Bonsai: Four Ways to Propagate Your Tree

The art of bonsai has been practiced for centuries. It is a fun and creative way for a patient gardener to create a personalized plant.

There are numerous species of trees that can be made into a bonsai; in fact, almost any tree can be trained to become a bonsai tree.
Before you begin, however, you must propagate the tree. There are many ways to do this.

Purchase a Young Bonsai From a Reliable Firm

Many firms sell young trees. Curious beginners may benefit from purchasing a tree that has already been trained to become a bonsai. Make sure the firm is reliable before investing.

If a bonsai tree is being sold for less than $50, beware. It is likely fake or an unhealthy tree. Since it takes at least 7 years for a bonsai tree to become healthy and strong, reliable growers will not sell their plants for low prices.

Buy a Tree Seedling From a Nursery

You may train any tree seedling into a bonsai tree if you are willing to spend several years growing the seedling. The trademark thick trunk of a bonsai tree takes a number of years to develop.

Since most seedlings that are sold in nurseries are no more than 3 years old, it will take many years for your seedling to look like a bonsai tree. A nursery will provide you with a young plant that is ready to be grown and manipulated into a healthy bonsai tree.

Once you have purchased your seedling, it is up to you to thicken the tree’s trunk and train the foliage.

Cut From a Pre-Existing Tree

You may root the cutting from any species of tree and propagate it into a bonsai. Obtain your cutting from a healthy node on the mother plant by using sterilized hedge clippers for large cuttings, or a sterile razor for smaller cuttings. Dip the end of the cutting into rooting hormone before you plant it in fertile soil.

In time, your cutting will successfully root and provide you with a healthy start for a bonsai. The rooted cutting will provide you with a seedling similar to one that you might purchase from a store.

Grow a Bonsai Tree Directly From Seed

This method takes the longest amount of time to yield a mature bonsai tree. However, it is the method most often used by advanced bonsai enthusiasts. Growing a tree from seed requires lots of patience and care, but it also allows you to manipulate the tree from the very beginning.

If you choose to start your bonsai from seed, expect to wait about 10 years before your bonsai begins to truly take shape. You will have to raise the tree through its most vulnerable stages, but you will develop a deep bond with the plant.