Bonsai for Beginners

The art of bonsai is one that can take a lifetime to master. That being said, creating bonsai is about enjoying the pursuit. There’s no such thing as a ‘bonsai seed’, bonsai is not something that can be grown, it has to be created.
If you want your own beautiful bonsai, yet you are not interested in spending your free time (and effort) on a new hobby, then you are probably better off buying a fully trained bonsai tree. On the other hand, if you want to pour your creativity into a new and exciting project, then bonsai training may be for you.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to bonsai training, our 6 helpful tips will get you on the right track to creating your own beautiful bonsai.

Do Your Research

When taking up a new hobby, research into the topic is something most people will do naturally. However, when it comes to bonsai many enthusiasts will be overly keen and want to begin pruning and shaping their tree right away. But before you can begin learning such techniques, it is vital that you first understand the nature of your tree. As you will probably know, some varieties of tree are hardier, whereas others require additional protection against the elements. While you may like a certain tree variety for its look, its nature may not be suitable for a beginner. Consult your bonsai seller about the best tree varieties for beginners. Be sure to mention where you will store your tree so that they can advise you on the most suitable options.

Allow for Mistakes and Set Backs

Creating beautiful bonsai requires skill, passion and most of all patience. It is impossible to transform a starter tree into a marvellous creation overnight. When training your bonsai it is important to understand mistakes will happen. It’s easy to throw in the towel after many failed attempts, but trial and error is key to developing your bonsai skills. Remember, bonsai training is not just about the result, it’s about taking pleasure in developing your skills.

Practice Patience

Patience is an imperative skill for bonsai trainers. The most beautiful bonsai trees can take decades to achieve their final design. Throughout many stages of a bonsai’s life, there is nothing the trainer can do to speed up its development. A tree will grow at its own pace and this means if you are training it to form a certain shape or design, a lot of waiting will be involved.

Attend a workshop

While books and videos are excellent ways of learning about bonsai training, workshops offer the chance to learn through practice. Look for bonsai workshops and classes in your area. Most classes will allow you to bring your own material to practice on.

Invest in a tool kit

As with any new hobby, new bonsai trainers will need to invest in materials and equipment in order to continue pursuing their hobby. Whilst bonsai tool kits are not cheap, a good quality bonsai tool kit should last a lifetime and contain everything you need to get started. Bonsai tools come in various materials, but if you want tools that will last, choose something in a stainless steel or carbon steel. As you experiment with more advanced bonsai techniques your tool collection will grow.

Make friends

The bonsai community are generally a friendly bunch, and getting involved with fellow bonsai growers is a great way swap and share tips with other beginners, and gain advice from seasoned growers. You can meet and communicate with other bonsai enthusiast through forums, blogs, workshops and even at your local bonsai centre or garden centre. By meeting others in the bonsai community, not only will you begin develop a further knowledge of bonsai, but you may end up making friends that last a lifetime.