Growing Your Bonsai


In today's online world, there is lots of information about how to grow a Bonsai. Here, we help you to understand some basic Bonsai tips to make sure you get the most out of your tree. 

This information is taken from ''The Art of Bonsai" eBook. Available from the BonsaiShop online Bonsai Store. 


Bonsai are trees, and require the same sort of light, water, and fertilizer that any tree does.

Your bonsai needs to be in a sunny position.  The best position is in morning sun until midday.  Under a shadecloth can be ok.  You can bring your bonsai inside for a few days for display, but it must be returned outside as soon as possible.

Watering Bonsai:
Because your bonsai is in such a small pot, it will become dry fairly quickly.  It should be watered every one or two days,  for most trees this is as long as the soil is dry on the surface. This varies a lot depending on the time of day it is in the sun and the current season, so it is best to just check it every day or two days to see if the soil is damp or dry.  It must be watered enough so that the water begins to seep out the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.
Once a week you can submerge the whole pot in a container of water until bubbles stop coming to the surface, about 10 minutes to guarantee that it is getting fully watered.

Fertiliser for Bonsai:
It is best to fertilise your tree every 3 weeks with a weak solution of fertilizer such as nitrosol, aquasol, seaweed champion etc. at half the recommended dose.  Do this up to the beginning of winter. We carry a range of 
fertilisers here.

Shaping Bonsai:
The key to a great bonsai is primarily the shape of the tree. This is acheived by wiring branches into the desired structure, but also by selectively pruning unwanted branches and foliage. There are a variety of tools available specifically for bonsai that can cut, split, and bend branches, shear roots, crush bark, cut wire, and even pluck needles from pines. 
Click on an image to see our range of those tools available. 

 Bonsai ScissorsBranch CuttersBranch SplittersKnob CuttersBranch BenderJin PliersWire CuttersBonsai Tweezers

The wire is to hold a branch in place until it sets in that position.  If and when the wire seems to be getting too tight on the branch, this is the time to remove it.  Do this with a pair of cutters, cutting at each individual loop and remove. Different thicknesses are used depending on how thick the branch is. We carry a variety of gauges of
bonsai wire here.



Your tree will need to be repotted once a year in early spring with new bonsai soil, with some of the old roots trimmed away. You can leave it in the same pot (to keep it the same size but grow thicker) or put it in a larger pot so that it grows larger.

  1. First thing that you need to do is wire your tree. (Before wiring, remove any unwanted branches, and buds.) Wiring is done by wiring the trunk first, then the branches. The wire should be at a 45 degree angle. We do this to wire the branches into the positions we want them to grow in. Also the trunk can be manipulated into whatever shape you want, you just may need to wire it with 2 or more pieces of wire.
  2. Once the tree is wired, you are ready to repot. Remove about a half of the rootball and soil from the tree. Comb the roots out so they will fit into the pot. Cut off any long, or thick, unwanted roots especially. Put your mesh over the holes in the pot securing them with a small amount of wire.
  3. Place a thin layer of soil (provided) in the pot and check the tree will fit. Add any solid fertilisers you are using to your soil now and mix them in. If needed trim the roots back further. Wire the tree into the pot by putting the wire up through a drainage hole, around the trunk and then through a drainage hole again. This is to hold it steady whilst the roots take hold and grow. Fill in the rest of the pot with soil, not compacting it too much. Cover the surface with pebbles.
  4. Water your tree in really well (soaking in a tub of water is good, soaking in a tub of liquid fertiliser is even better!) and place it in a shady position outside for about a week (not inside, please!).
  5. Then place your tree where it will get at least morning sun. You should notice new growth in about 3-4 weeks. Let this go and wait until it has hardened off then start trimming. Watering should be done when the tree is starting to dry out (use your finger to check under the pebbles!) This will vary according to season, placement and variety. Your tree will need repotting each spring.

Don’t forget, Enjoy yourself!

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