Bonsai Ginseng or Ginseng Bonsai is the term given to describe a type of bonsai which uses the ficus ginseng or banyan fig plant also known with the horticultural name of ‘ficus retusa’.
Bonsai Ginseng History
The plant is native to Taiwan and Malaysia but is now produced and loved by gardeners and enthusiasts all over the world.One of the oldest living specimens of Ginseng Bonsai is close to 250 years old and is located in south-west Taiwan in the city of Tainan.
The bonsai is created by first growing a banyan fig plant. Once mature the grower then violently lops off the upper part of the tree leaving the bulbous root like trunk.
This is then re-potted into a bonsai pot and given time to allow new growth of bright green foliage. The new foliage is then pruned shaped and given time to flourish.
While bonsai enthusiasts will tell you this species of bonsai is not a true bonsai, the definition of bonsai tree in both Chinese and Japanese is simply ‘tree in a pot’.
It is important to note also that a bonsai only becomes such when it has been pruned, shaped and given the growers desired shape.
The Bonsai Ginseng is a great bonsai for beginners – given its hardy nature – but also ideal for intermediate bonsai growers looking for a new challenge.