Bonsai Kapilaas
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May 2, 2019

What is the basic technique in pruning bonsai trees?

A Bonsai plant becomes a Beautiful Bonsai tree by proper pruning ,cutting and shaping. Bonsai shaping is like artist giving a character to the plant. Importance of pruning is giving a style to the Bonsai tree. In Bonsai art Many styles are given by Bonsai Masters, each style is a replica of huge trees growing in nature. For a Bonsai artist it is essential to understand basic styles, to train and maintain a bonsai tree.
Pruning is main important procedure in Bonsai. The growth and shape of the plant depends on how you are doing pruning, where you make a cut is more important to the growth of the future Bonsai plant. If you are asking for basic technique just cutting the plant branch and leaves superficially and giving a shape like umbrella is easy. just remove the unwanted branches at the base of the main stem , leaving top and giving a shape is basic pruning. if you want a style to the plant then you have to follow some steps.
Below are the images of Basic styling of a Bonsai plant
Bonsai always represents minimalist approach to the life just like Zen Buddhism, it express peace, harmony, balance of nature , its a true replica of a tree in miniature form. significantly most of the Bonsai trees will be in pyramid shape because just like pyramid it collects energy from universe and spreads around in to the atmosphere.
In Bonsai Art selection of branches is the key for shaping and styling a plant, depending on the thickness of the trunk primary branch will be selected, it should be little thinner in diameter when compared to the trunk. secondary branch more thinner than primary one. Branch selection should be like that they spread in all directions like,on right side one branch, left another or vice-versa, back another branch, as we go up branching will be in spiral form on the trunk line. always primary branch will be little longer and thicker than secondary branch. secondary branch will be longer than third branch. Here we are flowing the styling of branches as if in nature. As the tree it starts giving branches, older branches at the base of trunk line will be thicker As we go up to the top we will see slim branches at top of the plant. Before cutting down the branches put a white sheet behind the branch, one can see clearly the flow of the trunk line and the branch. If any branch to be removed cover that branch and observe the other branches. As john Naka said three " H " are very important one is Head to think about the future shape of the plant, second is Heart to cut the branch gently and third H is Hand which follows the instructions of the other two.
Giving proper shape to a Bonsai plant is most important chapter in Bonsai Art. All Bonsai lovers will think of having a beautiful Bonsai. Beauty to comes to the plant through correct training and pruning methods. They have significant role in giving a pleasing look to a Bonsai plant.
Training a Bonsai tree is Cutting at correct place that is node of the plant where the leaf starts growing. Knowing about function of the node is more important before making a cut on a Bonsai plant. All plants have nodes and inter nodes. Nodes and inter nodes are important parts of Plant Biology. Appropriate growth of Bonsai plant dependents on correct cut at a proper node of the plant. Without nodes, the plant cannot develop leaves or branches.

Mar 29, 2019

Correct Cut While shaping a Bonsai plant

Giving proper shape to a Bonsai plant is most important chapter in Bonsai Art. All Bonsai lovers will think of having a beautiful Bonsai. Beauty to comes to the plant through correct training and pruning methods. They have significant role in giving a pleasing look to a Bonsai plant.  
Training a Bonsai tree is Cutting at correct place that is node of the plant where the leaf starts growing.  Knowing about  function of  the node is more important before making a cut on a Bonsai plant. All plants have nodes and inter nodes. Nodes and inter nodes are important parts of Plant Biology.  Appropriate growth of Bonsai plant  dependents on correct cut at a proper node of the plant.   Without nodes, the plant cannot develop leaves or branches. Even hardwood deciduous trees like Oaks, with life spans of more than 5000 years, and annuals and perennials of herbaceous plants, have nodes and inter nodes. 

Below photo shows nodes and Inter nodes of a plant. Here the space between two consecutive nodes  more. Most of the plants have long inter nodes, i.e, here in below picture the space between two consecutive nodes is considerable.

The difference species of plants have different inter nodal spaces. The Space between Two consecutive nodes that is between two leaves is very less in below photographs. These plant are having very less inter nodal space.

Nodes are the important functional part of a plant where leaves, branches, flowers, fruits, and aerial roots originate on the stem. Nodes are responsible for proper propagation of the plant. 

Always New branches and flowers will rise from the node of the plant. Below first photo shows growing of a branch from the node above the leaf.

In Second photo it is clearly visible of growth of a flower from the node of a plant. There are Axillary buds at nodes of the leaf. they develop in to flowers and branches. 

When pruning a Bonsai plant or any plant, a cut should only be made above the node, so regrowth of the plant will be proper. It will then be able to grow new leaves and branches from the lower portion a stem of the plant. In Bonsai, conventional method of cutting and pruning is always above the node of a leaf of a stem. To maintain height of a Bonsai plant remove the top bud , then the axillary buds becomes active and many new branches will develops from the leaf axil. Allow the new branches to develop 6 to eight pars of leaves, then remove the top bud of the branch, then there new branches will develop on the primary branch. The plant will have a bushy growth with manybranches.
Bonsai plants are replica of miniature form of  tree growing in nature. Any time height of the Bonsai plant will remain small when compared to the huge trees growing in nature. Shohin or mame or small Bonsai, the plant looks prettier with having lower branches at the base of the stem. Training a Bonsai plant is more like a art. For having more branches at the base of the trunk line is to make a cut above the leaf as shown in the picture. The photo explains if  a cut made above the leaf , lower branch becomes active , and chances of getting more branches at the lower level of the Bonsai tree are more.

                            This video explains how to make cut above the leaf .


Inter node is the part or space between two consecutive nodes. Inter nodes carry water, hormones, nutrients from one node to the other.  Any cut made at inter node make the portion of the stem to die back .
However, in some plants like dwarf conifers, evergreens, pinus taeda,Bald cypress,Norwey spruce,Thuja occidentalis,Yew, and Boxwood,inter nodes are shorter, which makes the leaves more dense. These plants can be made into ornamental shapes ( art of Topiary) by clipping or by pruning. These plants are also can be made in to Bonsai plants because of their shorter nodes,  they look so beautiful with dense foliage.

Leaves with shorter inter nodes                Pine plant under training
The response of Bonsai plant is very important after cutting and pruning. In some instances if proper cut is not made at right place there are chances of survival of the plant becomes less. My advice is to study the nature and species of the plant, and observe the proper technique and cut above the node, before considering to decapitating for trunk taper or not.
Bonsai  became a Art , it is once imagination and creativity makes the plant Stand tall with its beauty among other plants.
Mr. Masahiko Kimura is a great Bonsai artist from japan, he is also called magician of Bonsai because his creations are like just painters brush stokes  which gives a wonderful look to Bonsai plants.  He revolutionized the Art of Bonsai from traditional way of training in to modern Contemporary Art.

Mar 20, 2019

How to Fertilize a Bonsai plant

Fertilizers for Tropical Bonsai plants
Information of fertilizers for our Bonsai plants,
Generally all plants needs fertilizer when they are growing in pots. Potted plants have confined soil with limited nutrients. It is advisable for proper growth of a plant. Plant needs organic and inorganic fertilizers for overall growth of the plant.
Organic fertilizers like completely dried cow dung , sheng kath means excreta of animals like sheep , goat, bonemeal , kitchen waste made in to fertilizer, neem cake, neem seed cake it also acts as fertilizer and pesticide .Organic fertilizers are without any chemicals and are natural. These organic fertilizers are used in once in three months.Organic fertilizers take a little more time to mix it into the soil., the best way is to fertilize is in the morning or in the evening, first water the plant and take out top soil, put the fertilizer,cover the fertilizer with soil and  water the plant again. Fertilize the plant on regularly, maintain a calendar, and you can see the difference.

Dont fertilize a freshly re potted plant, wait for two months let the plant settle and start fertilizing the plant.
Liquid fertilizers are chemical fertilizers which can be absorbed by the plant instantly. they contain micro nutrients. Plants  require minor elements which are also called as micro elements such as calcium, sulphor, magnesium, along with trace elements such as zinc, copper, manganese, iron, chlorine etc. All these nutrients are available in liquid fertilizers. Regular course of feeding the plants with micro nutrients is once in a month. these liquid fertilizers are mixed 1 ml in one liter of water  and will be sprayed it on the plant. 
One more chemical in - organic fertilizer is to be used in powder form is super mix it is the combination of potassium and other micro nutrients, these elements are to be provided to the soil regularly for proper yield.. Potassium mainly contributes to the plant for  proper growth of fruits and flowers.This super mix to be used once in a month to the soil in very little quantities like half tea spoon. First give a shower to the plant. feeding of fertilizer depends on the size of the pot. if the pot is small with 6 to 14 inches half tea spoon is enough. if the pot is big more than tree feet then it needs one teaspoon.

Ficus  plants grow well in  sunlight but not as much as Bougainvillea,the hot summer sun burns the leaves of the plant . They need fertilizers like nitrogen which are water soluble, Example Ujjala or  suphala can be used . Suphala  ( start with little doses ) and neem cake are the best combination for ficus plant because neem cake avoids loosing of nitrogen in the soil and it improves its efficiency. Suphala and  neem cake can be used alternatively, watering the plant before and  after fertilizing is very important.
Bougainvilleas are the beautiful among flowering bonsais , they need lees or dont need wiring , they love lots of hot sun and well drained soil,These plants need some dryness in between watering , they bloom  twice in a year during march and September because they bloom well when the night and day lengths are equal. they need lots of fertilizers like micronutrients and organic fertilizers like completly dried cow dung , sheng kath means excreta of animals like sheep , goat, bonemeal , kitchen waste made in to fertalizer, neem cake, neem seed cake it also acts as fertilizer and pesticide , as bougainvillea plant prefers little acidic soil. The best way is you can buy a bio fertilizer from a shop or neem cake or neem seed cake are best. once in a month provide the plant with fertalizer, you can choose two types of organic fertilizers and alternative you can use them.
for example this month if you are using neem cake , next month you can use other like bone meal or any other fertilizer  like cowdung etc...
Schefflera doesn't need that much ferlalizer, once in 3 to 4 months is enough for the plant. This plant needs only morning or evening sun light and right amount of water .

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