Yes, with some time and patience, you can shape a weed plant into a bonsai tree
If you’ve had dreams of nurturing your own bonsai tree ever since you watched Mr. Miyagi in Karate Kid — this is your chance. Because not only can you shape a marijuana plant into a cannabis bonsai, it might be the best way to start trying your hand at this ancient craft.
But first, what is a bonsai tree, and how do you grow one?
How to Grow a Bonsai
Contrary to popular belief, “bonsai” doesn’t refer to a specific species of tree. Rather, it’s a way to grow and shape a tree. It’s a well-known Japanese art form of designing a very small tree to closely resemble its much larger counterpart in the wild. These trees are almost always grown in a container, and any type of tree can be a bonsai. But some are easier to train and style than others.
You can grow your own bonsai with seeds or a small cutting. However, most people opt for a tree from a nursery since it is easier. Growing and shaping a bonsai tree isn’t necessarily difficult, either. It’s just a matter of putting in the time and the patience required. For some trees, it may take years to achieve the style you’re looking for.
The three most common types of bonsai are slanted, formal and informal. Using simple techniques like pruning and wiring, you can bend branches to grow in a particular shape and keep the tree miniature. Through careful and creative planning, you can produce an aesthetically pleasing bonsai tree. For many, this can be a fulfilling and even a zen-like practice. Through long-term commitment to the tree, some even begin think of their bonsais like family.
How to Grow a Cannabis Bonsai
You can use marijuana to grow a bonsai tree, though it may be easier to start with a cutting rather than cannabis seed. Cannabis grows faster than trees, so it presents a way to break into the art of bonsai without the decade-long commitment. Losing a bonsai tree after such a long time can feel devastating. And if you’ve never had your own weed plants before, it can be a fun way to learn how to grow marijuana.
The most important part of a healthy plant is the soil. And since you’ll want to keep your weed bonsai in a pot that’s on the smaller side, you want soil that will retain water and hydrate well. Another good tip for any bonsai tree is to drill small holes around the lip of the pot. That way, you’ll have something with which to anchor your wiring later on.
Once you’ve installed your cutting or seed start in its new home, you can tie the stem to a wooden stake to train the growth of the plant. Once it starts emitting branches, you can prune and train them in the design you prefer. In order to stunt the plant into that miniature bonsai style, you’ll need to actively prune to prevent vertical growth.
Pruning also allows light and airflow to reach the nether regions of the plant. But it can also help prevent mold, which is a factor to be aware of when learning how to grow cannabis. Use wire to train the branches of your cannabis bonsai to grow horizontally instead of vertically.
Harvesting Your Weed Bonsai
This is where the process of growing your own cannabis bonsai gets exciting, because at a certain point you can harvest its buds and then smoke them. Keep a close eye on the trichomes and small hair-like pistils. Look to see when they turn from white to orange and then deeper in shade. This is just one of the ways to discern when your flowers are mature and ready to pick.
After you’ve harvested your buds from your bonsai tree, you can keep the plant around as a work of art, put it into a vegetative state so that it can flower again, or start a new weed bonsai. Because again, the beauty of using marijuana for bonsai is the quick gratification.
You can keep a cannabis bonsai tree around for multiple seasons, though each time it flowers the bud may lose some potency. And the stems may become stiffer over time, making them harder to shape. If you’re planning on maintaining your bonsai for a couple of years, be sure to give it the right nutrition, and trim the roots when they fill the pot.
Most importantly, don’t stress if your first weed bonsai doesn’t turn out. Thanks to their quick growing time, you can easily start again.