polyester is flammable and may be hazardous to your health :)

Heh, you should see the video. I think I'll be scared if Abba ever makes a comeback tour (like the BeeGees).
how do you "create" a bonsai tree? by caring for them and trimming their branches?

::sends vibes of life to the third bonsai baby::
Yeah, that's basically what you do. I started out with small juniper bushes and trimmed them down, potted them, and formed them a bit. Once they are well established, I'll need to form them more and more as they grow.

I was going to say I made a Bonsai tree, but that seemed to imply some sort of spawning procedure, and I'm not a tree :).

The baby bonsai seems to be doing Ok so far. I'll have to wait and see though.

Re:

so they're basically dwarfed juniper bushes?? thats cool! i can imagine it takes a lot of care.
so they're basically dwarfed juniper bushes??

Hmmm... not quite. The whole point to bonsai gardening (I guess that's what it's called) is that you're making an illusion. The juniper bush is trimmed and formed (using wire) so that it looks like a small tree. It's still a normal plant, you're just making it look like a tree.

As long as you can keep them alive by watering etc... it's not terribly difficult to maintain a bonsai. I took a short class on making them when I was in school and so far, I've done 4 and all of them were fine until I had to move and they got hurt. Bonsai's are somewhat fragile, but they don't require excessive amounts of care. That's one of the reasons I like them. It's not like you have to be hovering over them everyday, they require regular care (watering once every 3 or 4 days), but the trimming and forming is really mostly a question of patience and seeing what you want to do with the plant.

Re:

that sounds like fun. so wire is used to bind the branches, right???
i used to have a little bonsai tree that i got from a grocery store (along with a fly eating plant) but they both died :(.

i'd like to take up that but i need to really settle down in a place and so on.
wrt wire on branches, *points to nose* bingo. give the lady a prize :)

I haven't heard any stories of good luck with store bought bonsais so it's no surprises that it didn't make it. The guy that showed me how to make them apparently made a good chunk of $$$ making and selling bonsais for upperclass folks with lots of $$$ to spend on them.

The ones that I made did great until getting manhandled during moves. They seem to be in this weird half-sturdy/half-fragile state.

So if you ever do want to take a stab at making a bonsai, let me know and I'll walk you through it. It's really fairly simple, the art/trick is mostly in maintaining the tree and in being careful with the initial trimming.

Re:

YAY!!!! what is my prize?? a gold star sticker? lol

i'd love it if you could be my bonsai tutor!! it sounds like such a cool hobby
you seem to know a bit about bonsais, and i'm having problems with my aki-baby...she is a juniper bush about 3 years old...and the foliage is getting brittle, and falls off at the lightest touch...and on one side, the foliage is turning YELLOW...and its not from exposure to sun, cuz it won't go away when i turned the plant around...

i've always wanted a bonsai, and the fact that i think mine is dying is very scary to me...downright horrific...

any ideas?

danka
~indiana
Hmmm... I hate to say it, but it sounds like your bonsai is in big trouble. The problem with bonsais is that they tend to be really fragile and once they are in trouble it's hard to save them. In all the cases where I had bonsai's not make it, it was a combination of not watering enough and things like being depotted accidentally and not getting enough light etc...

If any of it is still alive (i.e. green and flexible) you could try using a little bit of miracle grow in order to perk it up. You're not supposed to use much, but I found that it was helpful for keeping the tree healthy and happy. Beyond that, making sure to water it correctly (not too much or too little) and giving it adequate (but not excessive) exposure to light/sun is important.

What I was taught to go by as far as watering goes was to water every 3 or 4 days, once the surface soil was dry-ish to the touch. During the summer I had to water more, during the winter less. Junipers are supposed to have direct sunlight, but I found that limiting it's exposure to sunlight was good. In my old apartment it would get wicked hot and the bonsais would get dried out very quickly. I had to water them and spritz them with water every other day or so.

Junipers make good bonsais because they are easy to care for, but you have to make sure to keep it trimmed, or move it to a bigger pot from time to time. Remember, it's got a fairly small root system so it's imperative to either let the roots grow more, or keep the tree small enough that the existing roots can maintain it. Even doing that though after a while most bonsais need to be repotted (if you've ever seen displays of real, old, japanese bonais, you'll notice that they have some fairly large pots, at least by bonsai standards).

I'm sorry I couldn't be any more exact about what might help your little one. Good luck with it and let me know how it turns out.