How to Grow a Bonsai Tree: Ultimate Bonsai groth guide

The oriental art of Bonsai is very well known in western countries. In this section, I’ll show you how to get started with Bonsai and explain the three major techniques: cultivation, style, and care.

Today, the Bonsai following is worldwide. People appear to be drawn to Bonsai trees because they are beautiful living objects with an amazing aesthetic sense. They have a special allure about them since they are so little and yet so old.

What could be more beautiful than a tree less than a meter high but perfect in every other respect?

Another reason for the increase in popularity of the Bonsai tree is that the pastime is a very restful one. Simply looking at a few attractive Bonsai can restore one’s inner calm and tranquility

people like to dig deeper and get to know more about this beautiful miniature gardening technique. As a Bonsai, any tree can be cultivated.

However, growing a bonsai is more than just gardening. It also offers therapeutic benefits, as well as the ability to teach patience and fortitude, and it’s a terrific way to unwind.

Before we start

Before asking yourself how to grow a bonsai, you should consider which species you would like to plant and also the conditions of your home, surrounding environment, and climate.

How to Grow a Bonsai Tree: Ultimate Bonsai groth guide

‘The longest journey begins with the first step’ is an old Chinese proverb. This is certainly true of Bonsai. To become a bonsai expert and to understand exactly what Bonsai is, you must be willing to start on a long road of discovery.

Growing a Bonsai from seedlings, for example, might be just as enjoyable.
The excitement of owning or creating one’s first Bonsai will be remembered by most aficionados.

This encounter is as enjoyable as any other in our lives.
The most important thing is to take pleasure in the pastime as it develops day by day.

People frequently claim that they are too elderly to begin Bonsai because they will never be able to see the tree grow to its full potential.

They presumably imagine that age is the only criterion that matters and that all Bonsai must be grown from seed. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s never too late to start anything new.

If you wish to produce Bonsai from seedlings or cuttings, extremely good specimens can be produced in as little as three years. In order to know how to grow a Bonsai, you have to choose the types of Bonsai trees.

Choose an Indoor or Outdoor Location

Once you decide on a species, choose whether you want the plant to live indoors or outdoors. By moving it between these two places, you don’t want to shock it.

Indoors is usually drier and have less light, so your indoor Bonsai tree will need less moisture and light to grow.

For your convenience, I’ve listed numerous kinds for both indoor and outdoor Bonsai tree cultivation. You can choose the specific tree according to your environment and climate. 

  • Indoor Bonsai Trees – Camellia, Ficus, Hawiian Umbrella, Gardenia, Kingsville Boxwood etc.
  • Outdoor Bonsai Trees – Beech, Birch, Cypress, Elm, Ginkgo, Cedar, Juniper, Larch etc.
Easiest and Nicest way

The easiest way to get started in Bonsai is of course to buy a ready-made tree from one of the specialist Bonsai nurseries. Anything from a two-year-old tree to a tree that could be 200 years old is available for purchase.

Garden center material is using to create Bonsai trees as well. You must master the fundamental skills required to keep the tree alive and well, as well as become an expert on the subject.

Mistakes are inevitable, but they are all part of the Bonsai experience.
Mistakes, like any other learning process, are an unavoidable cost of gaining experience and accomplishment.There is no mystique to Bonsai.

It’s actually fairly simple! You’re halfway to becoming a Bonsai expert if you’ve already grown shrubs and trees in pots and tubs.

There are 6 major things to do to become a Bonsai expert such as-

  1. Growing from seed
  2. Propagation from cuttings, grafting or air-layering
  3. Using young nursery or garden centre trees
  4. Using more mature commercial trees
  5. collected material found in the wild
  6. Buying ready-made Bonsai

How to Grow a Bonsai tree from seed

In recent years, there has become a boom in the sale of ‘Bonsai seeds’. There is, of course, no such thing as Bonsai seed. While it is true that some tree species are naturally dwarfed.

How to grow a Bonsai tree
Photo by David Yu on

Special pruning and training techniques can make trees into Bonsai trees. Beware of advertisements selling ‘Bonsai seed’. These are usually ordinary seeds.

Unscrupulous merchants who want to profit off Bonsai’s unique image sell them at a premium.
‘Tree seeds appropriate for growing as Bonsai’ is the proper description.
You shouldn’t have to pay astronomical amounts for them.

Some tree kinds are particularly easy to cultivate from seed. Others of course are more difficult. Easy subjects include Japanese maples, trident maples, Black pine, Scots pine, zelkovas, beech, almond, horse chestnut, crab apple, quince, and larch.

Hinoki cypress, White pine, hornbeam, and needle juniper are a few of the more difficult to germinate kinds. Enjoying the article? stay tuned with us to get more.

Grow a Bonsai from cuttings, graftings and air-layerings

Bonsai can also be developed from cuttings.

Taking cuttings is actually fairly straightforward if you know what you’re doing.
This is not a problem for individuals who have green thumbs, but for the vast majority of people, the process is hit-or-miss.

As in the case of seeds, there are certain varieties of trees and plants which are easier to propagate from cuttings than others.

Willow, poplar, forsythia, quince, rose and certain juniper species are very easy subjects to strike from cuttings, while others, including Japanese White pine, the rarer Japanese maples, spruces, larches, and cedars can be difficult.

Use Young nursery trees to grow your Bonsai tree

Nurseries and garden centers are probably one of the richest sources of potential Bonsai material for the enthusiast. Most garden centers nowadays have a bewildering choice of shrubs and trees.

So much that the Bonsai enthusiast is spoilt for choice. Creating Bonsai has become much easier as the use of container-grown material is going to increase day by day. You can now create a Bonsai tree in literally a matter of minutes.

Use Mature commercial Bonsai trees

Larger specimen trees can offer the Bonsai enthusiast a rich source of potential material. These trees are often mentioned as ‘street trees’.

They are ideal for producing larger specimens of Bonsai. The great advantage is that they take a very short period of time to grow.

Ordinary Bonsai hobbyists don’t appreciate widely the utilization of huge specimen trees for creating Bonsai. However, this practice is common in both China and Japan as it enables the Bonsai grower to produce many older-looking trees relatively quickly.

It is possible to supply a tree with a reasonably thick trunk in as little as 15-20 years. Indeed many of the trident maples from Japan which have trunks of 8-10 cms in diameter are produced in this way.

These could easily be passed off as 50-60 years old trees although they are no more than 15-20 years old. The secret of this system is to grow the trees rapidly within the ground for the primary 10-12 years.

You have to undercut the roots occasionally every other year. Just before it’s time to lift it from the bottom to form a Bonsai, hamper the tree at the acceptable height leaving only the specified branches in situ.

A new leader and any new branches will develop over subsequent few growing seasons.

Use Collected Bonsai trees

Although a Bonsai is actually a man-made object, there are some naturally stunted trees because the conditions during which they grow never allow them to succeed in their full stature.

The harsh cold winds and driving rain at high altitudes, including exposure to ultraviolet, have a natural dwarfing effect. Growers of alpine plants will be familiar with these climatic conditions.

In high mountains where such conditions exist, naturally stunted pines, junipers, larches are commonly found. The Chinese and Japanese have always admired these trees.

They have always regarded them as the best Bonsai tree. There is something special about naturally collected Bonsai because they have freshness. This freshness only nature can impart.

Art cannot emulate nature in this respect. Harsh environmental conditions leave an indelible imprint on naturally collected Bonsai.

Use Ready-made Bonsai tree

Perhaps the simplest thanks to starting in Bonsai is to shop for a readymade tree. There are now many fine Bonsai nurseries, where good Bonsai can be purchased.

The prices depend on the age, beauty of the tree, and many other factors. A much older tree will naturally cost considerably more than a younger one.

Importance of Pruning and Shaping to grow your Bonsai tree

Pruning is an absolutely basic Bonsai practice. it would be quite impossible to create Bonsai without resorting to some kind of pruning.

Most beginners are afraid to prune, imagining that such action could kill the plant. This worry is natural and not unlike the fear of water people experience once they first learn to swim.

The problem for the Bonsai artist is not so much knowing how to prune, what to prune, and when. Shaping is extremely much an aesthetic instead of a mechanical process. It is knowing what to chop that matters.

Types of Bonsai tree styles

To a layman, a Bonsai is a Bonsai; They all tend to look very much alike. But to the expert, no two Bonsai are ever identical. They all have their distinguishing features which make them unique.

Just as no two citizenries are absolutely identical-so with Bonsai, no two trees can ever be precisely the same.

Through the centuries, Bonsai practitioners have found it convenient to classify Bonsai into broad divisions based on their appearance.

These groupings have come to be referred to as the classical styles. Formal upright trees have a straight perpendicular trunk. Upright trees have a sinuous S-shaped trunk. There are about 30 separate recognizable styles in Bonsai.

The Chinese and Japanese are very keen on classifying. The Bonsai artists first created the designs and the observers later grouped them together into identifiable categories for ease of reference.

Bonsai enthusiasts made a decision to the styles of Bonsai for their convenience. The followers of Bonsai probably found it convenient to ask the varied Bonsai styles instead of describing all of them intimately.

This classification is predicated on the number of trunks or trees within the Bonsai composition. These categories are

  1. single trunk styles
  2. multiple trunk styles
  3. multiple trees or group styles

The three broad categories can be subdivided into their more detailed classifications. For detail, stay tuned with us.

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