Saturday, February 16, 2008

Why Cotoneaster Makes a Good Bonsai Candidate

by: Patrick Desnoyers

One of the popular broadleaf species for bonsai is the cotoneaster. This specie is praised for it’s small leaves, fruits and ramification which makes it a mame candidate. These preferred characteristics can also be accentuated by choosing a species of cotoneaster.

The cotoneaster multi-florus is by it’s name liked for having many flowers, from white to pink, but it is producing larger leaves then other cotoneaster.

The cotoneaster microphyllus, by it’s common name small leave cotoneaster, this one shows incredibly small leaves, which makes it the perfect tree for really small bonsai.

The most preferred bonsai candidate of cotoneaster is the cotoneaster horizontalis or commonly called rockspray cotoneaster. In all proportion this is the best choice, because it is a fast grower, small leaves, produce flowers early, and bear fruits at a young age.

Aesthetically, this one is a show stopper. In spring it displays wonderful colors with a mix of light and dark green for the foliage, white, pink and red for the flowers. As the growing season progress, leaves turn from a light green to a dark glossy green. In the meantime, the tree is preparing itself to support bright red fruit. In the colder climate, the cotoneaster loose it’s leaves but keep it’s fruit till early winter. The denuded tree with bright red fruit and white snow makes it a good subject for picture.

Cotoneaster can be propagated in many ways. The more common are by cuttings or by seeds. Growing a cotoneaster bonsai from seeds is easy compare to other species, because it is a fast growing tree and it’s ramifying itself at an early age. I prefer to grow from seeds rather then cuttings, because in a growing season, a sprouted seeds can attain the same girth as a cutting.

Germinating a cotoneaster seeds can be tricky. Fortunately, the most common used cotoneaster as bonsai, are producing seeds that necessitate boiling water to scarify the seeds, before germination, compare to some cotoneaster species that requires an acidic treatment to remove the protective coating. In nature, this treatment is accomplished in the stomach of the fruit eating animal that ingested a cotoneaster berrie.

About The Author

Patrick Desnoyers
Avid full time hobby bonsai grower. As been practicing bonsai and gardening for more then 8 years. Owner of , a website with ressource for bonsai seeds and tree seeds.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bonsai Tree Care

by: Rob Mellor

If you are considering a Bonsai tree for that special person, there are a few things you should know to ensure that you end up with a nice healthy tree. First and foremost think about the conditions the tree will be in. Indoor Bonsai will generally need to be close to a window or be supplemented with artificial light. A small tray with gravel and a little bit of water under the tree will add humidity around the tree. It may not need to be watered every day but it should be checked daily as the small pots can dry out rather quickly.

Steps in bonsai care


Watering is the most important part in bonsai care. This is the crux of the art of bonsai. Most Bonsai tree that die are lost due to dehydration, either from lack of watering or from being kept in a low humidity environment (indoors) for too long. How often you should water is a common question people ask about bonsai trees. There is no hard and fast rule prescribed for the same. When the soil begins to dry out water your plant thoroughly until the excess water runs out of the bottom of the pot, signifying you're done. Remember, over-watering is as bad as under-watering, thus all the fuss about getting it just right.

Pots and soil

The soil you use affects rooting, feeding, watering and transpiration, it is where half your tree lives so this is the second biggest consideration in maintaining your bonsai. While the needs of individual species vary greatly a good rule of thumb is 30% grit, 70% humus for deciduous trees, and 70% grit with 30% humus for evergreen-needled plants. Bonsai trees should be fertilized with a water-soluble fertilizer once or twice per month during the growing season. However the choice of fertilizer may vary depending on the species you've chosen to miniaturize. Always apply fertilizer when the soil is wet. Bonsai trees are intentionally allowed to become root-bound in their containers, and the roots too, are pruned.


A bonsai plant is pruned in two ways viz. branch pruning and root pruning. Pruning of branches is performed in spring. Much, but not all of the new growth is removed. Branches are selected early on as the only branches to be allowed to prosper, while the excess branches are mercilessly pruned off. The main factor in maintaining bonsai is the removal of all but the most important parts of the plant. Bonsai is all about the reduction of everything just to the essential elements. Also Bonsai trees are intentionally allowed to become root-bound in their containers, and the roots too, are pruned. But root-bound plants won't thrive forever in that condition and, indeed, bonsai trees must be re-potted every two or three years to furnish the roots with fresh soil.

Changing the shape of the tree

Bonsai tree wiring is an advanced skill to grow the bonsai into an art form. Desirable branches are wired to control the direction in which they grow. Wiring can do a great deal to change the shape of the plant, but it can also do a great deal of damage to the plant if done incorrectly.

To sum up

This may seem like a lot to do to just to buy a little tree, but it's no different than any other informed purchase, just as you wouldn't buy a fish without having a special home for it you should have a special home for your Bonsai tree.

About The Author

Rob Mellor owns This website helps people find out more about the bonsai tree. Please visit the site for more information on bonsai tree care

Monday, February 4, 2008

About The Origin Of Bonsai

by: Patrick Desnoyers

Miniature trees are originally rooted in the mountains of China, where only a specific species of plants and trees grow. Because of its hostile weather conditions, the trees were often stunted and contorted. The strong mountain winds also left these trees twisted in ice and the cold. Essentially, it is nature that has rendered the inspiration for the art of potting trees as students of the art do their best to mimic what nature has created. By “training” trees through specialized means of pruning and shaping them to a desired height and structure, these students of the art were able to recreate the sample nature has provided.

Bonsai, a Japanese term for “miniature potted trees”, actually originated from the Chinese. Called “pensai” in China, these miniature trees first appeared in artworks and poems in this Asian country in 200 B.C. Early own, the mini-tree, or rather, the work of art, has already become a symbol of harmony and tranquility. Chinese Monks and the nobles or upper class, who appreciated the beauty and significance of plants and trees or nature in general, cultivated mini-landscapes of mountains, rivers and little tree houses placed on big plates. Sometime in the 15th or 16th century, this artistic hobby grew among the people of Southeast China. Many of them have become master designers and experts of the art of tree potting. What was first known as a hobby for Chinese artists, monks and nobles in those days became a significant part of modern day Japanese tradition.

How this came to Japan was made possible through the officials of the Japanese government, who often come to China at the height of the Tang Dynasty and have brought the art back home. During the Kamakura period, while Zen Buddhism was introduced in Japan, these Zen masters also introduced the hobby of tree potting to its people. As a result, it became widely popular among the wealthy class (daimyos or feudal lords), the merchants and even the Samurais. In addition to this, daimyos even sought pottery masters on their employ, to make one of kind pots for their miniature plants.

Initially popular among the Japanese priests, the ruling class and those on the upper hierarchy, Bonsai eventually reached popularity with the middle class. As Japanese culture and their way of living dictates it, where the Japanese have always believed in keeping a harmonious relationship with their surroundings as beneficial, miniature gardening became one of Japan's favorite pastimes. The fact that these potted trees took up just a small space inside the house was also compatible with how the Japanese lived. It was during these times too, that the word “bonsai” was coined.

Today, the art of Bonsai is still practiced in China. It is characteristically different from the Japanese versions as they are somewhat bigger than the popular Japanese Bonsai. And while thinking of potted trees, one easily attributes this to Japan, the hobby/art form appeals not only to the people of the East today, but students and enthusiasts all over the world have also become devotees to the art of tree potting.

About The Author

Patrick Desnoyers

Avid full time hobby bonsai grower. As been practicing bonsai and gardening for more then 8 years. Owner of, a website with ressource for bonsai seeds and tree seeds.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

4 Top Tips For Stunning Bonsai

by: Niall Mehaffey

Many people think that growing bonsai is very hard but in actual fact, it is only hard if you do not have the correct knowledge and guidance, when you have those things, it is easy.

Here are five tips to help you grow better looking bonsai:

1) Choose the right pot. The pot you put your bonsai tree into is important as it needs to support the tree and also it can make a difference to how it looks. Take into consideration the size and shape of your tree when choosing a pot for it.

2) Remember that different seasons have different affects. Different times of the year will play a role in how your bonsai trees develop and grow, make sure you know what conditions require additional care.

3) Know in advance what outcome you would like for your trees.

Bonsai can be shaped and manipulated in order to appear differently and take on different shapes, you should know what way you would like your trees to look before growing them too large.

4) The display is everything. When you take the time and effort to grow a bonsai tree, you get a nice sense of satisfaction, however, that can be ruined be not giving your tree perfect placement in order to let it's beauty shine through.

There you are, four top tips to help you grow stunning bonsai trees.

Growing bonsai is not as hard as you may think, if you have the right information, you can grow them juts as easily as anyone else.

Start growing your own bonsai today!

How can you get started today?

Easy, research and find out exactly how to grow the bonsai tree of your dreams, get the materials you need to do it and start growing, once you get into it, you will find that it becomes very enjoyable and when you have your first plant, you will get a great feel of satisfaction.

About The Author

Niall Mehaffey is a bonsai enthusiast and runs a website that will show you exactly how you can grow stunningly beautiful bonsai trees, just like the experts do, check it out at