bonsai rose – Bonsai Questions and Answers

I would like to make a bonsai of roses which rose is best suited.


Response : rose bonsai

Dear Amedeo,

Roses are among the plants traditionally chosen for bonsai in Japan; usually you don’t see so many bonsai of these plants, because their bonsaiing is quite complex, and it takes many years to get a rose bush with short internodes and small leaves.

Typically in the nursery there are many varieties of hybrid roses, these are not particularly suitable for bonsai, because the hybridizers are always looking for very re-flowering roses and with a very vigorous vegetative development, so the May part of modern roses, at each pruning, respond with a large development of branches and leaves, and with a consequent new flowering, this type of development is not suitable for a bonsai, and the repeated blooms can become a problem for a small plant that lives in a small pot.

Usually, for the bonsai, we utilize the botanical species of rose, such as the dog rose, or Gallic rose, which are quite easily available also in the wild in Italy; these species have smaller flowers, they bloom only once a year, the flowers are followed by beautiful red or orange fruits, very persistent, the leaves tend to be smaller than those of the hybrid varieties: they are definitely more suitable for cultivation as bonsai.

Obviously, the first years of working, are those characterized by greater pruning, which are to be done by the end of the winter, when the buds begin to swell, leaving about 2-3 buds for each branch; other prunings can be done after the flowering, considering, however, that, removing the flowers, we renounce also to the fruits, which, in the first years, might make sense.

The rose bonsai are to be placed in full sun, because they need a lot of direct sunlight, but in the warm months, from May to August, it is good to shade them during the hottest hours of the day. Watering is also essential and should be regular, avoiding leaving the soil completely dry for long periods of time. This is a job that will take a few years before giving its fruits, but the rose bonsai are very pretty and delicate, and tend to bloom with great ease, which makes them very interesting.

Consider that canine roses are easier to find in nature than in nurseries, while in nurseries specializing in roses you can find many species of botanical roses, and even some of their hybrids, obviously choose those with more minute flowers, not too vigorously bearing.

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