Bonsai requires ceramic pots, but miniature trees can be cultivated in clay pots

The trend of cultivating miniature trees is slowly catching up in Udupi and its surrounding areas.

In fact, there are now a growing number of people who are attracted to it and have been cultivating it in their gardens.

Some are attracted to the size of the miniature trees, others feel that they look beautiful, while for some others it is an excellent hobby, which involves them.

Gururaj Sanil, a known name in the district for rescuing snakes, loves cultivating miniature trees. He has 115 different types of miniature trees in his garden. He developed interest in these trees when he visited the house of his friend.

Mr. Sanil has been cultivating miniature trees for 14 years.

“Unlike Bonsai, cultivating miniature trees is not expensive. Bonsai requires ceramic pots, but miniature trees can be cultivated in clay pots. Only thing is you have to change clay pot after four or five years. While a ceramic pot costs from Rs. 200 to Rs. 5,000, a clay pot is available for as less as Rs. 60,” he says.

According to Mr. Sanil, after cultivating a miniature tree in a pot, one has to add vermi-compost and organic manure once in 15 or 30 days. A plant cutter, a pair of scissors, and a small shovel are required to tend miniature trees. “There is a misconception among people that miniature tree cultivation is an expensive hobby. People should themselves get involved in cultivating miniature trees rather than letting their servants to take care of it”, he said.

For Anuradha M. Shetty, a homemaker residing in Kaup, cultivating miniature is a way of being in touch with nature. “For me and my husband, it is a hobby. Besides, since I like gardening, it was but natural for me to get attracted to miniature trees. These trees require lot of attention and I like spending my time tending them,” she said.

There are about 45 miniature trees in her garden. “Surely, I will like to have more miniature trees. The trend of cultivating miniature trees is catching up. People can even cultivate miniature trees in their terrace gardens and balconies. Some of my friends too are cultivating miniature trees,” she said.

Pramod Madhwaraj, businessman, was attracted by the beauty of miniature trees.

“I was smitten by it the first time I saw it. They look so wonderful. I think many want to have it,” he said.

When Mr. Sanil organised an exhibition of miniature trees at the Ambalpady temple complex last year in Udupi and it got a good response and many were curious to know about them. Over 50 miniature trees exhibited by him at ‘The Gallery’ in Manipal four months ago got sold.

“Once you get interested in miniature trees, it becomes a passion with you,” Mr. Sanil said.

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