Since ancient times, bonsai is one of the most arduous yet beautiful art forms globally. Their miniature size, unique appearances, and symbolism of zen make them the favorite greeneries of many. And because they also relate to human growth, bonsai training is a hobby you might need for self-reflection and character development. Plus, their slightly controlled growth makes them great decoration for your home.
Choose from these seven tree species to start on your bonsai journey.
Japanese Maple trees are notable for their lobed leaves, deep red color, and adaptability as bonsai. They prefer sunny and airy positions, although it is best to place them in a slightly shady area during the middle of the day to prevent dried, damaged leaves. While they are hardy during the colder seasons, keep your Japanese Maple bonsai away from draft and wind to avoid frosting and wilting.
Since they are deciduous trees, Japanese maples are more suited for colder climates. However, they can still grow in more humid areas such as the Philippines, although they will always seek the colder climates they are acclimated to. Places such as the south of Metro Manila might be suitable for these deciduous trees to grow since the environment is much colder and less humid. For example, residents of houses and lots in Cavite may keep their Japanese Maple bonsai outside during the warmer climates to let their stunning green leaves show. It might also be wise to choose Japanese Maple varieties that can withstand hotter temperatures, such as Osakazuki and Omato, as bonsai trees.
Streblus asper, also known as Siamese rough bush and toothbrush tree, among other names, is a suitable tree for bonsai if you live in dryer regions such as Southeast Asia. Its leaves have a rough texture, making them a crucial ingredient for making paper in Thailand. Since the tree’s leaves are coarse, they may be durable in high-humidity climates.
Known as Adulig in Ilocano or Kalios in Tagalog, Streblus asper bonsai are popular bonsai trees for many Filipino bonsai enthusiasts. Homeowners may place a few Streblus asper bonsai trees in their homes’ front porches for a zen-like aesthetic and ambiance. The trees also give a natural touch that complements the contrasting modern set-up of many urban housing communities.
Weeping fig trees are some of the most favored house greeneries because they can grow indoors and outdoors. Their namesake is due to their glossy green leaves that cascade downwards, creating an umbrella-like canopy. They also have twisted surface roots that make them more attractive and suitable for bonsai styling.
Weeping figs are hardy and resilient, making them suitable for bonsai training. They enjoy partial sun, so they are perfect as indoor plants. The best part is that they decorate your home and last all year round.
As bonsai trees, weeping figs are fitting for cozier homes such as condo or apartment units without balcony areas. Residents may keep a weeping fig bonsai on a coffee table close to a window to beautify their homes and create an ambiance of peace, tranquility, and balance in their space.
If you are looking for a hardy and compact bonsai, juniper trees are your best bet. They are evergreen trees that are quite popular as bonsai due to their small foliage and adaptability to bonsai training. In a sense, they embody the characteristics of the ideal bonsai tree.
Despite being hardy, juniper trees won’t thrive indoors. Place them in a sunny spot during the day and under the shade during the afternoon. When watering your miniature juniper tree, allow the soil to dry well; excess soil moisture may rot your juniper’s roots. Don’t fret when you see light green to yellow needles. Some juniper varieties have brighter-colored canopies, so yellow or light green leaves don’t necessarily mean your bonsai is sun-damaged.
Jade plants, or Crassula ovata, are among the few succulents grown as bonsai. They are famous as money plants or for attracting wealth and good luck in your household or workplace. Besides being a Feng Shui staple, you might want to consider getting a jade bonsai because they are firm, attractive, and easy to maintain. Since they are succulents, it is best to place them in sunny spots. Ensure they are not exposed to overly humid and bright areas; otherwise, they will burn. Water your jade bonsai sparsely to let them thrive beautifully. Overwatering will rot their roots and drown them.
Jade can grow indoors and can withstand temperatures above five degrees Celsius. However, they cannot withstand colder temperatures. If you live in an area where it can get quite cold and drafty, it is best to take your jade bonsai tree indoors. Doing so saves them from cold winds and drafts that may wilt and damage them.
Boxwood trees are another firm species perfect for backyards and as bonsai. They are exceptionally resilient in most weather conditions such as extreme sun and shade. While this is the case, it is best to place your boxwood bonsai trees under partial sun to let them grow beautifully and more robust.
While being tough against a lot of sunlight and shade, boxwood trees can’t tolerate cold temperatures. It is best to keep your boxwood bonsai indoors to protect them from strong winds, rain, and potential frosting during a typhoon or colder seasons.
Pomegranates are beautiful, fruit-bearing trees that are common in many backyards and parks. The best part is you can turn them into bonsai so they can fit on your countertop, coffee table, home office, or balcony. Pomegranates have a low and shallow root system, making them one of the easiest trees to convert into bonsai.
It is best to place them outdoors under full sun to thrive for the whole year. When the temperature drops below five degrees Celsius, take your pomegranate bonsai indoors to protect them from cold, dry air. During colder seasons, like December to February, place your tiny pomegranate trees in an area close to a window or where sunlight comes inside to let them get the essential nutrients and vitamins they need.
Overall, making trees into bonsai and training them requires patience and love. You want your miniature trees to be robust and beautiful as they mature. These seven tree species are just some of the many shrubs and trees you can choose for bonsai training. Still, they are great options for beginners and experts alike.
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