New to bonsai. In need of input.

PinkTarantula

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So I technically cannot even be considered “new” to bonsai since I haven’t even started anything. That being said I’d like to get he ball rolling. I’m not an experienced Gardner by any stretch but I do garden quite a bit. I’ve got a few dozen cacti, a greenhouse, lots of house plants, a few hydroponic plants, several hundred cacti seedlings, and a few little projects that fit in between.
I have a few plants I’d be interested in trying bonsai with and would love some input. I’m located in the piedmont region of Georgia. Metro-Atlanta area. Zone 7b. One of my plants is a white oak that I started from an acorn. Still waaaaay to small and young for proper bonsai but I wasn’t sure if there was anything I should be doing to get it started on the right path. I have a Coast Redwood as well. About 1 foot tall, maybe an inch or two less. And finally, I have an Aussie Queen Hibiscus. I’d really like to start the Hibiscus. If the Redwood is y’all enough then it too. I bought a ceramic bonsai pot a while back but it seems too small to do much with besides Shohin. Maybe I could make it work for the Hibiscus? I may end up just grabbing a little set up from Brussel’s Bonsai though. If I go that route I’ll get a Ginkgo, a Dawn Redwood, or a Trident Maple I think.

In a perfect world I’d be able to start the Hibiscus in the tiny pot. Not sure how to even do that though. As seen in the picture there’s a nice little stumpy bit (about 3 1/2”) but there’s a long off shoot that I’m not sure how to deal with. I’d like to save it if possible.

Any input would be greatly appreciated and I hope to become a contributing member if all goes well. FC339282-C56C-4BF2-9E7A-F34AB77BE21A.jpeg6F2B3396-494B-4C3F-963E-E1426AD8D3DC.jpeg3343576F-9465-470C-9B05-54EAB163E9F7.jpeg468FB999-C223-41DB-8E63-1396F6FCDBB0.jpeg50ECEDE4-2A69-48CD-924C-20F227440F53.jpeg1646DBCC-5A04-4514-843E-F100E5853EED.jpegBA9DF99D-FE06-4205-8468-61E2C9D17A4F.jpegD3785E69-B182-45EA-9DAE-78E2572A4BAA.jpeg
 

JudyB

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Hi and welcome.
You would be better in the long run putting those in a ground growing situation, or a large training box or flat instead of trying to work with them right away. They need far more growth of the trunk before it can even be considered pre-bonsai. You could in the meantime, try to find some larger nursery stock to work with. Read up about chopping, most bonsai have been grown out and chopped back (multiple times in most cases) to attain a large base with a tapered trunk so it looks like a real tree.
You can also do well to start with a bonsai that is already at the potted stage, so you can learn general care and how to water (very important!) before you try to start a project from scratch with all the pitfalls that can frustrate a new bonsai practitioner.
Good luck to you on your bonsai journey.
 

Hawke84

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Totally agree with JudyB. Those are great plants to work work on but then need bigger pots to strengthen the trunks. Generally soon as you put a bonsai I to a lot expect it to stay roughly the same size or at least grow one hell of a lot slower.

Do what I've done, get a few bonsai to practice on, understanding soil and general care or how to get vigor whilst the seedlings are growing up. I've learnt loads having a few trees in the past year.

Love the little bonsai pot colours by the way
 

PinkTarantula

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Any ideas for the pot then? Would rather not waste it and most anything I buy would come in a pot.
 

bonsaichile

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Any ideas for the pot then? Would rather not waste it and most anything I buy would come in a pot.
Store it until you have a tree to put in it. Soon you will learn to recognize when a tree can go in a bonsai pot and which pot complements what tree
 

JudyB

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Lots of pre bonsai come in plastic type trainer pots, you can repot your new tree into it at the proper repotting time. You should put your location and zone in your profile, so we know where in the world you are, and can give proper advice for your climate.
 

PinkTarantula

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Haven’t even touched any of the features yet. I did however specify my location very specifically in the original post.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

JudyB

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Haven’t even touched any of the features yet. I did however specify my location very specifically in the original post.
Yes but you'll have to repeat where you are in each and every post in each thread if you are asking for specific advice. If you place your location in your profile page it will show up under your name, and you will get accurate help.
 

sparklemotion

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Any ideas for the pot then? Would rather not waste it and most anything I buy would come in a pot.
Look into kusamono or "accent plants." They are a fun way to play around with creating plantings when you don't have "real" bonsai to work on.

While you are looking for material, be sure to check out the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers.

And while everyone else is right about trunks not growing in bonsai pots, I might be tempted to pot that little hibiscus (hibiscii? Looks like you have two trunks in there) into your red pot now (but I am not long on patience). Google "repotting" so you have at least a little clue about what you're doing, and prepare yourself to kill it. I'd prune that long shoot back, and look into creating a "mame" tree.
 

PinkTarantula

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Look into kusamono or "accent plants." They are a fun way to play around with creating plantings when you don't have "real" bonsai to work on.

While you are looking for material, be sure to check out the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers.

And while everyone else is right about trunks not growing in bonsai pots, I might be tempted to pot that little hibiscus (hibiscii? Looks like you have two trunks in there) into your red pot now (but I am not long on patience). Google "repotting" so you have at least a little clue about what you're doing, and prepare yourself to kill it. I'd prune that long shoot back, and look into creating a "mame" tree.
That’s exactly what I was thinking about with that second trunk. I may try to slowly cut in between the two through the root over the course of a couple weeks. Seems like that may reduce the likelihood of it dying. Thanks for the tip on kusamono as well. I actually just read about the place in Conyers. The website wasn’t very informative and I was hesitant to make the trip for something that ended up being a let down. I’ve made numerous very long trips for cacti only to find the store is out of business, pathetically small with almost no plants to offer, or just no longer offering cacti in general.
 

Hack Yeah!

Chumono
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Hello, I'm fairly new to the hobby as well. The monestary is worth the drive out there, lots of pots and soil components, a few plants. The Atlanta bonsai society has their club auction in August which should have a variety of materials and prices to choose from. There is a volunteer group at Smith Gilbert gardens in Kennesaw led by Rodney Clemons on the second Saturday of each month, they have a nice collection of native trees and it's great to work with real bonsai material while our sticks in pots grow at home.... Good luck
 

Cable

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Definitely not y’all enough. Yes, putting them in the ground is your best option for their future. Not necessarily the best option for your future.

Ideally, you’d plant them and go find bigger stock to work on. If that’s not an option then by all means go nuts with the ones you have. You’ll probably kill them or at least severely impact their growth and potential, but you’ll learn so much doing so that it will be worth it. The next trees you work on will benefit from their sacrifice.
 

Cypress187

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Welcome to the forum, maybe use your garden as the pot.
 

Potawatomi13

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Please add personal location to profile showing in future time for all to see. Oak is not White oak as does not have round lobes. Pointy ones are from Red/Black oak clan. Adding voice that no Bonsai pot needed until tree is ready for refinement or showing. Using such confining pots impedes development;). Patience grasshopper and welcome to Bonsai.
 

coachspinks

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Welcome. Someone mentioned going to the Monastery. Good idea. They have a lot of what you will need - plants, mix, pots, tools, etc. Right now they have a good supply of pre bonsai stock the you can "play with."
I would also advise you to go to the Plant City Facebook page or their website. Not only is it a good place to go for material but they often host beginner classes. This Sunday they are hosting a bonsai show.
Also, find the Atlanta Bonsai Society web page and join. They have several events each year that will interest you.
 

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