How to Grow a Bonsai Tree

images (19) Bonsai is a Japanese word meaning ‘potted plant’ and, in general use, the term refers to the art of growing miniature plants/trees in containers for aesthetic purposes. This art originated in ancient China about 2000 years ago and is now popular in many parts of the world, particularly in China, Japan, and Korea. If you’re wondering how to grow a bonsai tree it’s easy and anyone can do it at home. Below you’ll find a simple, stepwise guide will teach you how to grow a bonsai tree at home.

Selecting a Tree

You may select any of the common garden plants, like boxwood, gardenia, holly, camellia, for creating your bonsai tree. To make the best choice, pick an already potted or planted plant that fits the size of the container you have chosen for growing your bonsai tree. A one-gallon shrub is a good choice for many beginner bonsai enthusiasts.


By means of bypass pruners, prune the plant while it is still in its original container or soil. Remove enough growth from the central trunk (main stem) of the plant until the front side -that is going to be displayed is clearly visible.

Removing Soil

It is time to remove the plant from the soil or its original container and place its root ball in water collected in a small tub or bucket. Some of the soil from the plant’s roots is removed in this way. After about 10 minutes, remove the plant from the soil and remove enough of the soil from the root ball, while wearing garden gloves, so as to make its mass fit the new container.

Trimming the Roots

Using the pruners, trim the plant’s roots until one-third of their original size is left. You should have a shallow root ball after the trimming is done. I know the first time I trimmed the roots I thought there was no way my tree would survive. To my surprise my new bonsai tree thrived!

Screening your Bonsai Pot

Screen the new container’s drain holes with a piece of window screen made of plastic. This will prevent the washing out of soil during watering of the plant and also protect the plants from insects entering through the drain holes.

Potting the Plant

Before potting the plant in the new container, add potting soil mix to the bottom of the new container, creating a one-inch layer of the mix. Now you can pot the plant, spreading its roots over the soil, and covering the roots by adding some more soil. It is important to leave a space of about one inch from the rim of the container to allow easy watering of the plant.


To create your bonsai tree, you need to trim again the stems and branches now in a way that gives the plant the branch structure of the original tree. This step needs care and technique since the trimming cannot be reversed.

Final Touches

Finally, water the new plants for soaking the soil well in the container. Use aquarium gravel to cover the surface of the soil, thus giving a more artistic look to the plant. To take better care of the newly created bonsai tree, feed a little fertilizer to it off and on. Visit online home and garden stores to get information on the best sources of nutrients for your bonsai tree. In most cases a standard osmocote slow release fertilizer will work best.

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