Get to Know the Shapes, Criteria and Types of Bonsai Plants


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types of bonsai plants

Types of Bonsai Plants – Bonsai plants are a type of ornamental plant that is quite attractive to decorate Grameds’ house. This is because bonsai plants have a unique shape and are even said to be a combination of creativity and natural artistry.

The idea of ​​natural art with creativity has finally attracted a lot of attention and now bonsai plants have become one of the ornamental plants that are cultivated professionally. Wow, interesting isn’t it? Come on, get to know more about bonsai plants.

Getting to Know Bonsai Plants

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Bonsai plants are the result of the marriage of art and plants. Bonsai plants are made using the technique of making plants planted in pots small and prioritizing the beauty of their shape. The art of bonsai plants is quite popular among elderly plant lovers in Japan.

Even though it is popular in Japan, this bonsai plant originated in China in 220 AD and Chinese people have considered bonsai plants as penjing since the Tang Dynasty. This art emerged from the practice of healers sending potted plants to each other. This habit then gave rise to the idea of ​​making ornamental plants with unique shapes in pots.

At that time, bonsai were initially made by imitating the shapes of certain animals and symbols. From this unique form of bonsai, bonsai plants eventually spread and became popular throughout Japan. The art of bonsai plants was increasingly developing in Japan during the Kamakura era, and bonsai was better known by the nobles there.

Before it became popular in Japan, bonsai was actually called penjing by Chinese people, then after it became known in Japan the name changed to bonkei with the pronunciation of the kanji. Bonkei itself means miniature plants.

The popularity of bonsai plants is increasingly widespread, from being known only to Japanese nobles, now ordinary people in the Edo period are also starting to know about bonsai. As time went by, almost all Japanese people at that time had bonsai plants.

The term bonsai was only used in the Meiji era in the 19th century, whose Japanese pronunciation came from penzai. The word bonsai itself comes from a combination of sai, which means planting, and bon, which means shallow pot.

Bonsai is not only an ornamental plant, but is also used as a reflection or form of appreciation for the life and death of all living things and this value is what makes bonsai plants have sacred value.

Criteria for Bonsai Plants

bonsai plants

Even though the objects of bonsai art are plants, not all types of plants are suitable for use as bonsai. Only plants that meet certain criteria can be formed into bonsai.

The following are several criteria for plants that are suitable for making bonsai.

1. Two pieces or dicotyledon

The first criterion is that plants come from the dicotyledon group or plants that have two parts. Dicotyledonous plants can be identified by their distinctive characteristics, namely the cambium on the stem which makes it stronger. In this way, the physical characteristics of dicotyledonous plants are that they have stems that get bigger as you go down.

Plants with large and sturdy stems are plants with criteria that are suitable for bonsai, because they have a strong stem texture and are easy to shape. Not only that, the root system of dicotyledonous plants is much stronger, because dicotyledonous plants have a taproot type with a large main root.

2. Has a unique shape

Plants that will be used as bonsai must have a unique and beautiful shape. For example, plants that have colorful flowers on one tree, have sinuous stem contours or even have unique fruit shapes.

Sometimes unique features like this are actually possessed by ‘defective’ plants, so that the morphology of the plant changes and actually produces a unique value.

3. Have resilience when receiving special treatment

To apply the art of bonsai to certain types of plants, this means that the plants require special treatment to beautify the appearance of the plant.

Special treatment given can be in the form of pruning, sculpting or even providing wire which aims to change the shape of the plant according to the desired shape.

For this reason, plants that will be used as bonsai must have good resistance. Because with forced treatment, it will change the physiological shape of the plant. If the plant to be used as a bonsai does not have strong resistance, it is feared that the plant will die.

4. Has a long lifespan

Carrying out the art of bonsai plants generally has to be done by a professional, because making bonsai is easy and requires a lot of technique and time. It takes a fairly long series of processes, until finally the plant can turn into a bonsai.

This process includes special treatment and care for the plants, so that the plants must have a long life and be able to survive for a long time.

Plants that are successfully used as bonsai usually have an old impression. Not because the plant is old, but because it is the result of a combination of artistic elements which ultimately creates an antique, elegant and harmonious impression.

5. Plant Size

In accordance with the meaning of bonsai, namely miniature plants, bonsai are plants that are small in size. In general, the standard size for bonsai plant height ranges from 50cm to 150 cm. With this height, it will be possible to plant bonsai in pots.

Forms of Bonsai Plant

There are various forms of bonsai plants made by farmers, depending on the ideas and variations in the desired shape. The shape of the bonsai plant is used as a basis and reference for giving special treatment to the stem of the bonsai plant.

There are several forms of bonsai plants that are often found on the market, including the following.

  • Perpendicular (chokkan)
  • Miring (smoking)
  • Winding Tegal (mokuyoubi)
  • Hanging and half-hanging ( kengai and han kengai)
  • Upright sweep (houkidachi)
  • Coiled stem (bankan)
    Multi-stemmed (takan)
  • Accentuating the roots (neagari)
    Group (yoseue)
  • Intertwined roots (netsunarari)
  • Unusual trees (kawariki)
  • Literary or free tree (bunjingi)

Types of Bonsai Plants

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Apart from having various shapes, bonsai also has various types. Several types of bonsai plants are classified based on the plants used as bonsai.

In general, the types of trees used as bonsai plants are rare species that are rarely found, but there are also plants that are often found. The following are the types of bonsai plants that are often found on the market.

1. Bougainvillea Bonsai

The bougainvillea plant is attractive for its flowers and leaves. Apart from that, bougainvillea has a total of 14 species and eight of them grow and are easily found in Indonesia.

Bougainvillea plants also have a variety of flower colors, including purple, golden, magenta, white, pink and yellow. Meanwhile, several other species of bougainvillea have uniquely patterned leaves with a mixture of dark green, yellowish and light green.

2. Banyan Bonsai

Banyan trees have suitable characteristics and are suitable for making bonsai. The trunk is sturdy and large and the size is tall, besides that, banyan trees usually have a lifespan or can last quite a long time. Apart from fulfilling the characteristics to be used as a bonsai plant, banyan trees also have other attractions.

The attraction of banyan bonsai lies in the physiology of its leaves, which are generally lush and small in size. This will make trimming easier, so you can create it according to your wishes. The most suitable type to be used as a bonsai tree is the banyan species Ficus microcarpa from China.

3. Adenium Bonsai

Japanese cambodia or adenium is a plant that is very commonly used as bonsai. This is because adenium has a large stem contour at the bottom and a fairly small stem at the top.

Apart from that, the color of the adenium flower is also quite attractive with gradations that get deeper and darker. In general, the color of adenium flowers is pink and gives a beautiful feminine impression and harmony.

4. Bonsai Azalea

Originating from China and Japan, azalea plants are very commonly created into bonsai plants. Azalea has small, quite dark green leaves, so it is suitable as a bonsai.

In mountainous climates, the growth of azalea plants is much more optimal, so the flowers will be large and have bright colors.

5. Grape Bonsai

Grapevines have unique leaf physiology and fruit colors that are quite attractive. Grape plants also have high resistance to sunlight, so they can survive in tropical climates which are usually quite hot. In general, the grape species most suitable for making bonsai is the Myrciaria cauliflora species or the Brazilian grape plant.

6. Princess Earring Bonsai

The anting putri plant or better known as jasmine anting and santalia is a plant that originates from China. Basically, this princess earring plant has white flowers and has a quite beautiful appearance, so it is very suitable to be used as a bonsai plant. The species of princess earring commonly used for bonsai is Wrightia religiosa.

7. Bonsai Pinus

As previously explained, one of the important criteria for a plant to be used as a bonsai is its size, durability and long life, therefore banyan and pine trees are very familiar types of bonsai.

Pine trees have several unique features, namely the shape of the leaves which are like needles and the texture of the bark which looks like it is peeling. In general, there are two species of pine that are often used as bonsai, namely the merkusii pine, a pine species native to Indonesia from South Tapanuli and the thunbergii pine or Japanese black pine from Japan.

8. Pomegranate Bonsai

The pomegranate tree is one of the plants that has fruit unique enough to receive the bonsai treatment. This plant has brightly colored fruit and an oval shape with a slightly reddish yellow color. The stem shape of the pomegranate tree grows in a circle and has small leaf physiology which of course meets the criteria for being used as a bonsai plant.

9. Bonsai Sakura

The cherry tree is one of the iconic trees from Japan which has quite a deep meaning, such as courage, renewal and is even a symbol of beauty. Even the deep meaning of cherry trees is also expressed in the form of Hanami celebrations as a commemoration of when the cherry blossoms start to bloom.

Sakuran has beautiful flowers in white and pink and will grow thickly in certain seasons. Some cherry species even have flowers that are yellow in the middle and white towards the outside.

There is also a type of cherry that has a white center while the outer part is pink. Of the many species of cherry blossoms, all cherry species are suitable for bonsai.

10. Bonsai Wisteria

The wisteria plant is a plant that was first discovered in China, Korea, Japan and America. The wisteria plant has quite interesting and unique physical characteristics.

The flowers of the wisteria tree also have a variety of colors, ranging from white, blue and even purple. The flowers grow hanging on wisteria branches which adds unique value to this tree.

Not only that, wisteria trees also have a long lifespan and can even live up to 100 years and can reach a height of 30 meters.

Even though it has almost perfect criteria to be used as a bonsai, caring for this wisteria requires care and precision, because this plant can be poisonous if swallowed.

11. Cypress Bonsai

Pine trees have good adaptability and can even be said to be quite tall, so that in general pine trees are able to live in acidic and alkaline environments.

Pines are attractive in the shape and size of the leaves which tend to be small and elongated, the slightly grayish green color of the leaves and the segments that are like horsetails and the regular texture of the stems are the special value of pine bonsai.

In general, the species commonly used to form bonsai is Casuarina equisetifolia.

12. Tamarind Bonsai

Who would have thought that tamarind trees have their own value as bonsai. Tamarind trees are a type of bonsai that is very commonly found, because tamarind trees are apparently very easy to use as bonsai.

Even people who cannot or have no experience can make bonsai from tamarind trees. This is because the tamarind tree has a fairly sturdy trunk structure, so it is easy to shape and difficult to break.