Propagation: Creating New Plants For Bonsai

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One of the most satisfying ways of creating bonsai is by using plants propagated by yourself. There are many different ways of reproducing a parent plant. Deciding which technique to use is largely dependant on an individual species' suitability and also the material you have available to use. You may have a large garden tree or shrub that offers a number of possibilities for propagation or you may only have a bonsai from which you wish to create new plants without having its appearance being spoilt by the removal of too many branches. You also need to consider the length of time you wish to wait before your new plant will be ready for training as bonsai.

For a good quality bonsai, it is important to acquire a plant with a reasonably thick trunk before starting on the process of planting the tree in a bonsai pot and commencing bonsai training. The thicker the trunk of a newly propagated plant is, the less time that will need to be spent growing on before bonsai training can begin.
There are techniques for propagating that leave you with plants that will require years of growing in the ground before they become suitable as good bonsai material and there are other techniques that produce new plants that once established can be immediately trained as bonsai.

For an individual species suitability to different propagation techniques, it is important to refer to the Species Guides at Most propagation techniques rely on tapping into a plants natural growth and reproductive characteristics and these characteristics can vary from species to species. It is also important to take note of the seasonal timing of many of these propagation techniques as most will only work at certain times of the year.

The Species Guides at list the propagation techniques that carry the best success rates for each individual species; it is possible to use techniques other than those listed for a species, but there is a higher risk of failure. Similarly, success may be had by using propagating methods out of season but again, there is a higher chance of failure and new plants that take may take longer to establish and regain their vigour.

The propagation techniques that can be used for creating new plants suitable for bonsai are;



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