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What is a Boxwood Bonsai?

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  • Written By: Deneatra Harmon
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2016
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A boxwood bonsai is a small evergreen shrub with different varieties found in various parts of the world. The foliage of a common bonsai tree features a slow, but spreading growth habit and strong roots. The well-known bonsai, which is sometimes nicknamed "tree in a pot," starts growing in the spring season when fed the right amount of nutrients on a regular basis.

The boxwood bonsai tree comes from many parts of the world, preferably in areas that receive a range of cold to hot temperatures. Origins of the small bonsai lie in places such as Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Boxwood bonsai may be cultivated by the spring through semi-ripened root cuttings, or through a technique called air layering, which involves removing sections of the tree's branches or roots to grow another tree. For optimal growth, the miniature plant may be placed indoors in a pot or outdoors in a park, yard, or a similar setting. Varieties of boxwood bonsai include Common Boxwood, Japanese Boxwood, Dwarf English, Kingsville, and Morris Midget.

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Naturally dwarf-sized in stature, the boxwood bonsai produces dark, evergreen, oblong leaves. Following the leaves are small, yellow flowers that debut by the spring. Some gardening experts compare the bonsai tree's foliage to that of pom-poms because it spreads when planted in outdoor settings. The average height of the miniature bonsai ranges from approximately 3 inches (7.6 cm) to around 4 feet (1.2 m). Best known for its hardiness, the boxwood bonsai tree grows upright with the help of a sturdy bark and root system.

Whether growing boxwood bonsai indoors or outdoors, the plant must be watered as often as possible, preferably when the soil dries out. Gardening experts recommend thoroughly watering the bonsai so that it remains hydrated from the top of the soil to the bottom. Leaving the bonsai dry for longer periods of time increases the problem of root and leaf damage.

Boxwood bonsai thrives well in both sunlight and partial shade. While the miniature tree tolerates cold as well as hot temperatures, shade protection keeps the plant succulent and healthy. Areas like mulch beds, window wells, and unheated, well-circulated rooms are a few examples of bonsai plant protection. Direct morning sunlight best nourishes the bonsai tree because it is not too warm. Afternoon sunlight endangers the miniature tree because it tends to be hotter compared to morning and therefore it can scorch the foliage.

From the spring until the fall, gardeners of this bonsai tree should apply organic liquid fertilizer biweekly. Some choices include organic seaweed or a fish emulsion. Organic pellets may also be fed to the boxwood. Approximately every three years, the bonsai tree should be transplanted or repotted to allow room for new root and leaf growth.

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