The blog’s top ten most popular posts June 2013.

1.- Ficus Bonsai Care.

If you have decided to try your hand at growing a bonsai tree, you are in for a real treat. While it takes a little time and patience to learn how to grow bonsai, the results are truly incredible. As you begin your search for the perfect tree, you will be faced with all types of options. For example, bamboo is a nice bonsai option that is reminiscence of true Japanese gardens. Then, you have the Braided Monkey Tree that is referred to in many Asian cultures as the “Bringer of Good Fortune”. When it comes to bonsai, this makes an excellent choice that is easy to care for and tolerant. Another option for bonsai is Jade tree, which makes an exceptional bonsai. Coming from South Africa, this plant is hearty and boasts succulent, green elliptic leaves and a thick trunk.
2.- Thread Grafting Bonsai.

'Free' grafting, where the new branch or shoot is made using a scion completely removed from the donor plant prior to grafting, is a difficult technique to master. Free grafts have a failure rate, even when carried out by experienced nurserymen; for the amateur, the failure rate can be high. Alternatively, approach and thread grafting techniques utilise a scion to make a new branch or shoot that is still attached to the donor plant (very often the same plant that also receives the graft) and the scion is not separated from its donor until it is has successfully grafted in its new position.
The fact that the scion is supported by its donor until the graft has taken makes approach and threadgrafting much safer, even for the beginner.
3.- Thread Grafting New Roots onto Bonsai.

Threadgrafts are by far the easiest and most reliable grafts available to the bonsai enthusiast. Normally used to create new branches on a bonsai, a young, pliable shoot is threaded through the trunk of the tree.As the shoot grows and fattens, the cambium layers of the shoot and the trunk are forced together and a join or graft is made.Threadgrafts can also be used to attach new roots to a bonsai. With the English Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) below, a new root is required to improve the nebari (rootspread) of the tree and this is provided by thread grafting a young Hawthorn seedling.
4.- Success With Indoor Bonsai.

Growing bonsai indoors is one of the passions that has kept me enthralled with bonsai for nearly 30 years. During that time I have grown bonsai on windowsills and indoors under various types of artificial light. Over the years I have learned some crucial concepts about growing trees indoors. This article will present some of these ideas that may help you save time, effort and avoid killing trees in your indoor growing efforts.
5.- Refining a deadwood feature on a podocarpus.


6.- The blog’s top ten most popular posts May 2013.
The Orange Jessamine is a material that is widely used for bonsai in the warmer areas of Southeast Asia.

Murraya_paniculata2The Orange Jessamine is a material that is widely used for bonsai in the warmer areas of Southeast Asia.The plant is in the citrus family and it naturally gows as a very small tree or large shrub.Even in the ground it grows quite slowly, so large bonsai are hard to find and can be quite valuable.The picture shows one tree grown in the ground in Taiwan and documented to be 100 years old.
A Murraya said to be 100 years old.The Murraya has a three to four inch long compound leaf but the leaves are often cut back to only one pair of leaflets for bonsai display.The natural growth of the tree in the ground is generally straight but the surface rootage is nearly always quite good. The bark is a dark grey that can be washed to reveal the sub-bark which is a creamish color. The trunk often has elegant fluting or muscling. Flowers are small and white and are followed by a small "orange" fruit.
7.- The Bald Cypress, despite it's very slow growth, is a very popular bonsai tree.

The Bald Cypress, despite it's very slow growth, is a very popular bonsai tree, grown for its light, feathery foliage and orange-brown fall color. It can be cultivated in a wide range of soils including well-drained sites where it would not grow naturally due to the inability of the young seedlings to compete with other vegetation.
Cultivation is successful in both northern and continental climates. It is also commonly planted in Europe, Asia and elsewhere with temperate to subtropical climates.
It does require continental climates with hot summers for good growth; when planted in areas with cooler summers, growth is healthy but much slower.

8.- Bonsai and Lime Sulphur.

pine_jpgOver the years I have seen, heard and read so many myths about Lime Sulphur (sometimes spelt as Lime Sulfur). Why there is so much invention, misinformation and almost mystique surrounding this chemical I am not sure, but it seems to stem from less-informed bonsai literature of yesteryear.
What is Lime Sulphur?
   Lime Sulphur is a foul-smelling liquid that bonsai enthusiasts brush onto deadwood in order to produce a distinctive white colour. It does not paint a coat of colour onto the wood, but rather as the lime sulphur dries, it 'bleaches' or 'stains' the wood with a white, chalky colour.
9.- Plants for Bonsai.
10.- Display of a azalea native to the Lago Maggiore (Italy).

azalea japonicaShrub of eastern origin, which has adapted to our climate since the nineteenth century, has today offer a wide variety, composed of different species, from old cultivars of the lake and by recent hybrid Belgians and Americans. It 'a rustic plant, long-lived, and its root system is reduced ideal for growing in pots, but because of the splendid polychrome staining in parks and gardens. The production includes shrubs accestiti, compact and very floriferous, with a very wide color gamut and a myriad of variations in between, also composed by marginature and variegated petals.
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