Bonsai – Its History and Practice

Bonsai is an artificial method or art of nurturing a tree right from its seeds. Usually grown in containers, pots or trays, the plants of bonsai are cultivated through a number of techniques, which vary from one another. Since the time people grew overly affectionate to this form of cultivating, the popularity of this sort of art started to grow at an adverse pace.


If you know Japanese, you would probably reason out how bonsai got its name. Looking at its etymology, we find that this plant has a Japanese connection in its name, as the two Japanese phrases, ‘bon’-meaning a low pot and ‘sai’ which denotes a plant or foliage, have clung together to give this art form such a unique name that is, very recently, on the rise of popularity. Many people misinterpret its connection with Japan; though it just got its name from the language, bonsai originated in the yesteryear Chinese empire. It was Chinese who used to grow plants in dwarf forms, a practice known as pun-sai. Reserved to the noble section of China, this technique was related only to the imperial people as they shared these things between them as gifts. Such people lost count of these gifts as many of this sect of people had an interest to place these gifts in the front rows of the plush garden they cultivated.

Bonsai - Its History and Practice
Bonsai – Its History and Practice

Japan got to know the face of this practice during the Kamakura period in the 12th century. Having known a fresh art, the Japanese people decided to redefine it by smartening up the way, which the Chinese used. Because of this focused dedication to the art, the Japanese managed to elevate the standing of this art and, as a result, the art of bonsai became a vital facet of Zen Buddhism. However, it took a long time for people from other parts of the world to know and practice this.

Shortening the size of a true bonsai is very possible provided that one knows the technique. Emphasizing on the shortness of the tree is very essential considering the concept behind bonsai. A distinct feature of bonsai is its ability to remain short, well pruned, and compact. Hence it requires a great amount of dedication and patience to carry out this practice. Not many of the features that bonsai presents would go unnoticed and unappreciated even by a layman who is unaware of the way in which bonsai is practiced.

Any appropriate seedling should be chosen as a preliminary step. Afterward, the plant is allowed to take shape and when it reaches the thereabouts of its expected growth, a suitable pot is found to position the small foliage. The pot’s confinement curtails the growth of bonsai and this is how the limited shape is achieved. Some parts may not be uniform with the general shape of the plant; hence, limiting should be done to accommodate the development of such parts.

Bonsai is a splendid art to practice. Once you pick up its rudiments, placing them in your backyard would give you SOME pleasure.