It has been thousands of years since the Chinese introduced the art of bonsai to the world. Since then, many species have been adapted to bonsai. Bonsais are classified according to their size. Those that can grow up to 5 feet high are called imperial bonsai while their miniature counterparts that only grow up to 15 cm are classified as Mame Bonsai.
How can a Bonsai be considered Mame Bonsai?
In order for a bonsai tree to be considered as a Mame bonsai, it needs to be grown between 3 to 5 years. It is during these years when these miniature plants develop their shapes. It is also important that the growth of these plants will be limited to a maximum of 6 inches only. In order to achieve this, extreme care and cultivation techniques must be applied. These tips will be further discussed in the later part of this article.
Their growth could have been suppressed but Mini bonsai still retains the characteristics of the species where they originated. Thus, all distinct characteristics form the parent tree will also be evident on the Mame bonsai. It is interesting to note that bonsai of this style also have the capability to bear flowers and fruits just like the source tree.
How to make Mame Bonsai
Growing bonsai is very appealing, interesting and, to some extent, therapeutic to bonsai growers. Due to its size, growing a mini bonsai may not be easy compared to larger types. For beginners, here is a simple guide to follow in achieving this bonsai style.
- Determine the specie of the plant that you want to grow. Look for species that thrive well on your location and with caring requirements that you can easily meet. Remember, they are delicate types of bonsai. Thus, you should commit yourself in providing the care that they need.
- Look for a source of the plant that you have decided to grow. It is best to do this during spring which is the best the time to start growing mini bonsai. For higher growing success rates, make sure that you follow the propagation methods on your specified specie.
- In planting mini bonsai from a grown plant, carefully excavate the plant without causing damage to its complicated roots. Transfer the plant to your pot with some of the original soil that will cover the roots. Putting some damp moss on top of the soil will ensure that it is moist enough for the new plant. You can select pots based on your preference. However, make sure that it has large drainage holes to prevent the soil from being soaked with water.
- Pruning is the most crucial step in growing a Mame bonsai as it determines whether or not you have done the right thing. This process also molds the plant to your desired shape. When new buds show up, try to reduce it back into two buds only until the plant achieves a desirable look. You may then allow branches to grow and pinch those that are more dominant than the rest. If you want to style your bonsai down, you may use simple guy wires depending on the specie that you are growing.
- Once you have achieved the desired shape and style of your bonsai tree, you may now follow caring routines that are specific to your chosen specie. In order to promote optimal growth, it is important that you follow religiously watering, fertilizing and repotting techniques.
Best Species for Mame Bonsai
There are a lot of species that you can choose from if you want to grow a Mame bonsai. It is important that you are familiar with the species in order to provide the care that they require. Below are just some of the most popular and suitable species and why are they perfect for mini bonsai growing.
- Premna microphylla – its green foliage displays an alluring beauty when reduced to up to 2 cm only
- Cryptomeria japonica – this specie produces an stunning upright pyramid silhouette when grown properly into a mini bonsai
- Tamarix juniperina – the needle like leaves of this plant are simply an eye candy when grown perfectly
Other species perfect for mame are those that are deciduous and evergreen.
Special Consideration in Growing Mame Bonsai
Due to their minimal size, extra care and attention must be given to mini bonsai in order to make sure that they grow optimally. Below are some general considerations in growing your mini bonsai:
- Fertilization – it is important to note that these types of bonsai do not require the same amount of fertilizers as regular bonsai. It is recommended to inject a little amount of fertilizers in the drainage holes on the base of the pots.
- Repotting – Repotting must be done more often to mini compared to regular bonsai. In doing so, you need to prune the roots by a third of its original length. Large leaves species must be trimmed to 50% of its leaves to avoid over growing.