TRAINING TRUE
INDOOR BONSAI™
PORTAL PAGE

                Some are not satisfied with just owning a bonsai.  They want to experience and learn to train them.  They can and this section tells you how! IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL, CAREFULLY STUDY THIS PORTAL SECTION IN DETAIL!   THIS IS THE PLACE TO START!

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BASIC TRAINING CONCEPTS
        Junipers are outdoor plants.  Grow them outdoors.  If you want to train indoor bonsai, train houseplants.  Don't expect miracles or believe that any plant becomes a houseplant because it is a bonsai!
THREE STYLING-TRAINING CONCEPTS
       Visualizing what a bonsai should be is often the most difficult. So we advise beginning with a tree that has been prepared for bonsai training and which already has some character.  Here are three styling concepts that Fuku-Bonsai has developed and each can be further trained so each bonsai will be a unique individual!
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ELEMENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL BONSAI!
        Choose plants that will thrive in your environment or change your environment to fit the needs of your plants! 

TEMPERATURE!

Temperature
        Tropical houseplants grow best above 75 degrees. They will die or be seriously affected if exposed to low temperatures. Try for 60 degrees or warmer.

LIGHT!

Light
        The more the better!  If your home or office is dark, add lights or rotate plants from dark to bright light areas. 

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"Growing Bonsai Indoors Under Fluorescent Lights"
        A guest column by Jack Wikle of Michigan. Jack has been growing small bonsai under flourescent lights for many years.  He's good and in this lengthy article, he gives you the details of what to do to create GREAT bonsai!  Mahalo for sharing the information Jack!
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"BONSAI  .   .  .  MY WAY!"
       A guest column by Jerry Meislik of Montana.  Jerry is a lovable bonsai fanatic that wants to grow great trees and is willing and able to create an optimum growing environment to get optimum growth. There's a lot of lessons in how his straight-forward common sense strategies work and have brought him a lot of satisfaction. I commend and recommend study of this article!
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Water, Humidity & Moisture
        Improper watering is the major way to kill plants!  Here's what to do and what not to do!

Fertilizing
        Improper fertilizing is another easy way to kill plants. This information is the key to happy plants!  For lava plantings, we recommend "enriched water" every time you water.  For potted True Indoor Bonsai and houseplants we recommend controlled slow-release MagAmp now available from Fuku-Bonsai.
FIRST
AID!
Problems, symptoms, & first aid
         Some people learn to be successful by killing plants. Here's what they do so you won't have to kill yours to learn!
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Cold & Heat Shipping Damage
         Once in a great while, plants arrive damaged. This page shows such damage,  how we resolved it,  and what we learned from it with the assistance of a first class customer! 

BUGS!

Bugs, Insects, & Other Critters
         These pests really can't do much damage if you spot them early. Here are safe ways to get rid of them.
INTERESTING EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE!  
          This email series began as a possible problem but may give clues for those who want to grow moss or aerial roots indoors.

FAQ!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
        Here's a whole bunch of questions asked by those who visit the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center for the first time. Our staff answers these questions often and recognizes that its the first time for each new visitor!

REQUESTING HELP!!!
         We can and will help!  But you must send clear photograpsh and enough information as soon as you spot a problem developing.   We can't help after the plant is dead.
 

TRAINING TECHNIQUES

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LESSON #1:  POTTING!
       To train bonsai, it's necessary that you fully understand how to grow a very healthy plant.  The key to this is having an outstanding root system.  The primary focus of our workshops is to teach proper potting techniques.  Once you master this,  the rest is a lot easier!

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LESSON #2:  DEVELOPING THE FORM
         Bonsai really is a mental game. It's not important to learn HOW to prune or what tools to use.  IT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO BE ABLE TO DECIDE WHERE TO PRUNE!  This section gives no-nonsense advice to take charge and lead you to success!
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LESSON #3:  PRUNING!
        Some people really have a difficult time pruning and cutting any branch is almost impossible for them. There's not much we can do to help them. But we can explain WHY we prune as drastically as we do . . . Simply because it produces outstanding results!  So here are more no-nonsense explanations presented with the hope you will substitute knowledge to overcome fear and move into training bonsai!  THE PRINCIPLES WORK!  GOOD LUCK!
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LESSON #4:  PREPARING BONSAI STOCK!
       Before any bonsai training, the tree must be healthy and properly prepared. If you start with regular nursery plants, this is often very difficult. But it must be done!  Here's how.
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LESSON #5:  TRUE INDOOR BONSAI POTTING MEDIA!  
        Indoor bonsai potting media is very different from the potting media used in outdoor bonsai.  It must be very coarse and granular and drain very rapidly to allow strong roots to grow.  If it contains too much fine material or organic matter that stays wet, the roots will rot! Fuku-Bonsai's potting mix is amongst the best as it contains a lot of air spaces with excellent drainage!
  Lesson #6:  INDOOR BONSAI SUCCESS REQUIRES OPTIMUM GROWTH!  Fuku-Bonsai produces the finest quality indoor bonsai plants because of our commitment, hardworking skilled staff, and our ideal natural climate!  These are extraordinary trees with a lot of character. But your success will depend upon your ability to create optimum growth. Even the best plants cannot adapt to dark cave-like conditions!

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FUKU-BONSAI STUDY GROUP  (Introduction)
Fuku-Bonsai Assistance & Resource Forum
Joni's KB mar 2001.jpg (11696 bytes) FAQ#2: Keiki Bonsai & Premium Keiki Bonsai Workshop Package
Loredana portrait  2002.jpg (24303 bytes) Loredana's Page: Rooting cuttings, etc.  Starting with a HS8 small size lava planting, Loredana has learned to shift growth, root cuttings, and begun training.
Almeida Kathy 6.17.03  I survied!.jpg (24744 bytes) Kathy's Page; Keeping Plants Small!    Kathy has great growth conditions and has learned to keep her HS8 small size lava planting small.
Scott Orr portrait Aug 4, 2003.jpg (24933 bytes) Scott's Page; Creating a Large Bonsai!    Starting with a HS8 small size lava planting and a #17 Conversion Kit, Scott is well along in creating his own larger bonsai!
Bill's Page:  Creating Aerial Roots!    Bill took a workshop at Fuku-Bonsai then went home to apply his lessons including an interesting new way to increase humidity!
Ron's Page:  Sushi, etc.!  Ron also took a workshop at Fuku-Bonsai, went home, and began to adapt Hawaiian tropical techniques to Montana.  He also grows temperate climate outdoor bonsai and his delightful story contrasts the two types of bonsai.  But as importantly, it shares the soul and spirit of a wonderful person!
CULTURAL & TRAINING INFORMATION
OF PLANTS UTILIZED IN FUKU-BONSAI'S
TRUE INDOOR BONSAI
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DWARF SCHEFFLERA  (general & cultural information)
        Fuku-Bonsai's specialty!  Of all proven houseplants, this is the fastest-growing, most vigorous, and suitable for the greatest range of styling!
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RESTYLING MATURE BONSAI - PART I
        The Fuku-Bonsai Logo Tree was our first major successful tree to achieve a tropical banyan tree styling.  But as it developed it either needed a larger pot o continue in the styling concept, or be restyled into an ambitious new design concept.
RESTYLING THE LOGO TREE - PART II
        Rainforest Banyan styling is the most difficult but most desirable form of tropical bonsai! In restyling a mature tree into a form that can continue to utilize the same pot, the tree now has an exciting and manageable future!     
       This is the first tree that visitors see.  It's a large bonsai 42" tall and sits on a 72" diameter concrete disk and turntable!  Following the success of the restyling of the Fuku-Bonsai Logo Tree, we also moved this outstanding bonsai to the ideal "Rainforest Banyan" styling concept! 

 

       Bonsai goes through several stages and as the tree matures, there are an endless number of details to be improved to transform a good bonsai into an exceptional one.  This refinement stage requires a commitment to high standards,  technical competence, and a lot of time!
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LANDSCAPES & "BANYAN OUTRIGGERS!"
          So what do you do when branches that have aerial roots attached?  Here's an early training idea and further on down there are other designs!
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WELDED &FUSED DWARF SCHEFFLERA
        Dwarf Schefflera has some unique plant characteristics that can be exploited to create new bonsai styling and training concepts!
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ADVANCED GROWTH CONTROL TECHNIQUES
        In traditional Japanese bonsai, stock is field-planted to rapidly thicken the trunks.  We adapted this technique, but utilized large tubs to create impressive large trees for or exhibit collection.
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"HAWAIIAN SPINNING PORPOISE" (Cross-fusion grafting)   
        In bonsai, rock plantings are an advanced training technique. Dwarf Schefflera allowed "planting around a driftwood stump" to create a new bonsai styling concept!
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"THREE-FROM-ONE;" (Splitting an aged mame bonsai)     
         Tropical trees continue to grow and trunks continue to thicken.  Even with very heavy pruning, a miniature bonsai was overgrowing its pot and it became time to get a larger pot or greatly reduce it.  We split it into three exciting miniature bonsai!
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"CONSTRUCTING A TREE!"(Driftwood Dwarf Scheff!)    
          It's possible to remove well-formed "outriggers" and create totally new styling concepts!
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"ROOTS & BOWS!"
        In the tropics, Dwarf Schefflera is an epiphyte growing on other trees. So roots will sometimes become very long traveling down to the ground. Here's a story of how such a tree was collected to create another new styling!
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BRASSAIA   (general & cultural information)
         Brassaia was our original specialty.   It's a tough durable plant whose common name is Schefflera,  Octopus Tree, or Queensland Umbrella Tree. But don't confuse it with Dwarf Schefflera!  It likes to dry out between waterings and is easily killed by over-watering!
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PACHIRA  (general & cultural information)
           This is amongst the most durable of all houseplants!  But it is very difficult to train consistently.   Each year we learn more and this plant will receive greater promotion and attention in the future!

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DRACAENA  (general & cultural information)
          Our low-light champ!  This is our favorite recommendation for those with interior window offices with only flourescent ceiling lights and no suplimental artificial light.  Grows tall, slender and elegant with a small footprint! The one in the photo is in a 25"x15"x2" pot and is over 36" tall!
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PHOENIX PALM (discontinued)
          California now prohibits all palms and with a large percentage of our customers from California, it was frustrating to keep insisting that legally we could not ship Phoenix Palms to California and we would not circumvent their regulations. So we felt the best route was to not offer it any more. But here's information for training it if you acquire it from other sources.

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