New to Bonsai

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New to Bonsai

Post  branpera on Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:53 am

I have recently recived this bonsai for my bithday.
I found out that it was a ponytail palm after looking around abit
There were glued in rocks that I removed after doing some looking around at other sites that told me they were bad.
I assume my grandparents bought this tree for me at HomeDepot. I plan on going to pick up a book on bonsai growing because I assume it gets complicating, but any tips you guys could give me on this specific tree or tips on keeping it alive for a week before I educate my self would be much appreciated. Also you probally already have a post on this, but what are some recomended books for a beginner.

branpera
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New to Bonsai

Post  Guest on Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:34 am

Hi Branpera Rocks in your pot wont harm your tree! Can you post a pic of your tree so we cann offer some advice.

Guest
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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:58 am

Many of the commercially produced "malsai" have rocks glued across the top of the plant. It looks good and keeps the soil in the pot. The problem is not the composition of the rocks and whether it is harmful to the tree, it's that rocks prevent efficient watering. Much of the water is channeled away from the roots.

If you encounter a bonsai from a department store, lumber yard or garden center that has glued together rocks on them your first response should be to avoid them. You don't know how long they have been in the pot like this and if it is already on the way to dying. If you get one as a gift, do as you have already done, remove the rocks, follow with a good soaking watering, monitor drainage and hit it again within 24 hours to be sure it got good and rinsed/watered, then follow watering instructions for your specific plant.

Jay

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Guest on Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:00 pm

I've never heard of this Jay! I've seen rock landscapes with the rock glued to the pot but never to the plant. Weird!!!

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Carolee on Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:28 pm

Will, only in the USA where commercialism reigns supreme! Laughing

Another thing about the USA: Yesterday I saw five evergreens: looked like spruce, about twenty feet tall, in a big field had all been recently chopped down. There was no obvious reason. Even if a house is going in these field, the trees had plenty of space between them. In the USA we tend to tear things down, and we will never have the big old trees you English put fences around (or build a support for a branch). Of course the exception is the northeast sequoias.

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  EdMerc on Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:01 pm

Carolee wrote:There was no obvious reason.

But it's safe to assume that there was a reason. Is it not? Just not one that involved you.

Also, those trees mostly come from China. So how does that Chinese practice become a reflection of American capitalism?

There's plenty to complain about when it comes to this country, but this does not qualify.

Thanks.
Ed

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Mike Farmer on Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:43 pm

Branpera,

Welcome,
So far I haven't seen anyone answer your questions, so here goes;
First your "Ponytail Palm" Beaucarnea Recurvata, is not an actual palm. From http://houseplants-care.blogspot.com/2006/06/ponytail-palm-plant-care.html "The Ponytail palm is native to desert areas therefore, it has a root system similar to cactus in that the roots go deep in order to store water for long dry spells. Be sure to let the soil become dry to touch 1" to 1-1/2" deep before watering again. If you notice the lower foliage is starting to turn a yellow or brown color you may be under watering the plant. The Ponytail palm requires bright light so be sure to place it near a window where full sun is received".
Because of these traits it is not usually used for, or considered a true Bonsai "tree", It does however make a dandy houseplant. As far as books are concerned several other posts provide great info. and recommendations.

Good luck with your gift and if your still interested in Bonsai read on, and find other wonderful trees to start out with.

Mike Farmer
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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  gman on Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:55 pm

Just one more titbit about the window location...........if its small like the one I picked up make sure that it isn't on a windowsill where the window gets real cold (like a north facing one) unless of course you have the new triple glazed windows.

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New to Bonsai

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:03 pm

The ponytail palm, Beaucarnea recurvata, is a succulent in the asparagus family. It may be grown as a houseplant in a bonsai pot, but it is not a bonsai. Grow it basically as you would a cactus.
If you want to grow real bonsai, try something else.
Iris

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:56 pm

bonsaisr wrote:The ponytail palm, Beaucarnea recurvata, is a succulent in the asparagus family. It may be grown as a houseplant in a bonsai pot, but it is not a bonsai. Grow it basically as you would a cactus.
If you want to grow real bonsai, try something else.
Iris

Iris,

Are we planning on digging up that dead horse , again! I thought, by now, that we would have decided that one man's bonsai, is another man's stick in a pot, or tortured piece of live wood, or somewhere in between.

The fact is, the rules for bonsai are broken ALL THE TIME!

Damn, where's Rodney King when we need him!

Jay

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:16 pm

Bump


Last edited by Jay Gaydosh on Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New to Bonsai

Post  Mike Farmer on Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:16 pm

I've seen excellant palm-tree-like bonsai in this forum that received rave comments from others and this poor soul who has a palm tree that, apparently, he should abandon on the side of the road, like an unwanted puppy.

Sometimes it really does get difficult to keep score here.

Jay

Jay,

Please re-read the thread above, instead of just reacting. To cont. with your illusion, If someone gives you a puppy, but tells you it's a horse, and you try to treat it like a horse, due to inexperience and mis-information, IT WILL DIE. On the other hand if you go to people with greater experience and knowledge, for advice, and they explain that your "horse" is in fact a puppy, and you need to research how to care for a puppy, ( NO Where do I see anyone recommending abandoning this plant to the side of the road) You and your puppy can share a long and happy life together. If you really want a horse, after getting a better understanding of what the requirements and culture, of Horsemanship entail. Than by all means Go out and get a horse. There are many wonderful breeds to be had, and you will now be making a informed decision.

Good sound advise, is Never Politically incorrect, but not being responsible for correcting a misconception, is the fastest way to frustrate and quash a budding interest, in a new and gratifying, hobby/obsession/art form.

Mike

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New to Bonsai

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:25 am

Jay Gaydosh wrote:
Are we planning on digging up that dead horse , again! I thought, by now, that we would have decided that one man's bonsai, is another man's stick in a pot, or tortured piece of live wood, or somewhere in between.
The fact is, the rules for bonsai are broken ALL THE TIME!
Jay
The horse is very much alive and worthy of discussion. I found the puppy vs horse comment very appropriate.
The question is, which rules are broken all the time, & with what results? Look at some of the groundbreaking masterpieces of modern art, Guernica, Woman at a Mirror, Nude Descending a Staircase. They broke some rules of proportion, perspective, and reality, but they followed certain timeless rules of harmony, unity, and symmetry, which cannot be broken and still produce art.
The same idea is true in bonsai. Have you seen a pony-tail palm? It is not a palm tree. It is a caudex with a spate of long narrow leaves coming out of the top. By what criteria do you consider it a bonsai? Does it evoke the image of a tree? Can a small one be kept to miniature proportions indefinitely through root pruning? Can it be styled in any way?
I can conceive of a very small specimen of Beaucarnea evoking the image of a full size one, provided it can be kept small, just as a small Cycas revoluta can evoke the image of a full size one, but I don't think they fit the definition of a bonsai.
Iris

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staying small

Post  JLudlam on Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:26 am

To each his own, some see scribbles while others see art, some wouldnt pay a penny while others pay millions (mainly for a name), a tree in nature is simply a tree in nature but a tree in a pot is hmmmmmmmmmmm bonsai??? So if a simple hedge (some only reaching 4 foot) or vine (endless, leggy and a bit thin) is put into a pot what would it be called? Or is it that shaping, prunning, leaf reduction, the perfect soil, root prunning makes it a bonsai? In the end a pony-tail, though not to much to look at but known as a tree (some growing in upwards of 10 fee), if its put into a pot and kept small through work and some of the above mentioned, what do you call it????? If only a ponytail in a pot, or a plant in a pot then what the crap are all of us doing spending days, months and years trying to achieve????????????

Branpera keep what you have and I hope that it expands into a new found hobby, and that in time your collection will grow along with your knowledge and who knows maybe someday some of us will be paying you for your (scribbles). We all had to start somewhere.

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Re: New to Bonsai

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