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Friday, 15 May 2009

Borrowing from Bonsai

You don’t need to grow miniature plants to benefit from the wisdom of bonsai growers. Choose the scale you want and use the techniques to you’re your containers trees and shrubs healthy and in perfect proportions.

Trees and shrubs commonly start to look stressed once the roots fill the pot. The problem if you put them in a bigger pot, they’ll just grow bigger. What bonsai growers do is prune back the roots. For container gardeners wanting medium-sized plants, trimming back the roots by up to a third and putting the plant back in the same pot with fresh compost will work wonders.

The other useful technique is to regularly pinch out the leaf tips, which keeps plants bushy and compact, and to prune back the side shoots before they get too long. Done regularly over several seasons, even naturally vigorous trees and shrubs begin to learn the ideal size you would like them to grow and develop well in their new well-behaved habits.

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