Our quick guide on planting bonsai trees


Hi there!

Welcome to our guide on planting bonsai trees.

You've come to the right place! This guide will equip you with the knowledge and know how to successfully plant a bonsai using a variety of methods.

If you have a bonsai, or are considering getting one, or are wanting to grow one from seed etc, read on.......... Everything you need is right here!

So first up, lets look at planting bonsai from the wild. As we have explained on other pages, we emplore people to leave trees in their native surroundings, unless being removed will benefit them!

When you take a tree from the wild, make sure you keep the root ball wet and wrapped in a wet towel until you bring it home. Try and preserve over 2/3 of the root system. As soon as it's home, inspect the roots, remove any dead or overgrown ones. Have a bonsai pot ready, filled with some of the tree's native soil, and a basic bonsai soil mix. You may also want to consider a growing box, equipped with heat pads, if your climate is cooler.

Planting bonsai trees from cuttings

• Take a cutting (small branch) from a tree, primarily from where a branch meets the trunk

• You can prepare the cutting by dipping the base in root hormone

• Prepare your bonsai pot with a sandy soil (loam or volcanic pumice will do). This to aid the process of root growth. Planting bonsai trees in this will allow roots to shoot downwards

• Make a hole in the soil with a stick or pencil, never push the cutting in. When the hole is deep enough, insert your cutting and fill the hole in

Water frequently

Planting bonsai using Air Layering

• At the start of spring, find a young branch on your tree

• Take a knife and cut the base of the branch, splitting it into two parts. You will need the split to be about 2cm in length (vertical split)

• Get a rubber band and some plastic matting (polyurethane)

• Wrap the section like a reverse cone, the bottom being the tightest and the top being open. This cone shape will be about 8cm in height

• Get some moss and peat and fill the cone. Also use root-promoting hormone in the moss

• Use a rubber band to tie the bottom. don't use anything else otherwise the growth will be constricted

• After a growing season, unwrap the plastic and check for root growth. If the roots are growing and healthy, remove the branch. Utilise the same planting method you would if planting bonsai trees from cuttings

• Water frequently

Planting bonsai trees - from seed!

• Treat this much like any other tree planting. Simply take your seeds and plant them in a bonsai soil mix, but one that has a loam element to it to promote growth

• Water frequently

As you can see, there are many ways of planting bonsai trees, and you will have to decide how you want to do it. The main things to consider, are around time. Seed will take the longest, followed by air layering and then cuttings. The easiest way to create bonsai is from cuttings, but you will have to have a tree in which to take from: this can be done from any tree at home or in the wild!

Leave our planting bonsai trees guide and head back to our 'How-To' guide!