To get to the bottom of this intriguing topic, I consulted the minds of those experienced with bonsai and with cannabis. My main question: Is it even possible to grow a cannabis bonsai?
Chadd was happy to discuss the topic of cannabis bonsai, but his view came with a hearty dose of skepticism.
Will we see more growers attempt the cannabis bonsai? Cleveland thinks it’s only a matter of time. “I think it’s just a matter of experimenting, and a whole lot of failure,” she says, “but that’s with anything, right? Growing a warehouse full of cannabis is a difficult task too, so anything is possible.”
Additionally, just as “miniature” is key to bonsai, so is “art form.” This is not a houseplant that you can pop in a pot and allow to grow willy-nilly—bonsai are artistic endeavors that take time and care to cultivate. Many bonsai are even passed down from generation to generation, long outlasting those who first gave loving attention to their branches.
“Honestly, people desire to nurture and care for something, and sometimes animals aren’t the best solution for younger generations because they work a lot and can’t necessarily give the love and attention they need to animals. So, they redirect that to plants,” says Cleveland.
The key to bonsai is the word “miniature.” Unlike other potted plants, the joy of bonsai lies in creating a little landscape meant to be a replica of the natural world. Bonsai has a long, rich history that stems from regions in China and Japan and may have begun as early as 700 AD.
That said, Cleveland allows that, “if you have the time to experiment then I think it would be worth a try.” She doesn’t see quite as many pitfalls as Chadd: for example, the fast growth of cannabis is seen as a perk in her mind, rather than a downfall of the plant.
Cleveland, for her part, also foresees some challenges ahead for the aspiring cannabis bonsai grower.
“I think it would be a huge challenge, definitely. I think it would probably come down to life cycle, depending on the genetics of the plant. I’ve seen cannabis plants from growers with roots like no other, so I think as far as roots go, they have the ability to anchor themselves very well. While the amount of space in the pot might be a huge factor, it is such a vigorous plant that I feel like its capable of growing pretty much everywhere. The amount of attention and care you would need to give it would be challenging.”
There’s plenty of content claiming how easy it is to grow a cannabis bonsai tree, complete with step by step guides. But is it even possible?
ScrOG involves suspending a mesh screen horizontally over a plant. This technique serves to create a uniform canopy and a nice, clear, tree-like trunk. ScrOG also helps to boost light exposure in the canopy, which will help in the development of your bonsai buds.
4. As your plant begins to grow, you’ll need to tame branch growth; this is where LST and ScrOG come into play. If using the ScrOG technique, allow the branches to reach the screen above, and divert branches by hand into the holes of the screen. Prune away excess growth exploding through the top to achieve a clean and uniform canopy. If using LST, use the holes and garden wire to tie down branches in whatever creative ways you choose.
Cannabis as a species is incredibly responsive to its environment. When conjuring an image of cannabis plants, many people think of huge, tree-like sativas that need a large outdoor space to grow. Bonsai cannabis plants are the complete opposite of this. As well as serving a stunning ornamental purpose, these plants provide a rewarding smoke at the end of the process. Crafting a cannabis bonsai is also a great option for growers seeking tiny plants they can easily keep concealed. For the more advanced, bonsais can be kept as mother plants from which you can take innumerable clones.
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Light Schedules For Autoflowering Cannabis Plants
The classic art of bonsai involves cultivating dwarf trees in containers, producing unusual yet striking results. Although the word bonsai is Japanese, meaning “planted in a container”, the origins of this art form have been traced back to the Chinese Empire. There are no strict rules in bonsai cultivation, and growers can manipulate and direct their tree in any way they see fit. The result is a near
perfect replica of a fullsized tree, with everything from the branches to the leaves being close to real proportions, but on a tiny scale. Interestingly, cannabis plants are ideal candidates for practicing bonsai.
Although the Japanese translation of bonsai might suggest otherwise, growing cannabis in a pot doesn’t immediately make it qualify as a bonsai. The art of bonsai features a lengthy list of (suggested) criteria that a specimen should display in order for it to be regarded as a true bonsai. Although some of these are extremely specific and time consuming, a few of them can be applied to a cannabis bonsai to help create the traditional look.
LST achieves a similar outcome in the form of condensed growth and increased uniformity. This technique involves tying down branches to the rim of the pot in order to create more branches with vertical growth, more colas, and increased light exposure. Defoliation is often conducted to free up even more space and create a compact and easy
1. You don’t need to be too picky about strain selection, but it will help to choose a variety that doesn’t grow too tall to begin with. For your plant to be bonsai-ready, it needs to have gone through the seedling phase into early-veg.
Bonsai cannabis plants look very much like traditional bonsai trees, but produce a very different effect! Here is how to make your own cannabis bonsai.