How About Raising A Banyan Tree In Your Living Room?

By TheHindu on 30 Jun 2015 | read

Bonsais at a house in West Kodialbail in Mangalore.— Photo: R. EswarrajCollectors of bonsai trees in Mangalore say that it is easy to pick up the skill to grow bonsais.

However, one needs patience as it takes years to grow them. Bonsais are Japanese art of growing miniature trees in small pots, which can be kept on a living room table.

Bonsais are just like their normal counterparts, with tiny flowers and fruits.

Jyothi Alva, who lives in Kodialguthu, has 10 bonsais of which the oldest is 25 years old. It includes peepul and banyan.


She says: “Anyone can acquire the skill. You should have the is not difficult. But you need a lot of patience as it takes years to grow.”

Jane D' Souza, who lives in Highlands, gets bonsai pots from Lalbagh in Bangalore. These pots are specifically designed to grow bonsais and they have several drainage holes, she says.

Her collection includes 35 trees with the oldest being 18 years old.

Trees that are over 15-years-old in her collection include a banyan, peepul, tamarind, wild fig, and ornamental trees. She says she learnt the skill of growing bonsais from Gopinath Mallya.

Ms. D'Souza does not pluck the fruit from the bonsais and have to keep an eye on her granddaughter who wants to pluck them. One of the trees has borne fruits. However, the fruits, which are Chinese oranges, taste “really sour, horrible,” she says.

Veera Katpitia from Highlands says she learnt the skill of growing bonsais on her own. She has 10 to 12 bonsais of which the oldest is 20 years old. She has grown a bonsai bougainvillea and ficus, “which is not meant for Mangalore but it survived here,” she says.

Some Bonsai collectors also sell bonsai.


Harriet Lasrado, a resident of Kalpana Road, has sold some bonsais to people who bought them to give to others as birthday gifts.

The trees were sold for Rs. 275 to Rs. 300 but the price depends on the tree variety and its age, she says.

Another reason that she sold them away is that she travels often.

Manjari Bhargav, who lives in Nanthoor near Eden Club, used to sell the bonsais too but stopped as it requires a lot of attention.

She used to get the soil for the bonsais from Mumbai but now makes her own mixture of the soil for the bonsais. Those interested in bonsais may contact Ms. D'Souza on 9845950021.