From the Manufacturer
Delivery and Packaging: What to expect when you receive your bonsai
To ensure only well-established, healthy trees are shipped, Brussel's Bonsai imports its trees from nurseries in China where growers spend years training and shaping tree branches. Some bonsai defoliate (drop leaves) when their environment changes. If upon the tree's arrival some leaves have dropped or turned slightly brown that does not mean the bonsai is unhealthy. Defoliation is the natural result of being in the low-light environment of a shipping box. Whenever possible, Brussel’s Bonsai avoids using Styrofoam-popcorn packaging. In some cases, Styrofoam popcorn must be used to safely pack unusually shaped bonsai. Organic popcorn packaging made from corn starch reacts with moisture from the trees and can dissolve. When you receive your tree, place the box in a shaded area to unpack. Inspect tree for damage to branches or leaves. Water soil if it is dry. Place each bonsai in protected shade for at least one week before moving to a sunny location.
What is a Bonsai?
Literally translated, the Japanese word "bonsai" means "tray tree" or "plant grown in a pot." The term refers to the artistic techniques used to capture the natural beauty of trees, rather than a specific variety of tree. A full-grown tree and a bonsai can be grown from the same seed --the bonsai has simply been dwarfed and shaped through years of training. To develop authentic bonsai, Brussels grows specimens under carefully controlled conditions, meticulously training each tree with wire and pruning over a period of years. The value of a particular bonsai typically depends on size, age, and training. Generally, more expensive trees are larger, older, and have had more detailed, elaborate training. These qualities combined create the illusion of a large tree in a natural setting.
Outdoor Bonsai Care
Gardenias prefer sunny sites, but will tolerate some shade. In dry climate areas, you can use the humidity tray to help mimic the ideal conditions. The ideal outdoor growing areas are places where the temperatures stay above 40°F. Although gardenias are outdoor plants, if your climate is too cold (below 45°F for 6 months or longer), they can be grown indoors – but you will need to water them less frequently. If you do need to place it indoors they prefer sunny areas near windows facing southeast or west. Choose a location that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Bring your gardenia bonsai when night temperatures fall below 40 degrees F. Do not allow any bonsai to freeze. To ensure flowering, gardenias (like all flowering plants) must go through a dormancy period. This is usually a period of 3 to 4 months at 35°F to 40°F. Without this, your gardenia will not flower. If you have to grow your gardenia indoors, you can mimic this by placing your gardenia into a cold room, basement, or garage…as long as there is light and you keep it watered as normal.
In Japan, bonsai are traditionally displayed against a solid black, white, wood, or bamboo background, or on a stand or pot larger than the tree. Stark contrasts enhance a bonsai’s simple beauty.
In fall, winter and spring, water tropical bonsai thoroughly every two or three days. In hot summer months, every other day--especially in dry, hot climates. Use a can or hose attachment that casts a soft, rain-like spray that won’t disturb the soil in the pot. Bonsai can never be allowed to dry out. Try not to get water on the blooms.
Soil and fertilizer
Bonsai trees spend years in the same soil and eventually deplete the available nutrients. Providing supplemental nutrition is essential for a healthy tree. Most water soluble and time-released fertilizers work well when used as directed. Use a well balanced fertilizer. To promote blooms, choose a fertilizer with high phosphorus.
|Run wire through drain|
|Work soil into roots|
Bonsai need to be repotted every 3 to 5 years. After receiving your tree, wait at least one growing season before repotting. Using proper bonsai soil is critical. Brussel’s bonsai soil consists of a mixture of high-fired clay particles and finely ground pine bark. The soil-free mix does not compact, allows water to drain easily, plus helps prevent the root rot that often occurs with ordinary potting soil.
It is important to pot your bonsai correctly. Prepare your container for potting by putting screen over the drain holes Run wire through the drain screen--you will need this to secure the tree in the container. Trim the root-ball so it will fit in the bonsai pot. Keep in mind, cutting larger roots is better than cutting small feeder roots. Continue trimming the root ball until it will fit into the bonsai container. Be sure to place a good layer of bonsai soil on the bottom of the bonsai container.
Place the tree in the pot. Use the wire to secure the tree in the bonsai container. Twist and pull the wire with pliers to tighten. Add bonsai soil around the root ball. Use a chopstick to work the bonsai soil into the root system. Your bonsai should now be secure in its new container.
All bonsai require some degree of seasonal pruning. Regular pruning produces smaller branches and maintains the tree’s miniature size. A simple pair of pointed-nose scissors does the job. Wiring may also be used to hold branches in a desired position or location. If you’re happy with the branch placement as is, there is no real need to wire. For detailed instruction in the art of bonsai cultivation, Brussel’s Bonsai recommends purchasing a book on basic training techniques.
If you choose to wire your bonsai, make sure to use heavier gauge wire for larger branches on the bottom of the tree, and lighter gauge for smaller branches. Begin by sticking the end of the wire into the soil next to the trunk of the tree. Wrap the wire around the trunk until you come to the first branch. Continue curling the wire around the branch. Once you have come to the end of a branch, cut and remove the excess wire. The wire now allows you to bend the branch into the desired shape and location.
Most bonsai trees can live up to 100 years or more depending, of course, on the quality of care they receive.
The Story of Brussel's Bonsai Nursery
When Brussel Martin was five years old, he was instantly captivated by several bonsai his father brought back from a California business trip. As a teenager, he began to seriously study the art of bonsai. What started as an artistic endeavor in his parents' backyard quickly grew into a business. In the 1970s, he began selling bonsai through the mail and traveling to shows across the country. By the early '80s, he was making annual buying trips to Asia.
As the business has grown, so has his desire to introduce bonsai to more and more Americans. Brussels now offers a full range of bonsai trees, from modestly priced bonsai for the beginner to unique specimens styled by bonsai experts.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ordering in plenty of time for the shipment to arrive, I was informed upon payment that the plant would be delivered by Mother's Day, but after placing the order, I see that it will take at least 3 weeks (2 weeks *after* Mother's Day!) AND there is NO OPTION TO CANCEL MY ORDER.
Trying to reach Amazon is next to impossible.
I could not be more dissatisfied.
Negative: Did not look like a Bonsai at all, they advertise they are suppose to be 4 yrs old?? Mine looked like a normal Gardenia bush that was pruned way back and stuck in a small pot. I plan on returning it, my wife was disappointed because it was a christmas gift for her!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You really have to care for these -- not just something you can forget about. They require water, drainage, pruning and adjusted lighting. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This has been a really sturdy plant. We live in a motor home and it travels well. I thought I had a blossom, it was just new leavesPublished 6 months ago by C. S. Nolan
This little tree came very healthy and very well packaged and watered.Published 7 months ago by anita
I ordered this because I grew up in the South with Gardenia bushes all around our yard. Anytime I smell them, it reminds me of being a child. Read morePublished 10 months ago by SimplySherryl
The tree arrived in good condition and was packed well. I, like others I suspect, was expecting the tree to be "bonsai-ed" but it was just a plant. Read morePublished 10 months ago by sarah burrow