Characteristics of the olive bonsai
Although above all it prefers the external environment, the olive bonsai, as well as most fruit bonsai (from apple to peach, from mandarin to chestnut) lives without problems also in the internal environments, and therefore in the apartment, as long as it can count on conditions similar to those typical of the natural habitat. As for the olive tree, we are dealing with an evergreen plant typical of the Mediterranean area. The original tree has a long-lived and massive structure, with the characteristic trunk, rich in cavities, twisted on itself, almost divided into different parts. The wild species, on the other hand, has a structure with reduced dimensions, and is therefore more suitable for the creation of a bonsai.
How to create the olive bonsai
Having said that the reproduction of the olive takes place by seed, layering and cutting, it is not easily adaptable to bonsai, although it is a long-lived and resistant species. In any case, the creation of the bonsai can take place through the seed method, which involves burying the seed in spring or late summer in composite soil. It is, in fact, a rather long system: to have a seedling to be transformed into bonsai it takes a few years. The advantage, on the other hand, is that from the outset the development and shape of the plant can be controlled.
As far as cutting is concerned, it is a fairly complicated method with a low success rate; the positive aspect, however, is that it is much faster with respect to sowing. In practice, it is necessary to take, in the autumn months, a woody branch to be planted in the ground (preferably mixed with sand), taking care to immerse the part that must be buried in a solution of hormones, so as to facilitate the development of the root system. After about two weeks, the success of the cutting can occur: if it has taken root, the first leaves appear.
Another method to create a olive bonsai plans to collect wild shrubs in nature, so that they can count on subjects with leaves more suitable for bonsai as they are smaller. Everything must take place in spring: it digs up to the root system of the shrub; then it is extracted and placed in the appropriate soil: when the seedling has acquired the right strength, bonsai techniques can be put into practice. For the creation of an olive bonsai, perhaps the best method is represented by the layering. Also in this case, the period indicated for the intervention corresponds to the spring months.
Obtaining, starting from an adult branch of the original plant, a seedling, the chosen branch, once debarked, must be received inside a plastic bag containing soil: when the roots emerge from the callus, the branch is cut and proceeds to repotting. Of course, to create a olive bonsai you can, quite simply, start from a normal seedling that can be bought in the nursery. Choosing a dwarf olive tree, all you have to do is prune it and adjust its shape by lowering it; alternatively, you can opt for a pre-bonsai seedling: it is a species grown specifically for less experienced bonsai enthusiasts, which can be processed immediately, but which has a higher cost. Of course, once the bonsai is created it needs care and attention.
First of all, the map must be placed in a bright spot, away from heat sources and drafts, but still characterized by a fair ventilation. The olive bonsai lives well indoors, but also outdoors in the sun, as long as it is not subjected to potentially dangerous frosts.