You want to grow bonsai seedlings (or bonsai from seeds)? It's a fairly simple process where you nurture seeds into young trees, even if you are a bonsai novice.
The question is why should we do it by ourselves while we can buy easily at bonsai stores? In my opinion, though purchasing is a popular way to add a tree into your bonsai collection, nurturing bonsai from seeds shows different meaningful aspects as follows.
- Bonsai seeds are fairly cheap and easy to obtain, which means potentially you will have a lot of plants at an inexpensive cost.
- Growing trees from seeds and watching seedlings mature into bonsai is a first-hand experience that every serious enthusiast dreams about. The process and bring you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
- Many types of exotic bonsai are not available as either plants or cuttings in your region. That means if you still want to have such types of bonsai trees, propagating certain rare species from seeds proves to be an excellent solution. I myself wish to have a beautiful Japanese maple, which in no way I can find in my tropical region. So growing from seeds really helped me out.
Despite of above advantages, growing bonsai seedlings requires a great deal of patience, particularly with very slow-growing trees. It can take anything up to five years to obtain a bonsai from seed. Is it too long to you? I hope not, if you really love your passion. Then we move on to …
How to grow seeds to seedlings?
Just follow below main steps:
- Determining which species of bonsai seeds you want to sow. In fact, some species of trees are relatively easy to grow from seed. For example, Ficus, Maple species, Black Pine, Scots Pine, Zelkovas, Beech and Larch are all species that are easy to germinate from seed. Others such as White Pine, Hornbeam and Needle Junipers can be more difficult.
- Obtaining seeds - Get mature seeds, if possible, from your own mature trees, or buy desired seeds from local bonsai stores or retail outlets. The disadvantage of the later option is that you’re not so sure about quality and species of the sold seeds.
- Preparing the seeds - Soak seeds in warm water in about 5-6 hours at night before planting. The ripest seeds will sink to the bottom of the container. Those will be the seeds that you'll be using for planting.
- Preparing soil or compost, either in fields, gardens, or in pots.
Sowing - dig holes into the soil, and sprinkle seeds into those holes, then cover the seeds thoroughly with another layer of soil.
- Initial caring - Use a spray bottle to lightly spray the top of your young seeds with water to keep the soil damp; Put the container in a dark and well-ventilated area.
- In about a month, you'll start to see your young trees pop out of the soil. At that time, the seedlings should be moved to an area where they'll receive direct sunlight. And they can be fertilized at this time.
- When your trees are fully-grown, you can begin pruning, wiring
the tree and its roots, and other bonsai care taking tasks.
To help growing bonsai seedlings with high germination rate, there are some useful tips, which I will talk about later on.
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