Bonsai are one of the most appreciated and attractive plants out there. Being able to have a tree inside the house, or on the terrace, has always caught our attention. If what you are looking for is to make one from scratch, then we are going to talk you about how to make an olive bonsai easily, with a variety that is very resistant and should not give you problems.
If you want to know how to make a bonsai with all the steps to take and the doubts resolved, we will reveal it to you.
The olive bonsai
Before talking about how to make an olive bonsai it is important that we talk before what are the characteristics of this and other details that you should know. The olive tree, with the scientific name Olea Europea L, is an evergreen tree, native to the Mediterranean area. It is slow growing, but in return it always develops a thick and short trunk , more tortuous as it gains in years. The leaves remain green all year round and are usually elongated, not too large. In addition, in the spring time, clusters of white flowers begin to emerge with a pleasant perfume.
Obviously, after the flowers come the fruits, those olives that are used to make olive oil (and related).
But why learn how to make a bonsai from an olive tree and not from another type of tree? Well, because it is very resistant. Both when transplanting and pruning, these trees are very hard and it is difficult to “kill” them. Therefore, for beginners, a bonsai of this type, which also remains intact all year round, is more than acceptable. Now, despite that resistance, it is true that it will need a series of care.
How to make an olive bonsai
To start making an olive bonsai, the first thing you need is to know which specimen you are going to use. Many stores have so-called “prebonsais”, that is, plants that are a few years old and that are ready to be adapted to your life as bonsai. Others choose to plant the bonsai from a seed, which requires more time, and especially to be planted in pots or in the ground where it can develop for a few years and fatten the trunk before transferring it to a bonsai pot.
In our case, we are going to focus on an olive tree that is already a few years old, that is young and moldable.
Choose the pot of the olive tree
Before you set out to choose the smallest bonsai pot in the world, you have to understand that the olive tree is not prepared for that. You have to go gradually. This implies that, with the changes that you will have to make to it every few years, you will be able to make its “container” smaller or larger, but never suddenly. In this case, we recommend that you use a pot that has a depth equal to the diameter of the tree and is one-third the height of the tree. In this way, you will ensure that it is well located and has no problems.
Plant the olive tree
Then that pot you must fill it with a mixture of compost and sand . First put a layer of soil in the pot and then place the olive tree on top (without a pot and with clean roots if possible) to continue adding soil and cover it well. Try not to pack too much soil because that will prevent it from draining well, and will affect the health of the roots.
Locate the bonsai
Now that you have your olive tree planted and that it is going to be a bonsai, you have to locate it in a suitable area and do not move it from there until it settles. It is normal that you can throw away a few sheets at the beginning.
We recommend that, for a week or so, you keep it in a shady place, but then you have to change it until it has at least six hours of sunlight and shade.
When to plant an olive tree cut to make it bonsai?
Cuttings are a very easy way to ‘clone’ existing specimens. These are twigs or stakes that are planted in the ground so that they develop roots and, with it, a new tree.
The best time to plant cuttings is always in spring and summer; Unless they are larger cuttings, that those are better in winter.
Now, making an olive bonsai through cuttings can be exasperating because it will take a long time to become bonsai. To give you an idea, if it is from seed to bonsai, it may take about 15 years; from cutting to bonsai can be 7-10 years.
How to water an olive bonsai?
One of the tricks to increase the survival of an olive bonsai is undoubtedly watered. You must learn that the olive tree is a tree that likes humidity, but not being flooded all day. Therefore, when watering, you should always do it from above, seeing that the water comes out through the holes at the bottom of the pot.
If this is done too quickly, what you can do is place a tray underneath to collect the water and keep it for a few hours to absorb what it needs. Afterwards, it is advisable to remove it so that it does not rot the roots.
However, in places where the environment is rather dry, what can be done is to place some stones and water in that tray, which do not cover all the stones. On top you place the olive pot and, in this way, it will have a natural source of humidity, which you must control so that the water does not evaporate.
When to defoliate a bonsai olive tree?
You should know that defoliating an olive bonsai means cutting the leaves of a tree. This is done mainly to give more strength to new shoots, but also to reduce the size of the leaves, something very common in these specimens. To do this, it is important that your horse is healthy because it is a technique that can be very stressful.
The best time to do this is in June, as there is enough time for new shoots and leaves to emerge and the tree does not suffer too much. The technique consists of using long, sharp scissors and cutting one part of the petiole, leaving the other intact.
It is important that, once you do this, you place the bonsai in a shady area for a few days , until you see that new shoots begin to grow (it may take a month). You also need to reduce your watering a little to help you recover.