What is Bonsai?
Bonsai (盆栽, “plant tray”) is a Japanese art form using trees grown in containers. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penzai or penjing from which the art originated, and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese hòn non bộ. The Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years.
All sorts of trees and shrubs are used as bonsai. In essence, any plant that can be grown in a small container can be cultivated as a bonsai. The most popular varieties are pines; maples, whose leaves change their color in autumn; flowering trees, like the cherry and plum; and fruit-bearing trees, like the quince and persimmon. Few of the traditional bonsai species can survive inside a typical house, due to the usually dry indoor climate. In countries other than Japan, varieties that are best suited to the local climate are used. The trees can grow as tall as a meter (three feet), or be small enough to be fit in one’s palm. Read More >>