Bonsai tree: Laying An Old Misconception To Rest

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bonsai tree: Laying An Old Misconception To Rest


Flowering cherry (Prunus apetala) by Kyuzo Murata. From his book Four Seasons of Bonsai (sadly, long out of print).

“in Japan, flowering bonsai, need to be displayed with only few flowers. It is considered bad taste to present a bonsai in full flowering.” (from a comment on facebook).

There are a host of misconceptions about bonsai. They often arise when we think there are fixed rules (there aren’t any in bonsai, except maybe in judged contests, and these are often fluid). There are however, plenty of useful guidelines.

One guideline that can be helpful, is to pinch off some flowers. Sometimes too many flowers can be distracting, even tacky (at least in the eyes of some). Another reason for pinching off some flowers is to protect the health of the tree. It takes a lot of energy to produce flowers and too many can weaken a tree (especially if it’s health is already compromised, which is sometimes the case with bonsai). However, sometimes growers choose to leave an abundance of flowers on a tree; often with excellent results.


Satsuki azalea (var Monochidori) by Taiyu Ezaka.

Source: Bonsai Bark


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