A guide to growing bonsai

I just hope that this can help you

Yesterday I posted an article about bonsai trees. Actually, it was pictures and I had a lot of view on that. Since you are interested, I was free to take a few sites which could help me to bring you best informations about how to grow and how to make it.  Btw. this is extrimly nice hobby.Choosing the Right Bonsai Tree for You

The ancient art of growing bonsai trees is well over a thousand years old. Though usually associated with Japan, bonsai tree cultivation actually originated in China, where the trees eventually came to be associated with the religion of Zen Buddhism. Bonsai trees are now used for decorative and recreational purposes in addition to their traditional uses. Caring for bonsai trees  gives the cultivator a chance to take a contemplative yet creative role in the growth of an emblem of natural beauty.

 Choosing the Right Bonsai Tree for You

  • Selecting suitable stock to work with.
  • Selecting a suitable style for your tree and creating it.
  • Potting soils and wiring your tree.
  • Care and maintenance of your new bonsai.

If you follow these steps in progressive order you should end up with a passable tree that will only improve with age. Don’t be upset if it is not up to show standard on your first attempt, you will learn all the basic techniques in this exercise and the more you look at trees the more expert you will become.

How to Start a Bonsai Tree:

Bonsai-wiring and potting
                              Bonsai-wiring and potting

Select a suitable species of tree for your climate.

Not all bonsai trees are the same. Many woody perennials and even some tropical plants can be made into bonsai trees, but not every species will be appropriate for your unique location. When selecting a species, it’s important to consider the climate that the tree will be grown in. For instance, some trees die in freezing weather, while others actually require the temperature to drop below freezing so that they can enter a dormant state and prepare for the spring. Before starting a bonsai tree, make sure the species you’ve chosen can live in your area – especially if you plan on having an outdoor tree. The personnel at your local garden supply store will be able to help you if you’re unsure.

  • One particularly beginner-friendly variety of bonsai tree is the juniper. These evergreens are hardy, surviving all across the northern hemisphere and even in the more temperate regions of the southern hemisphere. In addition, juniper trees are easy to raise – they respond well to pruning and other “training” efforts and, because they are evergreens, never lose their leaves.
  • Other conifers commonly cultivated as bonsai trees include pines, spruces, and cedars of many varieties. Deciduous (leafy) trees are another possibility – Japanese maples are especially beautiful, as are magnolias, elms, and oaks. Finally, some non-woody tropical plants, like jade and snowrose, are good choices for indoor environments in cool or temperate climates.

Decide whether you plan on having an indoor or outdoor tree.

The needs of indoor and outdoor bonsai trees can vary drastically. Generally, indoor environments are drier and receive less light than outdoor environments, so you’ll want to choose trees with lower light and moisture requirements. Below are listed some of the most common varieties of bonsai tree, grouped by their appropriateness for either indoor or outdoor environments:

  • Indoor: Ficus, Hawaiian Umbrella, Serissa, Gardenia, Camellia, Kingsville Boxwood.
  • Outdoor: Juniper, Cypress, Cedar, Maple, Birch, Beech, Ginkgo, Larch, Elm.
  • Note that some of the hardier varieties, like junipers, are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, provided they are properly cared for.

Select the size of your bonsai.

Photo Credits: Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Photo Credits:
Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Bonsai trees come in a wide variety of sizes. Full-grown trees can be as small as 6 inches tall to as large 3 feet tall, depending on their species. If you’re choosing to grow your bonsai tree from a seedling or a cutting from another tree, they can start off even smaller. Larger plants require more water, soil, and sunlight, so make sure that you have all the necessary amenities before making your purchase.

  • Just a few things you’ll want to consider when deciding on the size of your bonsai tree:
    • The size of the container you’ll be using
    • The space you have available at your home or office
    • The availability of sunlight at your home or office
    • The amount of care you’ll be able to invest in your tree (larger trees take longer to prune)


Maple bonsai root ball before

Maple bonsai root ball before

Bonsai Soil: there are many kinds of it and learning how to mix the bonsai soil can be a little complicated for the beginners. If you are converting your plant into bonsai style, you can use the soil the plant grew up in. In this tutorial we use Akadama soil and Kanuma soil.

  • coarse soil: used to prevent the main soil inside the pot from coming out of the bottom and helps the water to drain. (only needed depending on size and shape of the pot)
  • Wires: there are two basic wires for bonsai. Aluminum and Copper. Aluminum wire is softer and easier to use.
  • Scissors: really don’t need expensive one. You can use the one you have at home and if you want the better one you can buy one then.
  • Pliers/Nippers: the one you have at home is just fine. (need it only to cut and bend the wires.)
  • Stick: something like chopstick.
  • Net: to cover the hole in the pot.
  • Pot: any pots are fine. it won’t even need to be a pot. You can use a plate, flat plastic lid of something, and… anything you like as a pot! (pots that don’t drain water from the bottom are hard for beginners to use.)
  • Gloves and newspaper to keep the mess out of your hands and house.
  • The plant: the one you like to have as bonsai style. Without this you can’t make anything.

Mixing the soils:

Ratio of Akadama soil to Kanuma soil is 7:3

(Akadama soil 7, Kanuma soil 3)

The difference between Akadama And Kanuma

Akadama soil   High waterholding capacity and drainage/air conductivity at the same time. Soil type is slight acidity and no nutrition.

Kanuma soil     More like pumice than soil. Higher drainage than akadama and high air conductivity. Soil type is acidity and no nutrition.(best use for plants that like acidity condithion like azaleas.)

These are the most common mix of bonsai and keep the soil to be high waterholding,high air conductivity and high drainage.

I recommend hard ones because they won’t break so easy and last long inside pot and keep the plant healthy.

The the mixing ratio is up to the plant based on whether it likes more/less acidity etc.

Preparing and working on the wires and the net

if you are using your favorite plate or pot that doesn’t have a hole on the bottom you can skip this part.

Cut the wire and net

Three-hole pot from above
   Three-hole pot from above
Three-hole pot from below
   Three-hole pot from below

For rectangular pots with holes in the corners, place each tie-down wire so it connects two holes along the width of the pot. Connecting holes along the long side of the pot wastes wire. Placing the wire through the holes at the points closest to the center of the pot will prevent the screen from moving when the wire is tightened.

Four- or five-hole pot from above
   Four- or five-hole pot from above
Four- or five-hole pot from below
   Four- or five-hole pot from below

Foto: bonsaitonight.com

Putting the Coarse soil

Putting the Coarse soil

Putting the Coarse soil

Coarse soil is ,as mentioned in preparation above, used to prevent the main soil inside the pot from coming out of the bottom and helps the water to drain. (only needed depending on size and shape of the pot). if you are using a pot with no hole or flat pot with hole that doesn’t have much room for the main soil to fit in you don’t need this coarse soil. Keep the room for man soil.

Cut extra branch and leaves

Cut extra branch and leaves

Cut extra branch and leaves

foto: bonsaijournal.com

Before you take out the plant you should cut the extra branch and leaves a little bit before you take it out (the main trimming is after you put it in the new pot). It’s easier to handle the plant later this way.

Pot the tree

Position the tree in your new pot in the desired orientation. Finish adding your fine, well-draining soil or growing medium to the pot, making sure to cover the tree’s root system. If desired, you may add a final layer of moss or gravel. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, this can help hold the tree in place.

  • If your tree isn’t staying upright in your new pot, run a heavy gauge wire from the bottom of the pot through the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot. Tie the wire around the root system in order to hold the plant in place.
  • You may want to install mesh screens over the pot’s drainage holes to prevent soil erosion, which occurs when water carries soil out of the pot via the drainage holes.

Foto: growingbonsai.info

 Wiring the root and put a little bit of the main soil( the one you prepared). in this tutorial, a mix of akadama and kanuma soil

Wiring the root

Wiring the root

Put the plant in the pot and tie it with the wire.

Put the soil little by little and make sure the soil goes everywhere between all the small roots in the pot using the stick, when you do this you can stick it from the top to the bottom of the pot with the stick so you know the soil is getting everywhere. (careful not to damage the root.)

Fill the pot with the soil up to 80% of the pot

Care for your new bonsai tree. Your new tree has just undergone a radical, somewhat traumatic process. For 2-3 weeks after re-potting your tree, leave it in a semi-shaded area, protected from the wind or harsh, direct sunlight. Water the plant, but don’t use fertilizer until the roots have re-established themselves. By giving your tree a “breather” after re-potting, you allow it to adapt to its new home, and, in time, thrive.


A Baggins Bonsai
A Baggins Bonsai
Maple Tree Bonsai

Pine Tree Bonsai

Orange Bonsai

Orange Bonsai

Bonsai Forest

Bonsai Forest

Vietnamese bonsai tree

Vietnamese bonsai tree

Japanese Maple Bonsai

Japanese Maple Bonsai

Aussiegirl lilac bonsai

Aussiegirl lilac bonsai

I hope that this was helpful a little. Wish you happy work 🙂

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