Your Cart

Use Coupon WELCOME for Additional 10% OFF

How to grow a bonsai tree at home

How to Grow a Bonsai Tree at Home: A Detailed Guide for Beginners

Most people think that growing a bonsai tree at home seems like a daunting task. I used to think so too, until I grew my first bonsai piece two years ago. 

You need to keep in mind three things while growing the bonsai – 

  • The Location Where You Keep The Bonsai 
  • Watering The Bonsai
  • Fertilizing The Bonsai.

In this article, we’re going to explore all these aspects in detail. Right from selecting the bonsai tree to growing at home to it’s caring and maintenance, all will be discussed. So keep reading to know more.

Outdoor bonsai plants are a great way to add a touch of nature and beauty to your outdoor space. These miniature trees require special care and attention to thrive, but they offer many benefits, such as improving air quality and reducing stress. Popular outdoor bonsai plant species include the Japanese Maple, Pine, and Juniper. Enjoy the tranquility of nature with an outdoor bonsai plant.

How to choose the right Bonsai tree for you?

Here are some basic tips that you need to follow while choosing the correct Bonsai tree for you

1. Make sure you choose a species of tree suitable in your climate

Bonsai trees can be produced from practically any tree, including tropical plants and other kinds of plants which are unsuitable to grow in all weather conditions. So, before you begin, first study the tolerance zone of your place. Once you have checked that, study the trees that can grow in that environment. 

However, if you are not sure about this then please consult your local plant nurseries. They will guide you with appropriate information on trees and their favourable growth conditions. The juniper tree, a hardy evergreen that can thrive in any northern temperature and even some warmer climates, is a popular among people looking for a Bonsai for their home. Spruces, cedars, and pines are popular choices as well. Some people also enjoy utilizing Japanese maples, elms, and oaks. In temperate or cool settings, tropical plants like jade and snowrose make excellent interior bonsai trees.

2. Make a decision on whether you want an inside or outdoor tree

Indoor and outdoor Bonsai trees have different requirements. As interior surroundings are drier than the outside environment and also get lesser exposure to light, you’ll want trees that require less light and moisture.

You can check out the following Bonsai trees based on outdoor and indoor conditions.

  1. For your outdoor space choose trees like Maple, Birch, Beech, Ginkgo, Elm, Larch, Juniper, and Cypress,
  2. For your indoor space choose trees like Gardenia, Kingsville Boxwood, Ficus, Serissa, and Hawaiian Umbrella.

Keep in mind that winter dormancy is crucial for temperate species otherwise the tree will perish. They can’t be grown for long periods of time indoors.

3. Choose the right size of Bonsai

Bonsai trees are available in a wide range of sizes. The size of tree depends on its variety. They can be as tall as 6 inches and as large as 3 feet when they are fully grown.  But to plant a Bonsai suitable for you, ensure that the size matches your space and potting container. So, ensure that you have enough space in your home, workplace or anywhere else where you want to plant it and the container is big enough to hold it. Also keep in mind that the Bonsai gets adequate sunlight for its growth.

4. Check the finished product before buying a Bonsai

You can go to a nursery or a bonsai shop to choose a plant which you want to grow into a Bonsai. This should be based on your preferred type and size of Bonsai you want. Always look for a vibrant healthy plant with lots of green leaves or needle colored plant while selecting a Bonsai. This will ensure that the Bonsai will thrive in the future. 

Finally, visualize how each plant will look after it is clipped after you have selected the most healthiest and attractive plants that you could find. Growing a bonsai tree is a fun activity As the plant grows, it will need constant pruning and styling to get the proper shape and structure. You can play with it and give it the structure you want while you do the pruning. However, this is a time consuming process and takes many years. 

But if you choose a Bonsai seed, then it gets much easier to control as you can control it at every stage. A typical Bonsai tree, takes 5 years to grow into a fully grown tree from a seed. So, if you want to prune or shape your tree right away, you’ll be better off buying a mature plant.

Another alternative is to start with a cutting and grow your Bonsai tree from there. Cuttings are tree branches that have been cut and put into new soil to start a new plant. Cuttings are an excellent compromise because they take less time to grow than seeds but still provide you with a lot of control over the plant’s growth.

5. Choose the ideal pot for your Bonsai tree

Bonsai trees are grown in containers that limit their development. However, you’ll need to pick a container that’s big enough to hold sufficient soil to surround the plant’s roots. This approach will be a lot easier if you already have the perfect plant in mind. The roots of the bonsai tree take up moisture from the soil when it is watered. The tree will not retain moisture if container doesn’t have enough soil. Aside from the size, you need to dig 1-2 drainage holes at the bottom of the container. This will keep your tree healthy and avoid root rot.

Many novices prefer to grow their Bonsai trees in a more basic, functional containers, then transplant them to more visually beautiful containers after they have reached maturity. If you’re working with a delicate tree species, this is a terrific idea as it makes you wait for a bigger container until you’re sure if it’ll work.

Potting Grown Trees

Now we’re getting into the process of potting our grown Bonsai trees!

1. Prepare the Bonsai

If you’ve just bought a Bonsai tree from the store and it came in an ugly plastic container, or if you’ve been developing your own Bonsai tree and want to finally put it in the proper pot, you’ll need to prepare it first. To begin, make sure the tree has been pruned to the desired shape. Wrap it in a robust so that its can be directed after you repot it. This is specially crucial if you want the plant to grow in a specific direction. However, ensure that the tree is in good shape before transplanting it into a new container.

2. Clean the roots before potting

Remove the plant from its present container with care. Be careful not to break or shred the main stem. To pull out the plant intact from the container use a potting shovel. Then clip and clean the roots before your repot it in a Bonsai container. Any lumps of dirt or soil that doesn’t let you see the roots properly needs to be brushed away.

For this process use tools like root rakes, chopsticks, tweezers, and other similar equipment. The roots don’t have to be pristine condition, they should be clean enough to make your pruning activity visible.

3. Prune the roots

Bonsai trees can quickly outgrow their containers if they are unregulated. When you pot your bonsai tree, prune the roots  so that it’s manageable and clean. Remove any broad, thick roots as well as any upward-facing roots, creating a web of long, slender roots near the soil’s surface. Because water is absorbed from the root tips, multiple thin root strands are preferable to a single large, deep one in a tiny container.

4. Prepare the pot

Before you put the plant in the container, make sure it has a fresh and new soil foundation to rest on. This will provide the height it needs. First strengthen the container’s base with a coarse grain dirt layer. Layer it up with a finely growing soil. The soil shouldn’t retain too much water and drain properly, otherwise the roots will rot.

Allow a modest bit of room at the top of your container to cover the roots of your tree. If your plant has a prescribed soil type, it will thrive in that type of soil.

5. Pot the tree

In your new container, place the tree in the desired direction. Now fill the pot with a well drained soil until it completely covers the root. You can further add a layer of moss or gravel or leave it as it is. This not only imparts beauty to the Bonsai but also helps in its stability.

In case, the tree isn’t upright then give it support by connecting a thick steel wire from the bottom of the pot through the holes drilled on the bottom. To keep the plant in place, wrap the wire around the root system. To avoid soil erosion, place mesh screens over the drainage holes in the pot. Soil erosion occurs when water washes out the soil off the container through the drainage holes.

Caring tips for a Bonsai tree

A Bonsai is different from a common houseplant and hence requires different treatment and care. Follow the guidelines given below to keep the tree in good shape

1. Watering the Bonsai

You might not like this tip, but this is the most effective way to ensure that your bonsai gets enough water: Water only when the soil is dry and not water regularly.. Calculate your Bonsai’s water requirements in the same way you would for any other plant: Make a hole in the earth with your finger. Water it thoroughly if it feels dry. 

Water as soon as the soil loses its moisture. This could be every day during the growth period or every other day or maybe less frequently during the winter when the tree is dormant.

While adequate watering is essential for a plant in such a small container, one of the most common bonsai killers is overwatering! It’s conceivable that the roots are sinking if the leaves yellow or become black at the tips. Allow the plant to entirely dry before rewatering and allowing the plant to partially dry before the following watering. If the problems continue, the soil may not be draining properly, in which case you might consider repotting.

2. Place your plant in a bright area

Choose a location for your Bonsai that receives more than enough of bright, indirect sunshine. Be aware that many locations near windows are problematic: direct sunlight is too severe, and bonsai should be kept away from cold winds as well as direct heat from radiators, which are frequently placed below windows.

3. Fertilizing

Because bonsai are still trees, they rely on the sun and air for the majority of their nutrients. But since it’s a bonsai, it will eventually require fertilizer to refill the soil due to their confinement in a small container with low-nutrient soil. However, depending on the sort of tree you’re working with, fertilizer requirements may differ. You can use granular or liquid fertilizer, and there are even fertilizers specifically designed for Bonsai trees. Fertilize your bonsai tree in an weekly basis This is also crucial when the growth slows down once a month.

4. Soil

The majority of Bonsai soil mixes include Akadama (hard-baked clay), pumice, lava rock, and soil. There are countless combinations to choose from. So you’ll have to explore this, and find out the Bonsai mix.

5. Repotting

Typically young Bonsai trees require repotting every two years, but older trees can stay in the same container for up to 5 years. When the roots are visible and wrapping all around the bottom of the container, you know it’s time to repot. If you need to repot your tree, do so when it is still dormant in the early spring. When you upgrade to a larger container, make sure the soil mixture really isn’t much different from the earlier soil in the pot.

  • Re-potting will give you a chance to prune the roots while they are less stressed. You can remove old growths but never more than one-third of the root system. Root pruning will increase root growth regulation. 
  • Once they reach their mature phase, the purpose of re-potting should be the refreshment of soil as they are slow-growing trees and particularly mature trees will take years to cover the pot with their root growth. 
  • While you are pruning, leave the feeder root. Tease the root ball to stimulate growth. 
  • Refill the pot with fresh soil, plant the tree, and water it thoroughly. 
  • Please keep them in the shade for the next few weeks until they recover from the stress. 
  • If the bonsai is big, secure the trunk with wire, or with the movement of the upper surface of the tree, the roots will get hurt.

6. Wiring:

The ideal time to shape or wire a bonsai is in November, right after the fall. The wire can stay in the tree for a couple of months, till early summer. But you still have to check every few weeks so the wire doesn’t get into the branches. 

If the growth rate of the tree is quite heavy and the branches are quite brittle or if the shaping process involves lowering the branches, opting for guy wire is often a better solution. 

Regular wiring:

  • Take aluminum or copper wire, at least one-third diameter of the branches. 
  • Anchor the wire in the soil, near the base of the tree. 
  • Start wiring upwards with a 45 degrees angle. First, opt for the trunk, then primary branches and secondary branches. 
  • After wrapping the needed places you can bend it according to your desire. 

Guy wire:

  • Anchored the guy wire in a sturdy part of the tree or the pot. 
  • From that place connect it with the desired branches. 
  • With a plier, you can control the amount of tension in the branches. 

And here are some tips for you!

Tips For Growing A Bonsai Tree

1. Be Patient

Patience is the most important lesson we can acquire from Bonsai planting hobby. Allow it to develop. Do not rush into trying things that a seasoned hobbyist has spent years learning. The benefits of caring for a bonsai are immeasurable to your soul and well-being in these trying times.

2. Don’t get too carried away with the tools

Some publications will tell you that you need a list of two dozen instruments to manage a Bonsai. However, for a beginner who is just getting started, you only need a pair of pruning scissors and tweezers to remove the dead leaves and tiny weeds. You can accumulate bonsai-specific tools over time that are intended to help you work efficiently and comfortably.


Q1. Can you turn any tree into a bonsai?

Almost any species of tree can be turned into a bonsai, but species that are suitable for bonsai are those that can take root and foliage pruning really well, as this is the primary way of miniaturization of a wild tree. 

Q2. How long does it take to grow a bonsai tree?

Almost all bonsai species will take around eight to twelve years to mature, but they have to be at least twenty-five years to be considered fully matured. 

Q3. Do bonsai trees need direct sunlight?

Bonsai need direct sunlight, through which they create their food. A shortage of direct light will weaken them, causing fragile branches and causing other problems. They like to obtain 6-8 hours of sunlight everyday, whether inside or outside.


That’s all that is there in growing your own Bonsai. Keep these in mind when you indulge in some Bonsai planting. With time, love and care, it will surely grow the desired way. We have given you a very concise outlook of how growing a tree as a beginner looks like. Now get there and make it happen!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× Chat