Best intermediate bonsai websites or videos?
March 27, 2018 5:32 AM   Subscribe

I have three bonsai in a shared bowl. Two are snow rose and one is a ficus. One year into my bonsai journey, I am looking for good sources of Bonsai 201 content.

I know how to keep them alive and happy. I know how to keep them small. What I don't know:
- How to prune so that they grow fatter trunks rather than longer limbs or more forking branches.
- How to (or even IF I should) remove their metal bracing.
- How to train them around a rock or some other awesome bonsai techniques like that.

Other tiny tree lovers...What's your favorite resource?
posted by Dr_Janeway to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The way to get fat trunks is to separate them, plant them each in their own much larger pot for 2-5 years, pruning the top each year. At the end, do a bigger pruning on top, reduce all that root growth, and then put them back in the small original pot. Now you have three little trees with the same size canopy and much bigger trunks.

If you continue to keep them in the same bowl, their trunks will not thicken appreciably in the next 5 (or 10!) years.

Sorry I don’t have any specific resources to share, the /r/bonsai has a decent wiki and some good links in their sidebar, as well as lots of questions and answers, including a weekly beginner’s thread. Their are some knowledgeable folks there but it can be a bit of an annoying/gatekeeping kind of place to ask questions too, though apparently they are trying to be better about that.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:44 AM on March 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

You may have already searched YouTube, but since you haven't mentioned it, these are the channels I like:
Bonsai Empire (collection of videos by experts and enthusiasts for beginners through your intermediate level) and Nigel Saunders, The Bonsai Zone. Saunders takes his time and rambles a bit, but I found his thought process to be helpful, especially for plant selection and pruning. You just have to stick with him. :-)
posted by MyTwoCentsToo at 12:41 PM on March 27, 2018

This is more of a "process" blog, but I really enjoy Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog - as someone who's been into the same weird hobbies for decades, you can tell when someone's got the verve for it, and this guy seems to.
posted by Nyx at 9:24 PM on March 27, 2018

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