Bonsai trees are dwarf trees that can be a fun and creative hobby. These miniature trees are grown in containers and training and nurturing them is an artistic endeavor that can be enjoyed by most anyone.
One favorite type of bonsai is the Hawaiian umbrella tree. This tree has thick leaves that form a lush canopy. In spring it blooms with red flowers in a wonderful show of color. This bonsai is very hardy and adaptable, and therefore quite easy to maintain.
You can propogate the Hawaiian umbrella tree through both cuttings and seeds. When starting out a plant, you should provide it with full sun so that it can grow a thick dense foliage. Once this is accomplished, you can bring it inside and put it in a sunny window or brightly lit spot. You may find that the tree tends to drop leaves after you move it indoors - don't be alarmed as this is just it's way of getting used to the new environment. Once it is acclimated, it will grow it's lush canopy of leaves again.
While the umbrella tree does not need pinching or training like some other bonsai, it does need regular pruning as the shoots do sprout rapidly. While rather easy to maintain, you must keep a constant vigil against pests and disease. As with any bonsai, the soil quality for the Hawaiian umbrella tree is key to key to it's successful growth. Plant in a mix of acidic and mildly alkaline soil for best results.
Water is also important and your umbrella tree should be misted and watered about every other day. Don't let the soil dry out as this can have adverse affects on the health of your plant. On the other hand, you don't want to water it too much either! You should soak the soil and allow the water to drain - no standing water and do not let the soil become overly dry. If you see the leaves turning black, this is in indication that you are watering too much, if they tips turn up then you are not watering enough.
Bonsai trees can last a very long time if properly cared for. Many people don't stop at one tree and you can collect and grow several different varieties for your own miniature garden. There are many groups devoted to this hobby where you can share your experience and learn from others.
Although it is fun to share your hobby with others, always keep your umbrella tree away from children and pets because it can be poisonous!
ARTICLE SOURCE: http://www.articlesbase.com/gardening-articles/bonsai-care-the-hawaiian-umbrella-tree-22193.html