Open the package. Lift the contents (Lil Plot, seed envelope, and instructions) on the table. Remove the cardboard cover and soil bag from the Lil Plot and open the bag. Pour the soil carefully to the Lil Plot. Open the seed envelope and soak the seeds in the hand warm water for 4 to 8 hours.
After that, Rainbow Bonsai seeds can be sown on the soil surface without being covered. After you have sown the seeds, you have to water them. Make sure that the seeds and the soil are moistened in small batches of water. Place the Lil Plot in a bright place on the windowsill and water 0.5 dl twice a week. Once you have done the job, the soil must not be allowed to dry out. It must be kept moist.
Germination times vary a lot depending on the growing spot. The warmer the place is the faster it will germinate. Normally the germination time is about three weeks.
Once the seeds have germinated, the seedlings are allowed to grow and get stronger. There is no hurry to separate the seedlings into their own pots. The best time to separate the Rainbow Bonsai seedlings is spring and summer. If you have grown your own bonsai in the fall or winter, for example, it is better to be kept in Lil Plot until spring.
The most important task for us bonsai growers is watering. Once the seeds have germinated the seedlings are at first very weak. It’s better to water ‘em either gently from the side of the seedlings by pouring water on the roots or by spraying with a spritzer which will make a light moist fog. It won’t hurt the seedlings.
The dangers of watering are under-watering and over-watering. If the plants are watered too little, seedlings will start hanging the leaves and may die. Over-watering is a danger especially in winter when trees are on rest periods. Before watering, you can touch the soil from a depth of a couple of centimeters to check the need for watering.
In winter, bonsai may drop some of its leaves. However, that doesn’t mean that the bonsai is dead. Its grows new leaves in the spring. In winter, the soil of most plants is better allowed to dry out before re-watering.
During the first months, the bonsai seedlings should not be fertilized. The soil contains the necessary nutrients. After three months from the germination of the Rainbow Bonsai, you can start fertilizing it. Fertilize only during the growing season. The growing season runs from the beginning of February to the end of October. Fertilization has to be done in with the instructions of the nutrient of your choice. Too aggressive fertilization is bad for your tree’s health and may even kill it.
How to repot the young trees can be done two ways. Either you let your Rainbow plants grow as big as possible in the Lil Plot pot for 6 months to 1 year or then you can repot them to a bigger pot that allows the plants to grow faster and even bigger in 6 months to 1 year time.
If you let your Rainbow plants grow in the Lil Plot pot they will look like this after 2-3 months and even bigger after 1 year.
The other option is that you can repot the Rainbow plants to a bigger pot earliest when they have second pair of leaves, for a total of four leaves. (You can also do the repotting about 2-3 months after growing in the Lil Plot pot).
As we mentioned earlier, there is no rush to separate seedlings. The best time to separate the bonsai seedlings is in spring and summer. If you have started to grow your own Rainbow chili plant in the fall or winter, it is better to be kept in the Lil Plot box until spring.
The Rainbow Bonsai seedlings can be planted either as a group of several bonsais or individually. Planting as a group is easier. First, you need to open the Lil Plot. Then you just lift the soil pack and seedlings into a new pot. Loose soil can be removed before. The new pot should be a little bit bigger than the Lil Plot. The edges of the pot are filled with new soil.
If you want to plant your trees individually you need to open the Lil Plot as well. This makes it easy to handle the plant and the roots gently. The roots will remain undamaged. Fill the new pot with soil. The most suitable soil is a seedling mix. If the seedling mix is not available, normal potting soil will work fine. Make a hole in the soil. Gently lift the seedling from its stem. It is a good idea to use a small spoon to get the roots out of the old soil. Place the roots into the soil, cover it with soil. Water the plant carefully.
If you want you Rainbow plant to grow as fast as possible we suggest you repot your seedlings into a big pot (20 litres at least) about 1-3 months after it has germinated. The size of the pot in the picture underneath is good.
Let your seedlings grow as big as possible during its first growing season. You can grow them indoors or outdoors (balconies etc.) The stems will get bigger the longer you grow your plant. During your first growing season you will already also get some chili harvest and the plant will look more like a bush than a bonsai.
When the fall or early spring arrives, it is time to cut down your plant. (The plant needs to be grown for at least 9 months to 1 year, before cutting). You can use traditional scissors or a knife and cut down your plant. The size depends on how big you want your bonsai to be, but usually they are approximately 15 cm - 50 cm in height. One thing to consider is to cut the plant so that some leaves are left on the plant.
Next you will want to change the pot into a traditional bonsai pot. You can change the pot with the instructions from above with slight changes.
The plant will look very poor at first, but little by little it will start to grow new leaves and branches turning your plant into a beautiful bonsai.
If you want to make the bonsai roots appear on top of the soil, you can plant the bonsai a little bit higher on top of the soil than in the last pot. The largest roots can be left on top of the soil. This will make your bonsai look more amazing.
Note that creating a bonsai is a shock for your plant so it is always a little risky. It is better to do it step by step than all for once so you won't hurt your plant.
At this point you can also wire your bonsai with a strong wire, if you want to make the branches grow in a certain way. Here you can use your own imagination. There really is no right way to do it. The bonsai plants look very nice just naturally without wires also.
Now you should place your bonsai into a well lit location like a windowsill. You should see new growth in a couple of weeks.
In the winter time it can be a good idea to have the bonsai under a growing light. Then it will not grow too fast, but again when the spring comes your Bonsai plant will start to grow faster and create new flowers that will turn into chili fruits. Growing lights are not however mandatory and it is also good to give your plant some time to rest in the winter time.
The key to succeeding is in having patience and enjoying the growth at every stage.
If you have any questions at any stage of your growing project, please shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer you quickly.
Remember to share your process also on Instagram #lilplot.