How fast do bonsai trees grow

How Fast Do Bonsai Trees Grow?

With how many species of trees there are, it's no surprise that each kind has its own unique growth rate. Do you want to plant a Bonsai tree in your garden but don't know how long it will take to mature? We're here to bring you the answer.

Bonsai trees are a slow to moderate-growing species. Typically, Bonsai trees grow at a rate of 12 to 18 inches per year and can take up to 15 years to grow to full size. That said, it usually takes around four years for a Bonsai to be ready for styling, so this will take some time.

As we begin, we will cover all things Bonsai trees and discuss how to grow them. Whether you want to take up a new hobby or have Bonsais in your garden, we've got you covered. With that said, let's dive right into this post!


Do Bonsai Trees Grow Quickly?

A Bonsai's growth rate depends on how well you care for them. As we mentioned, this tree species is not considered fast-growing, but it might surprise you in ideal conditions.

That said, Bonsai trees will typically grow between 12 and 18 inches per year, usually taking about four years before you can style them. Every tree is different, but in general, Bonsai does require some patience.

Is Growing A Bonsai Tree Hard?

Although Bonsai trees are gorgeous to look at, they can be tough to grow and maintain. Bonsai has a reputation for being finicky, hard to manage, and susceptible to disease, so growing one isn't usually easy.

Of course, with the right amount of sun, water, and care, you can certainly grow a healthy, strong Bonsai tree.

How Long Does It Take To Grow A Bonsai Tree From Seed?

Generally, growing a Bonsai tree from seed will take much longer than procuring an established plant. Timeline-wise, expect your tree to take between five and ten years to get big enough to style.

With that said, growing Bonsai from seeds is a great way to watch your tree grow from the beginning, but it isn't for the faint of heart. Luckily, there are helpful Bonsai growing kits that come with everything you need to grow a strong, healthy tree.

Planter's Choice Bonsai Starter Kit

This Bonsai starter kit comes with four types of seeds, four biodegradable pots, plant markers, and a comprehensive growing guide.

Follow this link to see it on Amazon.

Can Bonsai Trees Grow Indoors?

For those wanting to grow their Bonsai indoors, we think this is a great idea. Selecting the right species for your indoor growing conditions, you can certainly grow a Bonsai inside.

The Ficus Bonsai species tends to thrive indoors and is a beautiful addition to any space. Generally, as long as your Bonsai tree gets plenty of sunlight and attention, it will do well inside your home.

Brussel's Live Golden Gate Ficus Indoor Bonsai Tree

This live Ficus Bonsai does well indoors, will come four years old, measures five to eight inches tall, and comes with a decorative container.

View this live Bonsai on Amazon here.

How Do You Speed Up Bonsai Growth?

When it comes to speeding up how fast your Bonsai tree grows, there are a few ways to do this. First, make sure your tree is in a bright, warm location that gets at least four hours of direct sunlight per day.

Second, make sure to keep your tree's soil moist at all times because Bonsai grow fastest when wet. Finally, fertilize your Bonsai tree every three weeks during its growing season, which begins in the early spring and lasts until the end of fall.

What Type Of Fertilizer Should You Use On A Bonsai Tree?

Ideally, you should use a balanced liquid fertilizer with nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium on your Bonsai tree. Regardless of whether your tree is indoors or outside, it is important not to overuse your fertilizer so you don't shock your tree's roots.

Like we covered, it is always a good idea to regularly fertilize your tree if you want it to grow faster.

Houseplant Resource Center Bonsai Tree Food

This liquid Bonsai fertilizer has nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, is eight ounces, and works on indoor/outdoor trees.

See it on Amazon here.

How Long Do Bonsai Trees Live?

In ideal conditions, a Bonsai tree can live for over 100 years. Although these trees can be difficult to take care of, some Bonsai's have even been recorded to live for centuries at a time.

The current oldest living Bonsai tree is the Crespi Ficus, located in the Crespi Bonsai Museum in Milan, Italy, and is said to be over 1000 years old.

What Bonsai Species Lives The Longest?

When it comes to which Bonsai species will live the longest, we found that the Ficus Bonsai tends to outlast the others. Like we covered above, this species holds the current record for oldest Bonsai and is a favorite among tree lovers.

That said, Cedar, Cypress, and Pine Bonsai species are also known to live very long and are all beautiful tree options for your home or garden.

Are Bonsai Trees Hard To Keep Alive?

Generally, Bonsai trees shouldn't be hard to keep alive if you follow their growing instructions. Bonsai trees, in particular, prefer to experience all four seasons, so an outdoor tree will probably grow faster and live longer than one inside.

Of course, regardless of where you plant your tree, keeping its soil moist and placing it somewhere with good sunlight is extremely important.

Can You Save A Dying Bonsai?

If your Bonsai tree starts to die, there are some ways to try and save it. To start:

  1. Prune any dead sections from your tree.
  2. Check the top and inside of your tree's foliage to see if any green is left.
  3. Remove your Bonsai from its pot and prune any dead sections from its roots.
  4. Place your Bonsai tree in a clean bowl of water, fully submerging its root system.
  5. Clean your tree's current container with mild dish soap to remove any bacteria or pests.
  6. Repot your Bonsai in fresh soil and place it in a bright, sunny location.
  7. Keep your tree moist, and make sure to keep an eye out for new growth.

How To Grow A Bonsai Tree From A Cutting

For those wanting to expand their Bonsai garden, growing a tree from a cutting is relatively easy. To do this, prune a branch from your current Bonsai at a 45-degree angle using sharp twig shears.

Next, place your cutting about one inch into the soil and water them thoroughly. Keep the soil moist for the next few weeks, and you should start to notice new growth on your cuttings.

MOFOPAKOO Bonsai Tree Tools Kit

This tool kit has sharp twig shears, pruning scissors, root pick tweezers, Bonsai wires and cutters, and a convenient carrying case.

Check out this Bonsai kit on Amazon here.

Can You Make A Bonsai Out Of Any Tree?

In general, as long as you use a perennial wood tree or shrub, you should be able to Bonsai. A common misconception about Bonsai trees is that they are a specific species, while Bonsai is actually the practice of shaping and styling a tree to stay miniature.

That said, in actuality, any tree can be Bonsai, but perennial wood trees and shrubs will be the easiest to shape and style.

Do Bonsai Trees Need Full Sun?

Sun-wise, Bonsai trees do need between five and six hours of direct sunlight per day, regardless of their location. Even if your tree is indoors, it needs to be somewhere with plenty of light so that it can grow properly.

Ideally, you should also place your Bonsai tree outside during the warmer months of May through September and then bring it back inside for the wintertime. Although there are indoor Bonsai trees, we suggest keeping them outside when the weather is warm if you want your tree to grow faster.

Can A Bonsai Tree Live Without Sun?

Like most plants, Bonsai trees will need the sun to live and grow. If your home or office doesn't get much or any sunlight at all, Bonsai might not be the best idea for you.

With that said, if your space does get at least a few hours of sunlight per day, you might be able to grow a healthy Bonsai as long as you keep it watered and fertilized. 

To Wrap Things Up

Whether you want to get into Bonsai or are curious about it, it is essential to figure out how fast your tree will grow. We found that Bonsai trees are slow to moderate growing, usually taking four years to develop enough to style.

When it comes to their annual growth rate, we found Bonsai trees will usually grow between 12 and 18 inches per year. That said, Bonsai trees do best in bright, warm locations and grow fastest if their soil is kept moist. Regardless, remember to plant your Bonsai somewhere with six to eight hours of sun per day, and don't be afraid to fertilize it during its growing season.

Check out these super helpful garden posts below!

15 Best Fast Growing Flowering Shrubs For Shade

How Hardy Are Maple Trees And Which Zones Are They Right For?

How Fast Do Elms Grow And How Long Do They Live? [By Type Of Elm]

How long does it take for a Bonsai Tree to grow? – BigBoyPlants

Bonsai trees and time – two factors that go hand in hand. If you want to get into bonsai trees you do need to consider how much time, or rather, how long you’ll be investing in this hobby and what to expect, and how quickly you can start seeing results and growth. Here is our research on how long does it take for a bonsai tree to grow, and other time-related questions related to bonsai trees and how long they can live for.  

On average, a bonsai tree can take up to 5 years to start looking like a miniature tree and up to 10-15 years to reach maturity. Most people get a bonsai tree that has been pre-grown (so around 5 years old) and take care of it for around 10-20 years more. The table below will help you to understand better the expected height when growing a bonsai tree.

Bonsai Tree AgeAvg Expected Height
5 years3″- 5″
10 years8″- 12″
15 years18″- 21″

In this article, we’ll cover everything related to bonsai growth and time, starting from the growth from seeds, to the average time they can last, so we can really understand how long does it take for an average bonsai tree to be fully grown. But for now, let’s start with the birth of bonsai trees and how to grow one from scratch. 

Table of Contents

Time to Grow a Bonsai Tree

The hard to understand fact is that bonsais can challenge your patience, since they take time to grow. Generally, people who don’t do their proper research get excited about bonsai trees, but never expect how long this might actually take. So here are the three options you have when you are considering speeding up the time it takes for your bonsai tree to grow, which can be quickly sped up by the stage in which you want to buy your particular bonsai tree. Let’s get down to business.

How long does it take to grow a bonsai tree from seed?

The long route. Growing from a seed can take from 4-5 years up until you can wire, modify and prune your tree as you’d like. Through time, we’ve seen that this approach appeals either to purists in the bonsai trade or motivated individuals that don’t see the long term game. 

Growing from a seed is, in general, hard. Not only because it really is hard, as only a small percentage of seeds tend to flourish. 

But, if you do manage to do so, the results must be wonderful. You grew something from scratch, took the longest, hardest route, and you made it.

So, it must be truly great. 

We, and from what we’ve researched, avoid recommending growing from the seed to beginners or amateurs. This is for the long haul, so start with the fun and fall in love with this art. 

Pre-grown bonsai tree

Since growing from the seed might be a bit more than what people might be willing to wait, most amateurs tend to go with the pre-grown tree. These trees are 5-7 years for the most part, and this way, people can start right where the fun begins.

Pre-grown bonsai garden at Casa del Bonsai

Some people might consider this cheating or something of sorts. We say don’t sweat it. In the end, bonsai trees are meant to last, and that’s what is really important. In the long run, when you’ve had a tree for 10-20 years, it won’t matter if you grew it from the seed or if you didn’t. The journey of the bonsai is what really you’ll learn to appreciate. So do whatever you think works best for you.  

Inheriting a bonsai tree

In essence, pretty similar to a pre-grown tree. You might even receive an older tree, who knows? However, the only distinction is that you won’t really know how healthy or in what condition your tree might be. 

So ask yourself: does the individual that gave you the tree take care of it in full? Does it look healthy? Does it look overwatered or underwatered? (if you’d like to know more about overwatering and underwatering check out our post on bonsai watering here). Does the soil look new? etc.

These questions might give you an idea of where to start, and how much you should care for your bonsai tree. But in most cases, proper care will do the trick. And you might be looking for a tree that’s going to live for as long as you are willing to take care of it. 

So how long is that?

Longevity – How long do bonsai trees live?

As a rule of thumb, bonsai trees tend to live for as long as the normal tree tends to grow out in nature. So, if your bonsai tree is a ficus for example, your bonsai can be expected to live for as long as a normal ficus would, out in the wild. So as with many responses from bonsai trees, the answer is: “it depends”. However, you can place your trees into two columns: slow growers or quick growers.

Slow growers can take from 20-30 years, and 10-15 years for the fast growers. However, this is for normal trees, which serve as a reference, as bonsais tend to grow a bit quicker due to the proper care that they constantly receive. 

Theoretically, your bonsai tree could live to 100, but to do this, you’ll need to reproduce the right conditions at home, either indoor or outdoor. If you don’t, most bonsai trees tend to die in approximately 2-3 months from most beginners. Here is where humidity, pruning, fertilizing, defoliation, change of soil and other factors come into play.

How long do bonsai trees last?

The question should be, how long are you willing to take care of it for? 

The good news is, that most bonsai trees actually tend to live a bit longer than normal trees out in the wild. The reason is that bonsai trees are generally more pampered or taken care of trees than normal trees, so they can live longer than what others might. 

Think about it. If you take proper care of your tree, this means that you check the soil constantly. With the right pruning, your tree will develop more branches than a regular tree. This will bring more leaves, and with it, more photosynthesis and finally,  a stronger bonsai tree all round.

Fertilization is also a hallmark to the growth and development of a healthy tree, as it can receive more frequent nutrients than it can in a natural setting. The same goes for other external factors such as wind, water, pests, and drought, which can affect your tree, but you can control. 

Which Species Of Bonsai Will Be The Fastest To Grow?

The most known, fast growing bonsai species include:

  • Ficus Religiosa
  • Maple
  • Chinese Junipers
  • Japanese Black Pine
  • Japanese White Pine
  • Jade
  • Weeping Willow bonsai tree

The Ficus Religiosa is considered the quickest bonsai to choose for fast growth, not only due to it being known to grow not only at a quick pace, but also strong enough for the long haul. So actually choosing one species that will be sturdy enough, should be part of the equation you make too.

But, as many bonsai experts will tell you, the truth of the matter is that growing a bonsai shouldn’t be a race to the finish, it’s an experience to enjoy every step of the way. 

What you can do is accept that this is a long term investment. And with it, come other unforeseen benefits, you can shape and shift and ultimately create how your bonsai will look like. So choose a bonsai tree species you’ll like to have in the future, and work up from there. 

How can I make my bonsai tree grow quicker? 5 tips to make your bonsai tree grow faster.

The truth of the matter is, you’ll be hit hard by the reality that trees won’t really shape their growing speed for anyone really, so there is little influence you actually have.

However, as with many natural things, the best rule of thumb to follow is to give your tree the proper care it needs. Brush up on your water knowledge, your sunlight knowledge, and pick the best tree for where you live. And then, take great care of it. 

There are however, some other things you can do to nudge your leafy friend in the right direction. These include: 

Choose a Fast Growing Bonsai Tree Specie

It might seem like a no-brainer, but since speed is too dependent on what type of tree you have, then the quickest route to fast growth in bonsai trees is to get a species that grows quickly.

Some of the most famous fast-growing tree types are evergreen, coniferous, and succulents. Now specifically talking about tree varieties, some of the most famous bonsai quick growers are the Japanese Black Pine, Maple Trees, Jade plants, and Chinese Junipers.

You can choose from many different tree varieties but you need to consider where they will be located. Some are sensitive to colder climates or require more care and attention compared with others so make sure that your decision is the best one for your needs!


Maintenance Routine

Our top recommendation to how to make your bonsai tree grow quicker, is to give it proper care with a good maintenance routine. There is really no other shortcut you can take with bonsai tree care, this is how it is. In your routine, remember watering (over and underwatering), light, root health, and overall proper environment.

Aim for Trunk Growth

Bonsai trees need a strong core in order to sustain whatever is above, in this case its leaves or branches. This core will be essential to its overall health, as it provides nutrients and water up its system and takes carbon away from the foliage of the tree. There are some techniques to follow for trunk growth, but these are not considered for beginners. 


For a quick and easy way to thicken the trunk of your bonsai, try splitting it. The tree will heal faster than using other methods that can take weeks or even years to do the same job!

The process is really simple: just split your bonsai down the middle with wires in place on either side so they don’t reconnect as you let them grow past each other again. This method not only provides instant results but also takes up less space when done correctly since there are now two smaller trees instead of one big one!


One way to make a bonsai tree’s trunk thicker is by using the merging technique. With this method, instead of using an existing bonsai tree you use several saplings that are tied together as they grow and eventually merge into one plant! This untraditional process can take only months when paired with fast-growing trees like pine or spruce.

The tedious process of thickening a bonsai tree trunk is an important step in making the tree grow faster. If you use either splitting or merging methods, it will give your time to shape the branches and leaves significantly sooner than if you were waiting for years on end.

Quick bonsai growth comes from thinner roots

Thinner roots? Well, bonsai trees require care to live a healthy life in their small containers. Because of the limited water and nutrients stored, roots will continue to grow in search for more. In shallow pots like the ones used for bonsai, one side of your trees’s root system may become much bigger than the other as it searches for resources that are not available on its own side.

This can cause problems with soil saturation when you need fresh dirt because there is nowhere else left but where all those thirsty roots have grown! That’s why trimming them regularly ensures they stay flexible enough for fast growth periods – If things start looking bad though then you risk slowing down or even stopping altogether if everything dries out too quickly so make sure to take good care before this happens.

The environment and the bonsai tree’s growth rate determine how often you need to prune a bonsai’s roots. The slower-growing trees may only require once yearly root trimming, but any fast-growth species will require more frequent attention in order to keep up.

Repot your Bonsai Tree to a larger pot

Repotting your bonsai tree is an important part of keeping it healthy. Routinely repotting a bonsai tree will provide more nutrients to your plant and ultimately result in a bonsai tree growing faster. As the plant grows, you may want to repot more often if you have a fast-growing species or less frequently as time goes on and your tree becomes older.

During the repotting process, you’ll be cutting off approximately ⅓ (one third) of the total mass root system of your bonsai tree to allow it to grow stronger than ever. This process helps your tree to regenerate its roots and with it, allowing it to grow back stronger and faster each time. 

Fertilize the Soil or a healthy diet

Out in the wild, with rain come nutrients that wash to the bottom of the soil, which will be gathered by the roots and “fed” to your leafy friend. However, in a pot, things are a bit different. This is why you need to consider fertilizing your soil to replenish those nutrients it’s missing out as suggests.

A bonsai tree can become too small for its own good, as it lacks the space to grow. This lack of growth leads to a decrease in nutrients and oxygen levels that are required by plants so they may thrive. One way you could combat this is through fertilizing your trees with water or feeding them during their off-season months when they don’t need much food due to less sunlight exposure.

How Long Does it Take for a Tree to Grow?

As we mentioned before, you have to consider that bonsais are just regular trees, except they have a special growing technique behind them. So, in order to understand how long does it take for a bonsai tree to grow, you need to know how long does it take for a regular tree to grow?

The answer is quite challenging because trees grow in different ways: vertically, wider or taller over time as you can see from above ground level. Additionally, how long does it take for the roots of a tree grow into the earth and establish themselves? All trees have their own growth rates though they are all on similar schedules which differ depending on age and type.

There’s no way for us to know exactly how long it takes for an individual tree’s lifespan; however we can estimate by taking into account certain things about their growth rates such as: where they grow, what type of environment they live in (elevation), and whether or not these particular environmental conditions affect them negatively (drought). However, we can make estimates with great accuracy based on factors like the type of soil and environment in which they grow as well as their location.

Which is the oldest bonsai tree?

The competition for the oldest bonsai tree is fierce. The oldest living bonsai tree, agreed upon by most bonsai enthusiasts is the Ficus Bonsai Tree from the Crespi Family in Italy. Here is a quick top 6 you can aspire to emulate:

Source: Reddit

Ficus Bonsai Tree – 1000 years old: This Ficus Bonsai tree can be found in Crespi, Italy and is on display in the Italian Bonsai museum from Crespi. As with many legendary bonsai, this one was originally taken care in Asia, specifically in China and was later taken by Japanese master and finally it’s Italian owner Luigi Crespo, who now displays it outside for everyone to see.

Source: BonsaiEmpire

Old Juniper Bonsai Tree – 1000 years old: This bonsai is pretty special, as it was collected in the wild. This bonsai tree has been tested and resulted in 1000 years old. This bonsai can be found in the Mansei-en Bonsai nursery in Omiya, Japan. One interesting note is this tree is still accommodating to its new lifestyle (since it was before out in the wild), hence, its kind of rough appearance.

Source: Shunka-en Bonsai Page

Shunka-en Bonsai Tree – 800 years old: One or rather two wonderful species that are currently being held at the Shunkaen Bonsai Museum in Omiya, Japan. As you will be able to read online, this museum is owned and operated by Kunio Kobayashi, one of the most renowned bonsai masters in the world. He’s specially known for helping the Japanese culture expand as a whole, in the form of creating wonderful displays for his creations.

Source: Pinterest

Japanese Red Pine Bonsai – 600 years old: Not the oldest, but many believe it to be the largest measuring up to 16 feet in height (5 meters) and 30 feet in width (10 meters). This beautiful tree can be found in the Akao Herb and Rose Garden in Atami, Japan and is estimated to be 600 years old.  How can it still be considered a Bonsai? That’s a great question you might be wondering, and the reason is it is sitting in a pot, so “not natural per se”. Arguable? Maybe. Beautiful? No doubt.

Source: Reddit

Sandai-Shogun-no-matsu – 500 years old: A long time favorite, standing at 500 years old, is the Sandai-Shogun-no-matsu in the Tokyo Palace in Tokyo, Japan. This five-need pline, is considered one of the National Treasures of Japan. Named after the Shogun (emperor) Tokugawa Iemitsu who first acquired it when the bonsai tree was approximately 200 years old, and since, has been passed from Shogun to Shogun with time.

Source: National Geographic

Japanese White Pine – 400 years old: This Japanese White Pine is also known as the Yamaki Bonsai or Atomic Tree by bonsai enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Even though this beautiful tree has many aspects to it, arguably, its most impressive feat is the fact that it survived the Hiroshima bombing in World War II and lives on, to this day. Initially, it was taken care of by the Yamaki family, but later was donated to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in Washington DC, as a symbol of peace from the Japanese government to the US after WW2.

How old is my bonsai tree?

Even though these bonsai trees are pretty impressive, knowing the actual age of any tree is actually quite hard. In most of our heads, we consider old trees to be twisted and curved, but bonsais can be shaped and pruned to achieve this look with far less years than they would in the wild. But it is all, in reality, an illusion created by the bonsai tree maker.

However, it is not uncommon for bonsai trees to be passed from generation to generation, reason why most of the current title holders are as old as they are. But in reality, their age is estimated rather than known. 

So how long do bonsai trees take to grow?

In short, it depends on the type of bonsai you have around, and which tree type you picked out to decorate your home. This, in turn, is also affected by how well suited is your tree to your current climate, any bonsais growth speed.

However, on average, bonsai trees can take 2-3 years to grow in height with average bonsai tree growth of 12 to 18 inches per year.
Generally speaking, bonsai trees are very slow and only a few species that are suitable for indoors. However, with proper care, Bonsai trees can live up to hundreds of years as we’ve seen in the few examples above.

The experts like to say: the best way to know how old your bonsai tree is, is to plant it yourself.  

How to grow bonsai at home

Bonsai is the ancient Oriental art of growing trees in miniature, the main goals of which are maximum realism and similarity with prototypes. Many people think that doing this art is too difficult. But this is far from true. Of course, to get a beautiful bonsai tree, you need to make some efforts and strictly adhere to certain rules, but you will not need special gardening skills. You can also always buy a ready-made tree. In our catalog you will find a lot of indoor plants and flowers in Uzhgorod and other cities of Ukraine.

Which plants are suitable for bonsai

In fact, bonsai can be formed from any tree species that are not naturally prone to intensive growth, but the fact is that not all plants can withstand such frequent pruning. So, before you buy a tree, find out how whimsical it is, and whether your microclimate is suitable for this species. So, if you consider yourself a “teapot” among plant growers, we recommend stopping at the Chinese juniper. This woody plant of the cypress family takes root well in our natural conditions and reacts positively to pruning. The next undemanding species, which also has beautiful foliage and even bark, is the common hornbeam. Also pay attention to the Japanese maple, hawthorn and decorative apple tree. But certain types of trees with large leaves are best avoided, with those you will have to get confused. The most win-win solution is to grow bonsai from local tree species that are inherent in your natural area and climate type.

How to grow bonsai

There are several ways to create a bonsai composition. And the first thing you need to buy the source. If you are not in a hurry and ready for a slow but productive process, then choose young trees - you can easily create bonsai from them in your own unique style.

Growing bonsai from cuttings

If you are going to grow a floral masterpiece from cuttings, you will need to prepare for a long and painstaking process. For those who are not in the know, cuttings are nothing more than small pieces of twigs cut off from the mother plant. A very important point is which donor tree the cutting is taken from. The plant must certainly be healthy and preferably annual. At the same time, the length of the cutting should not exceed ten centimeters, and the number of leaves on it should not exceed five to eight.

Cut cuttings are devoid of roots, and they take root by planting in the ground. The best periods for cutting conifers are considered to be the middle of spring or the very beginning of autumn. And for hardwoods, it's always June. The most successful containers for planting bonsai are plastic mini-vessels.

In order for the cuttings to take root quickly, they can be additionally treated with a growth stimulator solution before planting. All stimulants are created on the basis of hormones, so the result will certainly be positive. Moreover, deciduous trees take root much faster - in just a couple of weeks. But the rooting of conifers can take a year or even more.

So, take your container, fill it ⅔ full with sand and peat mixed together, and start planting. In this case, the distance between the cuttings should be the same. Now you can pour the seedlings with water and wrap the container with a transparent film. Put the greenhouse in the shade and do not forget to check every day whether there is enough moisture in the soil.

A sign that the cutting has begun to take root will be the appearance of the first young leaves on the shoot. At this moment, it is already possible to slightly open the film so that the future tree slowly hardens and begins to get used to the general environment. After a couple of months, such shoots become suitable for transplanting into separate containers. The best substrate for cuttings is loose earth mixed with clay.

In the first year of life, the stalk does not need to be fed - in fresh soil, and so there will be enough useful minerals and trace elements. And in order for the shoots to survive the first winter, they need to build a shelter. To do this, take containers with seedlings, dig them a little into the ground and cover with a lid or a dense film that will not let the wind through.

It should be noted that not all tree species can be grown by cuttings. These include cedar and pine. But among the most “fast” in terms of growth, elms stand out (in particular, dwarf elm), as well as privet, maple and barberry.

Growing bonsai from seeds

Be prepared for the process of growing bonsai from seeds to be very long. So, it will take you no less than 10-15 years to form a mini tree. All those plants in pots that you can find on the shelves in specialized stores are just about that age. Why does seed growing take such a long time? Let's figure it out further.

The fact is that in order to obtain a certain form from certain types of trees, you need to start striving for this almost from the first minutes of the plant's life. This primarily applies to all types of elms. The only way to transform an elm tree into its signature vertical style is to remove some of the roots in the first year of its growth. Then you just have to regularly trim its shoots on the sides.

If done correctly, by the twentieth year of life it will be clearly seen that the bonsai is grown from seed and has been shaped as such from the very beginning of life. This is determined by the appearance of that part of the root system that is above the soil surface. Thus, the roots of a properly grown bonsai are like equidistant rays of stars that extend from a perfectly shaped trunk. At the same time, the ratio of the size of the crown of a tree and the height of its trunk is proportional. It is impossible to achieve such subtleties by cuttings.

By the way, if you grow bonsai from conifer, don't be afraid to experiment and try to bend its branches into curls. So you can create your own unique fantasy composition. To create another interesting effect, you will need a wire: lay it on the bark and wait until it grows a little into its top layer. Over time, the resulting line will resemble a scar, as if it were a healed wound on the human body. On a rough bark, such scars look especially impressive.

Black pine stems grown from seed are very good at curling. From this tree, the wire can be removed already three years after installation - the bonsai will just have time to get used to its new shape, and its bark will not suffer from this manipulation. Moreover, if desired, the wire can be fixed and re-fixed.

Any intrusion into the trunks and branches of the bonsai is not allowed even after the plant has reached the age of 45. The fact is that over time, the bark begins to coarsen and the “wounds” from the wire simply will not “heal”.

And now back to the question - where to get the seeds for growing bonsai? The easiest way to get them is to buy them in the store. But you can collect the seeds yourself just during an autumn walk through the forest or botanical garden. Do not pass by plantations of hazel, juniper, blackthorn - the seeds of these tree varieties have a hard shell and are easy to grow. To do this, take a container with wet sand, put the seeds, and sprinkle another layer of sand on top. Cover the seedlings with foil, put in a place without drafts and without direct sunlight, leaving the container there for the winter. Periodically moisten the soil with a spray bottle and do not allow it to dry out. This method is called freezing: winter frosts have a devastating effect on the seed coat, which causes cracks to appear on it, from where spring sprouts then sprout.

As a rule, not every seed can sprout, and this is quite normal. Do not throw away unsprouted seeds, they can still sprout for the next season. If the winters in your area of ​​​​residence are more like a long autumn, you can use the freezer to freeze.

As for the soft-shelled seeds, they can be planted in the ground as soon as they have been harvested. Maple seeds germinate the fastest. The only feature is that the container with maple seedlings needs to organize diffused light. In warm winter, the first sprouts will appear without even waiting for spring.

Maintenance and care of bonsai

In order for your bonsai creation to grow and develop, it must be properly and regularly maintained. However, do not forget that each tree species has its own special requirements. Earlier we already figured out what cyclamen care is, and now we will dwell in more detail on the rules for caring for bonsai.

Bonsai site

First of all, it is worth understanding that some types of bonsai require outdoor cultivation, and some can only grow indoors. So, street bonsai cannot be placed in the house, and home bonsai cannot be transferred to fresh air. Be sure to check this point before buying, so as not to accidentally harm the plant.

Seedlings from the subtropics will do best in places where there is a lot of light and high temperatures. You can put such bonsai in open space only if you live in the southern latitudes and are sure that there will be no sudden cold snaps. But it is better not to take risks and put a pot with a tree in a warm room. For outdoor bonsai varieties, even if you grow a representative of the local flora, one way or another, you will need to create a shelter for the cold season.

Soil and irrigation

A range of factors influence the frequency and volume of watering a seedling. And this is not only the type of tree, but also the size of the container in which you grow it, and the composition of the substrate, as well as the type of climate and environmental conditions. In any case, an excess of moisture will lead to the development of root rot, which can cause the death of the tree. And the lack of moisture will not bring benefits. Moreover, bonsai trees are always planted in small pots, which is why the soil in them dries out pretty quickly. Therefore, check daily that the substrate is sufficiently and, most importantly, evenly moistened.

The soil for bonsai must be fertile, rich in nutrients. Gardeners recommend repotting bonsai once every two years. It is in a couple of years that the root system of a tree can grow quite strongly and compact the soil, preventing it from being properly saturated with water, which is so necessary for the plant.

Top dressing

Top dressing is an important aspect of bonsai care. Of course, the type of soil plays an important role, but since trees are always grown in containers with limited space, fertilization is mandatory for normal growth and development of the crop. It is best to add top dressing to the soil during the growing season, that is, exactly when the plant forms its immune system. However, first of all, you need to focus on the needs of your particular bonsai variety. The form of release of dressings (dry or liquid) does not matter.

Methods of forming bonsai

The art of bonsai involves not only growing a tree, but also its formation or, in other words, transformation. This process is both creative and painstaking. It took Eastern craftsmen more than one hundred years to bring the methods of bonsai formation to perfection. But now everyone can master the subtleties of trimming and shaping bonsai with wire. The main thing is not to rush, because the miniaturization of trees is a leisurely journey that should be enjoyed every day.

Bonsai Pruning

Pruning is considered a very important method of keeping bonsai neat and tidy and maintaining the tree's original appearance in the wild. The best periods for pruning bonsai are considered the spring and summer seasons. Get ready for the fact that in order to work with thick branches you will need to acquire special gardening tools. And it is better if it is not a pruner, but concave scissors - the cuts obtained after them grow somewhat faster and more painlessly for the plant.

To understand which branches should be cut and which should be left, it is desirable, of course, to see the tree live. However, there are certain points that will become signals that you definitely cannot do without pruning. For example:

  • if two branches on your bonsai grow at the same level, then one of them must be pruned;
  • you need to get rid of all branches with too strong bends;
  • too thick branches in the upper part of the crown always look cumbersome and also not needed.

Shaping bonsai with wire

We have already mentioned above that you can give the desired shape to bonsai using ordinary wire - gently bending and unbending branches with an ingrown metal tape. The main thing is not to overdo it and remove the wire in a timely manner with wire cutters until the branches begin to coarsen and thicken.

Moreover, on trees with smooth bark, the wire should remain for a slightly shorter period than on trees with rough trunks. This is due to the fact that on a smooth surface the marks will remain more distinct and not always aesthetic. It is allowed to fix the wire in any season of the year.

Artificial aging of bonsai

Artificial aging of a young tree is a very popular method of shaping bonsai. Miniature old-timers always look very unusual. Coniferous species are most easily amenable to artificial aging, but in the case of deciduous, everything will also work out.

So, in order to age the plant, you will need wire cutters or a sharp knife. Remove a small layer of bark with a tool. It is unlikely that it will be possible to do this confidently and accurately the first time, so at first it is better to practice on any branches (the main thing is that they are not dry).

Please note that the bark must not be removed completely. Leave a few thin stripes - they are necessary for the access of moisture and organic matter from the soil to the crown.

Clean removal of the bark is allowed only on those branches that will be cut in the future, as well as on those that, according to the idea, will be “dead”. By the way, the trunks of dead branches can be transformed with engravers, chisels and other wood carving tools. Do not be afraid to experiment and you will certainly succeed.

Good question: How to grow a bonsai at home

Growing a bonsai at home is a challenge for the patient: some varieties require up to ten years of care before you can appreciate the result. But this is an ideal eco-leisure for the ever-busy resident of the metropolis and an inspiring example of how small steps can lead to big results.

Jesse Im/bugonmyleaf

Is it really possible to care for bonsai at home ?
To begin with, let's figure out what bonsai is (contrary to the stereotype, it is not at all a specific plant from the east). Speaking categorically, a bonsai is an ordinary tree that is systematically prevented from growing normally: they cut it, form a crown, set the direction for the branches.

Of course, ready-made bonsai in a pot can be bought in the store - no problem. But Buddhists say: a person who grows bonsai himself is equated with God, because the world is a garden of the Buddha. Why not try it?

Many varieties familiar to us are suitable for creating bonsai, and boxwoods (buxus) , myrtle (myrtus) , abutilons (abutilon) , leptospermums (leptospermum) 33acia , acacias give the best results wisteria (wisteria) and ficus (ficus) . You can experiment with broad-leaved trees: beech (fagus) , hornbeam (carpinus) , maple (acer) , birch (betula) , elm (ulmus) , Japanese beech (fagus japonica) and pomegranate (punica) . Or grow bonsai from conifers: fir (abies) , cypress (cupressus) , spruce (picea) , cedar (cedrus) and pine (pinus) .

Dufner Heighes Inc

How to grow Bonsai from seed?
The first step is to find suitable planting material in a store or nursery (or even in the nearest park). Bonsai from seeds is the longest way: first you have to give life to an ordinary tree, and then turn it into an art object. To grow a bonsai from seeds, it will take at least 12-15 years to care for it.

How to plant seeds at home? Spruce, pine, beech, oak (quercus) , euonymus (euonymus) and fir are ready for sowing at the time of harvest (in our case, immediately after purchase). But hawthorn (crataegus) , juniper (juniperus) , maple, hornbeam, quince (cydonia oblonga) require rest before planting: they must be placed in wet sand and kept in a cool place (sometimes up to six months).

Samsel Architects

The difficult game of bonsai care begins. So, before planting, the seeds are placed for a day in water. Bonsai from seeds can also be germinated in sphagnum moss or vermiculite if you are a confident gardener. Now you need to sterilize the soil, and then treat the seeds with a fungicide - to protect against diseases. It is better to plant a tree that you want to grow in a peat glass, where peat and sand are mixed in equal proportions. Then lay a centimeter of sifted soil, press down the soil a little, lay out the seeds, sprinkle with sand again and water lightly.

Jesse Im/bugonmyleaf

A young plant needs a mini-greenhouse: cover the seedlings with polyethylene, put them in a cool place and keep the soil slightly moist at all times. Did you notice the sprouts? Congratulations, you have passed the first stage. Now, to grow bonsai from seeds, you need to give the sprouts fresh air. For example, make several holes in the film. When the first leaves appear on the tree, the film is removed completely. And when the tree reaches 10 centimeters, it is transplanted into an ordinary pot and gradually accustomed to the light.

In order to grow bonsai at home, it is important to study the characteristics of the variety with which you decide to deal. First of all, everything that concerns the soil: you need to transplant into a material that is most familiar to a tree in nature. Sometimes soil is experimented with in order to grow bonsai with certain characteristics from seeds. For example, if you transplant a pine into a “poorer” soil than ordinary soil, the needles of the tree will become smaller.

Daedal Woodworking

Bonsai shoot: home care
You can grow a bonsai tree from a young shoot - this method is more convenient for a beginner. They are sold in a nursery - plants about 15 cm high are suitable for us. When choosing a young tree, pay attention to the crown: it is better if the plant has many branches to the ground. Then you can choose which branches to cut and leave. The second important factor is the root system: it must be well developed and without visible damage in order for the plant to take root well.

To grow a tree, it is first rooted in a deep container and only after a couple of years is transferred to a characteristic ceramic bowl - then they begin to form bonsai.

Sarah Greenman

The lower part of the trunk and part of the root system should be left on the surface. To slow down the growth of a tree - this is an important part of the care of a bonsai - they cut the roots. Ideally, as many horizontal roots as possible should remain. At a small height from the ground, the bonsai is tied with wire to make the trunk thicker. Sometimes cuts are left on the surface of the tree: the sap of the plant, healing wounds, leaves interesting sagging on the trunk. As soon as the tree reaches the desired thickness, you can proceed to the processing of the crown.

Sergey Harenko

Advice: The earlier you start shaping the bonsai, the more effective the mature tree will be. For some plants, this is especially critical - for example, for elms in a vertical style. In order to properly grow a tree, already in the first year you will have to cut out part of the roots and regularly trim the trunk.


Advanced level: growing bonsai from cuttings
Bonsai from cuttings at home is the choice for skilled gardeners. Advantages of the solution: you do not need to buy a tree or seeds in a store, but you can even take it on the street; in addition, you will gain a year compared to seedlings. To grow a bonsai from a cutting, elm, privet are suitable (ligustrum) , common hornbeam (carpinus betulus) , field maple (acer campestre) , barberry (berberis) and dwarf elm (ulmus minor) . But propagating cedars and pines in this way will not work.

So, you cut off a branch and stick it into the ground to root, and then cover it with a mini-greenhouse and monitor the soil moisture. Deciduous cuttings take root quickly - in just a couple of weeks. In conifers, this process sometimes takes six months. Fresh young leaves are a sign that the stalk has taken root. After a few months, it can be transplanted into a pot and begin to prepare for the role of bonsai.

Tip: Coniferous plants are best taken in early September or April, deciduous trees in June. Sometimes cuttings are treated with a phytohormone - it stimulates root growth.

Kaufman Segal Design

How to form a bonsai at home?
At first glance, caring for a bonsai and shaping a tree trunk is like learning a magical practice from scratch. How to make bonsai grow in the right direction and achieve a certain size? The main technique that forms bonsai is regular pruning of branches. It is important that the plants do not bloom at this moment. Young branches are cut at the level of one or two rosettes from the trunk. Soon young leaves will appear on the tree - smaller ones.

The second important tool that helps grow a bonsai tree is aluminum wire. Iron will not work: it is not flexible enough and quickly rusts. The wire should be about three times thinner than the bonsai branch. It is wrapped around the branches to set the desired direction of growth.

In the first formation, the wire is used on all branches, even the thinnest and most insignificant. Make sure the branches do not cross. In order not to damage the delicate bark of the tree, pieces of leather can be placed under the wire. Remove the wire after about three months (and do not unwind, but cut off). It is important to ensure that it does not grow into bonsai. This is especially critical when caring for trees with smooth bark: ugly traces of ingrown wire will be visible on the trunk even after a decade. Trees with rough bark tolerate these features of care better: juniper and pine scars grow much faster.

A nice trick for a mature tree, the trunk of which is already difficult to adjust with wire - to pull the branches down. For this, wire structures with weighting are used.

Japan Bonsai Garden Art

Care and watering: the subtleties of craftsmanship
The main thing to know is that bonsai are not watered from above. It is best to have a tray with high sides, fill it with expanded clay and pour it generously - and only then put a bonsai pot on top. The tree will take water as needed, and you will regularly top it up. An alternative method of care and watering is to dip the pot in a basin of water for a few seconds so that the soil is saturated with moisture.

Schmidt Holzinger Innenarchitekten

Small but expensive
How big can a home grown bonsai be? Depends on the characteristics of the original tree, but in general - from 8 to 130 cm.

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