Bonsai are one of the most unique plants that exist. They represent oriental exoticism and give the room where they are placed a special elegance and distinction. Today, they have become the maximum expression of floral art.
Caring for bonsai is an age-old art and its origin dates back to ancient China, where these miniature trees were cult objects for Taoist monks. The tree represents the bridge that connects heaven and earth, the link between the human and the divine. From this ancient philosophy this type of floral art was born, which consists of having miniature plants and trees, which represent nature on a small scale.
A bonsai is not a “dwarf” plant; these proportions are maintained thanks to continuous care and attention. We are talking about a tree with smaller dimensions, which needs periodic pruning of its roots, trunk and leaves, together with other techniques, like pinching or trimming shoots to maintain its small size.
In this post from Verdissimo, we want to talk about some curious facts about bonsais, including: their meaning, how they’re maintained, the relationship between bonsais and decoration, tools you need to care for them, etc. Don’t miss out!
The meaning of bonsai
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The word bonsai means “tree in a flowerpot”. As we mentioned in the introduction of this article, contrary to what it may seem, it is not a genetically tiny tree but its small size is achieved thanks to a patient job of pruning and constant attention.
This bi-millenary technique comes from China. The Taoist monks considered bonsai to be a symbol of eternity, a kind of bridge between the divine and the human. For centuries, only the upper classes could have them. It was considered a task for nobles and the rich due to its delicacy and the meticulous work and patience that its care requires. This is why they were considered cult objects.
Having a bonsai in your home is like having a piece of nature. The bonsai represents the perfect balance between nature and landscape, a very common characteristic in Asian culture. If you look at their gardens, floral compositionsand floral art arrangements, the order of the plants and flowers create harmony. Nothing is left to chance so that the combination of elements transmits a sensation of peace and serenity that encourages meditation.
Contemplating this nature in miniature is something magical and special and it concentrates all the opposing forces of yin and yang.
This is why having a bonsai in your home is not only a pleasure for the eyes. They also symbolise virtues like independence, greatness of spirit, health, longevity, dignity and wisdom, which is why it is the perfect gift to wish someone a prosperous and long life, happiness and long-lasting friendships.
12 things you didn’t know about bonsai
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Today from Verdissimo, we are going to tell you some of the most amazing facts and mysteries about these marvellous miniature creations.
- In China and Japan there are bonsai that are more than 1000 years old.
- They are considered real relics of floral and plant art from the past, and they can reach prices over $400,000.
- The first mention of bonsai dates back to the third century BC, in China.
- Creating a bonsai is a masterpiece that, unlike other artistic forms, evolves and changes every day.
- Bonsai is a tree and, therefore, an outdoor plant that needs water and sunlight to survive.
- They need to be watered daily, over the whole area of the container, including the leaves and trunk.
- In Japan, until a few years ago, for a family to be considered of “noble descent” they should have at least one bonsai that is over 300 years old.
- For a bonsai to be considered “perfect”, it should have a kind of similarity in its original state in form, size and appearance.
- Cultivating bonsai in ancient times was reserved for the upper classes as it represented qualities such as refinement, greatness of spirit and nobleness.
- Some of the most beautiful species, especially conifers and deciduous trees, develop better in cold climates.
- Bonsais are the only trees that aren’t planted to enjoy their fruit, to use their wood or to repopulate forests. Their function has become exclusively as a powerfully beautiful and relaxing decorative element.
- In the past, it was believed that by growing a bonsai, you were capable of attaining immortality.
Know other curious facts about bonsais? Tell us in the comments below!
Maintenance and care of bonsai
The maintenance and care of bonsai requires patience and dedication, and even more so if we want to cultivate them inside. In this section, we’ll talk about the basic needs of these small trees:
- The place has to have direct sunlight and should also have good air circulation.
- The soil should be constantly wet, over the whole area of the container. The trunk and the leaves should also be wet. The container should allow adequate water drainage.
- Every now and then you should trim the cuttings to give the desired shape.
- Approximately every 3 years, the soil must be changed.
- You have to monitor constantly to combat the appearance of insects or illnesses.
- Use wires to direct the shape you want to give the trunk. The wires should remain in place for a few months until the tree reaches the desired form and position.
Tools for caring for bonsai
Due to its small size, to care for a bonsai you must have specific tools:
- Slim pinching scissors: Used to prune small branches and to pinch young branches.
- Large pruning scissors: Used to cut branches that are thick and wide.
- Concave pruners: Used to cut branches and remove growths from the trunk.
- Concave cutters or spherical pruners: Used to avoid the sudden closure of “cuts”.
With the help of these tools, you can model real natural works of art and enjoy your miniature trees.
Although tiny bonsai are truly beautiful to see, not everyone can dedicate the time needed for the attention they require. The meticulous maintenance work, pruning, watering and fertilizing, requires serious personal dedication. Also, you have to constantly monitor the light and temperature of their surrounding environment. Don’t forget that they are trees and, as such, they are meant for outside, which is why maintaining them in good condition in indoor spaces is something that isn’t always possible.
For all those people who love looking at bonsai but who don’t have the time or the suitable conditions for their care, Verdissimo offers their preserved bonsai. Identical in appearance to the live versions, these preserved plants conserve their features and fresh appearance and are incredibly natural for a long time. Also, they offer the advantage of not needing regular and continuous care. This means that you also won’t need special tools or products, which without doubt, saves money.
Bonsai trees and interior decor
Bonsai trees are intimately connected to the concept of interior décor.
Bonsai are trees created by the art of ingenuity, pruning, and a lot of care, which are practices introduced by the Zen style of décor.
Zen style is a type of décor that’s similar to oriental décor. However, this style is much more plain and simple and always seeks a balance between all of its components, giving the space a masculine touch.
This type of décor is inspired by the teachings of Buddha, Hinduism, and some of the most spiritual traditions of all time.
Recently it has become easy to create spaces inspired by Zen traditions thanks to natural materials such as bonsai, wood, and many others.
Preserved Bonsai Procumbens
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Bonsai Procumbens it’s one of the most beautiful, unique trees in existence. In addition, it’s a product that serves as a perfect decorative, relaxing element when placed in interior spaces, whether at home or at the office.
It’s suitable for all kinds of rooms, including kitchens, bathrooms, entryways, living rooms, dining rooms, etc.
At Verissimo we have a wide variety of bonsai that last a long time thanks to the stabilizzation process we undergo at Verdissimo. Some of the most sought-after are the Tenuifolium and Tamaracifolia bonsai.
In our catalogue you will find an incredible variety of preserved flowers and plants and a great team of advisors for your interior decoration.
Verdissimo: Discover the beauty of preserved flowers!