DIY Bonsai: Juniper & Jade

The art of bonsai is a beautiful and unique way to showcase a special tree. You’ve probably seen many bonsai trees before, but did you know that any tree or woody plant can technically be bonsai-ed? Bonsai is the style of planting and maintaining, not the plant itself.

As defined by the Merriman-Webster dictionary: bonsai is:

a potted plant (as a tree) dwarfed (as by pruning)
and trained to an artistic shape; also :  the art of
growing such a plant

Our bonsai enthusiast Brandon wanted to showcase the bonsai style from a few different angles. First he used a young juniper, already topped to bonsai from a local tree nursery, to create a more traditional style.  He also picked a jade plant from our succulent selection right here at 3rd Day Nursery to craft a more unusual, whimsical looking bonsai.

DIY Bonsai: Juniper & Jade

You will need:
– a tree or other woody plant of your choice
– pot, potting soil, and rocks for drainage
– clippers, pliers, wire mesh, and copper wire
– accent pieces (moss, rocks, wood, etc)

Step 1: Choose your tree and your pot. Featured in this project is a jade plant from 3rd Day Nursery and a young juniper tree.

A selection of Jades at 3rd Day Nursery.

Step 2: Wash down the roots of your plant. Then trim the roots back so your plant will fit into the pot.

Roots washed and trimmed.

Step 3: Place wire mesh over the drainage holes in your pot and secure the mesh with copper wire. Then, thread a longer wire through each of your new wire loops. Add a layer of rocks to your pot for drainage.

Step 4: Place the plant in the desired position and secure it in place by twisting wire around the plant’s rootball. Finally, add your soil.

Step 5: Trim down your tree and begin training it to take the shape you wish. When your are happy with your tree, add your accent pieces. The purpose of bonsai is to mimic nature in miniature. Create a scene around your bonsai by adding natural features such as moss, pebbles, driftwood, etc.

Step 6: You’re done! Now maintain your bonsai with periodic trimming, training, or by simply enjoying it. Brandon likes to change the scenery and accent pieces around his bonsai periodically to add a fresh new look. However you do it, you’re doing it right if you do it with love!

Which style of bonsai do you like best? How would you build your bonsai? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out 3rd Day Nursery on facebook for more information about our succulents, including jades like the one featured in this DIY Bonsai project; and check out Bonsai Empire for more cool tips, tricks, and information on bonsai in general!

And as usual, remember:
Don’t Go Green; Go Variagated!

DIY Bonsai: Juniper and Jade
DIY Bonsai: Juniper and Jade

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