How Bonsai Trees Are Grown

how bonsai trees are grown

Bonsai tree cultivation has long been a practice spanning many centuries. This involves meticulous pruning and root pruning in order to cultivate miniature specimens that stand out amongst their surroundings.

Begin growing a bonsai tree of your own by experimenting with various species and techniques. But before beginning, select both a species and pot.

Tree Selection

Bonsai is an art that involves shaping, growing and maintaining miniature trees using various techniques. Deliberating on which type of tree to cultivate first should be your priority when beginning the selection process.

Some species of trees lend themselves naturally to growing in pots, while others require special soil. Pines are popular choices for bonsai due to their long-lived needles which remain green year after year.

Junipers are an excellent option for growing in pots as they’re easily managed and can be sculpted into various styles. Plus, their durability means they can withstand even extreme temperatures!

Ficus benjamina, or weeping fig, is an ideal candidate for bonsai due to its attractive umbrella-like appearance and twisty surface roots. Additionally, this tree can thrive both indoors and outdoors – even during harsher winter conditions!

Selecting the ideal soil is crucial to the health and appearance of any plant. Achieving maximum oxygen delivery at its roots requires selecting an ideal substrate with moisture retention properties and nutrients retention properties that support healthy root development.

For additional help selecting suitable soil for your bonsai tree, this guide offers invaluable information. In addition, discover more about potting soils designed specifically to grow bonsai.

There are countless other flowering and non-flowering trees that make ideal bonsai specimens; you can find them here in our category of flowering plants.

Start off small by choosing one of these four species as a starting point and experiment from there! After that, try your hand at growing various kinds of tree species that catch your fancy!


Bonsai trees are grown in special pots made of clay. Selecting an appropriate pot for your bonsai is key when growing it; its aesthetic must reflect that of its female or male characteristics and be in keeping with them.

As soon as it becomes necessary to repot a bonsai, lift it out of its pot and observe how its roots have grown around itself. If they look like spaghetti in jelly they could be choked on by soil in their pot and require removal.

If the roots have outgrown their current pot, they should be transferred into a larger container. When doing so, fill any gaps with potting mix so they make contact with all roots again.

Add slow release fertilizer to the potting mix as this will encourage mycorrhizae fungi, which live within soil. Although they’re invisible, mycorrhizae are known for aiding bonsai root development.

Once the potting process is complete, it is critical that your bonsai be wired securely in its new home. This step is especially essential if your bonsai will be exposed to wind or will need to be moved between locations.

Re-potting will have your bonsai back into its natural condition in no time! Keep in mind, though, that some bonsai trees require more frequent re-potting due to species or location factors; deciduous trees in particular tend to need it more often than evergreens.


Bonsai trees are miniature versions of trees grown in pots to evoke nature and can be shaped, pruned and trained into new positions to bring out their unique beauty. Bonsais can also be sold for profit or enjoyment and many can live a long time before needing replacing.

Watering your bonsai tree is an integral part of taking care of them and it is also a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with each individual plant and their specific needs.

Before beginning to water your bonsai, closely monitor their moisture level so you know when and how much they require watering.

As part of their care regimen, bonsai trees should be watered every day or several times weekly to remain healthy and vibrant. Different species require different amounts of moisture so be aware of what each one requires.

Many people use a moisture meter to monitor soil moisture, providing a great way to ensure you’re not overwatering the plant and risking root rot.

However, for more practicality when testing soil moisture levels, one method that may work is using your finger. Simply push it deep into the soil around the base of your plant’s base.

Option #2 is to insert a chopstick 1 to 2 inches deep into the soil between your plant’s main stem and its rim – this method offers an effective and safe way of monitoring its moisture level simultaneously across several plants provided that each individual chopstick is used separately to prevent contamination with harmful microorganisms such as fungus or mold growth.


Pruning is an integral component of bonsai care, helping you create your desired style while simultaneously maintaining its size and shape. Pruning also promotes new growth while protecting its overall health.

Pruning requirements vary for different bonsai species depending on its stage of development and pot size; usually trees need several years before reaching their desired styles; during this time period, pruning and repotting are likely necessary at multiple points along the way.

Styling a bonsai requires creating an aesthetic look that appeals to you as the owner. This involves selecting styles you would like your trees to take and cutting back any branches that don’t suit your vision.

Pruning should generally take place when trees are young to encourage proper development and an aesthetically pleasing style, though it can be done any time throughout their lives. At times of rapid growth, pruning may become more aggressive as your trees may deviate from their ideal shapes and forms more readily.

Another crucial aspect of styling a tree or plant is removing any branches that encroach toward its trunk or central stem and may chafe against other parts, making the design untidy. Branch spacing must also allow airflow through and discourage any diseases associated with stagnant, humid conditions that thrive there, such as rot and fungal diseases that thrive from stagnant environments.

As part of styling a bonsai, it may also be necessary to remove bar branches, which are two branches which converge at one point on either side of the trunk and can look confusing and awkward to viewers as well as cause localized swelling in that area. Bar branches should always be pruned away if possible as they can look odd and cause unnecessary swelling in that region.


Caring for bonsai trees is an art that requires patience and careful attention. They must be watered, fed, nurtured, allowed their roots to expand and develop properly as well as treated against any pests or diseases which might compromise them.

Aphids can cause great harm to bonsai trees, but insecticides offer an easy solution. Sprays may be applied directly onto soil or foliage.

Such treatments may be combined with other measures to combat pests. For instance, mixing crushed garlic cloves with water and spraying it directly onto the leaves of a bonsai tree will deter insects.

Systemic insecticides may also prove effective against insects that pose a threat, working from within to eliminate problems without harming beneficial species such as bees or butterflies. Common systemic insecticides include neem oil and copper fungicide.

Whiteflies and mealybugs are two pests commonly seen on bonsai trees that feed off of its foliage, leading to stunted growth or even complete wilting of the plant.

As soon as you notice pests on your tree, it is crucial that they are taken immediate steps to eliminate them as soon as possible as they can be extremely detrimental and difficult to exterminate. Even just one insect could do irreparable damage – even potentially leading to its demise! If left untreated they could even spread into bonsai trees causing considerable decay over time.

Your bonsai may require daily inspection for signs of infestation, including U-shaped notches or powdery coating on its leaves. You can do this by looking out for U-shaped notches or powdery patches on its leaves.

As important as it is to treat for pests, keeping your bonsai watered properly is also key. A moisture meter can help you determine how dry or moist the soil is; you can also press down on topsoil gently to check its status.