Japanese Andromeda Bonsai Tree

Japanese Andromeda Bonsai Tree, scientific name Pieris japonica, is an evergreen shrub with upright spreading branching.

It is known for its beautiful fragrant white flowers that hang in pendulous, long clusters.

It is a hardy plant that needs to be grown outdoors with winter protection from temperatures below 15F.

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Additional Information

Family: Ericaceae

Scientific name: Pieris japonica

Common Names: Japanese Andromeda, Lily of the Valley Shrub, Japanese pieris, Andromeda, Pearl Bush. [Read more…]

Ficus Bonsai Tree

Ficus Bonsai Tree is a very common houseplant. With over 800 species and 2,000 varieties of ficus, everyone can find the right tree for their bonsai. One of my favorite varieties of ficus is a dwarf ficus also known as Ficus benjamina.

If you are a beginner, ficus benjamina is one of the best choices. It is very forgiving, easily adapts to varieties of conditions, has naturally small leaves and strong roots, making bonsai training much easier. Ficus Benjamina is also commonly known as Weeping Fig, Benjamina Fig, Benjamin’s Fig, Dwarf Ficus Tree, Java Fig, or just Ficus Tree.

Ficus Bonsai Tree is native to south and southeast Asia and Australia. Like most tropical plants, Ficus Bonsai likes warm and humid weather and needs to be protected from freezing temperatures. It can be grown outside if you live in a tropical or sub-tropical climates. If you live in the area where temperatures drop below 60 degrees, it is best to keep your ficus bonsai indoors. [Read more…]

Chinese Art Of Bonsai – Penjing

Chinese Bonsai Tree

Chinese Bonsai, also called Penjing, is about creating a miniature tree or a landscape in the container. Chinese artists believed that by better understanding nature they will improve their spiritual development.

This beautiful art form was originated in China thousand years ago. Bonsai was created by highly educated aristocrats of China, inspired by nature, poetry and landscape paintings. These different art forms were linked closely together.

Each area of China had its own bonsai style, specializing in a certain species of tree, certain training techniques and certain type of design. There is a deep Chinese philosophy behind each bonsai tree and landscape scene. It is more about revealing an untold story and discovering mysteries of nature. [Read more…]

Japanese and Chinese Bonsai Differences

Chinese Bonsai TreeChinese Bonsai, known as Penjing, was created in China thousand years ago and got to Japan during period of Zen Buddhism around 1195.

Once it was introduced into Japan, bonsai art began to develop in its own way.

At first, only aristocrats of Japan had access to this kind of art. It was a symbol of prestige and honor. But as time went by Chinese bonsai got very popular and was introduced to the public.

Simple bonsai art was refined by Japanese artist, who created a set of rules and shapes. Because Japanese bonsai art was born from Chinese bonsai they both have a lot of similarity that makes it sometimes quite difficult to distinguish. [Read more…]

Is Chinese Bonsai An Art of a Tree Torture?

I never thought about Chinese Bonsai as a tree torture and I was very surprised to see a series of bonsai by Chinese artist Shen Shaomin presented at Frey Norris Gallery. Shen shows them trussed and tugged by the thumbscrew brackets, collars and barricades that engineer their growth.

Chinese Bonsai Tree Chinese Bonsai Tree

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Chinese Bonsai Rules

Chinese Bonsai TreeChinese Bonsai (Penjing) has much less strict rules and is more philosophical and spiritual form of art than Japanese bonsai. Chinese and Japanese bonsai have their differences but are very closely related and are sometimes difficult to distinguish.

A high quality Chinese bonsai composition has to look entirely natural. Although there is more freedom in the Penjing, many of the general bonsai rules still apply.

To create a successful Chinese bonsai composition you need to know basic training techniques and be familiar with plant maintenance like re-potting, watering, feeding and etc.

After learning main Chinese Bonsai Styles and rules you’ll have better control of your bonsai. It will make it easier for you to pick the right tree for your bonsai. [Read more…]

Where To Buy Bonsai Tree

Once you have decided on growing conditions and bonsai style, it is time to buy the plant. When it comes to buying a plant for bonsai you have several sources:

1. Specialized nurseries

It is always best to buy from the dealer that is specializing in bonsai, because they know what trees are suited for the local climate and how to take care of them. Trained staff provides bonsai trees with proper care assuring that you are getting a perfectly healthy tree, unlike department stores and farmers market, where employees know nothing about bonsai.

2. Garden center

Most of the garden centers sell established bonsai trees, but be careful buying plants that are newly potted and pruned to create an instant bonsai. Avoid buying plant that has torn or damaged leaves. Shrunken and dried buds might be an indicator of incorrect watering. Buds should be well formed and shapely bursting with life and strength. And don’t forget to check for pests and diseases. [Read more…]