Author Topic: New to bonsai and I have a few questions I need clarified  (Read 3995 times)


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New to bonsai and I have a few questions I need clarified
« on: November 15, 2017, 12:05 PM »
So guy's I am new, new like I am going to buy supplies tonight new :D lol. So this is something I have interested in for a long time, I am finally just going to pull the trigger on it. I have done quite a bit of reading but as well all know reading doesn't always mean you will be good at the application. So I have a few questions I hope some more experienced people will help answer them.

So my first question is I want to take some cuttings from my evergreen holly bush and attempt to bonsai them. So my question is I have seen people state to use a soilless growing medium for cuttings, so how do they get nutrients?

Should I really use a soilless medium with Bonsai in general?

Do I start a bonsai in a larger pot and gradually move it down to more of a tray type pot?

Do I need to put a bag over cuttings?

If I use soilless growing medium how often do they need fertilizer?

I am been watching Nigel Saunders on youtube he really seems to know his stuff, but sometimes I see him trim a root ball to almost nothing is that ok? Everything I read has stated to cut no more than 1/3 off at a time.

Sorry for all the questions at once I just really want to start off right.

Thank you for your time and answers I really do appreciate it.

Oh also I really wanted to try my hand at bonsai with an Easter White Pine, we have them EVERY where in Georgia I probably have 10-15 in my backyard ranging from 1 year- to 30+ years old. Can I just transplant a 2-3 year old specimen and start to train it?
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 12:07 PM by Jclarke »


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Re: New to bonsai and I have a few questions I need clarified
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2017, 05:57 AM »
Hi and welcome. Yes, there is a lot to learn with Bonsai. It is really two things in one. The one you see is the Artistic part. I have been 'doing' Bonsai for over 20 years and I'm still improving on this aspect.
The other is Horticultural. If you can't keep your Bonsai alive and healthy, growing well... You never can do the Artistry. By placing a plant in a pot you are obviously changing its growing ability. A Holly or an Eastern White Pine, in a pot are far from the same tree in the ground. Additionally where the trees lives is important. You are in Georgia... I am in Northern Vermont, we can grow different trees and we will do things differently to them.
I VERY STRONGLY, suggest that you do a little research and find a Bonsai Club near you or at least close enough that you can go from time to time. The members will be extremely happy to help you. They will probably be able to get you started with a few trees and most clubs have beginners workshops. If you are really going to make a go of it, this is the way to go.....
As for taking cuttings.....they will help you and tell you if the Holly is a good candidate. It will take a few YEARS to get a cutting going. And although you can try Bonsai with any plant that will have a wooded stem, some are better than others. Pinus Strobus, Eastern White Pine, do not get a nice bark and are not usually used for Bonsai.
That's my two cents


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Re: New to bonsai and I have a few questions I need clarified
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 06:57 AM »
Welcome. I do not use any soil in my  mixes at all, however, if I want cuttings then I will use a peat based soil. Once rooted then they can be transferred into a non soil mix. Nutrients are not needed by cuttings until rooted, then they will be potted up separately and treated as a normal plant. I agree with Jay, find a club. I have no idea where you are, so can't suggest any.
If you are in USA then have a look at the American Bonsai Society web site. They list the clubs in USA. Elsewhere look at the national organisations' web sites.