Even when I had no idea about gardening, looking at a bonsai always made me feel satisfied and happy. There is something positive as well as attractive about their form that cannot be explained in words.
By the end of this post, you gonna know exactly
- What a Bonsai is & Why it is so popular
- How you can prepare succulent bonsai to decorate your home
- How you can take good care of them without much hassle.
So let’s Dive right in!
What is a Bonsai?
A bonsai is an art of growing modified versions of the plants indoors, by dwarfing it out for ornamental and aesthetic purposes. It is one of the fine examples of living art in its best form.
- They act as a symbol of harmony, peace and brings a soft touch of nature within our home.
They can also be used as awesome gifts for relatives and friends.
Interesting Facts about Bonsai Trees
- Preparing bonsai trees are done for over a thousand years in China and Japan and currently, it has spread all across the world.
- There are bonsai competitions held every year all across the world. These gatherings are a great example of showcasing the labor of hard work, dedication, and art in its true form.
- You can grow many trees as Bonsai that are capable of cleansing the air and provide loads of fresh oxygen(Source).
- The practice of maintaining bonsai helps as a stress reliever particularly if you lead a fast-paced busy life. It helps in bringing you back with contact with nature.
Can You Bonsai any Tree?
Yes, there are no specific plants that can be categorized under the Bonsai species. All tress can be grown in bonsai form. However,
- There are certain factors that help in determining whether making a bonsai out of a particular plant is justified or not.
- The environment factor where it will thrive and the maintenance factor plays an important role in this.
Can you Bonsai Succulents?
Yes, you can. In fact many regard succulents as the ideal options for bonsai.
Why? Succulents have firm stems and roots which more or less stays small in size. The succulents are extremely flexible with the environment and hence the size of the stems and roots can be controlled by some environmental measures.
Why Succulents are best for Bonsai?
- Succulents are low maintenance plants as they naturally grow in adverse conditions.
- You can easily create limited conditions that further limit their full-fledged growth and leads to stunted growth.
Succulents response well to the processes of cutting and trimming which makes them highly suitable for bonsai as you can keep them smaller in structure without harming them
- Lastly, their unique appearance and diverse range of colors make them highly suitable as ideal candidates for bonsai.
- They will instantly elevate the elegance of any room in an instant.
Succulents are available in a variety of shapes and colors so you will have a wide option to choose from.
By choosing the suitable succulent and by taking some measures you can create a bonsai succulent.
How to Make Succulent Bonsai Tree?
Choose The Right Succulent
- Always choose a succulent which is in excellent health, has an overall thicker appearance, and does not have any signs of pest or other infestations.
- If it contains a thicker structure by default then that will ensure that the plant won’t look thinner when trimmed.
- By default choose succulents that have a smaller stature even as matured plants. This will save you from loads of hassle in the future as it won’t outgrow its container.
Choose the Right Container
- Choose a pot size that will just fit the plant and is not too large. The pot can be a few inches larger than the roots itself.
- The roots of succulents are very much responsive to the space availability of pot. The deeper the soil is the deeper the water will go and hence the roots will also be bigger.
- So just by using smaller pots, you can restrict the growth of the roots. This in turn will restrict the growth of the plant.
Use the Right Soil
- Use cactus soil variety soil which is drainage friendly. If possible use pots with drainage holes as succulents are susceptible to overwatering and drainage holes will help in better drainage.
- You can even make your own potting mix but make sure it has higher amounts of sand, pebbles, pumice, volcanic rocks in it as those elements enhance the drainage.
You can use decorative roacks and pebbles to enhance the colorful vibrant appearance of the bonsai plant by placing them loosely over the soil around the stem base.
However, make sure not to overcrowd the soil and make sure the drainage system is not affected.
How to Care for Succulent Bonsai?
Caring for succulent bonsai will be exactly the same as caring for succulents itself.
The kind of care the succulent bonsai will need will depend on the kind of succulent. Even then the basic care remains the same for all.
If you want the succulent to remain short, you need to provide it with minimal care. Just provide them with an optimal amount of sun, water, and soil, they will be good to go.
Do Succulents prefer sun or shade? Are Succulents OK in shade?
Most succulents prefer indirect bright light throughout the day so place the bonsai in a place that gets adequate indirect sun.
All photosynthetic plants need the sun to live. So if you place the bonsai tree in a dark corner of the house then it won’t look vibrant enough.
- It will end up stretching up in an attempt to reach for more sun and its height will end up increasing.
So Keep it near a window or in the balcony that gets just enough light naturally.
Water the bonsai only when the soil is truly dry. Succulents are drought-friendly plants and they can store water for future needs. Most succulents even in growing seasons do well when watered once in 7 to 10 days. In their dormant seasons, watering once in 14 to 20 days is enough.
- The sun exposure it gets and the soil drainage plays a big role in dictating its water needs. So only water them when needed
- Try using rainwater or distilled water instead of tap water as the latter contains uncontrolled amounts of minerals totally unrequired for the plant. With time this can accumulate in soil and affect their health
- Succulents are sensitive to overwatering, so when in doubt dont water. They can put up with underwatering better than overwatering
Always grow succulents in cactus mix soil. This is a fundamental need for all succulents and cactuses. They won’t survive until and unless you grow them in drainage friendly soil. If you wanna make your own potting mix, then mix equal amounts of potting soil with sand, pebbles, volcanic rocks, pumice.
- Do the main trimming before the start of their growing season. You can do basic trimming from time to time to deal with unwanted growths.
You can repot your succulent if you feel it’s getting too big for the pot. Ideally, you need to repot your succulents every two years at least. You can trim off the larger roots if you think it’s getting too big.
How do you prune a bonsai succulent? How do you shape a bonsai tree?
At the start of the growing season, you can cut off or trim off the enhanced branches and leaves of the plant and give it the desired shape. You can use tweezers, sterile scissors knives, or just your fingers.
Then on a weekly basis, you can get rid of side leaf growth or a pinch of small eaves in wanted positions of the stem.
- Thoroughly clean your cutting instruments with alcohol especially if you use the same ones to trim regularly to diminish chances of infection being spread.
When to Trim a Succulent Bonsai?
Well, the best time to propagate as well as do experiments with trimming and cutting is the beginning of the growing season.
- So for most succulents, it will be during the spring season.
- You should leave the main trimming business to be done during the start of the growing season yet you can trim off excess growths or leaves in unwanted positions of the plant throughout the year.
How do I thicken my bonsai trunk?
Well, there are many approaches to this. You can grow the plant in a large pot.
This will make their soils go deeper in search of nutrients and water and will promote all overgrowth which in turn will directly better trunk thickening. The other methods include the sacrificial branch technique, splitting the trunk into half, and scaring the plant selectively. You can read about them here.
Caring for bonsai succulents is not a hugely tedious job however it’s not something you can do once and move on. You need to keep a rough eye over their overall growth and trim them from time to time to maintain a tidy appearance.
This practice of crafting bonsai of your choice needs patience and love.
- The rewards for which will be immensely satisfying in the longer run.
- You will have a closer touch with nature, have an elegant looking house full of greenery and this hobby will help you to recharge yourself from all the regular stress.
I hope you got an overview of what a bonsai is and how to make a succulent bonsai at home and maintain it over the course of time.
If you have any queries, comment down below!