View Full Version : Anybody know about bonsai?

10-28-2012, 10:21 PM
Anybody grow bonsai here?....I have always wanted one...I actually used to have one but it died....it was a present...I know it was very expensive also.....anywhere I can get a relatively cheap one and not have to become a botanist to learn how t care about it?....Ryan

sachem allison
10-28-2012, 10:23 PM
"anywhere I can get a relatively cheap one and not have to become a botanist to learn how t care about it?"

That my friend, defeats the whole purpose of Bonsai.lol

10-28-2012, 10:33 PM
I was reading online about rosemary bonsai and thought that might be a good idea.....yeah I know what u mean.....I don't need another expensive or technical hobby....Ryan

sachem allison
10-28-2012, 10:55 PM
Juniper plants work very well, or japanese maples. by a small one and strip the leaves off, when the new growth comes back the leaves will be slightly smaller, after the leaves have been on the tree for a month or so strip it again and the leaves will grow back smaller. let it grow back and leave it alone for six months continue the process until you achieve what you are looking for. With the Juniper, you kinda want a windswept triangular look. Find a small gnarly twisted juniper remove all inward facing branches. strip half the leaves. get some heavy copper wire and twist it around the branches and carefully reshape them. You can also bind branches back onto them selves and anchor them down or shore them up. leave the bracing in place for a month or so and remove one, if the branches look the way you want remove the remaining bracing and wire, if not leave bound, until desired effect is achieved. Junipers also need to be stressed so, give them rocky , poorly nutrient soil and sporadically water them, let them dry out. Keep them in Hot places them move them to cold places . You are trying to stunt it's growth. I'm sure that all the Bonsai experts may disagree with me but, my mother and I have made hundreds of Bonsai over the years using anything from camelias, azaleas, miniature Maples, Oaks, cypress and a dozen other plants. Juniper is the easiest because the, shape and character of the windswept austere beauty is already there. These methods work but, like anything environmental and climatic factors come into play also, some people just suck with plants.

mr drinky
10-28-2012, 11:02 PM
I bought three bonsai about a year ago. Two have survived (sort of). One of my trees just never got over the shock of being shipped up north and quickly decided to take its life rather than live in Minnesota. The other two got mealy bugs and almost died too. At first I used alcohol on a q-tip to control the bugs, and then when summer arrived I treated them with some organic spay I mixed up. lt worked but also sent the trees into another round of distress. They are doing fine now, but not the prettiest things as they have lost leaves and regained them a couple of times in a year, and I didn't wan't to go crazy pruning when the trees were in distress.

I think Salty gave me a tip to watch for bugs, and I would agree with this fully. Photo below is from a year ago, and the one on the far right is now deceased.


10-29-2012, 12:44 AM
I tried bonsai a couple times but managed to kill them. I'm trying niwaki instead. Where a bonsai is potted, niwaki means "garden tree"--you shape the tree but grow it in the ground. That way you can abuse the tree to get the shape you want but you don't have to worry so much about watering, etc.

edit: oh, and you might want to check out the gardenweb forum. They have an entire section dedicated to bonsai (http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/bonsai/).

10-29-2012, 12:53 AM
One of my trees just never got over the shock of being shipped up north and quickly decided to take its life rather than live in Minnesota.


Where did you have them shipped from?

I think it would be fun to have a cool looking little Bonsai, but like Sudsy, I'm not sure I'm up for another technical/time consuming/expensive hobby.

10-29-2012, 12:56 AM
I totally want some bonsai trees too! Ever since I saw a collection of bonsai tress at Huntington Library in LA, I always wanted some....

10-29-2012, 06:07 AM
I give up after I murder two bonsai trees! very sad...:(

10-29-2012, 06:19 AM
hehe funny i wanted to start a thread about it today :D
I become very fascinated with Bonsai and building my new workshop i use them a lot for decoration
Just ordered 5 new Bonsais from Germany and many tools for them from Japan.

I killed couple of bonsais too, but its because i did no know anything about it. And now did my research on youtube and many bonsai clubs in DK, you really need to if you want to grow Bonsai.
Pictures coming soon ;)

10-29-2012, 06:23 AM
I was reading online about rosemary bonsai and thought that might be a good idea.....yeah I know what u mean.....I don't need another expensive or technical hobby....Ryan

Oh I like that idea. Plus you can eat it.
I might run with this.

10-29-2012, 08:46 AM
I see I am far from the only bonsai killer here....whew...Ryan

10-29-2012, 08:53 AM
I had a few pines and junipers, one maple. Then we got a dog... Dumb Ass the Wonder Gardner, was spotted one afternoon running the back yard with her true Grey Hound speed, with the last of my trees in her mouth violently shaking her head side to side! All died, the didn't survive the shock.

10-29-2012, 08:58 AM
fare from i read even some pros have sometime problems, but they recommend to buy one not to cheap and from a Bonsai dealer, that wil help you a lot.
Cheap Bonsais come with bad soil and tend to die after 2 month because water can not rich the roots.
With right soil and halfy plant it will help you a lot. You also need to choose one for your environment. You can not just choose any tree.
And also i read that 95 % of what kills Bonsai is watering so keep that in mind :)

Hope it helps

Salty dog
10-29-2012, 08:59 AM
Ficus is probably the easiest and least expensive. Tropicals are easier to take care of. Junipers and other coniferous trees have to go dormant in the winter and do not like being indoors. That can be tricky depending on your climate.

The queen of bonsai in my opinion is the Satsuki Azalea.

FYI, for those not familiar, some bonsai go for Kramer money +.

10-29-2012, 09:38 AM
+1 on Ficus to be easiest out there, i have 3 and all survived for 5 years now

Salty dog
10-29-2012, 12:14 PM
I only have three remaining. All ficus. They're in the lizard cages.

Cutty Sharp
10-29-2012, 02:24 PM
Reading this, I'm thinking that somewhere out there there must also be some Bonsai Forums for Bonsai Knuts!

10-29-2012, 02:34 PM
If you're ever in the Seattle area, you should check out the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection: http://www.weyerhaeuser.com/Company/Bonsai. They have some unbelievable trees, some of which are hundreds of years old. Definitely worth it to go see.

10-29-2012, 02:42 PM
+1 on the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection. It's quite amazing. It's adjacent to the Rhododendron Species Foundation garden--also a lovely place for a walk. The bonsai garden is free; the RSF garden is not free (unless you're a member) but it's not very expensive. The PR Bonsai collection was closed for a while due to economic problems, but it's open again and worth a visit.

There's a link to a bonsai forum in my earlier post.

Eamon Burke
10-29-2012, 10:46 PM
There is a forum for anything, I assure you.

I used to want a bonsai tree SO BAD when I was a kid. Then I found out that the fruit grows the same size no matter what, and my dreams of tiny little whole apples sprinkled on a salad were crushed.

10-30-2012, 06:23 AM
I'm trying to make a chilli Bonsai (http://www.fatalii.net/growing/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=95&Itemid=105) :)

10-30-2012, 02:37 PM
I used to be really into bonsai. Gardening and forestry related stuff for that matter. I had a few trees, but they all eventually died. I started with lots of nursery stock as a simple and inexpensive way to practice. Ficus were, and still are, some of my favorite trees for a simple way to have a faux-bonsai.

If you donít know too much about bonsai, it takes a lot of constant, continuous, consistent work. Bonsai are like having pets, in that they need daily treatment. If theyíre neglected, they die. If they are not cared for properly, they die. Itís a beautiful creation and dedication, but I decided a long time ago that it wasnít for me, since Iím so erratic. Whenever I would go away for a few days and have someone care for my trees, they just didnít get what I had tried to explain to them, and they were improperly watered, and they died.

There are a number of indoor trees that can be kept in a more normal house plant manner, and can be shaped and manipulated into beautiful forms. Ficus, as mentioned by Salty, is one, and rosemary is another great one. But be careful about snipping too much off the rosemary bush Ė Iíve had one for a couple of years, and I keep it teetering on the edge because I use it for cooking too much.

I still have a really nice set of Japanese Bonsai pruning tools that I got from New England Bonsai in southern MA. Now that I know more about Japanese metal working, I appreciate them more than I ever did.

10-30-2012, 02:40 PM
But after saying all that, I would not want to discourage someone from trying it. Just know that thereís a lot to learn, and they require a lot of very specific, special care. Everyday.

There are many, many trees that can be used for bonsai,a nd I think some of the more unusal ones are some of the most unique.

Bit yet again I agree w/ Salty, in that azealas are some of the best. And yeah, if you invest in good quality nursery stock, youíll have a better tree to work with. Just be sure you know what youíre doing before taking that leap.

10-31-2012, 12:28 AM
I'm trying to make a chilli Bonsai (http://www.fatalii.net/growing/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=95&Itemid=105) :)


10-31-2012, 12:34 AM
I'm trying to make a chilli Bonsai (http://www.fatalii.net/growing/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=95&Itemid=105) :)

That's really neat! Pretty, and edible, too!

11-29-2012, 05:00 AM
my bonsai just got many tiny white flowers :D
Seems like all 4 i got is thriving well so fare


11-29-2012, 08:19 AM
Looking good Maxim!

11-29-2012, 01:15 PM
Hey, all -

My parents own a bonsai nursery in Hawai`i. As many of the traditional plants for bonsai are hard to keep alive in a container, their niche is indoor bonsai - easy care houseplants and trained in the bonsai manner. Schefflera, ficus, etc. Some are planted in a lava rock and others are in pots, and since they don't use soil (sterile potting mix), they can ship them all over the world. I hope it won't be a problem for me to just post a link here since it's on topic. http://fukubonsai.com/ Fuku is the first half of our lastname, pronounced "foo-koo". The website is a little bit utilitarian, but my dad builds it himself.


11-29-2012, 03:51 PM
Thought about trying my hand at crash bonsai (http://www.crashbonsai.com) once....

11-30-2012, 12:01 PM
Thought about trying my hand at crash bonsai (http://www.crashbonsai.com) once....


11-30-2012, 04:13 PM
"anywhere I can get a relatively cheap one and not have to become a botanist to learn how t care about it?"

That my friend, defeats the whole purpose of Bonsai.lol

Harry was our gardener for many years and a good friend. He always had an exhibit at Hanimatsuri and the Obon festivals.
There are some bonsai links on this site.


12-01-2012, 05:37 AM