I hope my tone doesn’t offend any beginners, but some people seriously think this is the best way to start bonsai. Some nurseries even sell “Bonsai Kits” which consist of a small bonsai pot, some soil and a few seeds.
Granted it is possible to start bonsai from seed, and I’ve tried it myself, but it takes a lot of time and patience to grow a decent tree that way. And you certainly shouldn’t be planting a seed straight into a bonsai pot because the resulting tree will always remain tiny if it’s given limited space to grow roots.
I don’t often plant seeds anymore and I didn’t plant this one. I found this little seedling growing in a pot alongside one of my trees a few days ago and I couldn’t bear to kill it, so I moved it into a cut down bottle and now I’m waiting to see if it survives.
In such a small pot it’s not going to grow very quickly. If left to grow unrestricted, it will probably reach about the size of the tree standing to its left here in a year’s time.
The larger tree is one of the 23 seedlings I rescued from another pot a year ago. The time has come for me to make some decisions about their future. I’m hoping to move some of them into bigger pots if I can find the space to put them. I’ll probably wire a little movement into some of the trunks and I’m also contemplating experimenting with fusing a few of them together to create one thicker tree.
That’s the great thing about free material – it gives me the opportunity to do all kinds of weird experiments.
My best maple tree, however, certainly wasn’t grown this way. It was five feet tall when I bought it as nursery stock, and yet it will always be a small bonsai. Large trees need to spend years in the ground before they start their life as bonsai.