Bonsai is an ancient Japanese plant art technique that makes normal tree seedlings and turns them into miniature art pieces of nature. The art of bonsai is only achieved by constantly bending, hold down, and cutting the branches. These miniature bonsai trees can maintain their sizes for years and years.
Trees such as cedar, oak, and pine could be the most beautiful Bonsai. But these bonsai can be made into a more stylish version, and it can be any tree or shrub.
For a change, you can try growing a Bonsai tree straight from the seeds, and you can use the common trees that you can see around and readily available anywhere like the citrus fruits. You’ll surely enjoy growing them and be energized just by looking at their glossy leaves and smelling their pleasant aroma.
The lemon tree is a famous citrus that can be quickly grown and turn into a bonsai. The lemon tree is delicate to cold but survives under full sunlight. It can produce vibrant dark green leaves and beautiful fragrant spring flowers.
If they are correctly pruned, these lemon bonsai can produce edible fruit which has the size that is in proportion to the tree and the amazingly has similar qualities like the regular size lemon fruit.
Materials You’ll Need to Create a Bonsai Lemon Tree
These are what you need, and the steps to make these big trees reduced its size to regular house plant size.
The materials you need are the following:
- Any citrus fruit. You can pick from any one of these: Meyer lemons, mandarin oranges, and limes these citrus fruits grow from smaller trees that makes them easier to grow indoors. For ornamental purposes, any citrus plant will do.
Avoid buying the seedless type it is recommended to use organic fruits because they have not been genetically altered.
- Potting soil. A regular soil from your yard will suffice, but if you wanted to see good results you can use pre-packaged potting, it was known that these pre-packed potting will not have weed seedlings and contains the right nutrients and qualities for growing seedlings.
- A 6 to 12 inches deep container or a shallow tray.
- A large size plant pot for indoor use.
- A spot where there is a warm or close to a sunny window or garden.
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Read More: Bonsai Tree Species Care Guide (A – C)
Step-by-step Procedure on How to Bonsai a Lemon Tree
Step #1: Prepare the Planter
Water the potting soil until it is moist when touched. Place and pack the moist potting soil in the tray. Make sure to leave a space of about a half inch at the rim.
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Step #2: Grow the Seedlings
Open the lemon fruit and take seeds out. Rinse the seeds with clean water to remove excess fruit pulp or juice. It is done to avoid mold or fungi to foster.
Make sure that the seeds are still moist or wet before planting them in the half inch deep pre-moistened soil. Place them at least 2 inches apart. Cover it with plastic, make sure to keep them warm and moist.
You can use a garbage bag or better use a cling-wrap then poke the plastic to make holes for air circulation.
Read More: Bonsai Tree Species Care Guide (D – J)
Step #3: Select the Seedling Correctly
Put the tray in a warm place. In 2 weeks, the sprouts will start to appear. You can now remove the plastic cover then place the container in a spot where it can be exposed to the sunlight for most of the day.
Remember to keep the soil moist all the time but do not flood it with water.
After a month, check the seedlings and uproot the weak ones. In this way, the nutrients can be used by the remaining seedlings which are more likely to survive.
After two months, the seedlings have already grown a few inches in heights, and you can now select the seedlings that you will grow into a bonsai.
Step #4: Start to Plant
Choose a suitable ornamental plant pot to house the new lemon Bonsai. Put 2 inches high of small pebbles at the bottom of the pot to help in the drainage system. Fill the pot with potting soil and make sure to leave one inch of space from the rim.
Dig up the seedling carefully and avoid damaging the roots, and then re-plant them seedling in the larger pot. You can add rocks, some pebbles or pieces of wood to have an artistic touch like a landscape effect. Place the pot near a sunny window or the best view in your garden.
Read More: Bonsai Tree Species Care Guide (L – W)
Step #5: Begin the Training
After one year, the seedling is now big enough to be trained or bent into your desired shape. You can also use a metal wire, but it should be done with extra care.
Carefully wrapped the metal wire around the trunk or the branch to bend them or you can weigh them down with string or use elastic bands to affect their growth.
In this way, the seedling will grow according to the force applied against it thus producing an artistic shape.
Step #6: Pruning
Wait six months after the training, prune or cut the top two leaves of your lemon Bonsai. Doing so will encourage the tree to branch and grow out, rather than grow up.
Monitor the seedling’s shape as it grows, trim outer leaves as needed, again encouraging them to branch out. To make the Bonsai grow in your desired twisted shape add stress to the main trunk of the tree and see to it that the branches are not growing longer than what you desire.
Make sure to leave at least two leaves on a branch so that it will not die and to prune the Bonsai tree at least every six months to keep its natural look and small stature.
If nature will permit you might see your lemon Bonsai bear fruit but other than that you will enjoy an amazingly vibrant and lush green miniature lemon tree plus its pleasant scent of lemon.
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In a natural setting, once a lemon tree reached maturity, it can grow as high as 20 feet. It has beautiful green foliage and fragrant white flowers plus citric yellow fruit. A lemon bonsai keeps its characteristics only in a smaller version. Lemon bonsais are not the same as dwarf lemon trees, but they somewhat normal sized trees but grown in their miniature versions.
Read More: Types of Bonsai Trees