The art of growing bonsai has its origin in China two thousand years ago, at the hands of the Taoist monks. They saw the figure of the trees as a symbol of union between the earth and the sky, as well as as a symbol of eternity. In bonsai they tried to enhance all these symbolisms, creating a plant that was a representation of a perfect specimen of the same species, but in miniature.
Since then, the art of growing bonsai has developed a lot, so much so that today there are a lot of ways to cultivate and shape them. If you want to learn more about the different types of bonsai , join us in this article where you will see a guide with the names of the most relevant types of these small trees, their characteristics and photos.
Types of bonsai according to their size
There are different types of bonsai according to their size and these are their names:
- Kotate Mochi or Komono
- Keshitsubu or Shito
Bonsai Hachi-Uye, the largest
These are the largest bonsai . These are plants with a height greater than 130 cm , and for that reason they attract a lot of attention. The Hachi-Uye bonsais are very rare to see so expensive and time – consuming that result as they keep the bonsai technique in such a large plant takes a lot of work and effort.
The Omono are between 60 and 120 cm in size, so they are the equivalent in size to many common bushes to see in parks and gardens. They are large enough to be eye-catching, so they are often used to preside over the center of patios or to cross doors or passageways.
With a height of between 30 and 60 cm , Chumono are still difficult to see among novice amateurs, as they are still plants of a certain size and weight. Their price, however, is cheaper than that of the even larger categories, so those who are not intimidated can find them in specialized stores.
Also called Kotate Mochi , the size of these bonsai ranges from 15 to 31 cm . These are fairly simple bonsai to maintain, in which a lush forest or fukinagashi style is usually sought.
They are one of the most common types of bonsai , since their size of between 15 and 25 cm makes them very popular and easy to maintain compared to others of more extreme sizes. The Shohin do not involve much work of larger bonsais and the technical difficulty of the smallest.
Mame and Shito, the smallest types of bonsai
The Mame are bonsai of up to 15 cm , while the Keshitsubu or Shito are bonsai of less than 5 cm . These are of greater technical difficulty, and usually require sowing the seed in the small pot itself and starting to prune the seedling as soon as it grows.
Types of bonsai according to their style or shape
According to their shape or style , these are the different types of bonsai :
- Han Kengai
- Ne Agari
- Yose ue
Chokkan or formal style
It is the most formal style in the art of bonsai. In the Chokkan type of bonsai , the aim is to create a completely straight trunk with a cylindrical shape, with branches that alternate on each side, with branches deep between them and a distance that shortens as they approach the apex.
Moyogui or Moyogi
It is also known as informal upright style . A curved trunk is sought in any of the three axes, with alternate branches on both sides that emerge from the curved areas of the trunk. There are also branches deep, and the distance between branches shortens as they go up. The Moyogui or Moyogi is common among beginners.
Shakan or slant style
Similar to the chokkan, with the difference that it is an inclined style , in which a trunk is sought that remains straight but inclined with respect to the ground. The Shakan bonsai style is common in pines and other conifers, like this pine in the picture.
It is also called an umbrella or broom . The Hokidachi bonsai style seeks to form a dense dome like that of an umbrella, uniform and completely covering the branches with its leaves.
Sokan or sankan
It is called sokan or sankan depending on whether there are two or three trees that make it up. It is actually a single tree, but with an outlet that splits at the base into different trunks, creating the illusion of separate trees .
Fukinagashi or windswept style
It is the so-called windswept style . The style of fukinagashi bonsai emulates the shapes adopted by trees typical of areas with very strong winds, which mark a very inclined or even horizontal growth.
Kengai and Han Kengai
Similar in some sense to fukinagashi, the kengai or waterfall style represents trees that grow in a downward inclination, with low branches and even without a crown. In the han kengai or semi cascade , the inclination is less marked and they do retain the cup.
Bunjin or bunjingi
It is the literati style , with a bare and twisted trunk. The bunjin bonsai or bunjingi represents the minimalist philosophy of the monks who sought in this style a basic bonsai and with nothing that was not really necessary.
The ishitsuki style of bonsai is characterized by having a tree that grows on a rock , leaving its roots in sight and descending through it until it digs into the ground to collect the necessary nutrients.
Ne Agari or neagari
In the style of bonsai n e Agari or neagari , the substrate is removed from the base of the bonsai as it grows, so that its roots are gradually exposed. This style is common in pine bonsai and azaleas.
Yose Ue or forest style
The forest style implements a certain amount of trees of the same species and odd number, of different thicknesses and sizes, with which it is sought to create the image of a small landscape or forest.