A miniature size tree.

WHILE some homeowners may prefer to have a variety of vibrant colourful flowering plants for their garden, others rather have a collection of miniaturised trees which have minimal leaves and are grown in pots.

Malaysia Bonsai & Suiseki Society (MBSS) president Datuk Chua Kok Hwa attending to his bonsai garden.

The latter group are the Bonsai enthusiasts who dedicate their time and money to cultivate little trees that usually grow in the wild.

According to Malaysia Bonsai & Suiseki Society president Datuk Chua Kok Hwa, bonsai has varying maximum heights depending on countries (110cm to 120cm for Taiwan and 90cm for Malaysia and Japan).

A form of weight is being tied to the stem to shape the bonsai tree.

Bonsai ,which literally means a tree planted in a container, can also grow directly on the ground once it has taken the desired shape and form for landscaping purposes, but for easy maintenance it will usually be transferred to a larger pot measuring 8ft to 10ft for a big one

A plum bonsai tree.

For an ordinary potted plant, it is just about growing and letting it be without any sort of shaping, trimming or pruning, but for a bonsai, shaping, trimming and pruning are necessary, said Chua.

It is important how you want to shape the branches, form it or grow it so that it looks like a nice little tree, he said.

A bonsai plant that didn’t quite make it but is still kept as a decorative piece.

“Some people believe that keeping a bonsai tree will bring luck to them while some just like its flowers or fruits and others like it just because of its appearance... some treat it as away to connect to nature,” he said.

A pine bonsai tree.

In Malaysia, there are plenty of popular bonsai trees like Wrightia Religiosa or locally known as Shui Mei. The bonsai is easy to grow and has nice white flower dangling down, which emits nice fragrance.

A bonsai tree that resembles a mythical creature from an epic fantasy film.

There is also the Cucur Atap and Kayu Hitam which are taken from islands in the east coast. The Premna Obtusifolia is also one of the most favoured among locals. The imported ones, include juniper and ficus from Taiwan.

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