Why Do Bonsai Trees Grow So Slowly?

why do bonsai trees grow so slow

Bonsai trees grow very slowly for several reasons. The first is that they are grown in a container. Their roots are blocked and therefore they do not receive enough nutrition to grow larger. A further problem is that the trees have very limited root systems and so can not grow larger. Growing a bonsai tree is not an easy process. Hence, it is important to use methods that are viable and effective. Fortunately, the techniques used for bonsai have evolved over the years.

Growing from a seed takes 4-5 years

When growing from seed, a few things are important to do. First, you need to soak and scarify the seed coat to make it easier for the seedlings to grow. Then, place the seed in the refrigerator for a few weeks before sowing. In addition, some seeds will need to be cold treated before being planted, depending on the type of plant you are growing.

The age of the seed also matters. Some seeds remain viable for one year or less, while others last for five or more years. Some seeds can even be two years old. After two years, however, the germination rate drops to zero. In any case, the plants will still be healthy, but you may need to plant more seeds than you planned.

The seed needs to break dormancy to germinate. Seeds need the right temperature and soil conditions to start growing. They also need to be fertilized. A viable seed contains healthy embryonic tissue. A fully developed seed has a food store and will grow when the soil is right.

After sowing, the next step is to choose the right temperature. Ideally, seeds will germinate best in temperatures between 70 and 75 degrees F. Once germination is complete, the seeds should be placed in cool rooms. The room temperature should be 65 degrees F or lower. Once the seeds germinate, they will need about four to five years to reach maturity.

During this time, the plant should not be exposed to too much moisture. An increase of just one percent of seed moisture in storage can significantly reduce the lifespan of the plant. Moreover, a few degrees increase in storage temperature will also cut the seed life in half. Hence, saving seed is essential to the success of germination.


The purpose of pruning a bonsai tree is to control the growth rate. A bonsai tree grows rapidly, and if you prune it too early, it may be stunted or die. Pruning should be performed every two to three years to keep the tree healthy. In addition to pruning, a bonsai owner should change the soil every two to three years.

In May and June, pines are very active and must be pruned to control this activity. Pinching the candles and pruning new shoots is particularly important during this time. If not pruned, the new branches will spread long and wide, but they won’t be compact enough to form foliage pads. The energy that would otherwise be devoted to the new growth will be concentrated in the thickest areas, and the entire tree will suffer.

Trees are sensitive to pruning, so it is important to know when to do it. Try not to prune when the tree is in the repotting stage, as this may cause stress to the tree, which will slow its growth. Also, make sure you’ve styled the tree before pruning it.

Once you’ve pruned the branches, you can use the branches to help the tree grow. Bonsai trees typically grow fast when they’re young, but as they mature, their growth slows. The species of your bonsai tree will also affect its rate of growth. Some types of trees, such as Chinese elms, spread slowly, while others take up to 15 years to mature.

Pruning is a very important part of maintaining a bonsai tree, but it is important to do it properly and regularly. Proper care will reduce the risk of infection and help the tree grow faster. Pruning also promotes branching, which is a crucial component of maintaining a bonsai.

A typical bonsai tree grows about 12 to 18 inches a year. This means that it can take up to 15 years before it reaches its full potential. A bonsai tree needs careful attention and plenty of light in order to thrive. Proper pruning will stimulate new branches and improve photosynthesis, thus making your tree live longer.


Infections such as rust, scales, and slugs can sabotage the growth of your bonsai. As they consume the sap, they can cause your bonsai to drop its leaves. Scales are oval-shaped, brown insects that live on the underside of the leaves and at the junction between the leaf and bark. Root rot is another common cause of slow growth. It can be caused by improper irrigation or by an unhealed pruning wound.

The first step in treating your bonsai is to carefully check for signs of stress. If you notice wilted leaves or swollen bark, this is an indication that your bonsai may be in need of some additional water. Also, it is important to ensure that the soil around your bonsai tree is moist to the touch but drains well, preventing diseases and pests from setting up shop.

The second step is to monitor for root aphids. Aphids feed on the sap in the roots and can damage your bonsai. Aphids are tiny parasites that feed on plant sap. If you notice them on your bonsai, remove the infected leaves and prevent their growth.

Rust is another common disease affecting bonsai trees. This fungal infection appears as rust-colored bumps on the leaves. It is often transmitted by insects. Insects can also transmit various bacterial infections. A fungicide may be applied to your bonsai tree’s leaves and branches to eliminate the problem.

Another common issue that causes slow growth in bonsai trees is root fungus. Changing the root growth pattern is essential to ensure the longevity of your bonsai tree. You need to give the tree proper nutrients and a high humidity level to maintain good health.

A bonsai tree’s trunk is also important. The trunk should be symmetrical, thick at the base and thin towards the top. The branches should not bend on themselves. The leaves should not have rough edges or splotchy spots. Loose branches and droopy leaves are indicators of weak root systems. The roots should also not emerge from the soil on the top or through drainage holes.

If you notice unusual changes in the physical appearance and growth of your bonsai, you should consult an expert for advice. In some cases, you can fix the problem yourself by revitalizing your bonsai. To do this, you should use a new pot, check the roots, prune any brown roots and apply insecticides. However, you should avoid moving your bonsai tree since it could cause harm to the plant.