There are hundreds of species of conifers, belonging to various families, and thousands of varieties have been derived from them over the years. Many species are very vigorous, and it is very difficult to contain the exuberance to produce a bonsai.
Beginners who want to try their hand with a bonsai conifer often choose the new garden varieties, those which, even if planted in the ground, would not give rise to a tall tree, but to a small, slow-growing shrub; in this way the bonsai obtained, however, tends to be minute and small, even if the treatments are not exactly perfect. Even in supermarkets it is now possible to find very small conifers, of varieties that at most grow up to 70-80 cm, which act as a good exercise for those who later want to try their hand at conifers with the most common development. Many novice bonsai enthusiasts soon arrive at a conifer, partly because the pruning techniques are particular, and can only be learned by cultivating a conifer; partly because they are rustic plants, which also bear some slight neglect; but also because generally conifers are not very expensive plants, and sometimes it is possible to buy a plant from which to obtain a pre-bonsai without investing significant amounts, thus avoiding despair in case of failure. Pines, firs, larches and yews are certainly conifers suitable for expert bonsai enthusiasts, as care must be taken to keep the crown compact, the short branches and the minute leaves.The most popular species, also typical in the homeland of bonsai, is the pinus pentaphylla, a majestic tree, which gives rise to resistant and long-lived bonsai. Most of the pine species are used to create bonsai, as well as varieties of fir and larch; among the other conifers much loved as bonsai we certainly include badgers, and then junipers, tsugas and cypresses of all kinds, with the most varied colors of foliage, from gray-blue to yellow-green.
The art of bonsai is something extremely ancient and elevated, an art that also in our country finds many followers and many enthusiasts. In this section of giardino.it entirely dedicates …
Hi, I received a bonsai as a gift and I would like to know more particular news than what I read on your site, which I think is very very useful: I can contact you or the expert in com …
Hi! I wanted to ask one thing: I am very passionate about bonsai, but it is a newborn thing and I would like to know how to do them, just take normal plants or you need special plants …
DO YOU THINK IS IT POSSIBLE TO CREATE TALEE FROM ANOTHER BONSAI? …
Conifers are completely rustic plants, which can and must remain outdoors all year round, even in case of frost, snow or other bad weather; they prefer sunny positions, but remember that in most cases they are alpine plants, and therefore do not like the summer heat too much: therefore in summer we remember to shade them, or to increase the ambient humidity, especially if we live in the south.
They adapt very well even in case of not ideal climate, being vigorous plants, which can bear some neglect, such as a short period of drought, or some excessive watering; However, we must certainly remember that the older the plant and the more resistant it is, care for young specimens must be assiduous, to avoid dry branches or rottenness. Obviously, if we want to grow a bonsai conifer, it is essential to know its species and variety, and to remember that the bonsai versions of large trees do not always behave like non-bonsai specimens placed in the ground; so let’s avoid leaving our young bonsai conifer completely in disarray, prey to very intense frosts or extreme drought: let’s place it outdoors, but in a fairly sheltered place, with a few hours of direct sun a day, but avoiding that in late July it remains at mid-day sun. The small pot will force us to water fairly regularly, in order to keep the soil, which must be fresh and very well drained, quite humid; in summer, even the vaporization of the foliage with demineralized water should be frequent and regular, to increase the ambient humidity around the plant.
Pruning on bonsai conifers is practiced between the end of autumn and the beginning of winter; remember that these plants, although evergreen, in the cold months go through a period of vegetative rest, during which it is possible to prune their branches and roots, and repot them if necessary.
To keep the size of the needles or the tips of the branches in cypresses contained, it is important to pinch the shoots; this practice is practiced throughout the year, especially in spring, when the young shoots are more numerous. The pinching consists in the shortening of about half of all the leaves that develop in the young shoots; as regards junipers, tsughe, cypresses, and any conifer that has scales, the pinching is practiced by removing the apex of the small branches of new development, shortening the central branch and also the 2-4 branches below. operation are our fingers, because in this way we can control the pressure exerted on the leaves, avoiding crushing the part that will remain on the tree, still in vegetation. Said thus it seems a simple operation, and in fact it is, only that, especially with regard to pre-bonsai and young specimens, it is a practice that takes us for a long time, and frequently: to “clean” a young small cypress we can take up to an hour to pinch the spring shoots. , it is a fundamental practice, which must be carried out continuously, for the entire period of vegetative development of the plant. The pinching allows to obtain, over the years, conifers with small foliage, very compact and well developed.
Even if they are rustic plants, let’s not forget that bonsai cultivation involves slightly greater demands than cultivation in the open ground; for this reason often coniferous bonsai, and in general all outdoor bonsai, often dry out due to total neglect: if it is true that our spruce in the garden for years now does not require any more care, let us remember that the bonsai specimen obtained from its seeds will need care even when they are 100 years old. So even if they are quite vigorous and resistant bonsai, we avoid leaving them without water for months, or in full sun in summer, some simple care will allow us to grow our bonsai plant for years.
Generally the parasites that most often attack conifers are the cypress aphids; these are small aphids that normally also attack conifers grown in the ground, the color is often identical to that of the foliage, and they hide on the back of the leaves, or at the base of the same, so as not to allow us to notice them. The presence of aphids on conifers in the garden often does not cause serious damage, and therefore we hardly care about them, or even hardly notice them. On bonsai, however, these small insects can cause serious damage, with loss of the tips of the branches due to drying out, or yellowing of part of the foliage. A timely treatment, to be practiced in early spring, with a good pyrethroid or with products based on imidacloprid, may be sufficient to prevent the reappearance of small insects.A very dry climate can cause the appearance of scale insects, especially in summer or in specimens which in winter are crammed into a cold greenhouse, with little or no ventilation; a late winter treatment with white oil should avoid the presence of cochineal, which, moreover, is unlikely to settle on plants grown in a well-ventilated place with the right humidity.