Multiplying a bonsai from cuttings is relatively easy and, unlike sowing, takes less time. So that nothing goes wrong, there are a few things to consider.A bonsai is relatively easy to propagate through cuttings If you already own a bonsai and have a good knack for maintenance, you will definitely get to the point “You need a second one” at some point. But you don't necessarily have to buy a new one. You can also easily propagate your bonsai. This even has the advantage that you already know the relevant needs and properties beforehand.
Bonsai can be propagated with cuttings or by sowing seeds. The cutting method works well until the cutting becomes bonsai, but it takes time. You need a lot of patience for the new breeding from seeds. You save at least one to two years of waiting time with cuttings. In order for a beautiful bonsai to develop, however, the right care is always necessary. Location, planting bowl, correct irrigation and trimming play an important role.
The basic principles of bonsai propagation
Special bonsai seeds are often offered commercially. This is a mistake you shouldn't fall for, because there is no Bonsai seed! The term “bonsai” simply refers to a small tree that is planted in a bowl. Regular cuts keep the tree small. For example, you can get an apple tree of normal size from an apple core or a miniature apple tree.
With the right care and the necessary cuts, cuttings develop into a handsome bonsai within a year. If the original cuttings come from a fruit-bearing tree, even tiny fruits form on the branches after a few years.
Which cuttings are suitable for growing bonsai?
You can take cuttings from any tree you like. It does not have to be bonsai. Short and already slightly woody branches are ideal for cutting cuttings, ideally with only a few leaves, so that excessive moisture does not evaporate from the leaves.
Instructions for propagation:
1 Score the bark of the cutting and place it in a small planting pot with an airy substrate. The soil should not have too many nutrients, so the cuttings quickly take root.
2 A small greenhouse or a clear plastic cover over the pot is ideal. Also pay attention to floor warmth and plenty of daylight, but no direct sunlight. The cutting needs water - please not too much, so that it does not drown, just keep the substrate slightly moist.
3 After about six to eight weeks, and in some species only after a few months, many thin and light roots have developed. You can recognize the root formation by the fact that the inserted cutting drives out the tips of the leaves.
4 Now place the rooted cutting in a pond basket. The substrate is loose and airy again. The pond basket has an open design and has the advantage that the roots strive for light and grow vigorously. The goal is a strong and strong root ball. With the open pond basket you can see the progress. In this phase, the trunk also becomes thicker.
5 Let the young tree grow in peace. Bonsai growing is a meditative process in which you observe the growth and only intervene to regulate it from time to time.
6 Every two years, transplant the sapling and prune the roots. Shorten by about a third and remove the taproot completely. So the bonsai later has a good hold in the planting bowl. When the young bonsai has reached the desired size and trunk thickness, you can put it in a bowl and keep it small with targeted shape cuts.