Over the past couple of decades, the cannabis industry has blossomed into a complex, constantly evolving community with many fascinating trends and innovations. One such development which has captured the imaginations of weed lovers with a penchant for beautifying their homes alongside razor-sharp horticultural skills is the practice of cultivating miniaturised marijuana plants.
Brilliantly, these bonsai weed plants are created by applying many of the techniques and principles of the ancient art form which began in Japan and China many centuries ago. Unlike traditional bonsai trees, however, weed bonsais also provide cannabis growers with a ‘mother’ plant to use as a source of ‘clone’ clippings.
By keeping a selection of bonsai cannabis plants, growers can also vary their crops without the need to cultivate plants from seeds every time they want to introduce a different variety.
We think it’s a fantastic idea, and we’re excited to find out how far all you talented cannabis cultivators out there can take it. With that in mind, here are few top tips to help you get your bonsai weed plant started.
How to grow a Bonsai cannabis plant?
If you want to grow a bonsai weed plant of your own, must-have essentials include:
- A cannabis plant seedling.
- A sturdy pot.
- An electric drill, preferably cordless.
- Gardening wire or string.
- A bamboo stick or similar measuring around 30cm to 40cm.
Growing a Bonsai weed plant Step-By-Step
Once you have everything you need to hand, the you’ll need to follow are:
1. Prepare the pot
OK, this is where that electric drill comes in. You’ll need to drill three holes on the rim of the pot roughly three cm apart in a kind of flattened triangle formation, plus another two holes on the other side of the pot opposite the first three. You’ll also need to ensure that there is a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.
Next, fill the pot with suitable soil. Technically you could just use ordinary soil from your garden (weed is great at growing in all sorts of environments after all), however we recommend using ‘Super Soil’ which has been enriched with specially selected composts. This is available from most weed growing equipment suppliers.
2. Secure the plant’s trunk
The next stage is to secure the main central part of your plant (i.e. the ‘trunk’) so that it will sit firmly in the pot. Simply, you’ll need to attach the ‘trunk’ to the length of bamboo stick or similar mentioned in our list of essentials. This should be embedded securely in the soil so that it provides a stable support for your plant.
Effectively this will work as a pole on which your plant will be secured. To do this, thread the gardening wire or string through two of the first three holes you made in the pot earlier. Next, wrap the gardening wire or string around the ‘trunk’ of the plant, and attach it to the other two holes on the opposite side of the pot. Your pants should now be standing up straight, ready for you to begin the next stage.
3. Train the plant branches
Similarly to the previous stage of the process, you’ll be using the gardening wire or string to secure individual branches of your plant. This is where your own judgement and creativity comes into play, so take time to decide how you want your plant to look and which specific branches you want to focus on.
Once you have decided which branches to train, wrap lengths of grading wire or string around them, and attach these to one of the holes so that each branch will stay in place.
4. Prune the branches
This is where your own artistry really comes into play, so let that creative flair take control. You’ll need to be careful not to take much off the main branches of the plant in order to preserve it, so instead focus on trimming some of the offshoot branches and allowing others to flourish.
5. Top and vegetate your plant
At this stage, ordinarily it would be time to start thinking about harvesting all of that sweet bud you’ve been watching blossom and grow. While you could decide to harvest and enjoy your plant’s bounty and begin the process again with a new seedling, a true bonsai weed plant is never actually allowed to complete the flowering process.
Instead, you’ll want to preserve your bonsai cannabis plant for decorative purposes, as a source of cuttings for propagation of larger plants, and just because you’ve grown so fond of the little guy. So you’ll need to ‘top’ your plant, and restart the vegetative stage so that it will continue to grow.
Firstly, trim off any yellowing leaves so that you are left with a completely healthy plant. Next (and this is the nerve-wracking bit), remove about a third of the top half of the plant, just where the larger buds are beginning to reach maturity. Leave the smaller buds below alone, however, as these are needed for the plant to be able to restart its vegetative phase.
Next, place your plant beneath a light source for around 18 hours and feed it with a generous quantity of nitrogen. This should regenerate your plant, enabling it to continue to flower for many years to come.
It’s worth mentioning that, should you choose to harvest any weed from your plant, the potency will now be reduced. However, it does mean that you can now take pride in developing your artistic pruning skills to perfection.
Best strains for growing a Bonsai marijuana plant
Given that your bonsai weed plant is going to be very small, it makes sense to choose a weed variety which is characterised by large leaves and fairly densely packed branches. Equally, if you intend to harvest bud from your plant instead of training it to grow indefinitely, you’re going to want to go for a strain which will give you maximum benefit from a small harvest.
With this in mind, here are just a few weed varieties we think would be ideal for use as a bonsai marijuana plant:
1. White Widow
Needing no introduction, this all-time Dutch classic is world-renowned for its high THC content, impressive yields, and manageable growth patterns. It is also prized for the intoxicating, buzzy high it delivers, not to mention its quintessential fragrance and distinctive, strong flavour. In terms of appearance, White Widow fulfils everything you would expect from a strong weed plant, making it the ideal foundation for your bonsai marijuana plant project.
Named in honour of its exotic, fruity flavour, this up and coming weed variety has so much going for it. With generous yields, a beautiful branch pattern, and striking dark green colour which takes on a purple hue as it matures, a Somango bonsai plant would make a stunning statement art piece in any home. If you’re planning on harvesting yours, flowering times are reasonably short at around 9 to 10 weeks.
A relative newcomer on the international cannabis scene, Critical has already gained a strong following among weed connoisseurs on account of its hardy nature, resin-rich buds, generous yields, and sublime effects. Keeping a bonsai weed plant version won’t just make your home look more attractive, it’ll make it smell better too, as Critical’s aroma has notes of citrus fruits and spice.