Bonsai trees are very intriguing little creatures, because they resemble tiny trees, with tiny leaves, and live for a very long time. To thrive, bonsai trees need to be consistently groomed, watered and receive the love that they deserve. The magic of growing bonsai trees is the minimal amount of soil, that they require to thrive. Small pots with little soil is the way of the bonsai.
Lasting for more than a millennia, the subtle art of grooming miniature-sized plants originated in ancient Japan (and this tradition is closely connected to their Zen Buddhism practices), but the roots of this custom actually originated in old China.
Cultivating a healthy bonsai tree involves a lot of pruning, branch-wiring, limiting the quantity of fertilizers and many other precise details, which makes bonsai cultivation a very time-consuming and demanding task, but that is (besides a gorgeous looking plant) the most rewarding thing about bonsai culture.
You can train a cannabis plant to grow into pretty much any shape you can imagine. And if you do it right, you can train your plant to look just like a real life bonsai tree. The only difference is that your bonsai tree will get you high!
Along with just being a fun way to grow, this approach to cultivating marijuana actually has a number of different benefits.
The primary reason why people grow canna-bonsai trees is to produce clone clippings. Because each mother plant remains small, cannabis bonsais takes up much less space than a full-grown mother plant.
When the plant grows, you need to shape the growth by tying down the side branches, so that they grow in desired directions. If you’re deprived of “ganja branch shaping ideas”, just roll one, smoke one, and listen to your spiritual insides.
The most important aspect to get your cannabis plant looking like a bonsai tree is to stick a wooden stake next to the trunk.
You’ll use the stake to position the trunk in any direction you wish, which will give your plant that unusual exotic appearance.
To avoid any possible root damage, very gently press the wooden stake down into the soil alongside the trunk of your plant, and once you’ve wrapped the trunk the way you wanted to, tie it with wire or twine to one of the nearest holes that you’ve previously drilled in the pot.
Make sure you don’t tie the trunk with too much force, and always leave some extra room for the trunk to expand in size.
The next thing needed to be done is tying the branches of your plant.
This is achieved in the same manner as with the trunk, so when you envision in which direction you want your branches to go, tie them with wire and connect them with the holes you previously drilled in the pot.
Again, make sure you leave some extra room while wiring, so your branches can grow uninterrupted and without excessive constriction.
As your canna-bonsai develops and becomes bigger, you’ll need to limit the number of branches by pruning them.
This will preserve that custom bonsai look, but at the same time it’ll preserve an optimal amount of airflow to your plant, preventing it to become too humid and develop any mold.
Just make sure you only prune the new offshoot branches, because you definitely don’t want to cut any important ones, as this will slow down the growth of your plant to a great extent.
Just remember to be gentle: bonsai cannabis is already under a lot of stress. Don’t go all Edward Scissorhands on your poor plant.Root pruning is also essential for the proper maintenance of a bonsai plant. Roots support plant growth and pruning them will halt the growth of the plant as needed.
If you are developing bonsai cannabis for the sheer fun of it, you can always wait until your plant grows into shape. Unless you have an autoflowering variety, the plant will not bloom until it’s on a 12/12 regime. After flowering, things are pretty much standard procedure: harvest, manicure, cure and store as needed.
Since marijuana is an annual plant, we usually harvest the entire plant after the flowering is done and plant new plants for the next “season” either from clones or seeds, although it is possible to keep the plant alive to produce flowering after flowering on the same stem. Here’s how it’s done. After the plant is ready to be cut down, you simply take off the top ⅓ of the plant, where all the big buds grow. The middle ⅓; trim all the old yellow leaves and keep the green fan leaves. The lower ⅓ of the plant needs to be untouched, although cleared from any yellow leaves. The lower ⅓ of the plant will have tiny buds, keep them, it’s crucial to keep the small buds, because they will kick-start the regeneration process.Once this is done, set the plant into the vegetative state; give the plant 18+ hours light and provide a decent amount of nitrogen to induce the vegetation process. Also, consider that the plant will not need as much water as in the flowering stage, so just water once, and wait until it dries.This rejuvenation process is perfect for creating a great bonsai masterpiece. There are many debates if this technique should be used to create really dank buds, due to the potential decrease of potency after every flowering.
Imagine bending and training the plant, which will grow in intriguing directions; imagine growing a bonsai ganja plant with a twirly and fat stem; it would look legendary. So, create your own bonsai cannabis tree and cleanse your soul with the dankness, that it shall provide.
[Updated, originally published 28.2.2017]