Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005
This is the question that I am most frequently asked "How can I make a Bonsai". Instead of trying to answer this myself I suggest that you have a look at the websites I have listed below created by experienced people who have already written some excellent articles about creating and maintaining Bonsai.
If you are really interested then I suggest that you contact a local Bonsai club or Nursery and find out about taking some lessons. Taking lessons is the best way to learn how to create and care for Bonsai. I also recommend that you find and join a local Bonsai Club, not only will you continue to learn more about Bonsai but you will also meet some nice friendly people who are always willing to share their experience.
Another question that I am often asked is "Why did my Bonsai tree die", well the most common reason is that they were kept indoors. Bonsai trees like most plants need to be kept outside in the sun unless there are extremes of climate. Unfortunately many Bonsai are sold by unscrupulous people as indoor trees just to make a sale, some are even sold with rocks and pebbles glued onto the soil to make them look pretty, this will prevent water from getting to the roots. This leads in to the second most common reason for Bonsai to die that is incorrect watering either not enough or too much. Many Bonsai are sold in very small pots which if kept outside as recommended will dry out very quickly in summer and may need watering every day. Watering should be done by completely soaking the soil and then allowing it to drain. The soil should always be slightly damp and should never be sodden with water nor should it completely dry out.
Indoor Bonsai is a very misleading term used in a questionable manner. For most people the term suggests that such bonsai can be grown indoors throughout the year in most homes and offices. But the organized bonsai community also uses the term for outdoor bonsai that are grown "indoors" in very high light in greenhouses. They also use it for tropical outdoor bonsai that are grown outdoors most of the year and brought indoors only during colder weather. These "tropical bonsai," "greenhouse bonsai" or "exotic bonsai" require a very high level of skill with specific care requirements to specific places. If you want indoor bonsai, then house plants must be trained as bonsai check out the link below to True Indoor Bonsai.
How can I make a Bonsai Links
The Bonsai Primer - This website is one of the best Bonsai learning and teaching facilities online, aimed at everybody with an interest in the hobby and are either not 'clubbable' or live a distance from one of what must be the thousand or so Bonsai clubs, scattered around the globe. This site has many good articles with drawings on creating and maintaining Bonsai.
BonsaiBasics.com - So, you've been given a bonsai, or want to start one, and don't know what to do. Well, you've come to the right place. This site caters for you - the novice at bonsai, who either knows absolutely nothing, or very little about this fascinating art.
Brent Walston's Evergreen Gardenworks - this site has some of the best information for more serious bonsai enthusiasts, as well as some good articles for beginners on the selection of nursery grown plant material for bonsai, and the 'Rules' of Bonsai.
Beginning Bonsai - a very comprehensive site on selecting, starting and caring for Bonsai - for the new Bonsai artist.
Bonsai Farm.tv - on this site there is a huge range of vidio snips on hoe to create and care for Bonsai, and a great world of Bonsai video series
Bonsai Tree Tuturials - site that has information about how to create bonsai trees
Online Bonsai Class - run by Herb Gustafson - This is a complete multi part lessons on creating a Bonsai from a 3 gal Juniper procumbens "nana".
Basic Bonsai Correspondence Course - Run by The American Bonsai Society
The Bonsai FAQ - "Frequently Asked Questions"
Phoenix Bonsai Society - "Plants for Bonsai, Seasonal Care Information, Back-to-Basics Workshop Notes
Fuku-Bonsai True Indoor Bonsai - "A website dedicated to Indoor Bonsai
Other Bonsai Links that may be useful
Bonsai Basics Teacher's Guide - by the Golden State Bonsai Federation. This guide is intended to help train teachers and those dedicated bonsai enthusiasts who wish to assist in basic bonsai instruction.
Basic and Intermediate Bonsai Course Teaching Syllabus- by Tom Zane
The Bonsai Doctor - Ask The Bonsai Doctor for help, Nina Shishkoff is a plant pathologist and is happy to try and help cure your sick tree.
Internet Bonsai Club and Bonsai FAQ's
Bonsai Tree Care FAQ's - separate tree species care FAQ's
The GardenWeb Bonsai Forum - Ask questions about Bonsai, discussion group.
Bonsai at Suite101.com - Good site with new articles about Bonsai weekly, ask questions and discussions.
Comprehensive list of Books on Bonsai and Related Arts.
Look at the country pages or our links pages for other Bonsai links around the world.