Training a Bonsai, is what turns a tree into a Bonsai.
This is achieved by promoting flat surface root growth and manipulating the trunk and branches of the Bonsai. We highly recommend using a training pot for this which has good drainage and ample holes to insert your wiring through. If you wish to achieve a thicker trunk quickly, you may also want to consider plating your Bonsai tree in the ground for a season or two to speed up the process.
Once you are ready to start training your Bonsai, the first step is to remove it from it's potting and gently spread apart the roots, removing as much soil as you can with out disrupting the roots.
In our experience this is also a good time to look for what will be the front of the tree, which means the angle at which you will display your tree.
If you're undecided about the front of your tree yet, we recommend starting to prune away at the undesired growth. You will want to give your trunk some prominence, so pruning everything up to the first branch you want to keep is ideal.
To achieve a Bonsai look, no matter the design or material you're using it is best to try and expose the trunk as much as possible, as well as the branches that you are keeping. Remember, your Bonsai is a work in progress, so it's important to balance how you want it to look now, along with how you are training it to look in the future.
After the initial round of pruning has been achieved to a desired result, it is time to decide what will be the front of the tree. As the next stage will be potting your tree.
If you're desired outcome is for the tree to continue to grow vigorously in height, girth or both. A large pot is recommended. If you are happy with the general height and width of the branches and would like to display the Bonsai, it is time to choose a good pot. Bonsai pots are not only unique in their shape, but have a look inside you will find drainage holes as well as wire holes. Two must haves when planting a Bonsai. Once you have chosen the front of your tree and the pot you are going to use, it is important to place a mesh covering the drainage holes, as to not have spoil come out during watering. We would also recommend placing in the wires that will be used to secure the Bonsai to the pot at this time as well.
Depending on the Bonsai you are growing, soil mixtures will vary. But keep in mind that we want to achieve good drainage when it comes to the soil. We have soil mixes available for you to purchase here or a quick search on amazon will bring you to many more options as well.
Fill in the bottom of the pot with a layer of soil after the mesh and tie down wires have been inserted.
Place your bonsai in the pot and try and spread out the roots around it evenly. Utilizing the tie down wires pulled through the pot, secure the Bonsai into position as you desire it to be.
Fill in the pot with the remainder fo the soil until it is just under the lip of the pot.
Pack the soil in tightly, while simultaneously using a chopstick or any other blunt thin material to stir up the soil and get rid of air pockets. Following that by once again packing in the soil. The final step will be to water the soil heavily and let the water drain.
Wait at least a month before starting to fertilize your Bonsai. See our instructions on watering your bonsai.
If you are keeping your Bonsai outside during the spring/summer months, use a fine mister and spray your tree with either filtered or spring water. This will help the tree breathe better.