Bonsai curiosity

Bonsai curiosity

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Question: Bonsai curiosity

Hi, I'm trying to inform myself / equip myself to grow my first bonsai, so, looking around I have seen various types of bonsai but .... according to your experience is it possible (pass me the term) "bonsaiare" a palm tree?

I haven't seen this one yet, but I think a bonsai palm grove could be fantastic! Regards


Answer: Bonsai curiosity

Dear Nico,

the cultivation of bonsai involves a series of practices, to be implemented to ensure that your plant remains small in size, even with the passing of the years, in order to obtain a mature and well developed and formed plant, with the appearance of an ancient tree, even with the very small size of a bonsai. To do this, branches, leaves and roots are pruned, in order to contain the exuberance of each plant, even if it is large trees, such as oaks or sequoias.

The development of the palms is such that it is impossible to cultivate them as bonsai; in fact, if you topped a palm, the result would not be a rapid production of smaller leaves, but the deterioration of the plant, and sometimes even death.

In fact, the palms have a very particular development, very different from that of trees and shrubs that we commonly see in the woods: the palms develop enormous leaves, called fronds, whose "petioles" make up the stem of the plant, the trunk.

If we prune the apex of a frond, hoping to make it smaller, we will see that this frond will dry up, within a few weeks. The root system of the palms is very particular, in fact it generally has few large roots, and not a network of thin roots, supported by some larger roots, as occurs in a common tree; it is therefore very difficult to be able to prune the root system of a palm, without irreparably affecting its health.

Therefore, there are some palms grown as if they were bonsai on the market, these are palms of minute species, such as the chamaedorea, which are kept in bonsai pots; unfortunately, these “palm bonsai” are not real bonsai, and therefore the survival of these plants in small and shallow pots is short; generally a bonsai palm prepared in this way remains of the right size for a bonsai for a few years, five or ten, depending on the species; later it becomes excessively large, and can no longer be presented as a bonsai.

So in practice you will never have a palm bonsai, but only a palm that for a few years may look like a bonsai.

If you then consider that palms are already sacrificed enough when they are grown in an apartment, think about how complex it becomes to keep a palm in an apartment, with a tiny pot: in summer you will have to water it three times a day, and for the whole year you will have to maintain the high ambient humidity, or your palm will be subjected and defenseless to parasites of all kinds, first of all the cochineal.

Since you have no experience in bonsai, I recommend a simpler plant to grow, such as a ficus retusa if you want an indoor plant, or a box if you want an outdoor plant, or an olive tree, which in Italian nurseries. they are found with great ease; if you love challenges, start from a pre-bonsai, or get some seeds, it will certainly be a more interesting challenge than the bonsai palm.

Video: Indoor Bonsai All You Need To Know