Bonsai from Cuttings: Your 8 Step Guide
Are you the one who knows about the art of growing bonsai plants? Well, if not then it is your time to know that this type of plant can be grown by planting cuttings. Being a beginner would you like to know how to grow bonsai from cuttings? If yes then stick with this article. We will discuss all bonsai cutting and the further procedure to plant and grow them.
Planting cuttings of bonsai plants is one of the methods to grow them successfully. If you are aware of this art then it would be better, but if you are learning about growing bonsai plants from cuttings then here are some important things that you should know.
What are the Types of Bonsai Cuttings?
There are different types of bonsai cuttings that you can get from a nursery or any garden center. But there are effectively three kinds of cuttings of bonsai are-
Softwood cutting of a bonsai tree is to cut the branches of the tree that are soft enough. These kinds of cuttings are taken in spring or early summer. These are the best cuttings because they grow quickly.
Semi-Hardwood Cutting is to cut the branches of a tree that are semi-hard. These kinds of cuttings are taken in autumn or early winter. Being semi-ripe, these cutting stems have larger diameters and they also contain about 30% moisture content.
Hardwood cutting is to cut the rigid, mature stems of a tree. These kinds of cuttings are taken in winter or early spring. These cuttings will contain about 20% more moisture content than the semi-ripe variety and these cuttings start to grow quickly. If you want to know about softwood vs hardwood which will be easy to make your bonsai then it’s hard to talk directly. Because this depends on plant species and bonsai characteristics.
How Long Does It Take Bonsai Cuttings?
It would be difficult to know about the exact time period taken by any plant to grow. This would depend on several factors including the age of a tree and its species. Having said that, it is reported that the time taken by a bonsai cutting to grow properly is as long as one year or more.
Procedure for Growing Bonsai from Cuttings
Following are all steps with illustrations given below which you should know before growing bonsai from cuttings-
#Step-1: Take Your Desired Bonsai Cutting
Take your desired bonsai cutting. Generally, the branches of a tree that are soft enough are usually taken in spring or early summer. The branches that are semi-hard are usually taken in late autumn or early winter. And the hardwood cuttings are usually taken in winter or early spring.
The semi-ripe variety will have larger diameters and about 30% moisture content while the hardwood variety has 20% more moisture content than semi-ripe cuttings.
#step-2: Clean all Your Cutting Tools
Clean your cutting tools. Usually, the secateurs are used for this purpose. The sharpness of a blade of secateurs is always better than that of any knife. If you have got the knife then please sharpen it properly with an oil stone or whetstone before starting to cut your desired bonsai cutting.
#Step-3: Cut Branch (Semi-Hardwood)
Trim down the branches when they come in your way when walking through a garden and collect them. Clean these branches because we will need them in future propagation and there is no point in wasting them because they can be planted in soil by following all steps and growing into a new plant happily..
#Step-4: Use a Sharp Knife
Make a cut in the position where you want to start cutting. In most cases, the root ball of a bonsai plant is taken from underneath and they are planted again thereafter potting. For this case, using a sharp knife is a good idea.
#Step-5: Cut the Branch with a Saw (Hardwood Cutting)
Using a sharp saw is a good option and most professional carpenters would advise you to use it while cutting any branch from a bonsai plant. They have got their reasons to say so because they know the requirements of this kind of cuttings and they don’t want you to spoil your future bonsai plant.
#Step-6: Cut the Branch with a Wire Cutter (Softwood Cutting)
Using a wire cutter is also a good option and it actually works very well because it has got the ability to cut the branch without damaging it or leaving any scar on it.
#Step-7: Plant Your Cutting in Pots or Containers
Place your desired cutting carefully in small pots using normal garden soil mixed with peat moss and also add some fertilizer pellets to it. Water them properly and place them under shade for a day. Also, keep a proper drainage system in your container because they will need water very frequently later on.
#step-8: After One Year Change the Pot
After planting your cutting for one year, change the pot if it is of plastic or glazed material. If you are using clay or ceramic pots then don’t worry about changing them because they can be used for more than two years.
How long does it take to develop a bonsai from a cutting?
We have already seen that it would take a minimum of one year for a bonsai cutting to grow completely. After the first year, you will find your plant growing slower but surely than earlier. If its species is fast-growing then this may not be the case but most of the plants require more time for developing further.
A young bonsai tree can be raised in just 6 months if certain precautions are taken. One should know how to take good care of it and what all things are needed for this purpose. However, some tree species are very slow in growing and their growth would be slower than the time required for changing the pot.
So If you are looking forward to having a fully-grown bonsai plant within one year then it will never happen. So choose the bonsai plant species as per your requirements and according to how much time you have for taking care of your bonsai plant.
To sum up the article, Bonsai growing from the cuttings can be done in different ways. The method would depend on the type of cutting you are taking from a bonsai plant or tree. So if you have done the cutting in the right way, hopefully, you will achieve the desired bonsai within the period, or if you’re the impatient type then it will take more time to develop into a fully-grown bonsai plant. Try to follow our recommended steps, After then you will get your desired result.