TOPIC: How to water a vertically standing bonsai?

How to water a vertically standing bonsai? 1 year 9 months ago #27259

Hello,

Very new to bonsais. One of my first efforts is the following "El Molle" tree, standing on a painted stone. Pretty, and I would like to keep it this way, but difficult to water. What I have been doing so far is to spray it with water several times a day, since I cannot pour water over it, the soil will flow downwards. It still does little by little, and I may have to carefully place some more soil once every month or so. I have maintained it for about a week this way, and it has worked well so far. Photo attached.

My first question, is there any advice or technique to handle such cases?

I keep this bonsai outdoors, but protected. I cannot leave it unprotected because rain would cause the soil to flow downwards and it would be ruined. I had to travel for 3 days and I left it indoors because, knowing that it would remain without water for 3 days, I though not exposing to strong sun is better - that would make it even drier. When I returned, the leaves were still green but weakened, pointing downwards, luck of water I guess - photo attached.

My second question, is there anything I can do to help it recover?

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  • krystal
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How to water a vertically standing bonsai? 1 year 9 months ago #27261

Sorry, that's not a bonsai. Also, that's what you're doing with the soil is not a bonsai technique, so I can't help you.
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How to water a vertically standing bonsai? 1 year 9 months ago #27272

Ok.

While I'm doing my homework (a few books on the reading and need to wait for a few years of experience), could you help me understand why you would not classify this as a bonsai? In all that I have read so far, I haven't seen a concise definition (which is difficult, I understand) that would prevent this from being called a bonsai. This is pretty much an experiment, but assuming that within time it will successfully grow into a full-grown tree that will stay within around 20cm of height, no matter that it's on a stone instead of a pot, and no matter how I cover the roots with soil, why would this not be a bonsai?

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How to water a vertically standing bonsai? 1 year 9 months ago #27274

krystal wrote: I haven't seen a concise definition


Bonsai is an artform, creating miniaturized versions of mature trees, planted in a shallow tray.

within time it will successfully grow into a full-grown tree that will stay within around 20cm of height


If you grow it like this, it will never grow into a full grown tree.

no matter that it's on a stone instead of a pot, and no matter how I cover the roots with soil


Actually that does matter.

why would this not be a bonsai?


It's a sapling, without any bonsai training, that doesn't look like a tree at all, that isn't art, and that isn't in a shallow tray.

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How to water a vertically standing bonsai? 1 year 9 months ago #27294

Ok, thank you for the explanation.

Basically, if I understand you, the main objection is that it is not a bonsai yet, and you have doubts it will become one because you believe it will not grow like that. Like a painting is not a painting until it's finished. Possibly, but personally I wouldn't shoot something down before it gets started. Maybe I didn't make it clear, but I have this for less than two weeks, it is from seed, and I haven't worked much on it yet. So of course it is not a tree yet, of course it does not have training yet, and of course it is not art yet. I am trying to make a bonsai with it though.

I'll call it a bonsai-in-the-making if that sounds better.

Whether it will actually grow, you could be right and I don't have the experience to foresee how it will go, but I've seen more weird set ups being successful. I'm hopeful that I will find or develop a technique to grow it.

I find the rest of the arguments rather questionable.

that isn't art


This goes back to that it's not developed and trained yet, so let's wait a bit before shooting it down. Even if you would define art as adhering to the classic styles (which is a rather narrow perspective), you still have to wait a bit there and see where it actually goes.

that isn't in a shallow tray

I'm not following this one. Why is this not a shallow tray? Because it's a stone or because it's almost flat? With such strict definitions all the below are not bonsais ,some of them featured as exceptional in this very website. And in many cases there is even complete absence of a tray, or complete absence of soil as well, but still celebrated as bonsai art.

www.bonsaiempire.com/inspiration/top-10/crazy-bonsai - #2, #4, #7, #9
www.bonsaiempire.com/blog/bag-end
www.bonsaiempire.com/blog/miniature-landscaping
www.bonsaiempire.com/blog/aqua-bonsai
www.bonsaioutlet.com/juniper-rock-pot-outdoor/
images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71IBhKEk1aL.jpg

Unless you are some sort of "bonsai purist" that you reject all but the original forms. But then, I'm sure the original creators of bonsais would reject most efforts, on the basis that you didn't pick up the plant in the mountain by yourself, and it is stripped off its spiritual context - from what I read.
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How to water a vertically standing bonsai? 1 year 9 months ago #27295

krystal wrote: personally I wouldn't shoot something down before it gets started


It hasn't started. It's not a bonsai. I am not shooting down anything.

Unless you are some sort of "bonsai purist" that you reject all but the original forms.


I love modern developments in bonsai and I do like experiments with bonsai. This, however, is not a bonsai.
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How to water a vertically standing bonsai? 1 year 9 months ago #27297

Ok dude. I'll post a picture when I finish it. And if you don't like it, I'll call a neo-bonsai or something.

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How to water a vertically standing bonsai? 1 year 9 months ago #27298

krystal wrote: Ok dude. I'll post a picture when I finish it. And if you don't like it, I'll call a neo-bonsai or something.


Sure. However, if you want to grow this into a bonsai, start using bonsai training techniques. It will not develop into a bonsai this way (assuming it survives).
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How to water a vertically standing bonsai? 1 year 9 months ago #27299

Why i it so hard to accept this is just a seedling, and has nothing to do with bonsai at this point in time?
Maybe in 10 year syou have something that resembles a more mature tree and you can train it towards being a bonsai. But it just is not a bonsai. :huh:
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How to water a vertically standing bonsai? 1 year 9 months ago #27302

Why i it so hard to accept this is just a seedling, and has nothing to do with bonsai at this point in time?
Maybe in 10 year syou have something that resembles a more mature tree and you can train it towards being a bonsai. But it just is not a bonsai.


I don't know, it may be just a misunderstanding in the terminology that you guys use. I made it clear that I am just starting with bonsais and I haven't been part of any communities yet.

I used to be a musician. Even from the very beginning me (and my teachers) would say "piece of music/art" even though it was apparently at the very beginning, or even not good at all since I was a beginner. The same with painting. You'd say "this painting" while you're making it, not "this piece of paper that will become a painting when I finish it".

No problem with accepting that this is not a bonsai yet, I think I made it clear in my last post? Ok, I'll hang around a bit more and I'll learn your terminology. Next time I'll say "I have a seeding".

The rest about "that isn't a shallow tray" argument, I would genuinely like to know why this is not a shallow tray while those examples are.

I'm sorry for the confusion and I hope this clarifies it.

Cheers
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