When to Plant Bonsai Trees

when to plant bonsai trees

When planting bonsai trees, you have two options for propagation – seeds or cuttings. While seeds often come from regular trees, cuttings from different sources are available too.

No matter whether planting from seed or cuttings, when it comes to tree care it is essential that the style of growth be considered. There are formal upright, informal upright, slanting and cascading styles among others that should be taken into consideration when planning.


Bonsai trees should be planted early spring when temperatures are warmer and plants are dormant, to allow the seeds to germinate naturally and bloom into bonsai trees within weeks.

If you want to start a bonsai from seed, it is essential that you find suitable seeds for its species. Tree seeds can be purchased from arborist shops, online bonsai stores or forests in your locality; local forests typically produce the best seeds as these tend to have been tailored specifically to suit their climate.

Selecting the proper soil mixture for your bonsai is also of critical importance, for various reasons, including its capacity to hold onto water and ensure adequate drainage and airflow. Large granules like lava rock or grit may help improve this aspect.

Fertilize your new bonsai with an appropriate fertilizer that contains balanced amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to provide essential nutrition for growth and health. This will allow the plants to flourish and remain vibrant over time.

Keep in mind that trees rely on accessing nutrients through their roots in order to survive, so over-fertilization could result in stunted growth or root rot if applied too frequently. It’s therefore vitally important that your fertilizer schedule remains steady.

Pruning will also encourage dense growth that allows it to capture more light efficiently for photosynthesis.

Finally, wire the trunk of your bonsai tree to create a natural curve if desired. While this technique is optional, it may prove beneficial in certain trees and can be undertaken any time of the year.

Bonsai trees can be highly versatile plants, yet they need to be nurtured similarly to other forms of foliage. Watering, fertilization and additional lighting should all be administered as necessary; indoor bonsais may especially benefit from additional illumination as reduced light levels could compromise their growth.


Bonsai plants must be given the perfect environment for them to flourish and reach their maximum potential, which means regular watering, fertilization and pruning are necessary in order for your bonsai tree to reach optimal health and happiness! A little knowledge and care will go a long way toward making sure it reaches its full potential!

As summer sets in, it is critical that your bonsai receives regular watering. One or two days without adequate irrigation could kill its roots that bring water directly up to the leaves of the tree.

For optimal watering of your bonsai tree, it’s essential that you observe its soil’s texture. Dry soil signals the need for further irrigation.

Water must also penetrate deep enough into the soil to cover its roots and protect them from evaporation and drying out. This will protect their ability to function normally.

Bonsai trees should be watered using either a drip irrigation system or sprayer; too much watering can increase exposure to sunlight and cause excessive evaporation, leading to leaf burn. Be mindful not to overwater, since this will increase solar radiation.

At this stage, your bonsai will be at its highest rate of growth and should be watered more frequently than it has been during colder seasons, due to its root system’s efforts at extracting as much moisture from its surroundings as possible.

If your plant is growing quickly and has too many branches that extend too far out, light pruning may be required to sculpt its shape. You’ll need the appropriate tools for this task to complete it efficiently and effectively.

When pruning trees, aim to cut away unwanted branches at bud break. This will enable the energy of the tree to go toward creating new branches and shaping it as you wish.

Once your plant’s top growth has been trimmed back and you have achieved its desired aesthetic, repotting is necessary. Younger, faster-growing specimens should be repotted every year or two; older, slower-growing trees need only to be repotted every decade or two.


Planting bonsai trees depends on their species and growing conditions. When starting from seeds or cuttings, seed-grown bonsai tends to take the longest before showing visible results; for an immediate impactful solution try starting your new tree from cuttings instead.

If you decide to create your bonsai from cuttings, be sure to give the newly planted tree enough sunlight and water. Depending on your climate, planting it in a greenhouse or similar warm-weather environment may provide extra protection from extreme temperatures.

Once your new bonsai has reached an appropriate size, it is time to transfer it into a larger pot in order to increase its capacity and enhance both health and beauty.

To begin repotting your new bonsai, begin by taking it out of its nursery container and trimming off two-thirds of its root ball. Also prune its roots – any large, thick and up-facing ones should be eliminated while leaving long slender ones will help its trees absorb water more readily.

Make use of a spray bottle to give the roots just enough water as needed, taking care not to overwater, as overdoing it may lead to root rot.

Repotting should include adding fresh soil and pruning. A bonsai fertilizer diluted to half strength twice per month from April through September should be applied, decreasing to once every month from October through March.

Your new bonsai may need to be re-potted periodically throughout its life, depending on its rate of growth and root conditions. As a general guideline, deciduous trees should be repotted every two to three years, and evergreens every four or five.

When dealing with large tree bonsai bonsais, fitting it into its container may prove challenging. To repot successfully, choose a pot that’s at least an inch wider than its previous home; combine its soil with nutrient-rich mulch; glaze its pot to prevent excessive heating during summer months;


As days shorten and temperatures decrease, temperate climate trees begin preparing for winter by hardening off immature growth – this involves increasing sugars and carbohydrates levels in their stem tissues in order to act as antifreeze, keeping their leaves from freezing off during the harsh temperatures of winter.

Colder temperatures make it increasingly important to protect your bonsai tree during the winter months from extreme temperatures, particularly if they’re not rooted in the ground – these non-rooted varieties can easily be damaged from temperature extremes and become vulnerable.

By considering both your local weather conditions and the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone of the species you’re growing, as well as its USDA Hardiness Zone rating, it is possible to ascertain whether your trees should be stored indoors or outside during the winter. If your climate is mild enough, bonsai might even benefit from being kept inside in an enclosed greenhouse or basement for safekeeping.

If the local climate is particularly harsh, consider placing your bonsai trees in a garden or cold frame for extra protection from the elements. You could also bury and mulch around them to provide more shelter from weather hazards.

Before storing trees, it’s wise to treat them for insects and fungus to help ensure their recovery and prevent further spread in your garden. Doing this will protect them against potential issues and minimize spread to nearby trees.

Once your trees have been treated for insects and fungus, the next step should be preparing them for winter dormancy. This involves taking steps such as harvesting deciduous trees for leaves or needles before placing them in cool storage for up to three months or so.

Finding an area with temperatures ranging between 30 degrees and 20 degrees during winter will provide optimal conditions. If you live in an extremely cold region, however, your trees may need to be stored until a particularly hard frost has subsided before being brought outside again.

Bonsai must not become dehydrated over winter. This can occur if soil freezes around its roots, stopping the tree from taking in any water and leading to rot or decay in its leaves or trunk. To combat this problem, invest in porous soil or cover its surface with sphagnum moss or mulch to restore moisture into the soil and keep its plants alive and flourishing.