What is Bonsai?
Bonsai is an art form believed to pave a path toward spiritual enlightenment. The practice of bonsai is an artistic expression celebrating impermanence, the beauty of imperfection, and acceptance of growth, decay and death in nature.
Bonsai is the Japanese art of growing and training miniature trees in pots, developed from the traditional Chinese art form of penjing. Unlike penjing, which utilizes traditional techniques to produce entirely natural scenery in small pots that mimic the grandiose shapes of real life scenery, the Japanese bonsai only attempts to produce small trees that mimic the shape of real life trees.
Purposes of bonsai are primary contemplation for the viewer, and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity for the grower. Unlike other plant cultivation practices, bonsai is not intended for production of food or medicine. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container.
What is Cannabis Bonsai?
Cannabis bonsai trees initially gathered momentum as a method of producing clones while saving space. However, many growers found other advantages of this type of planting, increasing its popularity in the cannabis space.
Cannabis bonsai plants allow the cultivation of cannabis from virtually anywhere. Even an apartment dweller living in the most compact of studios in Toronto can nurture a miniature cannabis plant and reap the benefits of their mini harvest. However, enjoying the fruits of your labour doesn’t exactly align with the historic purposes of bonsai, therefore some could consider this not a true bonsai.
How to Grow Cannabis Bonsai
The first thing to know is that while growing your own cannabis bonsai is not difficult, it requires patience and dedication. You must fully dedicate yourself to the project to see any sort of results.
It is important to note, there is some debate as to whether cannabis constitutes a bonsai-suitable plant. Bonsai trees typically have woody, gnarled-looking trunks and take years to grow. In contrast, cannabis is quick-growing and has a more flexible stalk.
Now, let’s get into the steps.
Choose the plant
To grow a successful cannabis bonsai, a great tip to get started is collecting a quality cutting, paying extra attention to the quality of the genetics. You can opt for either sativa or indica, although indicas have a tendency to work better. We recommend using a small and compact plant such as Purple Punch or Blue Widow.
Select the pot
To start, you will need pots of 0.5 to 3 litres with holes for drainage. It is not recommended to start with seeds because the roots expand easily.
Choose the soil
You can use any soil used for outdoor cultivation but in general, humus or bat guano is recommended.
Plant the clipping
Proceed to plant the selected cutting. Remember that it must be healthy, or you must stake it using a wooden stick. This will allow you to train the main stem, be careful not to damage the roots with the stake, preferably insert them simultaneously.
With a string, tie the cutting to the wooden stick. This string will allow you to guide the stem where you want it to go. You must straighten the branches and the stem, doing so by tying strings or threads and applying tension in the desired direction.
You will need to place low-power lighting, around 125 to 250 watts, and avoid direct light in order to slow down its growth a little.
To maintain your bonsai, you must prune it constantly and watch that it is not twisting too much.
How long does it last?
Cannabis bonsai can last for many years if taken care of and maintained properly. Happy growing!