Bonsai: The Basics For Beginners
The history of Bonsai stretches back thousands of years, but the commonly known version of the plant originated in China during the Tang Dynasty in 700 A.D. During this time period, Japanese explorers were sent to China to evaluate the cultures of the country, and one of the things they came back to Japan with was the Bonsai Plant. Ever since then it has been a very common plant in Japan, and in the mid 1800′s it started to gain international notoriety as well. Now Bonsai are widely known as one of the most respected and unique plants in the world.
There are two types of Bonsai: temperate and tropical. The main difference between the two is how sensitive they are to certain temperatures. Most tropical Bonsai must be kept away from freezing temperatures and frost, whereas temperate Bonsai are a bit more hardy. Another difference is that temperate Bonsai go into a somewhat dormant period during colder seasons, where they only need to be watered about once a week. With tropical plants, the exact opposite is true, as they need to be watered constantly during colder months. As soon as it is warm enough to do so it is highly recommended that you place your bonsai outside in your garden, as this is their natural environment, and they will thrive in it the best. During the warmer months both tropical and temperate Bonsai need constant watering, feeding and grooming.
Now that we have discussed how to take care of your Bonsai, it is time to decide what style of Bonsai you prefer. There are two main styling groups that are broken down into smaller styles: single trunked and multi- trunked. Single trunk styles include: Chokkan, Tachiki, Shakan, Kengai, and Bankan. Some multi-trunk styles: Soju, Korabuki and Yose. Shakan and Yose are both styles that are recommended for beginners, but the only way you can truly know if a style of Bonsai is right for you is by seeing it in the flesh. Have fun with you Bonsai, and treat them with great care.