Zen houseplants for May

on Tuesday, 01 May 2018. Posted in News

The story behind Zen plants
Bonsai, Ficus Ginseng and Dracaena lucky bamboo all have powerful shapes, natural strength and a stylised appearance. All three fit well with the growing interest in bringing more calm and meaning to our lives. They’re also perfect feature plants in the minimalist interior trend which is still very popular. Zen plants are easy to look after, attractive to look at and blessed with a serene look that really impacts on their surroundings.

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Bonsai in Japanese literally means ‘ tree in pot'. Woody plants are transformed into miniature trees by pruning and trimming so that the appearance is determined by the plant’s essence. Examples of plants that are particularly suitable for bonsai are Chamaecyparis, pomegranate, Crassula ovata and Carmona retusa. Ficus species are currently the most popular.

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Ficus ginseng is cultivated in southern China and Malaysia. A small-leafed Ficus microcarpa is grafted onto the distinctive trunk, which is then pruned into a bonsai shape. It can be narrow and tall or broad and low, depending on the pruning. To achieve the best aesthetic effect, the pot should not make up more than one third of the total height of the plant.

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Dracaena lucky bamboo is an eye-catching feature plant, and is available with straight and twisted branches, woven, as a mini bamboo forest or as a solo statement plant. All shapes need a lot of water, which is why they’re often sold in a glass bowl, vase or other vessel where the water is visible. This also contributes to the plant’s Zen look.

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What to look for when buying Zen plants
• Bonsai and Ficus ginseng need to be well-rooted. The trunk and foliage must also be attractively in proportion.
• A lack of light can cause leaf shedding. Check that the leaves are sturdy and the plant has been hardened.
• Check for mealybug and scale insects.
• Dracaena lucky bamboo should not have any yellow stems, and must be sold ‘on water’.

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Zen plants as a phenomenon date back from the end of the 14th century, when Zen Buddhists created stylised gardens of exceptional beauty in order to meditate. Respect for nature was crucial. The simplicity is deceptive: anyone who starts working with Zen plants will soon see that they bring depth to their location and become ever more interesting.


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