I've been poking around bonsai for awhile now, and specifically have been looking at a book about herb bonsai.
I think that I'll pick up some young potted rosemary from the market and let it grow for a year or so indoors (use a fan to simulate wind, etc to build up trunk), before doing too much.
I find that the root-over-rock technique is striking, but have also seen it elsewhere that rosemary is not particularly good for that method.
I'm curious about pic related, because I can't seem to find anywhere that discusses what the white dead looking part of some bonsais are, but it's quite striking and I would eventually like to do something like that. Not sure if it's possible with herbs though.
Also, just general tips are welcome!
1. Find basics about bonsai styles and shapes.
2. Choose your plant, optimally young one. It should be strong, healthy, with flexible wood so you can wire it.
3. Cut unnecessary branches and wire the rest to get the basic shape. Bonsai wires are special - soft eloxed aluminium. They are much easier to shape than normal wires.
4. Let your plant grow for some time in normal container or even in free soil. Check wires regularly so they don't cut into the growing bark. If they are starting to do it, immediately remove them and later re-wire your plant again.
5. Try to improve the root system by adding a lot of very small stones to the soil. It promotes the root branching.
6. Cut and shape your plant when there is enough of new growth. That is usually once or twice per year.
7. If root system is strong and compact enough, you might move your plant into a bit smaller container.
8. Later, when your plant starts resembling a bonsai and gets some price, you can consider moving it into a bonsai pot.
- Rosemary is good herb for making an alternative bonsai. It makes a lot of foliage and can be shaped easily.
- White part you mentioned is called dead wood. It's the part of a tree, where bark that doesn't feed any branches was removed.
- Growing bonsai is a hobby that needs a lot of patience. If you have enough space for it, get more cheap plants and experiment. It takes 2 or more years to make a bonsai.