You can't miss a bonsai when you see one. The main difference is that they are able to be grown in a container and are a lovely plant to decorate your home with and a meditative, relaxing and therapeutic plant for whoever cares for them.
Once your bonsai begins to grow, you can shape and style it any way you choose. Traditionally, many bonsai caregivers follow a Zen Buddhism concept called wabi-sabi for their design. This concept stresses the importance of imperfection and impermanence. Your bonsai can reflect this concept through an asymmetric and minimalist design. This means you don't have to be a landscaper to make it look good.
Styling your bonsai tree will not be a walk in the park. Bonsai trees are notoriously known to be challenging plants to care for. The care of a bonsai requires practices of leaf trimming, root reduction, pruning, grafting and more.
When you wire to shape and create the desired Bonsai look, you may go traditional styles such as the broom style (Hokidachi), formal upright style (Chokkan), cascade bonsai style (Kengai), and windswept bonsai style (Fukinagashi), among other.
You may also choose to go “freestyle” and shape it as you go along, but you should plan ahead as there are various techniques to follow in order to achieve the desired look.
Check out the Bonsai Shape Map below to choose the shape of the Bonsai that feels right for you!
Check out our blog for best practices, techniques and tools to use to reach the desired Bonsai shape and for cool tips on gardening and Bonsai growing.