Best Bonsai Starter Kit: What is it?
The Best Bonsai Starter Kit (BBSTK) is a collection of items designed to provide the beginner with everything they need to start growing their own trees from seedlings to mature specimens. These kits are available at many garden centers and nurseries, and online through websites such as Amazon or Ebay. They come in a variety of sizes and prices, but all offer the same basic set of items.
The BBSTK consists of:
A small container with holes drilled into its bottom for drainage; A small pot with holes drilled into its bottom for drainage; Two plastic pots with holes drilled into them to hold soil and water; Four “budding” sticks, each one measuring 1/2″ diameter and 3/4″ long; One small plant stand made out of wood, painted black and covered with a cloth to protect it from the sun’s rays; A book containing instructions on how to grow your own plants.
The purpose of these supplies is twofold: To give beginners everything they need to get started, and to make it easier for experienced growers who want to share their knowledge with newbies.
The packaging is usually geared toward children with illustrations of animal-themed items. The pots, for example, come in the shape of different animals.
BBSTKs are made in a wide range of sizes. The smallest kits contain enough materials to grow one tree, while the largest can hold dozens of different types of plants. However, regardless of the size, all BBSTKs contain the same core components described above.
What is it used for?
Bonsai, which means “Potted Plant” in Japanese, is the art of growing trees in special containers. Typically, this consists of planting a small tree in a pot and then training and pruning it to create the illusion of age and maturity. By doing so, a complete cycle can be created using little more than a few branches and a little patience.
Traditionally, Bonsai trees were grown in small pots and displayed in houses and castles as a sign of status. These days, however, the practice is carried out as a hobby by enthusiasts around the world.
A wide range of species can be used for Bonsai, including common species of trees such as pines, maples, elms, and oaks. Fruit trees, such as apples and cherries, are also popular. Some people even use vegetables, such as carrots or radishes for Bonsai.
A Bonsai is more than a plant, however. Its container is just as important as the tree itself. These pots are often very beautiful, with different regions and periods having their own distinctive styles.
As such, they can be quite expensive to buy, often running to hundreds of dollars.
While growing a Bonsai from a seedling does not require a BBSTK, there are certain advantages to buying one. Typically priced under $50, a basic pack has everything needed to get started except for the plant itself, which can then be purchased separately.
To use a kit, one simply needs to follow the instructions included in the accompanying book. These are written and illustrated to ensure that anyone, regardless of their experience, can make a beautiful Bonsai.
In addition, there are clubs and websites around the world dedicated to Bonsai where enthusiasts meet to trade tips and tricks. Some of these groups have been known to give away live seeds and seedlings for free. With some patience and a little luck, it is possible to get everything needed to grow a beautiful tree without spending a single cent.
What are the ingredients?
The BBSTK that you bought contains everything you need to grow your own tree, with the exception of water and a pot. While the kit comes with its own special soil, any type will do. A good drainage layer should be at the bottom of the pot, such as gravel, small stones, or broken terra cotta. On top of this goes the soil. It is best to stick with soil designed for plants as it will contain the right nutrients, but any good garden soil will do. After the soil comes a thick root layer. This should be made up of small stones, pebbles, or crushed terra cotta to ensure good drainage.
Finally, the tree itself can be planted. It is best to stick with small species of trees that will not grow too large, such as bonsai roses and elms. These trees can then be trained and pruned to create a bonsai.
Once everything is in the pot, it should be watered well. The soil should remain damp always but not soaked. Most books and websites about this art suggest leaving the tree in a sunny window for the first year to help it grow.
Fertilizer can also be used, but only very little as too much will damage the tree.
What are its effects?
While many claim that Bonsai trees are good for cleaning the air in a room, this is a misconception. While they do clean the air to some degree, most other types of plants do this just as well or better while being much cheaper.
That being said, Bonsai trees are very pretty and can improve the aesthetics of any home or office. They are also relatively easy to care for and fun to grow.
Where can it be acquired?
Bonsai seeds and seedlings can be found at most garden centers or home improvement stores during the spring and summer. They can also be ordered online year round. Bonsai trees that are already mature can be found at specialty gardening centers and nurseries.
How much does it cost?
A basic Bonsai tree of your own can be acquired for less than $10, while a mature tree can cost up to $200, depending on its type and size.
What is the legal status?
Bonsai trees are not specifically mentioned in any law that we are aware of. Growing a Bonsai tree is no different than growing any other plant. The only potential issue would be if one used illegal substances to keep the tree small, but as said before, there are many legal ways of doing this.
Overall the Bonsai tree is a beautiful addition to any home or office. They also make a great gift, and are easy to obtain and grow.
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His Lordship Martin aus Brandenburg by H Wang, K Wu, Y Liu, Y Wu, X Wang – Scientific reports, 2015 – nature.com
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