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Question: Bonsai curiosity
Hi, I'm trying to inform myself / equip myself to grow my first bonsai, so, looking around I saw several types of bonsai but ... according to your experience it is possible (pass me the term) "bonsaiare" a palm tree?
I haven't seen this yet, but I think a bonsai palm grove could be fantastic! Regards
Answer: Curiosity Bonsai
the cultivation of bonsai involves a series of practices, to be implemented to ensure that your plant remains small, even over the years, in order to obtain a mature and well-developed and formed plant, with the appearance of an ancient tree, even with the very small size of a bonsai. To do this, branches, leaves and roots are pruned, so as to contain the exuberance of each plant, even in the case of large trees, such as oaks or redwoods.
The development of palms is such as to make it impossible to grow them as bonsai; if in fact you cimassi a palm, the result would not be a rapid production of smaller leaves, but the deterioration of the plant, and sometimes even death.
In fact, the palms have a very particular development, very different from that of trees and shrubs that we commonly see in the woods: the palms develop enormous leaves, called fronds, whose "petioles" constitute the stem of the plant, the trunk.
If we prune the top of a frond, hoping to make it smaller, we will see that this frond will disappear, over a few weeks. The radical palm part is decidedly particular, in fact it generally has few large roots, and not a network of thin roots, supported by some larger roots, as in a common tree; it is therefore very difficult to be able to prune the root apparatus of a palm, without affecting its health in an irreparable way.
Therefore, there are some palms cultivated on the market as if they were bonsai, they are palms of minute species, such as the chamaedorea, which are kept in bonsai pots; unfortunately these "palm bonsai" are not real bonsai, and therefore the survival of these plants in small and shallow pots is short; generally a bonsai palm prepared in this way remains a suitable size for a bonsai for a few years, five or ten, depending on the species; later it becomes too large, and can no longer be presented as a bonsai.
So in practice you will never have a palm bonsai, but just a palm tree that may look like a bonsai for a few years.
If you consider then that already the palms are quite sacrificed when they are grown in the apartment, think about how complex it is to keep a palm in the apartment, with a tiny vase: in summer you will have to water it three times a day, and throughout the year you will have to keep the very high environmental humidity, or your palm will be subjected, and defenseless, to pests of all kinds, first of all cochineal.
Since then you have no experience in bonsai, I recommend an easier plant to grow, such as a ficus retusa if you want an indoor plant, or a boxwood if you want an outdoor plant, or an olive tree, than in Italian nurseries they are found with great ease; if you like challenges from a prebonsai, or get seeds, it will surely be a more interesting challenge than the bonsai palm.