Training a Tree the Bonsai Way

I must admit that I was attracted, initially, because this little plant looks well, ‘unusual’. That’s the kindest I can be. On Monday on my third visit to IKEA in as many weeks, I’d definitely decided against buying. But I weakened. A forest of them had been shunted into a siding, they were obviously on their way out. Feet first! Neglected, soil dry as a bone and the leaves were falling fast. How could I not change my mind? If I’d been my mother I’d have asked for a reduction in price, to take one off their hands.

Last evening while researching how to care for my new found friend I discovered, with some horror, that I was now in the presence of a Bonsai tree! The instructions repeat, many time, ‘this plant is totally reliant on you for it’s care and survival’. Somehow this fact has captured my attention on more than the every-day way of caring for a plant.

It is a symbol of so much that comes with having disciples. The joys and sorrows and the constantly being there for them. The heart connection that grows comes from care and attention, tenderness and benevolence. It’s a two way street too. So I’ll embrace what I’ve come upon, by accident or…no I’ll not go there.

I only hope I find somebody to advise me on how to train it! At the moment the branches look a bit of a sad mess.

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4 thoughts on “Training a Tree the Bonsai Way”

  1. “If you kill a ficus, you have tried to.” – Bonsai Bob

    hopefully your disciples are just as hardy but they’re in goods hands regardless.

  2. I “rescued” a Bonsai tree which was languishing sadly in Focus at half price. I often rescue plants on the verge of giving up & bring them back to life with tender loving care, but this one eluded me I’m sad to report. Eventually I admitted defeat after trying a re-pot with special bonsai soil. Its shell of bare branches is still outside in the yard – I hadn’t the heart to put it in the compost bin.

  3. I’ve been culturing Bonsai’s for years now. My Oldest is about 20 years old. I use the chinese rather thaen the more radical Japanese method. To train it to grow in a certain direction I use stakes and twine, much the same as when ordinary plants are cultured.
    Best let them grow in their pots on a shelf outdoors. The soil needs to be kept moist, not sodden and in very hot weather may need watering twice a day. Their “put through” of water can be quite phenomenal.
    Winters in Throssel may be a bit harsh for keeping outdoors. Just keep the soil moist in winter.
    Gently prune in the spring.
    Hope this is some help.


  4. The tree has settled in and so have I. Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement, and for your vote of confidence RB.

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