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The bonsai (called in Chinese pÃ © njÄ ng) is a tree or shrub artificially kept small by cutting back the branches and other cultivating measures. Practiced here for purely aesthetic reasons, the bonsai in its country of origin China has an ideological, almost religious significance.
What began in China about 200 years before our era as a form of gardening the palace gardens of the emperor, in which they tried to create artificial landscapes - and also the shape of the potted plant was then shaped, and also developed into a kind of art form, in the Penjing were honored as a three-dimensional art, or even living sculptures.
During the 10th and 11th centuries, the bonsai also spread in Japan, where it developed its own style, which developed for a long time parallel to the Chinese. It was also this, which was presented in 1878 at the World Exhibition in Paris by Japan. But then it was not until the Second World War before the bonsai became popular as a new hobby all over the world. But the art of small plants was not only shaped in Asia. Also in Germany were so-called broken glass trees, so miniature trees in ceramic bowls bred. These spread since the baroque era. However, they mainly bred fruit trees here, among other things because of their fruit, that was called Scherbenobst.
In his countries of origin, Japan and China, bonsai still have great value today, literally. There by far not only the ideal value counts. A bonsai can also be very valuable there, depending on various factors. Above all, his age (which, with good care, can amount to several hundred years) influences the value of bonsai. At the same time, it is a widespread tradition to always pass on a bonsai as a family heirloom to the eldest son as a master. Some bonsai have been cultivated in this way for over 500 years, and have survived for several generations.
The plant species traditionally used for the cultivation of bonsai, such as pine or maple trees, Asian elms or juniper. The different climatic conditions have ensured that we cultivate only a limited selection of the classic bonsai species, so hardy plants from Japan, but also from other countries, and also native species can be cultivated as bonsai.
In addition, a differentiation has developed between indoor and outdoor bonsai, where in the indoor area due to the required living conditions (after all, we are talking here of mostly subtropical plants, so much light and high humidity) only small-leaved species of the genus Ficus, So have the fig-like enforced, which are considered today as typical beginner plants.