Ever imagined what it would be like to pluck a mango or a guava without having to climb a tree? Or that it may be possible to grow a fruit-bearing mango tree right on your table! According to Bonsai, all fruit-bearing trees, or any other tree for that matter, need not be tall.
Bonsai is the Japanese term for ‘tree in a tray.’ Though the art originated in China and reached Japan later on, not many people are aware that Bonsai plants cannot be grown as indoor plants in the Indian temperature.
Considering their popularity, there are many people who sell Bonsai plants branding them as indoor plants. However, experts caution people against this and say that the Bonsai plant will wilt at room temperature in a few days. “In the Indian temperatures the Bonsai plants are best grown outdoors in full sunlight. Any Bonsai tree, either a fruit-bearing one or flowering one, needs proper sunlight to grow,” said, Sumitra Golecha, secretary, Friends of Bonsai Society.
Sunita Singh, an ardent Bonsai lover who has six varieties of Bonsai in her garden, observed, “Many people are not aware about the dos and don’ts of Bonsai plants. They are different and require more care when compared to regular plants. It’s not true that Bonsai can be grown indoors; they should be outdoors in all seasons for effective growth. You can keep them indoors sometimes but not for more than a day or two. Here too they should receive enough sunlight and water. But in the long term Bonsai trees should be outside,” said.
“It takes nearly 10 years or more to give shape to any Bonsai plant. They need to be cared for just like children. Given the kind of weather in Hyderabad, it is best to plant Bonsai trees after Sankranti or in the month of February,” she adds.
Since Bonsai is all about shape, anybody with knowledge of gardening can grow a Bonsai plant. The main criterion for Bonsai is the shaping. So it is all about giving your creativity a free run when designing a Bonsai. Selecting a perfect pot is very important as the plant requires lot of care. Bonsai can be created from perennial woody-stemmed tree or shrub species too.
Tips for beginners
- Anyone who has some knowledge about gardening can plant Bonsai trees.
- Choose plants according to the climatic conditions of your area.
- For beginners and as per Hyderabad’s temperature the best plants are Spicus, Jade and Brogun villa as they don’t require much care.
- All containers or pots must have one or more drain holes otherwise the trees will not be healthy; they will soon look sickly and finally die.
- A basic course for Bonsai is required to learn the art of shaping a Bonsai plant.
Friends of Bonsai Society
The Friends Bonsai Society (FBS) was started in Hyderabad in 1983 by Pushpa Jayant, a Bonsai enthusiast. The group now has more than 100 members who meet once a month at Zoroastrian Club. The group is into teaching Bonsai to beginners and intermediate artistes for years and many of the students have carved a name for themselves in the world of Bonsai.