Bonsai How To

Sealing Cuts with Aluminum Foil

Jul 13th, 2011 | By
Sealing Cuts with Aluminum Foil

A Happy Bonsai reader asked me how do I attach aluminum foil on my bonsai trees when I seal cuttings (refer to post – Sealing Cuts of Bonsai Trees).   Although it seems obvious to me, it probably isn’t so clear for many others.  So here, I have taken a photo of the aluminum foil that
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Bending Big Branches by Notching

Jul 5th, 2011 | By
Bending Big Branches by Notching

Last week, Teacher Wong demonstrated how to bend thick branches of a Brazilian Cherry bonsai tree by notching. “So, what is notching?” you probably will ask. Notching is a technique of bending a branch by cutting a “V” shape across the width of the branch and bend it into position Notching is especially useful for bending thick branches.



How to Appreciate Chinese Lingnan Penjing

May 10th, 2011 | By
How to Appreciate Chinese Lingnan Penjing

I am currently working hard on building the official website of Institute of Lingnan Penjing, Hong Kong and have just finished the post about how to appreciate Chinese Lingnan Penjing (“Lingnan” means Southern, “penjing” is bonsai in Chinese).



How to Keep a Rock Standing in Landscape Penjing

Nov 2nd, 2010 | By
How to Keep a Rock Standing in Landscape Penjing

A reader asked how to keep the rock standing in landscape bonsai after reading my post – How to Choose Rocks for Landscape Bonsai. Here I would like to answer Kamini’s question and show how can we keep a rock standing stably in our landscape penjing.



How to Shape and Prepare the Rock for Root-Attaching (附根) Landscape Bonsai

Oct 12th, 2010 | By
How to Shape and Prepare the Rock for Root-Attaching  (附根) Landscape Bonsai

By following the general guidelines when choosing our rocks for our landscape bonsai, we will be able to find some decent rock material for the mountains and cliffs in our bonsai. However, unless we are very lucky, the rock material we find will not 100% seamlessly match with the plants, or the bonsai pot, or
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Mealybugs – Pest Problem on My Bonsai Tree

Oct 5th, 2010 | By
Mealybugs – Pest Problem on My Bonsai Tree

Recently, I found mealybugs on the cutting wound of the Fukien Tea bonsai tree. They were hiding right under the aluminum foil tape. I guess the delay of sealing the cutting wounds of my bonsai tree was probably a major factor of this peat problem. Due to a tight schedule, I had no choice but
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How to Choose Rocks for Landscape Bonsai

Aug 17th, 2010 | By
How to Choose Rocks for Landscape Bonsai

Generally, Chinese penjing (penjing is bonsai in Chinese) can be categorized into three types: tree penjing, landscape penjing (Shanshui Penjing, 山水盆景 in Chinese), and water-and-land penjing (shuihan penjing, 水旱盆景 in Chinese). Unlike tree penjing, which has dwarfed trees be the core and only element in the pot, landscape penjing and water-and-land penjing have rocks playing
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Making My Water-and-Land Penjing (Part 2)

Jul 19th, 2010 | By
Making My Water-and-Land Penjing (Part 2)

Indeed, the land of a water-and-land penjing is very much similar to a forest bonsai (here is a post about My First Forest Bonsai).   It is the extra shorefront and water area that make a water-and-land penjing has a more complex composition.  The overall structural unity of a water-and-land penjing is critical.  Design elements
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Making My Water-and-Land Penjing (Part 1)

Jul 14th, 2010 | By
Making My Water-and-Land Penjing (Part 1)

Last month, I took a 3-session bonsai class and made my very first water-and-land penjing (penjing is bonsai in Chinese) in the bonsai workshop. Before taking this class, the idea of making my own water-and-land penjing was quite intimidating. I just never thought that I could build a penjing with such complex composition…



Removing the Bonsai Wire Just Too Late

Jun 25th, 2010 | By
Removing the Bonsai Wire Just Too Late

It’s crazy how fast my Chinese elm (榆樹 in Chinese) is growing. Last month, I wired this branch of my Chinese elm right before two weeks of rainy days. When I went back and checked the wiring two weeks later, I found that the branch had already been embedded deeply into the bark 🙁 I
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