Growing a bonsai can be lots of fun. It is easy and inexpensive. It can give you lots of joy during the school holidays and in your free time. 

Wait a minute. What’s a bonsai? The word bonsai means “tree in tray” in the Japanese language.

Bonsai is the art of growing a little tree in a small pot and keeping the tree small for many years to come. This is done by cutting the branches and roots of the tree to keep the tree small. 

So, a bonsai is very much like a big tree. The difference is that it is kept small through regular shaping of the branches and trimming of roots. 

A bonsai tree can live for a long time, longer than a person can live. People like a bonsai because it is pretty and cute. It is lovely to look at, and fun to grow. 

So, how does one start a bonsai? 

STEP 1 – Get a tree

You can buy a small tree or shrub from the nursery. Or take out a small tree that is growing in your garden. 

STEP 2 – Plant the tree in a pot

Clean the sand from the roots and trim the roots slightly so that they fit into a small pot. Plant the little tree in the pot. Use loose potting soil or good sand from your garden. Remember, do not buy an expensive pot right now. You can do that later once your tree is growing.  

STEP 3 – Trim the tree

Get a small plant clipper or a good pair of scissors. Trim the tree. Keep the bottom of the tree (trunk) clean. Cut out all the leaves or little branches. 

Then take a good look at the middle part of the tree. You will see two, three or four branches. These can also be trimmed.

Then you can lightly trim the top part of the tree. See if you can see a shape in your mind and design your tree as you imagine it.    

STEP 4 – Water every day

Give the bonsai a little water every day. On a hot day you should water it twice a day. You can use a small cold drink bottle for watering. 

Enjoy making your bonsai. It’s easy. It’s fun!

Farm in the City

BONSAI TABLE at Farm in The City’s Open Day

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