Ask a Question forum: Is this a Bonsai?

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Mar 14, 2016 11:56 AM CST
Hello! Just wondering if this is truly a Bonsai tree, it was bought from Walmart and that was what it was labeled as. If not, what is it? And how do I take care of him? Some of his leaves seem to be dying. What do I do!?
Thumb of 2016-03-14/Uhree3/2cd590

Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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Mar 14, 2016 12:28 PM CST
Hi & welcome! Bonsai means "tree in a pot" so yes, it's a bonsai if you want to call it that. It looks like Pachira aquatica, AKA money tree. Money Tree (Pachira aquatica)

A more stringent definition is a woody entity that has been manipulated over many years to resemble a full-size, unmolested tree.

To keep it small and looking bonsai-ish, it will need periodic maintenance to the above-ground parts and roots. There are many books & websites dedicated to teaching the ancient art of bonsai. If you're not into all that, you can just treat it like any other potted tree: repot every year or two, chop off parts that get too big.
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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Mar 14, 2016 12:30 PM CST
Welcome to ATP! Welcome!

The term 'bonsai' is a technique, not a particular plant. Literally, bonsai means 'small tray'. Bonsai is the practice of miniaturizing a plant or tree so that it can live in a small pot.

What you have is a Schefflera that has been grown from a piece of stem from a larger plant. It looks like the big Schefflera (Umbrella plant) - keeping it small will not be easy.


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