Japanese Zen Gardens

Japanese Zen Gardens

The Zen garden is typical of Japanese culture, which is inspired by the three characteristic elements that are: water, stones and plants.
Its construction has the purpose of reconstructing an allegorical representation of man's journey towards eternity and presupposes a profound personal meditation.
The different arrangement of the three constituent elements stems from a form of spiritual contemplation that finds many points of contact with the religious culture of Buddhists.
The Zen garden also represents the flow of vital energy through time.
In addition to the presence of rocks and water areas (still or current, such as small streams), generally crossed by bridges, a basic component is made up of plants, which must be of certain species, always in order to comply with the purpose of the zen set up.


It is an evergreen, ornamental plant, native to Japan and therefore particularly suitable for being housed in Zen gardens.
It has a stem up to 20 meters high, which rises from rhizomatous roots, cylindrical, robust and flexible, with evident knots that are interspersed with smooth, light green areas.
The leaves are elongated and lanceolate, extremely thin, similar to blades of grass, light green in color.
It requires a deep and well-drained soil, fertile due to the presence of peat and finely shredded pine bark.
It must be planted in bright areas of the garden, even if it is preferable not to expose it directly to sunlight.
It prefers a warm and humid climate and fears cold drafts.
Watering should be frequent and alternated with abundant canopy nebulisations.
We must fertilize the plant at least once a month in spring and summer, using liquid fertilizers rich in nitrogen.


It is a herbaceous plant, evergreen or semi-evergreen depending on the variety, which lives well in wet and shady areas and which finds an optimal use in the preparation of Zen gardens.
It presents an underground rhizome from which a herbaceous stem of medium height (up to 1 meter) departs with pennata or bipennata lamina leaves, crossed by evident veins, of an intense green color.
They have a slender appearance that can become arched or hanging.
It requires a soft, well-drained soil enriched with peat and sand.
The plant must be watered abundantly especially in spring and summer, alternating irrigations with abundant canopy nebulisations, to keep the humidity rate constant.
It needs an exposure in bright areas, but not too hot, and loves the shade and the cool.
Fertilization should be carried out at least once a month using slow release fertilizers.


It is a deciduous and deciduous tree, ornamental.
It has an imposing and slender trunk, up to 30 40 meters high, characterized by a rather rapid growth and often cultivated in Zen gardens.
The foliage is thick, broad and rounded.
The leaves have a palmated or lobed shape with 5 lobes with rounded edges and toothed margins.
They are large in size and are dark green at the level of the upper lamina, and of a whitish color at the level of the lower one.
The hermaphroditic flowers gather in inflorescences in the form of a hanging yellowish green cluster.
The fruits are double samaras.
It requires a fresh, well-drained soil with a neutral and never acidic component.
The plant must be housed in areas that are not particularly sunny as it loves cool climates and shady places.
At least 2 annual fertilization cycles should be carried out, preferably with mature manure.


It is a perennial shrubby plant, of rustic variety, very well adaptable, ornamental.
It has a branched stem, with a bushy habit, up to 1 meter high.
The leaves are small and needle-like, verticillate and green in color tending to rust.
The flowers are gathered in raceme or spike inflorescences, white or red tending to purple.
Flowering is stimulated by mild temperatures between 7 and 15 degrees.
It loves the indirect light of the sun as it prefers cool and well-ventilated areas.
It requires a soft, well-drained and ventilated soil, enriched with sand and peat and with an acid component; does not tolerate calcareous soils.
It must not be watered, but preferably sprayed at the level of its foliage, and it must be fertilized frequently, at least twice a month, with fertilizers rich in mineral substances.

Japanese Zen Gardens: AZALEA

It is a flowering plant of evergreen or deciduous variety depending on the species.
It has a thin and semi-woody stem, up to 40 80 cm tall, very branched.
The leaves are oval and elongated, with a leathery texture, rough to the touch, dark green.
The flowers are gathered in groups placed at the apex of the branches and present vivid colors ranging from white to pink to red.
It requires a soft and well-drained soil, with an acid component (pH of 5.5), rich in organic substances.
The plant should be watered with nebulisations as it fears water stagnation in the soil and should be fertilized with specific fertilizers for acidophilic plants.