In another instalment of my bonsai posts, I wanted to share with you details on how I have successfully grown bonsai trees from seeds. This blog post should be viewed in partnership with a previous blog post that I wrote about taking care of bonsai trees indoors.
Growing and raising bonsai trees indoors from seedlings can be so rewarding. I love this method as it means that you are always in full control of the development of the tree and can grow and nurture it kind of like how you would a child (extreme view, but that’s how I view some of my trees!)
Having said that it can take a very long to get the bonsai to be fully grown and cultivated so a lot of patience is needed, although no doubt a lot less than raising kids eh! You can read my full guide below, and also watch this excellent supplementary video that I found recently on Youtube which I think is the best example by far of how to do this – although our methods to differ a little bit.
Where to Buy Bonsai Seeds
In terms of seeds, what you need to do is buy from a good supplier. You can get some on Amazon, but I always prefer to purchase from independents. The Bonsai Outlet are pretty good to be honest although I always recommend that you do your own research into this.
So first off, the season you plant your seeds is pretty important because if you are growing trees that are not native to your climate than you need to do something called stratification. This process means that you can keep the bonsai seeds in a good conditions before you plant them. For beginners to tree planting and cultivation this can be quite complex. But then growing bonsai trees is never a simple task.
The Best Time to Grow Bonsai
I always recommend the autumn time as it follows the natural cycle and seedlings will have a whole summer to grow after you get the germination process working in early spring. If you do it like this then you don’t have to concern yourself with the stratification process I spoke of earlier.
Firstly I want you to dig a hole around 15 centimeters deep making sure to leave an adequate drainage hole. As far as the pot goes, you should create a bottom layer which has fine gravel and akadama to about a quarter of the pot. Then on top of the akadama, use fine gravel and organic soil which should only take up to about 3 centimeters below the edge of your pot.
Next up get your new bonsai seeds and line them up into the pot making sure that they are at least 6 centimeters apart each time. Having said this, it really does depend on the size of the seeds that you are using. After you have laid the seeds down make sure to cover them up with soil which then needs to be heavily watered in the beginning.
Once you are happy with the planting of the seeds you should then leave it in a bright place indoors such as a window sill or ledge, but away from the elements. Keep the soil moist, after the initial watering but don’t let it become soggy or over-watered.
Hope Springs Eternal!
With any luck, the spring time should start to see some initial growth appearing through the soil. This is the germination process and is probably the most exciting part in my view. I always use a small amount of fertilizer at this point – but once the small sprigs get to a few centimeters tall it’s time to separate them into different plant pots if you wish.
Now it’s just a three year wait to see the fruits of your labor – so good luck!
I got the image of a bonsai from Flickr – copyright and credit to this guy here: www.flickr.com/photos/bdom
PS: I have also written a guide on how to grow cucumbers indoors.