How to create a bonsai

How to choose the seeds for the bonsai

When you decide to create a bonsai from seeds, the first step is to buy the seeds of the bonsai species you want to make. Alternatively, it is possible to collect them on the ground from pods generally released annually by shrubs such as beech, maple, oak, horse chestnut, elm, ash, i.e. species of plants belonging to the deciduous tree family, to prepare for the winter season. In this way, even for the beginner who wants to create his own bonsai plant from the seed, it is possible to obtain the seeds of these species. In particular, the seeds of oaks (acorns), freshly harvested in early autumn, are green and therefore fresh. They are undoubtedly a great start to creating a healthy and robust bonsai plant.

Germination and seed stratification

The next step, particularly delicate, is to allow the seed chosen and then buried, to germinate (or germinate). The bonsai seed requires a winter pre-treatment called stratification: before the actual sowing (done in spring or early autumn), it must be «accustomed» to the winter cold inside a terracotta pot full of a mixture. consisting of sand and peat. Alternatively, you can place the seeds in a closed plastic bag with moist soil inside in a refrigerator compartment to simulate the cold season. As if the seed were to «memorize» the initial cold winter temperatures and the gradually increasing heat of spring. It generally takes five years to see a medium sized bonsai.

The birth of the seedling

As soon as the seeds begin to germinate, the small plants are removed from the refrigerator and placed in a pot or in any case in a small container filled with soil. Of course, if the seeds have been allowed to germinate naturally outdoors, they will remain in their own pot. A small hole is then dug in the soil and the shoot is arranged upwards and the root, obviously, downwards. The soil around the sprout must be immediately moistened, a condition that must be maintained consistently over time; adding too much water would cause the sprout to rot. Similarly, for at least two months from the sprout, it is not advisable to use fertilizers at least until the seedling has stabilized in the new container.

How to create a bonsai: Take care of the growth of the bonsai

The sprout will grow over time if the pot is placed in a suitable temperature area. Exposing the young plant to cold temperatures will result in their death. As spring approaches, it is advisable to gradually introduce the plant outside, checking that it is not exposed to the wind. In the same way, long exposures to the sun will be harmful, as will an excess water content in the soil: only a little moisture is needed.When the growth of the plant is more evident (usually after two or three years), it will need to be positioned in a larger vase. Finally, when the growth has stabilized, the bonsai can be placed in an environment to receive the sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon, as long as the species is among those that require this alternation.

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