Bonsai Tree Meaning and Bonsai How To Tips
√ Updated: September 14, 2010

The practice of carefully controlling the growth of a bonsai tree is both an art and an exercise in patience! Learn about bonsai trees and Chinese symbolism below:

Bonsai Tree Meaning
 Buddhist Monks and Bonsai Trees
 Working With Bonsai Trees
A Guide to Indoor Bonsai Trees

   Types of Indoor Bonsai Trees
   How to Take Proper Care of Indoor Bonsai Trees
   How to Buy the Right Bonsai Tree
More Resources
   Bonsai Trees and Supplies
   Artificial Bonsai Trees
   Recommended Books About Bonsai Trees
   Recommended Books About Trees and Tree Symbolism
   Related Articles on This Website

Bonsai Tree Meaning
By Carolyn Anderson

bonsai treeA lot of people wonder about the meaning behind the bonsai tree. Well, let's start with the meaning of the word itself. Bonsai, first of all, is a Japanese word and could be translated as 'a tree in a pot'. The art of bonsai growing, however, did not originate in Japan but in China. It started over a thousand years ago and at that time the trees were called 'pun-sai'. The art of pun-sai growing was called penjing.

It is believed that in those days, people were trying to create the trees that look like dragons, serpents, birds and other animals. All of these forms are deeply rooted in Chinese myths and legends. (Photo courtesy of Ragesoss, Wikimedia Commons)

Buddhist Monks and Bonsai Trees
Later on, when the Japanese learned of this new art form, the meaning changed as well. The Buddhist monks that brought bonsai growing to Japan viewed these trees as a symbol for harmony between nature, man and soul. With that, the form of the trees also changed. Gone were the bizarre and grotesque shapes of twisting serpents and fierce dragons. From then on the bonsai were all about harmony, peace and balance. They started to represent all that was good.

Buddhist monks had a great influence on the art and practice of bonsai growing that has never quite disappeared. Even these days a lot of books that are dedicated to bonsai gardening and are published in the western world talk about meditation and zen. They will describe how growing a bonsai requires a meditative state and how all the pruning and cutting should be approached with a zen-like state of mind.

That being said, most of the bonsai tree meaning was lost to the general public in the last couple of decades. Most westerners now look on these trees as merely a decoration; a little touch of Asia to put in our homes. I'll leave it to you to decide if that's a good thing or not.
bonsia treeWorking With Bonsai Trees
However, if you do become a bonsai artist and start growing your own trees, instead of just observing them or buying trees that someone else has made for you, you will find that taking care of bonsai still possesses a spiritual note. You will have to connect to the tree, understand it, see where it wants to grow and then gently direct it into the desired direction. You will have to find balance between what you want and what a tree is willing to give you. You will have to find patience inside of you and allow a tree to dictate how fast it wants to develop. And throughout all this process, you might discover something new inside of you. You might discover that indescribable thing that has captivated so many. With that, you just might find your own meaning of bonsai trees. (Photo courtesy of Ragesoss, Wikimedia Commons)

Carolyn Anderson, the writer of this article, has been growing her own bonsai trees for the last seven years. There is still a lot that she needs to learn about bonsai growing, but she's getting there. If you too would like to start growing your very own bonsai trees, then I would suggest that you first find a good book and learn as much as possible. One such book that I would like to recommend is the Bonsai Gardening Secrets. Go on and check it out and you'll see that having the right knowledge will make all the difference in the world. Besides the little trees I also like to grow orchids. If this is something that interests you, please visit the Orchid Care Expert to learn more. Article Source: Bonsai Tree Meaning

A Guide to Indoor Bonsai Trees
By Marcin Doliwa

Bonsai tree can really be a wonderful thing and definitely something unique to have in your house if you can take proper care of it. These miniature trees resemble a piece of landscaping which has been trimmed down in size. While some prefer to keep it outside, others choose to nurture indoor bonsai trees. Having an indoor bonsai in not something new, it has been in practice for many years. However, since many bonsai trees are outdoor plants, growing them inside the house definitely will require some real hard work, especially for beginners.

Types of Indoor Bonsai Trees
bonsai treeThere are many types of indoor bonsai trees; like Hawaiian Umbrella Trees, which are preferred by amateurs as they are simple to care for and can live in low-to-high lighting conditions. The beautiful Golf Ball Umbrella Bonsai is also a trouble-free bonsai. Baby Jade Bonsai also known as the Elephant Bush comes with thick trunk and thick water-filled leaves. Flowering White Jasmine Bonsai favoring light, a good fertilizer as well as humidity is an excellent indoor plant. Having resemblance to the Weeping Willow Tree, the Willow Leaf Ficus Bonsai requires minimal care. If you are a beginner in this field, it is recommended that you go for fukien tea, bougainvillea, serissa, bush cherry, aralias and sago palms. (Photo courtesy of Ragesoss, Wikimedia Commons)

How to Take Proper Care of Indoor Bonsai Trees
Indoor bonsai trees require proper care for keeping the plant healthy, beautiful and miniature in the coming years. The proper growth of bonsai trees depend upon a lot a factors and the first in the queue is its placement in the winter and summer months. During the summer months, the night temperature generally does not dip below 40 degrees, making it ideal for placing the plant outside the house. When kept outside, make sure that you have positioned it in a place where it will be able to receive sufficient sun. Afternoon shade is good for the bonsai.

In the winter months, the night temperature dips below 40 degree and it is advisable that you do not keep the plant outside; this must be done slowly over a period of weeks. For the first time when you keep the plant inside, keep it for few hours, and then gradually increase the time till it becomes acquainted with the new environment. Both east and west exposure and 4 to 6 hours of sunlight a day is good for the growth of a bonsai.

bonsai treeDuring the winter months, it is recommended that indoor bonsais are kept in a shallow tray filled with gravel and water, which will help in providing extra moisture around the tree. Since most of the original indoor bonsai trees undergo their training period, you will only need to trim and pinch its miniature.

Trimming and pinching is required to maintain the miniature growth of the plant. You need to pinch and trim back the new growth to the farthest safe point. However, make sure that a little should be left for sustaining the health of the plant. Indoor bonsai trees grow at different rates making it necessary for evaluating the rate of growth of each tree as well as adjust the trimming and pinching for accommodating it. (Photo courtesy of Ragesoss, Wikimedia Commons)

Repotting is essential for the proper growth and maintenance of bonsais; it should be done occasionally when the root system of the plant has filled the pot. Repotting is required for supplying fresh soil, encourage a more compact root system for the plant. However, remember trees grow at different rates; you should first examine the root system of the tree each year for knowing if it has become pot-bound.

Fertilizing plays an important role in the growth of the plant; it keeps the bonsai healthy as well as beautiful. You will need to replenish the supply of nutrients of the soil occasionally with the help of the fertilizers which are available at the garden centers. Fertilizers should be applied once in a month, except during winters.

How to Buy the Right Indoor Bonsai Tree
You can buy an indoor bonsai from any garden store. However, selecting an indoor bonsai is not an easy task, as you need to know if the variety will suit the setting of the place. If your budget is tight and you are going for the cheaper ones, do remember that you will have to spend more time and effort for its proper growing. Indoor bonsai trees are not the tropical types like the outdoor bonsai trees.

Author is bonsai enthusiast. For more information on Indoor Bonsai Trees please visit http://bonsaidojo.comArticle Source: A Guide to Indoor Bonsai Trees

More Resources

The resources below include bonsai trees and all needed supplies; courses, tools and books related to chinese symbolism; bonsai tree, feng shui and tree symbolism books; and links to related nature symbolism articles on this website.

Bonsai Trees and Supplies
Bonsai trees are great for homes, offices and classrooms. They also make wonderful gifts and are easy to care for. To find a bonsai tree for your home or to give as a gift, we recommend visiting Bonsai Boy of New York, an online resource for everything you need for bonsai trees. Try the following options to find exactly what you need:

Bonsai Trees Under $30  Bonsai Sales & Discounts 
One-of-a-kind Bonsai Trees  Flowering Bonsai Trees 
Bonsai Pots  Bonsai Display Tables 
Bonsai Humidity Trays  Bonsai Soils 
Bonsai Fertilizer  Bonsai Books 
Table Top Fountains  Bonsai Waterfall Gardens 
Juniper Bonsai Trees  Outdoor Bonsai Trees 
Bonsai Figurines  Bonsai Tools & Wire 
Bonsai Seeds  Bonsai Wire Tree Sculptures 

Artificial Bonsai Trees
If you aren't ready to grow a bonsai tree, but love the decorative value, take a look at some beautiful Artificial Bonsai Trees!

Recommended Books About Bonsai Trees
For more information on bonsai trees, try the following recommended Amazon books:
Bonsai Survival Manual: Tree-by-Tree Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Problem Solving
The Complete Practical Encyclopedia of Bonsai: The essential step-by-step guide
Bonsai (Gardening & Landscaping)
Bonsai with Japanese Maples
The Bonsai Workshop

Recommended Books About Trees and Tree Symbolism
For more information on tree symbolism, see the following recommended books from Amazon:
The Meaning of Trees: Botany - History - Healing - Love
Maypoles and Wood Demons: The Meaning of Trees
The Backyard Orchardist: A Complete Guide to Growing Fruit Trees in the Home Garden

Lives of the Trees: An Uncommon History

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