Is Bonsai Cruel?

Bonsai Tree

Whether you are first learning about the practices of growing miniature bonsai trees or are just wondering about the ethics of the practice, it can seem like a complicated issue. The practice of growing bonsai trees seems very unnatural, and in a way, it is.

Nature doesn’t exist indoors on its own, but that doesn’t mean that having a potted plant is cruel to that plant. Growing bonsai trees indoors is not a cruel practice, and does not bring any harm to the bonsai tree, as long as its caretaker knows what they are doing.

Why Are Bonsai Trees So Small?

Bonsai trees are real trees, but they are just grown in small pots. The reason that they do not grow as large as other trees do is because of the way that bonsai trees are cared for. By keeping the tree in a small container and pruning it regularly, the tree is unable to grow past a small size.

Leaving the tree in a small container might make it seem like the tree doesn’t have room to grow. While this is true, that doesn’t make it a bad thing. A good bonsai caretaker will know how to trim the tree and its roots to make sure that the bonsai fits comfortably within its pot. This is how bonsai trees stay so much smaller than trees that grow outdoors.

Does Being Small Harm the Tree?

As long as you are taking good, proper care of your bonsai tree, you are in no way harming the tree. Simply making sure that the tree stays small isn’t doing any damage to the tree. A well-cared for bonsai tree might even live longer inside a pot than another tree might live outside.

Any kind of harm to bonsai trees would have to come with neglecting care and maintenance. Forgetting to water it, or give it proper fertilizer or sunlight would be neglecting the tree. Pruning doesn’t cause any harm, and it is used for many different kinds of plants, not just bonsai trees.

No healthy bonsai is being harmed. If the bonsai were not getting the proper care and nutrition that it needed, it would not survive. Bonsai trees are not lacking in any necessary sustenance. The reason that they are able to stay so small is due to the way that they are maintained, and is not the result of depriving the bonsai of any water, space, or sunlight that would help it grow.

What Does Being Cruel to a Tree Mean?

When you are thinking about cruelty for a tree, you can’t think of it in the same way that you would for a human or an animal. Trees and other plants aren’t able to feel in the same way that other creatures do.

For example, bonsai trees aren’t able to feel pain. When you prune a bonsai tree, you are not hurting it, you are only helping it to grow healthier. Trees are also not able to feel sentient thoughts. As long as the tree has everything that it needs nutritionally, it will be a happy and healthy tree.

Taking care of a bonsai tree in your home can actually better than it being outside.  Indoors, and with the proper caretaker, a bonsai tree will have access to the right care and good living conditions for the rest of its life. In the outdoors, it would have to face the changes in the environment, and might not be able to survive for various reasons.

Growing a bonsai tree is a form of caring for that tree. The goal is never to harm the tree, but to find ways to make it healthier and to keep it beautiful.

Why Do People Grow Bonsai Trees?

If you are not interested in gardening, it might be hard to understand why someone would want to grow a plant that requires so much care and maintenance. However, think about other hobbies that you might have in your life, which other people might not share. This doesn’t mean that your hobby isn’t worthwhile, it just means that not everyone is the same.

Bonsai trees require a very specific kind of caretaker. You have to have a lot of knowledge about bonsai trees to keep yours alive. People who grow bonsai trees in their homes are very passionate about the plant. It is usually seen as a kind of art, and there is a beauty in helping to keep this plant alive.

Gardening for bonsai trees isn’t really that much different than having other indoor plants. To keep any indoor plant happy in a pot for a long period of time, you need to make sure that you are doing more than just making sure that it has proper light and water. The soil needs to be changed every once in a while, and the plant needs to be fed fertilizer. Having a bonsai is just a higher-maintenance form of having a cactus on your desk.

close up bonsai tree

Is it Cruel to Grow Bonsai Trees?

Essentially, the answer is no. When you think of cruelty in the maintenance of bonsai trees, you might be looking at it from the wrong perspective. You might see a tree that is being forced into a small container and is unable to grow, but that is really not the case.

Of all trees, bonsais probably receive the most amount of love. There is a lot of care, effort, and patience that goes into caring for a bonsai tree. They can be very temperamental, and are notoriously difficult to grow. Bonsai trees require very specific maintenance and regular care.

If the plant was not happy and healthy, it would die, or it would be showing signs of weakness such as abnormal yellowing or softness. When people grow bonsai trees, they are paying attention to all of the small tree’s needs, and are giving it the best life that it could have.