How Bonsais Can Help Relieve Stress From Studying
Welcome to chapter eight, the penultimate article in our Office Executive Series! Today, we’re looking at how bonsai can help relieve stress from studying. We know how intense academics can become, especially if you’re aiming to climb up the corporate ladder with your diploma.
We have several suggestions to improve your study area with bonsais and motivate you to aim for the stars.
Let’s look at what topics this guide covers:
The Benefits of Bonsais for Students
The Benefits of Bonsais for Students
We know the pressure that studying can bring, specifically when it can mean a promotion at work. If you’re paying for the course, you don’t want to feel like you’ve wasted your money if you don’t manage to pass. If the company is paying for it, there’s the added stress of ensuring you don’t fail; otherwise, you’ll need to pay them back.
Fortunately, bonsais have many ways that they can help you with your studies. We don’t only mean the symbolism behind specific species, but also the scientific ways in which they aid you. Here’s a quick rundown of the advantages.
It can strain your eyes when you stare at your textbooks for too long. You become tired and reading your books hurts. When you need to rest your sight and need to stimulate your brain, all you need to do is look up at your bonsais for a few minutes. You’d be surprised how much it helps.
Oxygen to the Brain
We’ve mentioned this before in our enhancing your focus for work, but the same rule applies here. Bonsai trees supply fresh oxygen to the room where you have them, which is something your brain needs to concentrate better. The more you have in your study, the better.
It’s easy to let the chaos of the day unsettle you, which can be distracting and impair your concentration. Before you head back to the books, spend some time speaking to your bonsais and cleaning their leaves. It calms your mind and gets you ready for the studying to come.
Enhancing Concentration and Memory
When it comes to spiritual meanings behind specific bonsai species, some trees enhance your concentration and memory. Whether it’s simply folklore or a scientific principle, many people believe that the trees have internal energy that adds fuel to your studying. We’ll cover some of these in our article below.
Breaking Bad Habits
Another factor that causes massive distraction is a bad habit. It can be easy to fall back on it, believing it will help you with your studies. In most cases, they do more harm than good, and you may give up on learning for the day. You can replace it with spending time with your bonsais, which will break the old habit and create a new, healthier one.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of studying for hours on end without a break. While you may feel good doing so, you’ll feel dead tired at the end of the day and not have the energy to continue. If you just take 10 – 15 minutes every hour or two to check on your bonsais, your body and mind will feel refreshed.
Great Companions for Studying Horticulture or Biology
If you’re studying any of the life sciences to do with botany, it helps to have plants nearby that will aid you in inspecting various aspects of flora. Many experts state that bonsais present the combination of three disciplines: horticulture, art, and science. Of course, it also applies to biological examinations in terms of the anatomy and inner workings of trees.
Not all plants are alike, and there’s a massive distinction between angiosperms and gymnosperms. Since bonsais are generally regarded as small trees, it will save you a trip into the wild if you have the species at hand. It will also aid you in examining moss if you have any growing on the soil.
There are many horticulturists who have turned their attention to bonsais, known as Bonsai Culturists. These occupations look at the preservation and propagation of bonsai species, growing as many as they can while studying the development of the trees’ lifespans. It also has a significant influence on landscaping, as they can take the ideas and concepts developed for small containers and bring them to residential, municipal, and corporate gardens.
Bonsais Provide a Refreshing Environment
While we’ve mentioned that bonsais provide fresh oxygen in the room, there’s another way they can be refreshing. Image for a moment having a stressful day at work before battling your way through traffic. You come home to a busy family waiting for your attention, or the dishes are calling you. We’re sure many of you can relate.
If you set up your bonsai study area properly, it will be a welcoming sanctuary from the rest of your life. It provides your mind an opportunity to settle down and prepare for your studying to come, and you may even be excited to start simply by the presence of your miniature trees!
We won’t blame you if you eventually use your studies as an excuse to escape family and friends.
The Best Bonsais to Help With Studying
With a better understanding of how bonsais help you with studying and concentration, we’re going to show you which species we recommend you have by your side. We’ll look at physical, scientific, and symbolic reasons we’ve chosen them. There will also be short care guides for each of them, and links to care sheets if we have them at hand.
As always, please bear in mind that these are only our suggestions, and it’s best if you find bonsai trees that suit you best. You can use these are guides to hunting the right one down.
English Oak (Quercus robur)
In a genus that has over 500 species, the English Oak is certainly one of the more prominent ones. It’s part of the Beech family, while it’s native to Europe with a few scatterings in North America and China. It prefers temperate warm weather, but it can endure the cold.
This oak tree has a massive diameter, so you can expect a thick bonsai over time. It’s well known for its lobed leaves and acorns, which look splendid as a small tree in a ceramic pot. A healthy specimen can live for a few centuries, as long as you look after it.
In terms of symbolism, the English Oak tree represents several meanings. Some of these include wisdom, being true to yourself, honor, nobility, and stability. With this species in your presence, you’ll find it easier to absorb knowledge and remember what you studied when you need it the most.
While you can grow the English Oak bonsai outsides, be careful of strong winds breaking fragile shoots. Water the soil until you see the liquid dripping through the drainage holes and then stop. Instead of wiring, use the clip-and-grow technique we taught you to shape it to the design you’d like.
Red River Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis)
Swamped in a genus that has over 700 species, the Red River Gum is one of the most popular Eucalyptus trees to grow as a bonsai. It forms part of the Myrtle family and is endemic to Australia. However, it also grows in several other countries and enjoys shade in incredibly hot temperatures.
In the wild, this Eucalyptus species grow quite tall, so you should simulate the design with a bonsai that reaches a medium or large size. The bark has loose slabs at the bottom, but it doesn’t form lignotubers to protect the stem. You’ll find groups of seven to eleven white flowers on the leaf axles presenting a stunning display.
The Red River Gum symbolizes a purifying effect, removing negative energy, promoting a calm environment, and improving concentration. For your studying, it will help you to focus on your assignments and tasks for longer while absorbing as much knowledge as possible.
It enjoys soil with a slightly acidic touch while it should retain moisture as much as possible. It can tolerate drought conditions, but it’s better if you keep the substrate moist. The foliage becomes quite dense with a massive spread after about 20 years.
Jaboticaba (Plinia cauliflora)
Also known as the Brazilian grapetree, the Jaboticaba is also part of the Myrtle family with about 70 species in the Plinia genus. It’s native to many South American countries, such as Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, and Peru. The interesting name means ‘the place where tortoises are found’ or ‘turtle fat’.
Many people will recognize the purple-black fruit that has white pulp on the inside. They use it to make jellies and jams or even as wine. It’s a slow-growing tree with evergreen leaves that remain green in winter. The fruit attaches directly to the trunk, which gives it a unique appearance.
The Jaboticaba bonsai represents meditation, concentration, positive energy, and healing/recovery. When you’ve had a bad spell with exams and marks, it helps you to get right back up and try again. It also motivates you when you feel drained and you need an extra boost to get you through the day.
In the hottest period of summer, you need to shade it from direct sunlight as much as possible. When winter arrives, you’ll need to protect it from frost and extremely cold temperatures. When it’s the growing season, it enjoys a bath in a tub of water once a week instead of regular irrigation.
Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
While the Laurus genus only has four species, it’s part of the Laurel family that has 45 genera and 2850 species. The Bay Laurel has a few other common names, such as Sweet Bay, Grecian Laurel, and True Laurel. It mostly grows in the Mediterranean and United Kingdom.
As it doesn’t grow too tall, it’s seen as a small tree or shrub, so it’s ideal as a bonsai. There are pale yellow flowers that have a hint of green in them. If your bonsai manages to grow fruit, you’ll see small black berries that contain one seed each.
With only a few meanings to the Bay Laurel, the most significant ones are courage and determination. We know what it feels like when you want to give up, when life and your studies overwhelm you. Let this bonsai aid you along your journey to help you keep your chin up and keep learning.
The bonsai loves moisture but isn’t fond of wet roots, so you’ll need to ensure proper drainage at all times. Since the roots grow quickly, you should repot and replace the soil every two to three years. It loves sunlight, but it doesn’t do too well with strong winds, so an indoor space is ideal.
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
The dogwood genus has its own family, namely Cornaceae, with only 85 species across two genera. While mostly an ornamental tree, it’s native to Mexico and North America, while you can find it in abundance in Florida and the Mississippi River. Other names you may see include Florida Dogwood, Cornelian Tree, Indian dogwood, and False Boxwood.
It has bright green-yellow bracts that show off during summer, holding about 20 flowers in the center. The green ovate leaves become red-brown when fall arrives, giving you a splendid display all year round. The tree generally has white bracts, but you might find cultivars with pink and red.
The Flowering Dogwood has a long list of meanings that include safety, loyalty, kindness, stability, fertility, wishes, strength, and protection. For the sake of your studies and work, we’re going to focus on determination and luck. Sometimes, things still go wrong no matter how hard you try. Everyone could use a bit of good luck.
When it’s normal temperature, you can get away with watering deeply once or twice a week. However, you’ll need to increase it if it becomes too hot to once a day. While you won’t need to spend too much time pruning, it’s a good idea to remove any dead leaves or branches during winter.
American Plum (Prunus americana)
The American Plum tree is part of the Rose family, while the Prunus genus hosts over 430 species that contain apricots, peaches, plums, almonds, and cherries. It’s commonly found in the United States, and many people confuse it with Prunus nigra, the Canada Plum.
Here’s another species that grows so small that it’s sometimes seen as a shrub instead of a tree. The roots prefer shallow pots and you may see suckers arise from the soil. Among the oval leaves on the branches you’ll find some thorns, so be careful when pruning your bonsai.
You’ll find many symbols with the American Plum bonsai, many of which can be connected to your studies. These meanings include perseverance, hope, warmth, transition, fruitfulness, good health, endurance, and overcoming adversity. Of these, our favorites are fruitfulness, endurance, and overcoming adversity.
This species is also fond of having the soil flooded once per week instead of regular watering. You can also add mulch to the soil to prevent evaporation and drying out. It enjoys being outdoors with slow-release fertilizer, but you can also keep it indoors with direct sunlight.
Common Aldar (Alnus glutinosa)
You might have heard of this tree by other names, such as Black Aldar, Aldar, and European Aldar. It forms part of the Birch family, and the genus has about 35 species with shrubs and trees. It mostly grows in Europe, North Africa, and Southwest Asia.
The tree reaches tall heights in the while, so you can aim for the same with your Aldar bonsai. It enjoys a formal upright style, but you can also get away with slanting. There are stalked, rounded leaves, and the male flowers produce catkins in summer.
There are only a few symbols you’ll find with the Aldar bonsai, namely will, determination, courage, and protection. While we’ve covered most of these already, we’ll aim here for protection to guard you against bad assignments and marks. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study just because you have this tree in your possession.
Fortunately, the bonsai tree doesn’t require much maintenance and can handle some neglect while you prepare for your exams. It reaches maturity in about 20 years, but you may see it grow until it’s 50. It can handle poor soil and low watering, but we recommend you give it the best care you can.
Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
With a family name as interesting as the bedstraw or coffee plants, there are about 140 species that have been accepted into the Gardenia genus. The most common one for bonsai is Gardenia jasminoides, which is simply referred to as ‘Gardenia.’ While mostly native to China, it moved into popularity in the United Kingdom in the 18th century.
The species is seen as a shrub instead of a tree, with cylindrical branches that are smooth to the touch. The white flowers have a glossy appearance, but sometimes they can look slightly yellow in the sunlight. After pollination, they produce oval orange fruit.
The Gardenia bonsai symbolizes a host of various meanings. Some of these include trust, renewal, clarity, hope, dreams, and protection. We’ve selected intuition and self-reflection when it comes to your studies, as both as essential if you want to succeed in your exams and assignments. Sometimes it’s good to sit back and check if your answers and theories are correct before submitting them.
While it loves bright light, you need to ensure that it’s indirect to shield the leaves and flowers from burning. It needs watering daily in summer but makes sure it drains correctly and doesn’t clog the soil. Overwatering a gardenia is a quick way to kill it.
Red Flowering Gum (Corymbia ficifolia)
Here’s another favorite from the Myrtle family. The genus has about 100 species, while the Red Flowering Gum is endemic to Australia. The root crown swells into a lignotuber to protect it from damage and fire.
As the name implies, the Gum bonsai produces red flowers on a peduncle that delivers a glorious display. It has a dark brown trunk that will look good on desks and wooden shelves, while it also has a fibrous appearance. When it produces fruit, it looks like a small capsule shaped like an urn.
When it comes to the Red Flowering Gum bonsai’s meanings, you have clarity, scattered, and spiritual from which to choose. While clarity is certainly helpful for when you’re confused, we’re going to go for focusing without distraction and remaining centered. It will help when everything is chaotic around you and you need all your attention on your studies.
The gum bonsai tree can handle drought conditions, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t get a chance to water every day. You can also place it in partial or full sun, so it’s good for indoors and outdoors. It even grows well in clay soil.
Common Coral (Erythrina lysistemon)
Part of the bean/legume family, there are about 130 species in the Erythrina genus. Other fascinating names for the species include Lucky Bean Tree, Umsintsi in Xhosa, Muvhale in Venda, Koraalboom in Afrikaans, and Mokhungwane in Sotho. As you can tell from these common names, it’s native to and widely popular in South Africa.
Grown mostly in parks and gardens, the Coral Tree is cultivated for its red trumpet flowers. After pollination, it forms long pods with hardy seeds that are easy to propagate. The gray bark is smooth and makes the tree look strong.
The main meaning of the Coral Tree bonsai is trusting your own judgment. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if you’ll succeed or if you’re completing assignments correctly. While you can always ask for guidance, you need to learn to believe in yourself.
If you give the bonsai too much water, the branches will become weak, so you should only provide a little per week. You should also avoid fertilizer, as it will cause your tree to grow too quickly. It’s best to spend the spring pruning heavy stems.
Factors to Consider when Using Bonsais for Studying
With the recommendations posted above, you can now set on your path to decorating your study area with bonsais. The more the merrier, we always say. You’ll have refreshing oxygen and plants to stimulate your senses, all ready to take your academic books by storm.
However, there are a few elements you need to keep in mind before you start. While bonsais are wonderful companions for studying, there are some aspects that may be a hindrance more than assistance. Here’s a quick look at them.
There are many bonsai trees that deliver outstanding aromas. It can appeal to your sense of smell, which can be an excellent attribute to heighten your concentration. Whether it comes from the leaves, bark, or flowers, you’ll breathe deeply to take it all in.
However, it can also have the opposite effect. While one person may enjoy the smell, you may not. It will be better if you can manage to visit a local store and get a quick sniff to see if it suits you.
Linked to the above point is allergies. The scents may tickle your nose or cause you to sneeze, or you may find your eyes watering a lot. We’re sure you’ll admit that this is incredibly distracting from your studies.
You have three options in this regard. The first is to wait it out and see if your sinus adjusts to it over time. Secondly, you buy allergy medication, which we don’t recommend unless you already use them. Finally, you can purchase bonsais that don’t produce flowers or pollen, such as conifers and pines.
There are two aspects of placement you need to consider. You’ll need to check how much light the bonsai enjoys and whether you can place it indoors. You don’t want to end up killing the tree while using it to increase your concentration.
You should also check the placement with regards to proximity to your studies. If you plan on using it for breaks, it should be a distance that requires you to stand up and walk to it. If you’re using it as a visual stimulus, you’ll need to place it in your line of sight.
It’s a sad truth that bonsais attract small pests and insects, as they use them as nourishment for survival. While many of them are too small to notice, there are many you can see with the naked eye. Also, pests aren’t good for the tree’s health, nevermind your mental state.
If you’re in a small room with no access to the outside, you should be alright. However, you may want to use organic pesticides to prevent the situation from becoming worse. The last thing you want is to look up from your books and see scales or aphids collecting on your bonsai.
Finally, try to get bonsais that produce an array of colors. It’s enjoyable to look at them when you’re taking a break and resting your eyes, and it becomes a delicious feast to behold. Of course, the flowers will cause havoc to your sinus, so you’ll need to find other ways to spruce up the area.
One idea is to buy pots of different colors. You can even get ones with interesting designs on the sides that you can inspect every time you pay them a visit. Don’t be afraid to decorate them; the Money Tree bonsai works well with Feng Shui items.
How to Setup Your Bonsais in Your Study Area
We’ve spent a lot of time showing you how bonsais can be beneficial for studying and which species you can review. However, we can’t leave without giving you some ideas of how to set everything up in your bonsais area. While we encourage you to be creative and see what works for you, these tips may just help spur you along.
Complement your Desk or Shelves
Your bonsais will need items you can place them on unless you’ve found a magical way to make them float in the air (besides suspending them from the ceiling). Due to the timber nature of the small trees, they match well with wooden desks and shelves. We find bookracks to be a splendid location for tiny species, but only if they enjoy low light or it’s facing a window.
You should also ensure it’s easy to get to so you don’t have to move them down for watering, pruning, and feeding. Have a few on your desk where you’re studying for that aromatic scent or visual stimulus, but also make sure you can stand up and walk to others for a refreshing break.
For those bonsais who love loads of sun, you’ll want to make sure you have internal windowsills to place them on for maximum effect. Just in case you missed it, you can head back to our article for which species would suit this location the most. They’ll enjoy soaking up the sunlight for producing those colorful blooms you’re expecting in summer.
The reason why we recommend windowsills is for exercising your eyes and giving them relief from straining your sight on the laptop or books. When you look up, you can stare at your bonsais while flexing your eyes’ lenses with the sharp light.
Corners and Walls
Whether or not you’re an interior decorator, you have an opportunity to become creative with your bonsai trees. Feel free to decorate your corners and walls with these wonderful, small specimens. When you walk into your study area, it should feel like you’re entering a tropical rainforest, minus the rain.
Of course, it depends on how much space you have and if you have the expertise to place shelves on the corners or on the walls. You can also use cabinets, which may be the case if you’re storing your assignments as physical paper instead of on your PC.
Now the fun begins. Once you know where you want to place your bonsais, it’s time to arrange them. It’s up to you if you want to do it haphazardly with no system or in a specific order.
For instance, you could put the same families together, or it might be easier to arrange them in terms of maintenance needs. In other words, place your low light bonsais together or those that need daily watering. You can also split them between flowering and non-flowering. It’s your space, so it’s your choice what works for you.
Inside and outside
It can become monotonous studying inside all the time, especially when it’s summer and hot. While you’ve brought nature indoors, there’s no reason you can’t set up an outdoor bonsai area for such occasions.
There are some downsides to this now, though. While the morning birds may sound appealing, you may also have the sounds of traffic and neighboring pets to deal with. Your family may also see it as an invite to disturb you as they please.
The Joys of Music
As an aside, there’s nothing wrong with adding some music to your study time. Besides providing a pleasant atmosphere and keeping you focused (depending on the genre), your bonsais will also enjoy the sounds waves. You’ll also feel like your studies are going quite quickly, but that’s if the noise doesn’t distract you too much.
We recommend not placing the music too close to you, like directly from your PC that you’re using to study. Go for a better ambiance, and place it near the opposite side of the room. You can still enjoy the atmosphere without the sound bursting into your ears.
As you can see, bonsais can help you study in many ways, improving your concentration and motivating you to push harder. They also assist with taking enough breaks while providing more oxygen so you can focus better. It also helps that their beauty is a pleasant sight after looking at text for so long.
We encourage you to build a bonsai environment in your study area. There are so many ideas on the internet, but don’t be afraid to become creative with a unique design. After all, you’re developing it for yourself.