Thursday, January 25, 2007

Grow a bonsai from seed kit

Grow your own bonsai from seed kits are ridiculous. This is because they give the impression that you can actually obtain a bonsai from seed quickly. The book which comes with the kit is very vague, an introduction to bonsai only. Seedlings don't need to be repotted, trimmed or wired.
What one needs to know about growing bonsai from seed is how to a) care for a seedling and b) develop good stock.
a) seedlings in crummy peat pellets are prone to drying out, or being drowned. This is because of the peat - it is either bone dry, or saturated. It doesn't spend much time slightly moist, what plants like. I suggest potting soil because people know how to keep plants alive in potting soil, or sand/gravel because the is what the seedling would want.
b) nebari and trunk girth are what is important about stock. The seedling has to be root trained by planting it on top of a flat surface, so its roots spread. Good nebari results in a greater trunk girth then a tree with poor nebari. But trunk girth is also obtained by unrestricted growth. This is why a bonsai from seed is a long term project.
Small bonsai from seed - 5 yrs
normal sized bonsai from seed - 12 yrs
large bonsai from seed - 18 yrs

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