The art of bonsai dates back to thousands of years ago. Bearing a Japanese origin, “bonsai” literally translates as “planted in a tray/container.”
Even though it is the Japanese aesthetics and tradition that has shaped bonsai into what we know it today, it was the Chinese that was the first ones to introduce the practice of cultivating trees obtained from the wild in small containers.
There is a broad range of plants that can be turned into bonsai masterpieces. In fact, the options are simply endless. So, can you grow bonsai marijuana plants? Most certainly, yes.
However, developing your skills in the art of bonsai is not deprived of possible challenges. The true value of bonsai is hidden in the utmost devotion, as well as regular care and attention that must be applied in order to nurture ordinary plants into miniature versions that bring joy to the senses when contemplated.
On the bright side, growing bonsai cannabis plants is bound to make you far more knowledgeable when it comes to understanding plants’ anatomy, as well as how do your green ladies respond to various training techniques, which is merely invaluable for your development as a cannabis cultivator.
Bonsai Cannabis Plants – Entering a Whole New World of Creativity
Nowadays, if you simply Google “bonsai cannabis,” you’ll quickly notice that it is literally hundreds of search results that pop up. It is not hard to figure out why introducing marijuana plants to the art of bonsai has grown so widely in popularity.
Just picture yourself waking up to feel the gentle rays of the morning sun kissing your skin while your sleepy eyes indulge in the view of a miniature cannabis plant set in your window. The intriguing little creature’s stem is artistically spiraled, giving way to tiny leaves (and possibly, tiny flowers), that fill your heart with delight, peace, and harmony. Growing a marijuana bonsai plant is a wonderful conversation starter whenever you invite your buddies for sharing a happy dinner, chilled out the weekend afternoon, or a Super Bowl party.
But considering the numerous cannabis bonsai tutorials available, does this mean it is easy to learn how to bonsai marijuana? The truth is, it really depends.
If you are a creative type of person who is not afraid to experiment, you will surely have tons of fun! However, this won’t be enough to ensure your cannabis bonsai will thrive and flourish. You need to be consistent, dedicated, and nonetheless, willing to do your proper research as to expand your knowledge on the topic.
Plus, you need to remember that keeping a bonsai plant (no matter if it is a cannabis bonsai plant or other types of bonsai plant) is much like looking after a pet. So, if you’re not the type of person who is able to dedicate enough time to take care of a cat or a dog, nurturing a cannabis bonsai might not be your thing either.
As to the gains of growing a cannabis bonsai, you will definitely learn the importance of patience (patience is considered a virtue in Japan). In fact, there is a specific term in Japanese philosophy – Shankan – which highlights that there is a beauty in taking your time.
What’s more, by growing a cannabis bonsai, you will also nurture a tiny cannabis plant companion that can stay by your side for a long, long time, as long as you keep attending to its needs with love and devotion.
Last but not least, bonsai plants can get very, very expensive. What has considered the most expensive bonsai is a centuries-old pine that was sold at the International Bonsai Convention in Takamatsu for (hold your breath!) $1.3 million. Well, who knows, maybe after years of carefully nurturing a cannabis bonsai plant, you can become the next marijuana bonsai guru to make a fortune!
Meet Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis
Talking about the deep Japanese imprint in the art of bonsai, it is inevitable to mention the story of the 35-year-old janitor Satoshi Ohashi who earned the nickname “Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis.” The original Mr. Miyagi appears in the Karate Kid 1 movie where he is regularly shown during the process of styling his bonsai masterpieces, sharing his witty-dry humor, wise advice, and absolutely impeccable karate skills.
Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis’ story went viral but, unfortunately, this was due to the fact Satoshi Ohashi was arrested at his home in 2017 for growing a total of 21 marijuana plants disguised as bonsai.
Charged with dealing Taima (“taima” being the Japanese word for marijuana), Satoshi Ohashi got in big trouble as Japanese marijuana laws are very strict.
Sadly, cannabis is still enforced with the same classification as heroin in the Country of the Rising Sun, so keeping in mind that the Japanese police confiscated a total of 212 grams of cannabis from Ohashi’s home, we can only keep our fingers crossed that he won’t be punished too harshly. In fact, we would love to see Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis demonstrate and share his skills in bonsai cannabis growing oversees at some point in the foreseeable future!
Another story of the Japanese illicit cannabis world also turned into one of the most hotly debated stories after an Osaka-based restaurant owner was arrested for the possession of 11 grams of cannabis.
While Japan marijuana policy is far, far away from advanced, you might be surprised to find out how innovative the young generation of Japanese bonsai artists has become.
For instance, Masashi Hirao (Japanese bonsai master born in 1981) has been promoting the joy of the art of bonsai as a non-solitary hobby, holding live demonstrations at various expos, clubs, and restaurants while pruning and styling bonsais under the rhythm of modern-day house music tracks: http://bonsaihirao.net/#profile
How to Bonsai a Marijuana Plant: The Do’s and the Don’ts
As we already mentioned above, bonsai cannabis plants are artistic endeavors. So if anybody’s trying to convince you that you can let a cannabis bonsai plant grow pretty much on its own, he/she obviously has no idea about the true essence of bonsai.
Staying True to the Core Aesthetics of Bonsai VS Letting your Imagination Run Wild
Now, let’s get things straight: the core concept of growing any bonsai plant is to make it appear just like the original-sized plant would look like in the living nature; bonsai is about creating a miniature replica of a living plant thanks to confining its root system in a small container and regularly pruning, trimming, training, and shaping it as to achieve the desired appearance.
With this in mind, if you really want to stay true to following the core concepts of bonsai, you’ll definitely need to dig a bit deeper into the particular styles and techniques developed by Japanese bonsai masters over the years. Cascade style, semi-cascade style, split trunk, deadwood – these are only a few of the terms you will want to get familiar with.
However, if you are not a big fan of following the rules and you frankly don’t care about the Japanese aesthetics and traditions behind the art of bonsai, you can feel 100% free to help your bonsai cannabis plant grow into whatever shape/style sparkles your imagination.
But then again, even without following the basic bonsai styles, you will still need to get familiar with the practical side of the matter, meaning how the application of particular pruning, training, and repotting techniques affects the growth and well-being of a plant that is confined to develop in a small container. Simply put, no research = no success, bud buddies. If you want to enjoy a cannabis bonsai plant in your home, you need to embrace this journey as a continual learning process.
Last but not least, understanding the core values of the art of bonsai is a game changer if you want to make your cannabis bonsai tree truly stand apart and hold the eye of the viewer by playing with line, texture, form, and color, among others.
Growing Male VS Growing Female Bonsai Cannabis Trees
Discussing how to grow a bonsai cannabis plant as a continual learning process, this very process is what will help you become a better cannabis grower when it comes to understanding the needs and growth patterns of your ordinary-sized green ladies.
But what about your choice of marijuana plants to introduce to the art of bonsai; do male marijuana plants make a good bonsai? Then, how about female cannabis bonsai plants?
In a nutshell, both male and female marijuana plants can make fantastic bonsai, the major difference being the fact that females can produce mesmerizing, tiny flowers (which are perfectly smokable, too!), while males will (obviously) fail to. Generally, male bonsai plants make a better choice when you are just stepping into the art of bonsai because you will have significantly fewer worries related to making your tiny female cannabis bonsai give birth to healthy, well-looking, and well-developing flowers.
Let’s not forget that when in flowering, cannabis plants become pickier and more pretentious over the growing conditions and environment, something that you can stay away from if you stick with male marijuana bonsai plants. Plus, this is an awesome way to experiment with the otherwise commonly thrown away male cannabis plants that pop out after germinating regular marijuana seeds.
Most noteworthy, making flowering cannabis plants return to the same vigor they possessed before the end of the flowering stage can be very challenging, and in fact, you can easily fail to make it survive. With males, though, you can pretty much keep cannabis bonsai growing for years to come which is actually the greatest reward of being a bonsai cannabis gardener.
Autoflowering marijuana strains can make excellent bonsai plants, too, although sticking with regular cannabis varieties will give you more room to experiment with the styles and shapes you can achieve
How Much Light a Bonsai Cannabis Needs?
Basically, it is perfectly fine to grow your bonsai cannabis green beauty with or without opting for grow lights. If placed on a windowsill, the natural light can be more than enough to nurture your miniature cannabis tree, especially if you are not in a hurry to make it rapidly thrive (and why should even you be?!)
Yet with a mind to speeding up the recovery process related to trimming/training your bonsai cannabis creature, you can significantly boost the process and prevent your cannabis bonsai from eventually having a hard time needed for regeneration by using additional grow lights. The more light = the faster growth, it’s pretty straightforward.
As to fertilizing your cannabis bonsai, you want to stay very moderate yet strict about fertilization. Remember that you are dealing with a miniature version of a cannabis plant, so everything you apply during the growing process, no matter if it comes to nutrients, watering or training, should be done with extra care and precision.
Displaying your Marijuana Bonsai Tree
According to Japanese aesthetics, bonsai display is a crucial part of the entire bonsai cultivation journey. By properly displaying your bonsai, you can accentuate its delicate, whimsical beauty and make it appear as if in perfect flow with the surrounding environment. Picture this as if displaying a picture by selecting an appropriate frame and positioning it in the best spot possible.
While there is nothing wrong about getting crafty and out-of-the-box with displaying a marijuana bonsai tree using colorful, eye-catching elements and/or additional decorative elements (such as, for example, tiny figures), the exquisiteness of a bonsai display resides in its ability to make the contemplators experience a feeling of nostalgia when gazing upon the unusually tiny plant species.
Based on Japanese bonsai culture and philosophy, anything too glistening and generally kind of “out there” is considered an element that distracts the attention of the contemplators from submerging into the delicate, non-obtrusive beauty and authenticity of the miniature bonsai masterpiece.
It is not really about whether you can grow bonsai marijuana plants but it is actually about whether you are passionate, motivated, and determined enough to do so. In fact, many experts believe that the future of cannabis bonsai plants looks very bright and that we are about to witness the rise of this revolutionary form of art in the foreseeable future.
Best of all, not only that you can grow a bonsai cannabis tree but attend to its needs by shaping, training, and pruning it, can be a fantastic, new way to enjoy your cannabis high while being involved in a practice that can actually help you become a better person. For what both traditional bonsai tree masters and cannabis growers share in common is a sincere love and affection for their plants, so why not combine this genuine passion by growing your very own bonsai marijuana plant.