Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Project by Travel Man# 3 - Bonsai: How to make one as added attraction for your garden

The Japanese people is known for innovating nature's natural beauty.One of it is making miniature trees or the popularly known art of bonsai.

When I was at the Koyo Dockyard of Mihara city, way back the last weekend of March 2011 as may maiden experience on being a seafarer, I was enthralled by miniature pine trees planted along the alleys of the nearby garden. As if I was in a place called Lilliputians (courtesy of Gulliver's travel) where everything are small or in miniature shapes.

Bon means tree and sai means tray. The period of making bonsai tree is as easy as having a science experiment. It's healthy for our minds. You can imitate it, but you can never copy the originality of a bonsai maker. If you're going to make a career out of it, you must be ready of the accolades that will be fired on you by your potential admirers. Are you ready? Hop in for a Bonsai-Making ride.

First you must buy a clay tray that is suited for the plant that you'll plant on it. If not or the market is far but you want to make one in a jiffy, you can choose a rectangular Tupperware. Mine is a red rectangular one and it's stashed in the corner of the dirty kitchen. Well, it's time to prove that it's still reusable. Recycling idle items can be both awesome and environment-friendly.

Travel Man's Bonsai (using young orange plant)
Travel Man's Bonsai (using young orange plant)

If you still remember the inner layer of the earth, you can imitate the layer by putting it on the tray. You can place coal, clay, stone, sand and soil.

  • coal - will be at the base of the receptacle or container.
  • clay - or you can select clay-loam soil. It will hold the amount of water you'll sprinkle
  • stone - select small stones and put it next
  • sand - little amount to fill
  • soil - loam is appropriate


My elder sister made a bonsai out of lemon tree. She cut half the primary root and trimmed all other smaller roots She also cut half of each leaf, then place it on the surface (soil) and stone. She covered the surface with green moss. This will make the surface moist, even with little amount of water.

Observe that the plant will sprout little leaves on its branches. You can also control the amount of sunlight by placing it on your windowsill. Place it in the shade most of the time with sufficient amount of light. This will prevent the moss from withering.

If takes months for the plant to have little sturdy branches. Bonsai experts added wiring to shape the plant in unique design.

Here's what Travel man did on his bonsai

  1. He put holes on the base of the rectangular Tupperware he salvaged from the dirty kitchen.
  2. He then put layers of coal, clayey loam soil, sand, and topsoil (loam).
  3. He literally plucked the young plant of orange. Trimmed down roots, cut the leaves, (literally making it barren) then immediately plant it at the red rectangular bonsai container.
  4. For top off (toppings), he scraped the moss (green thing) from the wall of his house.
  5. He placed it on the shade.

Step-by-step Bonsai-Making

1. The rectangular Tupperware, with shovel and kitchen knife (photo by Travel Man)
1. The rectangular Tupperware, with shovel and kitchen knife (photo by Travel Man)
2. One whole at the middle of the base of the modified Bonsai receptacle (Photo by Travel Man)
2. One whole at the middle of the base of the modified Bonsai receptacle (Photo by Travel Man)
3. The target: young Orange plant (Photo by Travel Man)
3. The target: young Orange plant (Photo by Travel Man)
4. He uprooted it!!! (Photo by Travel Man)
4. He uprooted it!!! (Photo by Travel Man)
5. He immediately trimmed the roots (Photo by Travel Man)
5. He immediately trimmed the roots (Photo by Travel Man)
6. He pruned the  leaves, too! (Photo by Travel Man)
6. He pruned the leaves, too! (Photo by Travel Man)
7. He shoveled some coal from burned wood (Photo by Travel Man)
7. He shoveled some coal from burned wood (Photo by Travel Man)
8. Rocks and sand (Photo by Travel Man)
8. Rocks and sand (Photo by Travel Man)
9. Put the soil layer. (Photo by Travel Man)
9. Put the soil layer. (Photo by Travel Man)
10. The soil-clayey loam & loam (Photo by Travel Man)
10. The soil-clayey loam & loam (Photo by Travel Man)
11. It's almost done..still adding the moss. (Photo by Travel Man)
11. It's almost done..still adding the moss. (Photo by Travel Man)
12. There. It's Travel Man's Bonsai!!!
12. There. It's Travel Man's Bonsai!!!

Wiring the bonsai

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Courtesy of http://absolutebonsai.com/Courtesy of http://www.growing-bonsai.com/http://1.bp.blogspot.com/
Courtesy of http://absolutebonsai.com/
Courtesy of http://absolutebonsai.com/
Courtesy of http://www.growing-bonsai.com/
Courtesy of http://www.growing-bonsai.com/
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/

Caring of Bonsai

Other Bonsai makers used perennial plants and deciduous trees. Juniper, acacia or narra trees are popularly used.

Wiring is being used as part of making unique shapes on bonsai.

The following photos at Public Domain sites are used as reference to give you more choices on how you can improve you bonsai and even market it to the local or international enthusiasts.

See how they do it and plan on how to make a bonsai (plant on a tray) if you wish to experience the enjoyment of accomplishing it.

There are terms that you must remember in caring your bonsai. Pruning of the leaves, grafting branches, soil layering, the proper watering and the long-lasting maintenance.

Disclaimer:This hubber is a fan of bonsai. Making it is an actual manifestation that this man is trying to improve his knowledge about gardening. Expect more of his 'green thumb' in his future hubs.

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Comments 7 comments

mkrandhawa profile image

mkrandhawa 5 years ago from India

very nice Hub.voted up


thebluearatus 5 years ago

yes definitely a great one.

i have a few in my garden, but it takes a lot of patience when you start up with one.


thebluearatus 5 years ago

You have always amused me with your ideal works.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@mkrandhawa: Thanks for your vote of confidence. I need it that much. I'm overwhelmed!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@thebluearatus: Thanks to you. Amusement can never be this fun. Yes, it takes a lot of patience to be making bonsai. I'll be an advocate of it for the rest of my life.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Lots of work. Voted up and awesome!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@dallas93444: Thank you for appreciating this. Patience and hard work go hand in hand while doing this project.

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