SOUTHPORT, N.Y. (WETM) – If you’re looking to try out something a little different with your house plants, bonsai might be the way to go.

Bonsai is the Japanese art of cultivating miniature trees in pots. The plants are notable for their unique shapes, and they require slightly different care than your average flowerpot.

They can be the saplings of any number of trees and shrubs—conifers, succulents, and even redwoods—but the main thing to remember is that they aren’t planted in soil. Instead, bonsai are planted in a combination of clay and porous lava rocks.

“Which is why, one of the main things with these are, you can’t let the rootball go dry,” said Charlie Todd of Chamberlain Acres. “If somebody fails, that’s usually what it is.”

The water will run through the pot, so it’s important to make sure the bonsai is watered often (but without standing water). And this time year, especially with the hot and dry season we’ve had, you can get away with overwatering your bonsai.

Fertilizer is another key ingredient to keeping bonsai healthy. But with conifers, now is the time to stop fertilizing so they can prepare for winter.

These unique potted plants have only grown in popularity over the last few years, Todd said.

“They have really taken off. I’d say in the last two years, with people staying in a little bit more and spending a little more time with their gardens and things. Just, house plants, in general, have really taken off.”