Basic Guide to Create Bonsai

Monday, November 26, 2012

Step by Step to Create Saikei

To create saikei requires good planning. First you have to prepare the design and layout of saikei you will create. Before you make it real, you create first in your mind and manifest into a sketch on paper.

Here are the steps you can follow to make bonsai saikei:

1. Sketch your idea for a saikei. Make a full size diagram to plot your saikei.
2. Assemble all the materials listed above.
3. Remember to wear gloves while handling soil mediums and nutrients. Some of these are harmful and can diffuse into your skin.
4. Prepare the trees for use by reducing the roots and wrap each root ball in plastic. If the trees can be shaped, wire them for later positioning. If the material is young, you may decide not to wire.

seikei sketch
img source:
5. Arrange the rocks to create your landscape. These may be cemented in place with hydraulic cement or epoxy putty.
6. Once the cement is dry position the trees on the tray while they are still wrapped in plastic. Allow for land topography by placing small pots or rocks under the trees as you place them.
7. Remove the trees and place them on the plot diagram.
8. If you discover that your trees will not be able to stand on their own, set up wires to hold them by using epoxy putty to fasten them if no holes are in the tray or slab.
9. Put a layer of coarse bonsai medium on the base of the tray, this is especially needed if you are using a tray or slab without holes. If you are using a slab you may need to put a ring of muck around the planting area to hold the soil in.
10. Position the trees. Use muck under area where you want a higher topography. Fasten with wire where needed.
11. Add in micro-nutrients, chelated iron and rooting hormone under the trees.
12. Fill in around trees with bonsai soil and chop stick in.
13. Water in the trees.
14. Add accessory plants and mosses. Be sure to use plants in scale and vary for mosses for good texture. Use darker colors under the trees and lighter colors in clear areas. At this point add in any ornaments you wish remembering the rules.
15. Gently water the whole planting.

16. IF you have not disturbed the roots of the plants, the saikei will not need special care but if you have cut or disturbed the roots, put the saikei in semi-shade for a week or two. If constructed late in the season, greenhouse for the first winter if using hardy material. It is BEST constructed in spring.
17. Keep your saikei trimmed and water. In time you may even decide to remove a tree or two from the saikei to train as an individual bonsai.
18. Transplanting is usually only needed after 4 or 5 years depending on the growth rates of the trees.

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