Bonsai Cultivation (Growing Amazing Trees From Seeds) - Bonsai Starter (2022)

Creating bonsai trees is like poetry. Like a poem, you can channel your creativity onto a tiny little canvas in bonsai. Growing bonsai from seeds rather than doing the same from seedlings, plants, or cuttings is much more satisfying, as it brings you the joy of fulfillment. However, you must know how to plant bonsai seeds.

After letting the seed germinate, you need to wait for two years to make the root mature. Then add a wire to bend the main branch. Wait for 1-4 years to make the trunk thick and solid. Now, you have to cut the main branch of the plant. From there on, you have to continuously prune, rekindle, clean needles, and wire the tree until you get your desired bonsai.

This article is an excerpt of 30 years of hands-on experience in making bonsai trees. You can take it as a complete guide to making bonsai trees and start your bonsai tree today. Moreover, it includes the perfect method of preparing the soil for bonsai trees and suggestions for preferable trees to create bonsai.

Bonsai Cultivation (Growing Amazing Trees From Seeds) - Bonsai Starter (1)

6 Simple Steps To Grow Bonsai Trees from Seeds

The primary tool for growing bonsai trees from seeds is patience. You have to invest years and decades to create them properly. Here is a step-by-step guide for making your bonsai tree from a seed.

Step 1- Seed Germination

It is always wise to collect local seeds for making bonsai trees. Because they will get along with your weather very easily. Collect seeds from a reliable source and keep them in warm water to soak them overnight. In the morning, discard the floating seeds. In a tub, spread bonsai soil and water it properly. The pot should have a way of getting the water out.

(Video) Growing 4 types of Bonsai trees, part 1

Now carefully plant the seeds in the soil bed. The seed is supposed to germinate within 2-3 weeks. You will see a tiny shoot coming out of the soil. In the meantime, keep the soil bed moist with regular watering. If the shoot is not visible in 2 weeks, keep the pot in a warmer place.

Step 2 – Strengthen The Root

It takes around a year for a tiny shoot to become a seedling. Almost all types of trees need this much time. You have to let the seedling grow untouched for another year. However, keep fertilizing and watering the plant meticulously.

These two years are very crucial for the growth of the root of the tree. I would suggest you use a wider pot for this period. Later, you can transfer the plant into a smaller and final tub. If you want your bonsai tree to live a long life, it will need a vigorous root.

Step 3 – Attach A Wire

At this point, you have to decide what the final outline of your bonsai tree will be. You need to attach a strong wire spirally around the tree and make the main branch bend with a sharp curve. Using the wire, you can also curl the branch or determine its future growth, according to your preferences.

Be careful to set the wire at the bottom part of the plant. If the wire is too tight, it can hinder the growth of the trunk of the tree. After attaching the wire properly, you have to wait for another four years and let the main branch grow without any interruption. The trunk of the tree will become thicker as the main branch grows.

(Video) How To Grow Bonsai Tree From Seeds - 2020

You can start performing the next step even before the completion of four years if you are satisfied with the growth of the trunk. The size of your final bonsai tree will depend on how thick the trunk is. Make sure the wire does not cut into the tree.

If it seems so, you have to cut the wire in those particular spots where it is hurting the tree.

Step 4 – Cut The Main Branch

Now that the trunk has reached a preferable thickness, you have to cut the main branch from the curving point. That is why this branch is also called the “sacrifice branch.” Now the needle points at the curve will become the main point of foliage for the tree.

Use a pruning knife or gardening scissors to cut the main branch. Cut it at a 45-degree angle from the inside to the outside of the branch. Choose the cutting point according to your desired size of the bonsai tree.

Step 5 – Develop The Tree

Now it is time to unleash your imagination and creatively guide the tree to become a mature-looking one. First of all, you have to keep track of the buds at the needle points and set up the primary and secondary branches for your bonsai tree. The branch density of your tree is also determined in this phase.

(Video) Growing Red Maple Bonsai Tree from Seed

To grow more tiny branches for the bonsai, you need to perform regular and continuous pruning. You have to foresee how you want the canopy of the tree to look and do the pruning according to your imagination.

Within six to seven years, you are supposed to see the outcome of your efforts. Keeping the spaces between nodes short will make your bonsai dense.

Step 6 – Keep Maintaining

Unfortunately, bonsai trees will start to look not that great if you let them be for a long time. It means, making a bonsai tree is a long process. This is what makes growing bonsai one of the greatest yet toughest hobbies in the universe.

You should always keep an eye on the bonsai and perform selective pruning, cleaning of needles, rekindling branches, and wiring them as required. This is a lifelong opportunity for you to keep enhancing your creativity with the growing bonsai tree.

How To Prepare The Soil For Bonsai Trees?

To make your bonsai soil, you need to use Lava rock, Pumice, Akadama, organic potting compost, and grit. The process of preparing the bonsai soil mixture is noted below:

(Video) How to Grow Orange bonsai Tree From Seeds | orange seed germination(urdu/hindi)

  • Arrange the Components: Considering the final size of your bonsai tree, find a tub or pot. Determine the amount of soil mixture to fill in the tub. In most cases, you need to use Lava rock, Pumice, and Akadama in equal proportion.
  • Remove Dust from Akadama: Get medium-sized granules of Akadama and remove the dust from it by using a sieve. It is important to do it to make sure that the soil mixture drains well and remains airy.
  • Mix it Up: Mix the lava rock, Pumice, and Akaama properly. To ensure proper water absorption you should add some organic potting compost. Now your bonsai soil mixture is ready to contain seeds.

Best Trees To Make Bonsai From Seeds

Any tree or shrub with a woody-stemmed structure is good enough to create bonsai. However, some trees are more popular for bonsai than others because they have smaller leaves and needles. Ficus and Juniper are the two most popular trees among bonsai-enthusiasts.

Some other trees famous for bonsai are Chinese elm, Japanese elm, Wisteria, Magnolia Stellata, Crabapple, Oak, Banyion, Celtis, etc.

Generally, small-leaf trees are popular for bonsai. But some broadleaf trees are adored for bonsai. Some of those trees are Privet, Snow rose, Boxwood, Olive, Fuchsia, Fukien tea, etc.

Final Thoughts on Growing Bonsai From Seeds

The history of bonsai trees goes back more than a thousand years. If you happen to be a bonsai enthusiast, knowing how to plant bonsai seeds properly is the way to go. It will make you more foresighted and wiser.

I hope this article came in handy If you were thinking of growing bonsai from seeds. All the best!

(Video) How To Grow Bonsai Trees From Seed - Subtitles Available

FAQs

Can you start a bonsai tree from a seed? ›

from seed. The Japanese term, "Misho," refers to the practice of growing Bonsai from tree seeds. It can be a very rewarding process that allows you to grow a plant as a Bonsai tree from the very beginning, although it does demand a great amount of patience.

How long does bonsai tree take to grow from seed? ›

To grow a bonsai from seed or sapling, be prepared to spend between five and 10 years stunting its growth before it's ready for more stylistic shaping and training. This process is notoriously arduous, and we recommend newer growers start with established specimens.

How do you grow bonsai from seed? ›

Well the very first step of growing a bonsai from seed is you need to germinate the seed. And that'

What is the easiest bonsai tree to grow from seed? ›

Maple, black pine, scots pine, beech and larch are some of the easiest trees to grow from seed and make great beginner bonsai trees. However, if you are a novice you must stay away from species such as white Pine, needle juniper, hornbeam as these are very difficult to germinate.

How often do I water bonsai seeds? ›

You may think this is a no-brainer, but the bonsai has very specific watering requirements. Approximately once a week or so (when the topsoil feels completely dry) immerse the entire bonsai plant in a bucket or basin of water. Once the air bubbles have risen to the top, the bonsai has absorbed enough water.

What soil is best for bonsai seeds? ›

The most common components for Bonsai soil mixtures are Akadama, Pumice, Lava rock, organic potting compost, and fine gravel also known as grit. From left to right; organic potting compost, Akadama, Pumice, and lava rock.

Does bonsai grow fast? ›

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.

Do bonsai trees need sun? ›

In summer time beware of hot south facing windows, a little sunlight morning or evening is beneficial, but too much and your bonsai could over heat. Basically, your bonsai needs a position with good daylight but out of direct sunlight.

Do bonsai seeds need sunlight? ›

Bonsai trees require a lot of sunlight, in the summer some species need as much as 8 hours of direct sunlight per day to keep healthy. Move your trees then into the brightest spot of your garden depending on your species, which you can read up more on here.

How can I make my bonsai grow faster? ›

Water the bonsai tree every day, until the soil is moist to the touch. Bonsai trees grow fastest in soil that is kept moist at all times. Fertilise the bonsai plant every three weeks during the growing season, from early spring to later fall.

How do you grow a tree from seed? ›

Cover the seeds with a fine layer of sand to a depth about the thickness of the seed. After planting the seeds, gently water them and keep them moist but not wet. Maintaining high moisture and relative humidity is critical to germinating seeds. You can increase the humidity by enclosing the seed tray in a plastic tent.

How long do bonsai trees live? ›

Without this meticulous care, your bonsai would quickly deplete the resources available in its shallow container and die. But in the right conditions, a bonsai tree can easily live to over 100 years-old. Some can even live for centuries, all the way up to a thousand years!

Why do you put bonsai seeds in the fridge? ›

Putting seeds in the fridge is a way to trick seeds into experiencing winter. Many seeds from temperate regions need to experience a long cold period before sprouting. This is a natural system that stops seeds from germinating and entering winter at the same time.

How long can a bonsai tree go without water? ›

While bonsai trees are pretty hardy little plants, they can usually only cope without water for up to three weeks. Any longer than this and they will start to struggle.

Do bonsai trees need fertilizer? ›

Most Bonsai trees should be fertilized during the entire growing season; early spring through mid-fall. Older and more mature trees are often fertilized less frequently, depending on the species, time of year, stage of development, and health of the tree. Indoor trees can be fertilized all year round.

Why is my bonsai dying? ›

Under-watering is also common. A Bonsai is placed in a tiny pot and therefore doesn't have much reserves. If you forget to water your tree, the roots die off and the tree will die. While with overwatering the tree would slowly lose strength, with under-watering the tree will drop its leaves within days.

Can I use regular soil for bonsai? ›

The common ingredients in bonsai soil are akadama, pumice, lava rock, organic potting compost, and fine gravel. Ideal bonsai soil should be pH neutral, neither acidic nor basic. A pH between 6.5 and 7.5 is ideal.

Why isn't my bonsai seed growing? ›

If you're going to grow trees living in a climate in winter, the tree seeds are also programmed to live through this very cold period, so they become dormant. They need to undergo the dormancy, otherwise, they won't sprout. It only means that you need to mimic the cold season for the tree seed through stratification.

How long do you soak bonsai seeds? ›

The best way to soak these fragile seeds is between sheets of wet paper towels. You can then place it in a shallow bowl with warm water, and soak them for 12-24 hours before planting. Plant them in at a shallow depth in the soil, no deeper than 1/4"!

How much is a bonsai tree? ›

On average, you can expect a bonsai tree to cost you around $100. This price includes the bonsai tree itself, as well as the kit which come with trimmers, wire, fertilizer, pot, and soil.

Can you make a bonsai grow big? ›

Absolutely. In fact, it's pretty easy. Move your bonsai to a bigger pot or put it in the ground. By bigger pot I don't mean a bigger bonsai pot, I mean a regular plant pot that is deeper and wider than what your tree is in now.

How do you shape a bonsai tree? ›

Styling Your First Bonsai Tree - YouTube

Is bonsai lucky? ›

The term Bonsai in Japanese literally means 'planted in a container', and the plant is believed to bring good luck and harmony. They say that if you receive bonsai trees as gifts rather than buying it yourself, fortune would doubly smile at you.

Do bonsai need water everyday? ›

On average, you should water a Bonsai tree every four to seven days. You must never let a Bonsai dry out completely, as this can be fatal for your tree.

Is bonsai good for home? ›

While bonsai plants are beautiful to look at, they are not particularly auspicious to keep at home. Vastu experts say that it is best to avoid placing this plant anywhere at home. It symbolises slow or stunted growth and might interfere with the lifecycle of the inhabitants.

When should I transplant my bonsai seedlings? ›

When to repot Bonsai seedlings and trees? It is ideal to re-pot the Bonsai seedlings and trees during late winter season. This means that the time period from end February to March is optimal. This is because during winter Bonsai is in a dormant condition and will not be as shocked when replanted.

Do bonsai seeds exist? ›

I have to say, i really do feel sorry for you, first of all, bonsai seeds do not exist, tree seeds do.

When should I prune my bonsai seedlings? ›

When to prune Bonsai? Maintenance pruning can be done throughout the growing season, usually from March to September for outdoor Bonsai. Indoor Bonsai can be pruned year-round.

Is bonsai easy to care? ›

Caring for a Bonsai tree is not nearly as difficult as it might seem. However, as Bonsai trees are planted in small pots there are a few basic guidelines for placement, watering, and repotting your trees.

Is growing bonsai hard? ›

Bonsai trees are hard to grow for beginners. This is because of the constant maintenance, care, and patience required to successfully grow bonsai. It also takes years of pruning and growing before a new plant will start to resemble bonsai, and so can be frustrating if growing from scratch.

Can I turn any tree into a Bonsai? ›

Can Bonsai Be Created From Any Plant? Almost any tree or shrub can be turned into a bonsai. The key is to prune the roots and the foliage so the plant remains (or is pruned) to be dwarfed.

What is the fastest bonsai to grow? ›

The top four fastest growing bonsai trees are the Chinese elm, most pine varieties, the maple, and the ficus trees. They average between 12 to 36 inches a year and would reach maturity within three years.

What plant is good for growing bonsai easily and fast? ›

Some fast-growing tree varieties for bonsai include Chinese junipers, Japanese black pine, boxwood shrubs, jade plants, snowdrop trees, and maple trees. There are many different tree varieties to choose from that can suit almost any lifestyle.

How do I make bonsai fertilizer at home? ›

Mix 9 cups cottonseed meal, 4 cups bone meal, 2 cups fish meal, 3/4 cup kelp meal, 4 cups fish emulsion, and 1 cup liquid fertilizer to make balls. Adjust the liquid amount so that the mixture is made by hand in the balls.

How do you make seeds grow faster? ›

One easy way to make seeds germinate faster is to presoak them for 24 hours in a shallow container filled with hot tap water. Water will penetrate the seed coat and cause the embryos inside to plump up. Don't soak them for longer than 24 hours because they could rot. Plant the seeds immediately in moist soil.

How many seeds do you need to grow a plant? ›

In general, two to three seeds should be planted per hole. Seeds do not have 100% germination rates, so not every seed planted will sprout. Overseeding holes, cells, or pots will help ensure that the number of plants you desire will grow (or more!).

What type of tree is bonsai? ›

Most traditional bonsai are made up of Junipers, Maples, Ficus, and Boxwood. There are, however, many more common bonsai species.

How many types of bonsai are there? ›

Amazingly, there are over 430 varieties of the prunus family.

Do bonsai trees need a lot of light? ›

Location: Bonsai need direct sunlight, from which they make their food. A lack of direct sun will damage them, causing weak foliage and other problems. They like to receive 5-6 hours of sunlight daily, whether inside or outside.

Can bonsai trees grow in water? ›

Bonsai Aquarium Plants

It is theoretically possible to grow underwater bonsai trees, or at least bonsai trees with their roots submerged in water rather than soil. This is called hydroponic growing, and it has been done successfully with bonsai trees.

How big will a Bonsai tree grow? ›

Bonsai plants grow to various sizes. Some are small and can be as small as six inches tall (15 cm). Others can grow to more than 3 feet tall (0.9 m) in height. In addition, a smaller bonsai plant will require more water, soil, and sunlight than a larger one.

Do you need to soak bonsai seeds before planting? ›

So, when you're planting seeds for Bonsai that are from different climates, or you're planting out of season, it may be necessary to simulate a cold season to increase the germination rate. Most tree-species will require you to soak their seeds in water before storing them in your refrigerator for one or two months.

How do you germinate bonsai seeds in the refrigerator? ›

How to Start Bonsai Seeds - Scarification and Stratification

Why do you put bonsai seeds in the fridge? ›

Putting seeds in the fridge is a way to trick seeds into experiencing winter. Many seeds from temperate regions need to experience a long cold period before sprouting. This is a natural system that stops seeds from germinating and entering winter at the same time.

How hard is it to grow a bonsai tree? ›

Bonsai trees are hard to grow for beginners. This is because of the constant maintenance, care, and patience required to successfully grow bonsai. It also takes years of pruning and growing before a new plant will start to resemble bonsai, and so can be frustrating if growing from scratch.

How do you germinate a bonsai maple seed? ›

How To Grow Japanese Maple From Seed - YouTube

How do you soak bonsai seeds? ›

The best way to soak these fragile seeds is between sheets of wet paper towels. You can then place it in a shallow bowl with warm water, and soak them for 12-24 hours before planting. Plant them in at a shallow depth in the soil, no deeper than 1/4"!

Do bonsai seeds need sunlight? ›

Bonsai trees require a lot of sunlight, in the summer some species need as much as 8 hours of direct sunlight per day to keep healthy. Move your trees then into the brightest spot of your garden depending on your species, which you can read up more on here.

How long do bonsai seeds last? ›

Dry storage in the refrigerator extends shelf life over just sitting in a desk drawer. Seeds of 2 needle pines, such as Japanese Black pine, Scotts pine, Jack pine, Pitch pine all have shelf lives of 5 to 10 years and still retain better than 50% germination.

Do bonsai tree seeds need light? ›

Add enough water to let it come out from the drainage holes, and from then on, make sure the soil is constantly moist. Light: place it on the same location as you would a normal bonsai tree. Even though sunlight does not affect your seed just yet, it will emulate the same conditions as if it were outdoors.

How long do bonsai trees live? ›

Without this meticulous care, your bonsai would quickly deplete the resources available in its shallow container and die. But in the right conditions, a bonsai tree can easily live to over 100 years-old. Some can even live for centuries, all the way up to a thousand years!

Do bonsai trees need water? ›

Like mature trees in the wild, bonsai trees pump water through their roots into the body of the tree to the foliage. Bonsai tree needs enough water to supply all of the leaves and stop them from drying out.

How can I make my bonsai grow faster? ›

Water the bonsai tree every day, until the soil is moist to the touch. Bonsai trees grow fastest in soil that is kept moist at all times. Fertilise the bonsai plant every three weeks during the growing season, from early spring to later fall.

How long do maple seeds take to germinate? ›

Due to the genetic differences in red maple (Acer Rubrum) seed may or may not germinate without stratification. Keep the peat moss watered and you should see signs of germination within two weeks. If your current crop fails to germinate, you can stratify the seed as follows. The process will take at least 60 days.

How long does it take to grow a Japanese maple bonsai from seed? ›

Propagating Japanese Maple Bonsai

And even if you are ready to take your chances with seeds, it takes at least three years for a young seedling to reach the stage where you can start shaping it.

How long does it take to grow a Japanese maple from seed? ›

The seeds of the Japanese Maple come with a very hard outer coating and if they are not harvested would take about two years to germinate on the ground.

How long should bonsai seeds Be in fridge for? ›

To improve the odds of germination, you can stratify the seeds. To do this, you can mix them with a sand or moist peat, then put them in a clear plastic bag. Refrigerate for 3 to 7 weeks. If the tree seeds germinate while kept in the refrigerator, immediately sow them.

Why are seeds soaked overnight in water? ›

Soaking seeds before planting helps you to break down the seed's natural defenses against what it expects from Mother Nature, which then allows it to germinate faster. Another reason is that while Mother Nature actively assaults seeds, she also gave those seeds an internal gauge to help them know when they should grow.

How many seeds does a bonsai tree have? ›

You will need a handful of at least 3-5 tree seeds to sow to ensure at least one germinates. There is technically no such thing as “bonsai seeds” since bonsai are created from normal trees.

Videos

1. Grow It Bonsai Trees Bonsai Kit Episode 1
(Lets Do Bonsai)
2. Growing Bonsai from Seed
(Bonsai Empire)
3. Starting an Acacia Bonsai from Seed, April 2016
(Nigel Saunders, The Bonsai Zone)
4. How To Grow Bonsai Trees From Seed
(Climapod Greenhouse and Gardening)
5. Grow Bonsai Trees from Seed
(LS Kids Zone)
6. Grow Your Own Bonsai Tree From Seeds - Grow Buddha Starter Kit
(Grow Buddha)

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