Cannabis Bonsai – How To Grow Weed Bonzai Tree: Step-by-Step Guide
A lot of people think that a Bonsai is a certain type of tree that grows small but little do they know, Bonsai literally means “planted in a container”, this art form refers to various training and pruning techniques that can be applied to certain shrubs and trees. Not all species can be grown this way but, luckily for you, cannabis is great for this technique so if you want to learn how to grow your own cannabis Bonsai, here’s our guide!
1. What Are Bonsais?
Bonsai is an art form and a gardening technique with over 1000 years old, despite being associated with Japanese culture, Bonsai growing is actually an old Chinese practice that Japanese Buddhist eventually refined and developed even further. It was once reserved for only the most elite in society, but these days the knowledge of how to practice bonsai has spread worldwide. Canna-bonsai may be new to the game, but it works amazingly well and the results can be as beautiful as any other bonsai art.
This practice consists of growing a certain plant by applying training techniques to make a miniature version while maintaining the proportion and asymmetry, leaving no trace of man-made interaction. To achieve this, growers plant their plants in a small container and apply LST and HST techniques while restraining and sometimes pruning the roots, which will restrict growth and result in a miniature size.
2. Plant Training Techniques For Bonsais
When growing any kind of plant into a bonsai (including cannabis plants) there are basically two techniques applied; One is bending and/or tying down the branches which is a low-stress training method and the other is topping or fimming which is a high-stress training method.
Low-Stress training (aka LST) is one of the main methods used by Bonsai growers to achieve the desired height and overall structure of a cannabis plant. This is achieved by bending and tying down the branches and main stem to make it grow sideways or in a specific way other than upwards. To perform these techniques correctly, you will have to use wire, string, or plant ties to bend a branch into growing in the desired direction, thus achieving the typical bonsai structure (when done correctly).
Many growers prefer topping or fimming to encourage side growth which may be more stressful for most cannabis plants but take less time and effort while keeping height more consistent and easier for your plant to grow several colas. But, when growing cannabis for your own consumption, topping once or twice (or even more) will do the job but when talking about cannabis bonsais it may not be the best option because, despite resulting in a shorter plant, it will not resemble a traditional bonsai tree so you will still have to apply LST techniques.
3. Before starting
Before starting with your own cannabis bonsai, there are a couple of things you should have in mind. First of all; In order for your bonsai to turn out as good as it can be, it’s better to use strains that tend to grow shorter and compact, with a thicker stem, and smaller leaves, so in general, it’s recommended to use shorter varieties. Due to the smaller size, it’s highly advised to use Indica-dominant autoflowers such as our Strawberry Pie Auto, which grows even less than Indica-leaning photoperiodic strains and will make it easier to control your cannabis bonsai’s height.
First time on this strain first time lst . It was great although I made many mistakes with the PH , she treated very well.
Also, have in mind that you won’t get big yields due to the final size of the plant so this isn’t recommended if you are looking to get a big harvest, it’s actually more of a hobby for home growers who want to experiment with new things. Second; Growing a healthy bonsai involves a lot of both HST and LST plant training and adjusting the amount of fertilizer you feed so despite being a small plant, it takes a lot of time and dedication to do it properly but it’s definitely worth it.
4. How To Grow Your Own Cannabis Bonsai Step-By-Step
So, in order to start growing your own cannabis bonsai, you’ll need the following:
- A cannabis plant seed or clone;
- Plant ties, wire, or string:
- Drill to make holes on the pot or tape to hold the wire, string, plant ties, etc;
- A bamboo or wooden stake.
Step 1 – Preparing the pot
You don’t necessarily need to drill the holes, you can get away by just using tape or flexible wires but making the holes on the side of the pot will save you from a lot of headaches.
So, start by drilling the holes (or making them any way you prefer); These holes are where you’ll be tying the branches so make sure the holes are wide enough for the material of choice to go through (either wire, string, plant ties, etc..).
Step 2 – Providing support
The most important aspect of bonsais is the appearance, to achieve this you can use anything you want or have available but most growers will use a wooden stake next to the stem or trunk to be able to position the stem in any direction you need to, allowing you to reach the desired shape easier. To position the stake, press the wooden or bamboo stake into the soil alongside the stem, just be careful so you don’t damage the roots.
You can use whatever your ant as long as you provide support so your plant maintains the desired shape.
Once the stake is in place, you can use a piece of string, wire, or a plant tie to tie your plant to the stake or use the stake to provide support and tie your branch to one of the holes you’ve made. Have in mind that a stake is not obligatory but can make things easier if it’s the first time you are trying to grow your own cannabis bonsai.
Step 3 – Tying down branches
Once your cannabis plant has completely developed around 3-4 nodes, you can go ahead and start with the plant training. Just like with the stem, you will have to bend the branches, and this is where the plant ties come in.
Before starting you have to envision which shape you want to achieve and once you have an idea, hold the branches in the desired direction and tie them to the holes you’ve made in the pot. Have in mind that the tie is just to hold them in place and let them grow in the desired direction so make sure you don’t tie them too tight to allow them to continue growing.
Step 4 – Removing growth
Despite the training methods applied to your cannabis bonsai, it’s most likely it will grow bigger than you anticipated or wanted to so it’ll come the time when you’ll have to prune it, aka remove some leaves and even some branches. Pruning mostly serves to give your cannabis plant that unique bonsai look but will also allow air to flow in between the branches (and eventually buds) which prevents mold and bugs so it’s important to do it correctly.
When pruning, make sure you only remove the new offshoot branches (the branches that grow from the main branches), it’s important you don’t remove the main ones because this will stress your plant and stunt growth.
Step 5 – Reaping the rewards
As said before, growing a bonsai cannabis plant isn’t ideal for those who want to get big harvests (obviously) but despite being small, your cannabis bonsai will flower so once your plant is ready, it’s time for harvest. Now, if you’re not a cannabis consumer or you don’t want to kill your plant, you can leave it be for quite some time but your plant will eventually turn into a male in an attempt to produce seeds. So, in the long run, even if you don’t consume cannabis yourself it’s best to harvest the buds at the optimal time. After you have harvested the flowers, it’s time to dry those nuggets of fun. Leave them in a dark, well-ventilated room. Temperature between 17 to 24 degrees Celcius and relative humidity between 45 – 55% is perfect, and in 7 to 12 days you should have beautifully dried weed ready for the curing process.
To cure those buds, chuck them into a sturdy mason jar. We cure weed to increase the aromas, flavors, and overall quality of the smoke. This is done by slowing that drying process for the very last of the moisture captured deep inside the bud. You want the humidity inside the curing jars to be around 55 – 65%. Be sure not to overfill the jars past about three-quarters full. This ensures there’s enough air for the buds to actually cure and not just stew in their own humidity. For the first week or so you want to “burp” the jars twice a day, then week 2 to 4 once every three days or so, and after that once a week is fine.
How long does it take to cure cannabis? Well, that’s a bit of a contentious subject among cultivators. Some people are fine with a 2-week cure, but in our opinion, it needs a bit longer. Some strains can benefit from a cure all the way up to 6 months. 6 weeks is usually fine though if you can hold out that long! So, now you are left with an almost budless, yet healthy cannabis bonsai living work of art. What next? Well, with a couple of easy steps you can keep it living for years and years to come. Let the plant recover for 2 weeks or so after harvest (as this will put her in an extremely stressed state). Once ready, cut the top third of the plant cleanly off. The next third need to be defoliated and pruned, with any older, yellowing leaves removed. Keep a few fan leaves in this middle third, but remove most of them.
The lower third needs to be totally left alone, including any buds that may have formed there. This is highly important for the regeneration process to be successful. Once you have finished the pruning, it’s time to put the bonsai back under 18 hours of light and force her back into the vegetative growth stage. You need to feed her a good amount of nitrogen to help kickstart the vegetative growth. She won’t need the same amount of water as she did before the harvest, so be careful not to overwater at this stage. The bonsai will put on a little extra size each season, and although the potency of the buds does drop with every year, the beauty only increases. It’s amazing the shapes and designs canna-bonsais can end up in after multiple years of training!
5. In Conclusion
Despite not being the best idea for people growing their medicine, a cannabis bonsai is a great way to acquire knowledge on plant training while growing beautiful bonsais that will amaze even non-cannabis consumers; A time-consuming yet rewarding hobby suited for all growers. If you have experience with cannabis bonsais to help fellow growers with your tips and tricks, leave a comment in the comment section below!
Grow A Budsai, Your Own Cannabis Bonsai!
In this special blog, we have a look at a cannabis grow technique you don’t see every day… We give you the story of UkDam, a long-time cannabis fan and dedicated grower who’s not afraid to experiment. Ever heard of ‘budsai’? Well, sit back and prepare to be amazed, because we’re going to show you how to grow and train a budsai: your very own cannabis bonsai plant!
Budsai: Cannabis Grown The Bonsai Way
Most of us growers tend to look beyond the limits of our own cannabis hobby sometimes. If you are intrigued by the power of nature, and you like a bit of creativity too, them you’re probably heard about bonsai before. This ancient miniature plant-rearing technique, now popular among gardeners all over the world, first emerged in ancient China and Japan.
Classic bonsai tree
In Japanese, bonsai means ‘tray plant’. That’s because, as you may have guessed, bonsai trees are raised on trays rather than in large pots or in soil. The tray prevents main taproot of the tree from digging down deep. That’s why bonsai trees are miniature trees: their stunted taproot limits how tall they can grow. Combined with the right kind of pruning and trimming techniques – and an amazing supply of patience – bonsai training allows growers to ‘sculpt’ miniature trees.
Cannabis Bonsai: Why Grow Budsai?
If you like what you see so far, it’s time for some clarification. The purpose of bonsai – and budsai – is not growing for harvest. As you’ll find out, you won’t grow big fat buds on a budsai. In fact, you won’t grow miniature buds either. Bonsai was never intended to grow trees or fruit for production. It’s a thing of beauty, and a pastime that fosters patience and a deep, zen-like appreciation of nature. It’s almost meditation in that sense.
Budsai can really be your way to meditate on the nature of your favourite plant in the whole wide world. It can lift your growing philosophy to a whole new level. Just want to grow for superb harvests and the finest homegrown weed in the world? We got you: just pick any seeds from our webshop and follow our grow blogs for expert tips instructions! If you love weed, however, and you’re looking to take that love to a whole other level, then budsai may be just your kind of thing!
Budsai Is Growing Weed With A Twist
Some plants are more suited for bonsai training than others. You often see pine, acer, or oak used as raw materials; cannabis is definitely no likely candidate. People often look to tradition to choose their bonsai. Usually, they choose plants that tend to look aged after just a few years. No matter how you look at it though, a weed plant is no likely candidate. Still, our brave cannabis grower decided to give it a go one day.
From acer to weed: not that big a leap, really…
The First Budsai Cannabis Bonsai
UkDam recalls: “It all started some 15 years back. I’d been busy growing cannabis for some time when a friend asked me to look after his bonsai tree. Of course, I was like, sure, how hard can it be, and took it off his hands. I guess I just got the bug from there, because once I figured out how to keep this tiny guy alive, I wanted to give it a go myself. Soon, different species followed. Looking back, it was only a matter of time before my new bonsai passion and my old love for growing weed collided…”
Having kept the bonsai alive for his friend over several trips and holidays, our budsai gardener lost touch with his ‘guest tree’. Meanwhile, UkDam kept upping his ganja growing game, which he’d been dabbling in long before he met his first bonsai. He had evolved to the point where he operated a full year-round grow scheme. LED lighting and vertical growing were added to the mix and his yields kept getting better. On his trips to Amsterdam, UkDam had discovered Amsterdam Genetics seeds. After a series of grows, AG strains were definitely among his favourite genetics.
Then, at some random moment, a magazine caught UkDam’s eye. A bonsai magazine, to be sure. Having developed his weed grow techniques and his green touch over the years, he decided to give bonsai another go, only this time, he’d do it with a twist. How about combining that ancient eastern tradition with his number one favourite plant? At that moment, the concept of ‘budsai’ was born.
Growing Mini Trees out Of Weed
Now, at first glance, weed plants are not like traditional bonsai trees at all. To begin with, they’re not trees; they’re flowering herbs. They also have quite large fan leaves that can make a miniature plant look unrealistic according to some. What’s more, cannabis is an annual, while bonsai usually take years and years to grow, making only perennials likely candidates for the lengthy bonsai training process. Thankfully, our grower figured out a way to tackle that: revegged mother plants.
Revegging mother plants gets you fresh budsai cuttings.
UkDam’s past ganja grows had taught him a few things about genetics. He had discovered that one particular strain, our very own Strawberry Glue, was the perfect girl for the job. She was a tough, robust plant that could take some stress. Furthermore, her stout sativa build and fast growing habits made her great potential budsai material. When he inquired, his contacts at Amsterdam Genetics forwarded some prime seeds.
Strawberry Glue under normal conditions.
Fittingly, UkDam named his brand new budsai mother plant after his own mother, who had sadly passed away a few years earlier. The Strawberry Glue genetics worked like a charm. The great thing about revegging a mother plant is the fact that you can reset the annual cycle time and time again. That means you can keep that mother plant alive for years, allowing you to use fresh cuttings to start your new budsai or other projects! As the pictures show, growing a budsai bonsai from the right type of cannabis is certainly worth a try!
Amsterdam Genetics budsai in progress!
Tips From The Budsai Boss
So how do you go about it when you want to train and grow a budsai of your own? Here’s some pro tips from the man himself to help you along:
Always get quality seeds. If you’re going to create a mother plant and want her to remain in the vegetative phase of her life, you’d better get yourself some solid, tough genes to work with. Try different strains if you like, but look for fast growers with high stress tolerance. Sativa-dominant hybrids tend to do well, but go and see what works for you. Oh yes, to prevent disappointment: as you’re letting your budsai reveg, it can’t go into the flowering stage. That means no bud for you to harvest. Grow some extra weed beside your budsai if you want bud!
Be Gentle; Go Slow
Let your plant grow before you start to manipulate it into shape. Use your fingers to train it; tweezers and wire will easily damage it. Just don’t start twisting it too soon; let it grow firm first. Wait until you have at least two or three sets of leaves sprout from the stem before you start to work. Only then should you slowly start to bend the plant into the shape you prefer for your budsai.
Start easy – save the complex stuff for later!
The Right Kind Of Budsai Pot For Your Cannabis Bonsai
No, not pot pot; I mean flower pots. Make sure your pot is big enough to support your budsai. Now, don’t worry: you’ll be able to switch to a larger pot when the time comes, but the important thing here is root space. Make sure your budsai pot gives your plant’s roots enough room or it’ll go rootbound. That’s when the pot becomes crammed with roots only, rather than roots in soil. Rootbound plants don’t develop as they would in nature, so check whether your budsai pot leaves enough room for roots.
Control Your Grow
You can really slow down your budsai’s growth if you switch to flowering for a day or two. When you switch back, the plant will revert to the veg phase afterwards. That will really slow its growing pace. Experiment to figure out the best timing here.
Love & Patience
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly: growing budsai has little to do with growing your own bud. If you want harvest, grow your ganja the proper way. If you’re interested in learning more about how your favourite plants actually work, and you’re up for a challenge, then why not give budsai a go? Keep in mind that there’s no rush here. This great twist on growing cannabis the usual way is intended exclusively for two groups of people: those with loads of patience, and those with NO patience who want to LEARN patience…
If you’re one of the two, we wish you all the best on your new budsai project! UkDam will return soon with a step-by-step budsai grow guide to explain how you can grow your very own weed bonsai at home.
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How to grow a cannabis bonsai tree
Welcome back to our blog Pevgrow! Today I’m going to focus this article on trying to enlighten you on how to make your own marijuana bonsai tree. Yes! You got it right! Mr. Miyagi would be proud of you, Let’s go Daniel San!
The Bonsai is an art that requires a lot of patience and surgeon’s pulse to maintain gracefully a plant inside a very small cultivation space that has been an inspiration to be able to grow cannabis in very confined spaces. More concretely, the culture of cannabis bonsai trees is a perfect option for the conservation of mother plants in a very small culture cabinet. Do you want to know more, right? Stay with me!
☕ Why grow a cannabis bonsai?
Professional marijuana growers, when they find an outstanding plant, keep it as a mother plant in a vegetative state, in order to take from it the clones they need. The problem comes when we want to keep many moms at 18 hours, since they do not stop growing, invading the entire cultivation space.
So, doing marijuana bonsai you can keep your favorite genetics in the same way but in a much smaller space, didn’t you think about it?
I have a small cabinet where I gather all the mother plants I select, and the truth is that I spoil them as if they were my own children. This way you can collect the best cannabic genetics that you find or exchange in a reduced space. We’ve come to have up to 27 different genetics in a space of 3x3ft (1 M. x 1 M.). What do you think?
image of a mother plant bonsai kept in a pot of less than 0,3 US gal (1 litre) more than 1 year*
Basic aspects for bonsai cultivation
Before starting to grow your bonsai cultivation, I’m going to give you some previous guidelines that you must know in order to get everything right.
First of all, the size of the pots should range between 0,08 and 0,5 US gal (0,3-2 liters), ensuring that they do not get out of control and have more autonomy, and of course you can buy them at the best price in our online Growshop.
Another factor to take into account is the substrate, which ideally is one like All Mix or similar, i.e. with many nutrients. This is important because one of the biggest problems that a bonsai faces is the accumulation of salts. At first it’s not obvious, while the roots have clean substrate they develop perfectly but, as time goes by, the use of enzymes becomes indispensable and the flowerpot gets smaller, so you only have 2 options, either transplanting or pruning roots.
The type of lighting is very important, it is recommended that you use low-energy bulbs with an output of between 125 and 200W. LEDs can also be a good option, as long as they are not very powerful. A minimum of power is necessary so that plants in a vegetative state do not start to flower. Buy the best lighting systems in our growshop online by clicking here.
How to grow a cannabis bonsai step by step
It all starts by carefully selecting the cannabis cuttings, which may be a selection of yours or a known elite clone. Using cuttings, the resulting plants are more branched than stretched, which makes miniaturization easier, so we don’t recommend doing it with seeds.
Once you have selected the cuttings you are going to use, transplant to a small pot from 0,08 to 0,1 US gal (0,3 to 0,5 liters). As soon as you notice that it begins to grow, the first apical pruning or F.I.M. (this post interests you) should be done to encourage early branching. This will slow down vertical development and promote horizontal growth.
Training to shape a bonsai
If you still find that the vertical growth does not stop, you should use what is known as a tutoring system, ie, take the growth of the plant wherever you want using wire for bonsai, trying to bend the branches in the direction of the ground, forcing its horizontal development.
Some growers make small holes on the top of the pot, where they put the wire to guide the branches to the bottom of the plant, it can be a good solution.
A good method would be to make a hole at the top of each side of the pot, and guide the 4 lowest branches of the cuttings in each direction. This way we promote the penetration of light and aeration even in the lower parts of the plant.
image of a mother plant beginning to be trained to become bonsai*
It is very important that during the growth you watch the plant and you’ll need to cut some sprouts, so that the light can enter and avoid the appearance of mold and other insects that could damage it. Even so, I recommend that, from the beginning, you use a good phytosanitary that applied regularly will help you to avoid the appearance of different plagues that can affect your precious cannabis bonsai. It is also interesting to use healing to repair the damage caused by pruning.
You can see it in a much more graphic way in this video and I’m sure you won’t have any doubt!
Root pruning, root system maintenance
Once you have the plants in their flowerpots, you will have to keep in good condition their substrate, to do so it is essential to be careful with root growth, the foundation of any marijuana bonsai. Eventually, the roots will have colonized the entire pot, so there could be a problem of root spiralization or asphyxiation that might be lethal for mother plants.
This in turn, causes the water and nutrients retention to be much lower, which is why the only solution will be to transplant the cannabis bonsai to a previously conditioned substrate. To keep the compact form of the marijuana bonsai, it will be mandatory to maintain the same size of flowerpot, therefore, what is necessary to do is to apply a pruning of roots or Root Trimming, that consists in cutting cleanly the edges of the lump, to remove a slice of approximately 0,4-0,8 inches (2-3 cm.), and filling with new earth, managing to get the roots to enjoy again a fresh substrate and with a limited volume of root mass.
Ideally, this root pruning should be done a few days after cutting the offsprings, so root and plant mass will be equitable.
image of roots pruning in a bonsai plant, where you can see the cut done in the substrate*
How to take care of cannabis bonsai trees?
Marijuana bonsais can be stored for about two years with virtually no problems, but for that you will have to consider a number of factors that will guarantee its health and therefore its longevity. The biggest problem of keeping mother plants for a long time is that the stems of the cuttings become more and more woody, which makes rooting more difficult and time consuming.
Ideally, mother plant bonsai trees should be renewed every 6 months or 1 year maximum.
– In the root system, the base of every plant, careful irrigation is recommended so that root development is adequate and avoiding the appearance of diseases such as Phytium, which arises with a substrate too soaked.
– In terms of lighting, I recommend using a photoperiod of 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness, as we want the plant to grow and not bloom. Some users have tested a light cycle of 6/6/6/6, i.e. 6 hours of light, 6 hours of darkness, 6 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness each day, this slows growth, but can stress plants.
– When bonsai tree is already formed, I recommend that you don’t relocate it, since the luminic and environmental conditions can affect it, causing the appearance of stress. Therefore, the ideal is to keep it in a growing cabinet, where you can give it the ideal environmental conditions, temperature, etc.
In this article, I have explained you what is a cannabis bonsai and how to grow one step by step, as well as different advices so that its life is as long as possible. I hope it has been helpful to you, and if you liked it by sharing it on social networks you will help this blog keep growing and continue to bring new tips every week for you. Oh! don’t forget that you can leave comments with your experience with cannabis bonsai trees in the comments section, Think Green (Piensa en Verde) Cannalover!