* Prices may differ from that shown
My brother and I brought a 'Grow your own Bonsai tree' together as teenagers about a century ago and it was a great thing for a family to get involved and do together. However, a lot of patience and commitment are need but the rewards are worth it.
We wanted to grow this indoors so we needed a tropical Bonsai tree. You must make sure you chose whether you'd like to do this indoor or out. Becuase we know what we're like, in the house we wouldn't forget but outside would run the risk of being forgotten.
This is a lot easier than we thought it would be but took a lot of patience which it surely developed. When we learnt that planting the seeds would take 3-5 years we were gutted, we wanted the tree the very next day!
In this box we received everything we needed which was great as we would not have known where to start, we brought a book to go with it and that was it.
You can buy these kits on Amazon or expert sites. Back in the day it was Homebase [I think]
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
Tree and moss seed
Seedling Training Pots
Rake and Spade
Growing medium [small sack]
White gravel to decorate
Black plastic tray
The tray is very shallow, no it does not have feelings, but you don't need to plant these seeds to deep, add the soil and seed to the small growing bag sack provided and make sure you only give enough water to dampen the seeds otherwise it will struggle to develop and become mouldy.
This can happen between the first 18-20 days so if you do, start again, it's worth it, but learn from it like we did and we're glad we did. But never let the Bonsai tree seedlings dry out, we did, it was like groundhog day but we were determined to grow this! [We saw it on Blue Peter!]
The temperature needs to be checked. This is where Mum came while we were studying she had to move the tree into two different areas marked out by us!
In the morning place it in sunlight but NOT direct sunlight and in the afternoon place it in a shady area. Boy Mum was glad when it was the holidays.
It's important that the whole tree gets, the best it can, equal time in the light I know this is tricky but we alternated by markings and timing and it became second nature. So bear this in mind.
This is the best part. Within 18-20 days you should see shoots appear, then a little stump forming and the tree trunk begins to take shape, however you become its personal designer, yes YOU can to decide how it grows, which way, how far out and how high t a degree.
We wanted the tree trunks to twist on the way up and out by at least four branches.
There are four ways to do this, quick lesson just in case you're interested.
CHOKKAN- A formal straight up approach with expanding tree branches.
MOYOGHI- An informal straight approach with expanding tree branches ie; it slanted as the traditional and popular version is known.
SHAKAN- Dramatic slanting almost windswept and touching the white gravel.
BUNJINGI- Long and twisted but with minimal branches.
The last one - BUNJINGI= is the one we went for.
To manipulate the tree to bend, twist, or grow a certain way it is advised you use copper wire to do this as it grows keep reshaping the copper wire and help the tree to grow.
A little nightmare if you don't read the instructions properly and this is the part that puts most people off but once you know what you want from the tree, the way in which to prune, it's easy.
Spring and Autumn are the best seasons to grow in as the nutrients are stored and can help the branches develop strong.
It is tempting to over prune but it's a case of watching and waiting to see what needs pruning or how the look develops because when you prune one shoot another will grow almost the next day elsewhere, so it can be a little frustrating.
THE BIG MOVE!
Once you have cultivated this beauty moving it elsewhere seems scary, we're talking, of course, about re-potting. You really don't want to keep the plastic tray look? What's really nice is that you can add little things to the soil to make it look like a garden, such as, stones, water features, or a rock.
You can grow a dainty little tree like we did and this took, bang on, three years! It lasted another seven.
Or you can go epic [see the website bonsaiempire.com] We grew a basic bonsai tree, it was small and dainty and stood on the window sill with pride, but on this website its deep and there is so much more to learn.
We paid £39.99 but as usual prices vary, shop around, hope it works.