10 Simple Steps to Grow a Bonsai Garden at Home

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Mangat Singh Thakur

Thakur, 80, retired in 2001 and started growing bonsais at home. At present, he has 550 bonsai plants on his rooftop terrace in Rohini. He runs Bonsai Factory, his YouTube Channel where he shares detailed tutorial videos.

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YOUR GUIDE

Plant

"You do not need any special seeds to get started. You can use any plant that can grow into a tree,” he says.

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Potting Mix

Combine 15% of nursery soil, 10% manure, 3% neem cake fertiliser, 4-5% chalk, 10% of pit sand (badarpur), 5% brick pieces, 5% raw coal pieces, 2% ash fertiliser, 10% of coir dust, 10% of bonemeal, and 15% dry leaves. You could also add some pieces of rotten wood to enhance the mix.

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Filter: First Sieve

Filter the potting mix through the first sieve. Store leftover coarse stones or twigs in a plastic container.

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Filter: Second Sieve

After filtering the potting mix which is left, pass it through the second sieve. Remove the leftover soil and keep it in another vessel.

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Filter: Third Sieve

Filter the remaining soil through the third sieve.

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Dry in Sun 

Collect the soil in separate utensils or containers, and dry out in the sun.

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Thick Clay

“We need thick clay for bonsai. If we keep its soil in polythene [bags], then moisture gets in and the soil starts breaking.

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Press Layers 

Add thick soil to the pot and then add other types of soil. Press all the layers hard with your hands. Do not fill the pot completely.

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Place the Plant

Place the bonsai plant in it. Add more soil and pat it down with the help of any wood.

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Watering

Place the bonsai in a tub or bucket filled with water. After keeping it in water for three to four hours, place the bonsai in a shady location.

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