Even if you're trying to grow a traditional Bonsai the rest of the year, why should it miss out on Christmas? A Bonsai tree is extremely easy to re-dress for the holidays!
Better yet, a Christmas Bonsai is also a great portable decoration that could go well just about anywhere in your home, or even in multiple settings throughout the Christmas season. It could be the centerpiece of your Christmas Eve dinner, then go onto the coffee table as a living room setpiece during the opening of presents. If you live in a temperate area, or have a cold-tolerant tree, it could even go outside for a few days to add to your exterior decorations.
Plus, of course, this could be a great arts-n-crafts opportunity for the whole family!
Thoughts On Turning Your Bonsai Into A Great Christmas Accessory
1 - Any Bonsai tree will do.
Sure, if you have a Bonsai growing straight and tall, that's going to look the most like a traditional Christmas tree. But more unusual Bonsai trainings can get in on the fun too. Look at their odd shapes as an opportunity to be creative, or to mix eastern and western design concepts.
Even if you have a "Cascade" style Bonsai, well, at worst you could put the Peanuts gang around it and have a tree like Charlie Brown's!
2 - Protect the soil.
Nearly all Christmas decorations should be harmless for your Bonsai, but there is a chance of impurities or chemicals getting into the soil. No matter what decorating you intend to do, we strongly suggest laying down a bed of cotton balls (as fake snow) that covers the topsoil. These will catch and\or soak up anything harmful that you don't want to get into the soil itself.
Just don't forget to water your Bonsai, if you rely on looking at the soil to decide when it's time for watering!
3 - Supplies can come from any crafts store.
If you're wanting to do this quickly, just about any "dollhouse" sized accessories from a crafts store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby should be just about the right size for your Bonsai as well. They frequently carry pint-sized presents, undersized ornaments, and even very small bits of tinsel that could be used to create a perfect miniature Christmas tree.
4 - Fake snow IS safe for Bonsai!
We occasionally get questions about whether spray-on fake snow can be used on Bonsai trees. In nearly all cases, the answer is yes. And the packaging should also indicate whether it's plant-safe. Fake snow is almost always a plastic polymer that's inert and effectively harmless.
However, there's one caveat here: If you're going to use fake snow, you must protect the soil, either with cotton balls or some other covering the faux-snow can't penetrate. It's not directly poisonous, but too much in the soil could potentially choke the roots. It could also discolor the soil which isn't harmful, but would potentially spoil your naturalistic look.
5 - Don't forget the setting.
If you're keeping your Bonsai on traditional bamboo mats, this is a great excuse to give it some color for a couple weeks. Swap out the mat for some red or green felt. This also allows you to extend the space your Bonsai occupies and allow it to be part of a larger or more extensive Christmas scene, such as carolers or a nativity setting.
Since the space in a Bonsai pot is almost always limited, this is almost always better than trying to cram more a few objects into the pot itself.
Bonsai Are Great For Holidays
Since they're so easily re-dressed, Bonsai trees are a great accompaniment to a lot of yearly traditions... but Christmas is best of all. Properly dressed up, a Bonsai can easily be a real conversation piece during your Christmas festivities, and another way to show off your love of Bonsai to the world!