How to grow a cannabis bonsai tree
Welcome back to our blog Pevgrow! Today I’m going to focus this article on trying to enlighten you on how to make your own marijuana bonsai tree. Yes! You got it right! Mr. Miyagi would be proud of you, Let’s go Daniel San!👉
The Bonsai is an art that requires a lot of patience and surgeon’s pulse to maintain gracefully a plant inside a very small cultivation space that has been an inspiration to be able to grow cannabis in very confined spaces. More concretely, the culture of cannabis bonsai trees is a perfect option for the conservation of mother plants in a very small culture cabinet. Do you want to know more, right? Stay with me! 🤗🤫
☕ Why grow a cannabis bonsai?
Professional marijuana growers, when they find an outstanding plant, keep it as a mother plant in a vegetative state, in order to take from it the clones they need. The problem comes when we want to keep many moms at 18 hours, since they do not stop growing, invading the entire cultivation space.
So, doing marijuana bonsai you can keep your favorite genetics in the same way but in a much smaller space, didn’t you think about it? 🤗
I have a small cabinet where I gather all the mother plants I select, and the truth is that I spoil them as if they were my own children. This way you can collect the best cannabic genetics that you find or exchange in a reduced space. We’ve come to have up to 27 different genetics in a space of 3x3ft (1 M. x 1 M.). What do you think? 🌞
image of a mother plant bonsai kept in a pot of less than 0,3 US gal (1 litre) more than 1 year*
📲 Basic aspects for bonsai cultivation
Before starting to grow your bonsai cultivation, I’m going to give you some previous guidelines that you must know in order to get everything right.
First of all, the size of the pots should range between 0,08 and 0,5 US gal (0,3-2 liters), ensuring that they do not get out of control and have more autonomy, and of course you can buy them at the best price in our online Growshop.
Another factor to take into account is the substrate, which ideally is one like All Mix or similar, i.e. with many nutrients. This is important because one of the biggest problems that a bonsai faces is the accumulation of salts. At first it’s not obvious, while the roots have clean substrate they develop perfectly but, as time goes by, the use of enzymes becomes indispensable and the flowerpot gets smaller, so you only have 2 options, either transplanting or pruning roots.
The type of lighting is very important, it is recommended that you use low-energy bulbs with an output of between 125 and 200W. LEDs can also be a good option, as long as they are not very powerful. A minimum of power is necessary so that plants in a vegetative state do not start to flower. Buy the best lighting systems in our growshop online by clicking here.
💻 How to grow a cannabis bonsai step by step
It all starts by carefully selecting the cannabis cuttings, which may be a selection of yours or a known elite clone. Using cuttings, the resulting plants are more branched than stretched, which makes miniaturization easier, so we don’t recommend doing it with seeds.
Once you have selected the cuttings you are going to use, transplant to a small pot from 0,08 to 0,1 US gal (0,3 to 0,5 liters). As soon as you notice that it begins to grow, the first apical pruning or F.I.M. (this post interests you) should be done to encourage early branching. This will slow down vertical development and promote horizontal growth.
🎯 Training to shape a bonsai
If you still find that the vertical growth does not stop, you should use what is known as a tutoring system, ie, take the growth of the plant wherever you want using wire for bonsai, trying to bend the branches in the direction of the ground, forcing its horizontal development.
Some growers make small holes on the top of the pot, where they put the wire to guide the branches to the bottom of the plant, it can be a good solution.
A good method would be to make a hole at the top of each side of the pot, and guide the 4 lowest branches of the cuttings in each direction. This way we promote the penetration of light and aeration even in the lower parts of the plant.
image of a mother plant beginning to be trained to become bonsai*
It is very important that during the growth you watch the plant and you’ll need to cut some sprouts, so that the light can enter and avoid the appearance of mold and other insects that could damage it. Even so, I recommend that, from the beginning, you use a good phytosanitary that applied regularly will help you to avoid the appearance of different plagues that can affect your precious cannabis bonsai. It is also interesting to use healing to repair the damage caused by pruning.
You can see it in a much more graphic way in this video and I’m sure you won’t have any doubt!
🎬 Root pruning, root system maintenance
Once you have the plants in their flowerpots, you will have to keep in good condition their substrate, to do so it is essential to be careful with root growth, the foundation of any marijuana bonsai. Eventually, the roots will have colonized the entire pot, so there could be a problem of root spiralization or asphyxiation that might be lethal for mother plants.
This in turn, causes the water and nutrients retention to be much lower, which is why the only solution will be to transplant the cannabis bonsai to a previously conditioned substrate. To keep the compact form of the marijuana bonsai, it will be mandatory to maintain the same size of flowerpot, therefore, what is necessary to do is to apply a pruning of roots or Root Trimming, that consists in cutting cleanly the edges of the lump, to remove a slice of approximately 0,4-0,8 inches (2-3 cm.), and filling with new earth, managing to get the roots to enjoy again a fresh substrate and with a limited volume of root mass.
Ideally, this root pruning should be done a few days after cutting the offsprings, so root and plant mass will be equitable.
image of roots pruning in a bonsai plant, where you can see the cut done in the substrate*
👾 How to take care of cannabis bonsai trees?
Marijuana bonsais can be stored for about two years with virtually no problems, but for that you will have to consider a number of factors that will guarantee its health and therefore its longevity. The biggest problem of keeping mother plants for a long time is that the stems of the cuttings become more and more woody, which makes rooting more difficult and time consuming.
Ideally, mother plant bonsai trees should be renewed every 6 months or 1 year maximum.
– In the root system, the base of every plant, careful irrigation is recommended so that root development is adequate and avoiding the appearance of diseases such as Phytium, which arises with a substrate too soaked.
– In terms of lighting, I recommend using a photoperiod of 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness, as we want the plant to grow and not bloom. Some users have tested a light cycle of 6/6/6/6, i.e. 6 hours of light, 6 hours of darkness, 6 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness each day, this slows growth, but can stress plants.
– When bonsai tree is already formed, I recommend that you don’t relocate it, since the luminic and environmental conditions can affect it, causing the appearance of stress. Therefore, the ideal is to keep it in a growing cabinet, where you can give it the ideal environmental conditions, temperature, etc.
In this article, I have explained you what is a cannabis bonsai and how to grow one step by step, as well as different advices so that its life is as long as possible. I hope it has been helpful to you, and if you liked it by sharing it on social networks you will help this blog keep growing and continue to bring new tips every week for you. Oh! don’t forget that you can leave comments with your experience with cannabis bonsai trees in the comments section, Think Green (Piensa en Verde) Cannalover!😜
Discover in our blog Piensa en Verde ✍ ⚡ how to make a cannabis bonsai tree, step by step ❤️ ⭐ Get to know one of the most ancient techniques in the world!
The Bonsai Mother Technique..
The article stands alone, and illustrates a very powerful and simple technique for propagating mothers and fathers, so I thought it could use its own thread here.
This is a very simple guide to successfully keeping a two inch Bonsai mother plant. This technique can actually be adapted for any sized container bonsai’s typically being propagated and kept in up to 6 inch containers. The advantage of the 2 inch bonsai is simple. Propagating a Bonsai in a 2 inch container means that one can keep up to 36 Bonsai mothers per square foot.
A single 2 inch bonsai typically yields 5 to 10 cuttings per cycle, depending on what size the desired cutting is to be.
2 inch Bonsai mothers can typically be used for around five or six cycles, but I would recommend replacing all mothers with fresh clones of themselves, on an annual basis, just to help insure their health and survivability, long term.
This guide is going to follow the progress of a single male clone, started in a 2 inch container, over a period of around 6 months. With this particular male there will never be any cuttings taken., however it will still be pruned according to schedule. This helps illustrate a very important point, with bonsai mother propagation: It does not matter if you are taking every possible clone you can, or not a single clone at all, when you prune the bonsai, you prune it completely. For example if Joe only needs three cuttings and the bonsai has eight good branches, even though he is only using 3 cuttings, he still wants to prune all 8 branches on the plant. Even in this case when there is no cuttings to be taken whatsoever, this bonsai must be pruned and tended according to the same schedule or else it will atrophy and eventually die.
This plant pictured has been rooted in this container for around 2 months, it is almost 2 feet tall and is starting to atrophy slightly from being rootbound. It is time to prune this bonsai for the first time.
We start by pruning all the branches. If we were taking cuttings we would do so now,
taking as many tops as we needed for clones and discarding the rest.
Usually one does not take cuttings in this first phase.
Be sure to top all secondary branches, and top the entire plant as low as possible,
and be sure to leave at least one or two sets of nodes on each branch that is topped.
Try to make sure that all branches and the main top are all at the same height,
any where from 3-6 inches on average depending on the individual plant.
The next step is to prune the rootball, we start by cutting 25% off of each side.
It is best to use a sharp or serrated knife. After that we cut 50% off of the bottom of the plant.
When we are finished pruning the rootball it will look like this.
Once the rootball has been been pruned we transplant it back into the same container that it came from, with fresh dirt.
For at least the first week it is transplanted, and until there is new growth seen, the bonsai should not be fertilized.
I usually soak the plants with a solution of superthrive and maxicrop, right after transplanting,
I do this with all transplants, and while it is not necessary I find that it helps.
Once we see new growth forming we can start with a 10- 25% solution of veg fertilizer depending on how sensitive the plant is.
And once strong growth is witnessed, move up to 50%. In my experience 50% solution works just fine,
if the plant doesn’t green up after a week or two, a stronger solution can be used for one watering.
After 2 weeks to a month the plant will look like this picture.
If you need to, this will be the first opportunity to get a harvest of cuttings,
at this stage one can get around 5 cuttings per bonsai mother.
Now the plant has also had time to grow out a bunch of small little branches,
and once all cuttings have been taken, the plant is pruned as low as possible, again.
Once pruned back it will look something like this. The rootball was not shaved at this pruning,
but will need to be shaved on the next pruning.
This begins the dormant phase of the bonsai. The plant can be held for 2 to 3 months in this phase
before it will need to be cropped and have the rootball shaved again.
Generally, the plant should be pruned back, and the rootball shaved again 3 weeks before cuttings are needed.
It has been around three months since this bonsai was pruned. It is starting to atrophy a bit.
Now it will be topped. And its rootball shaved.
The Bonsai was topped carefully so that branches are all of uniform height.
Once the rootball has been shaved and it is transplanted back into its container,
it will be ready to harvest cuttings in 2-4 weeks depending on the strain.
Again, when we shave the rootball we cut 25% off of each side.
Once we have cut 25% off each side, we cut 50% off the bottom.
When we are done pruning the rootball it will look like this. Note how much dirt has been removed.
Now that it is transplanted back into its original container it will be treated the same way as last time.
In 3 -4 weeks it will be ready to harvest cuttings off of.
Now that it is fully mature bonsai it should have around 10 small uniform cuttings that can be taken off of it.
3 weeks later, the Bonsai is ready to harvest around 10+ cuttings off of.
Now generally the grower will keep 1 bonsai for every 5 cuttings he needs.
This might not seem like a lot but lets think about it for a second:
If a grower needs 45 cuttings, this means he needs 9 bonsai females,
well these 9 bonsai females will take up about one fourth of a square foot of space.
This means we can harvest a minimum of 180 cuttings per square foot of 2 inch bonsai mothers,
and realistically with most strains it is probably more like 360 cuttings per square foot.
Also, we can store 36 mothers per square foot with this method.
This Bonsai is around 6 months old. It can go through another 3 or 4 of these cycles before it will need to be replaced with a fresh one.
Generally speaking Bonsai mothers should be replaced once every year.
The article stands alone, and illustrates a very powerful and simple technique for propagating mothers and fathers, so I thought it could use its own thread…