Thursday, June 7, 2018

Mame Making

Mame or miniature bonsai could well have more of a place in small houses or flats than the larger forms, as they may be only two to eight or so inches high. On the whole, however, they do not survive to such great ages, mainly because the containers have to be so small, possibly only a little over an inch deep. The containers, as for the larger bonsai, must have a drainage hole and can be of any shape to suit the particular mame bonsai in question.  The soil mixture, and methods of watering and feeding, are also the same as described earlier. For obvious reasons, however, they will need watering more frequently, especially in hot, dry weather.
Mame specimens can very often be ready for display in a shorter time than the larger forms, and this in itself is a considerable advantage.
The simpler styles should be chosen for mame bonsai, because their size does not make it possible to train them into the more complicated shapes such as Winding or Clasped to the stone. The Upright, Oblique and Cascading styles all make attractive mame bonsai and a group planting can be most effective.
The easiest way to raise mame bonsai quickly from seed, the best method being to sow the seed direct in the final container. A pinch of seed is sown, as described in “How to Grow Your Own Bonsai Tree” and then thinned out as desired when germination is complete. For a single specimen all the extra seedlings are removed, but for a group planting, two, three or five are left to grow on. In order to avoid too much disturbance in the very small containers when thinning these seedlings, it is best to nip off the surplus seedlings with sharp scissors close to the soil surface. The strongest seedlings should be pinched early in the first season to encourage the growth of side shoots, and if a ‘clean’ stem is wanted, the lowest of these side shoots must be removed.
Leaf pinching is particularly valuable as far as mame bonsai are concerned,  as it not only corrects any over crowding and helps to check growth, but also causes smaller leaves to be formed in place of the removed leaves.

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