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Top Five - Our Picks for Bonsai Happiness

Top Five - Our Picks for Bonsai Happiness

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Published by Gail
Choosing which bonsai to start with is mind boggling. Try one of these five and we believe you will be quite pleased with your choice.
Choosing which bonsai to start with is mind boggling. Try one of these five and we believe you will be quite pleased with your choice.

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Published by: Gail on Nov 04, 2008
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06/16/2009

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The Top 5 Easiest but Most Colorful BonsaiTrees To Grow
If you're starting out in bonsai gardening and want togive yourself the best chance of success, or you justwant a nice, easy plant as your next bonsai withouthaving to grow from a seedling or cutting, then read on.This article will cover five bonsai trees that are generallyregarded as the easiest trees to nurture, as well asbeing among the most colorful.Bear in mind, though, that there are no hard and fastrules, and it's "horses for courses", in that what youmay find an easy bonsai plant to develop, someone elsemay find difficult. Just as important as selecting a plantthat's easy to maintain is making sure it is a goodquality, healthy specimen. So when you're at the nurserydon't be taken in by a generous amount of foliage or apretty pot. Look at the trunk and ask yourself if it lookshealthy.Decide how many deciduous and how many evergreenbonsai trees you want and try and envisage roughly howthey will be laid out in your garden or conservatory.Don't buy too many for the area you have available.Overcrowding your bonsai doesn't look goodaesthetically, and can lead to disease and pestinfestation. Remember, also, that you should repot yourbonsai trees every couple of years or so in accordancewith the requirements of each species.Now let's look at our selection of some of the easiest yetmost colorful bonsai trees to grow.
 
1. Cotoneaster. This is hardy and easy to grow, so idealfor beginners. There are many varieties, both deciduousand evergreen, and they come in all styles - upright,prostate and spreading. This tree has small leaves andwhen mature produces beautiful white flowers in thespring, and little red berries soon after.The main requirements are a little sunshine and a littleshade, and protection from frost. Water every day insummer and when required in winter, taking care not tolet the soil dry out. It can take a beginner's over-enthusiastic pruning. These plants are often kept inloudly colored pots of deep blue or bright green, tocomplement the red berries and green leaves.2. Dwarf Pomegranate. This is a sub-tropical(Mediterranean) tree that produces really attractiveorange-red trumpet shaped flowers in the spring,followed by little ornamental fruits of the same color. Forbest results feed it suitable fertilizer (low on nitrogen,high on potassium and phosphorous) every two weeks inthe summer months.Its trunk is often twisted and gnarled in appearance -the ideal bonsai tree. It loves exposure to hot sunshinebut keep it damp at all times and protect it from frostand drying winds, if necessary by keeping it in agreenhouse. It prefers a deeper pot than most bonsai.The older branches tend to be brittle, so take care whenwiring into shape.3. Azalea. The Satsuki Azalea is probably the mostpopular choice here. It is very hardy, and therefore easyto keep, but should be protected from fierce sunlight,severe frosts and heavy rain. Its flowers bloom in latespring and have seven petals and while they can be allthe same color some species display a wide range of colors. Keep it in slightly acidic soil and feed the soil in

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