Discover the Secrets: How is Bonsai Reared – A Beginner’s Guide

  • By: Josh Koop
  • Date: September 12, 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.
Affiliate Disclaimer

As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. I prefer to be honest and upfront with my readers that this doesn't change my beliefs in products nor services!

Planting trees is also a way of planting hope in our lives. Growing a bonsai tree is considered an art and isn’t something you would consider a time pass. One needs to be passionate enough to perform this art and it requires patience. But you may be asking yourself, how is bonsai reared?

A bonsai is a short form of a tree from regular branch cuttings and seeds. The common misconception arises as people believe that bonsai trees need dwarfed trees as the means to grow. However, they are just like any other tree, but their characteristics define them as a living form of art. 

Quite intriguing. Bonsai trees are aesthetically pleasing to look at as well. If you are planning on having a bonsai tree, you need to make sure you are doing it properly. Here, I’ll further discuss how you can grow a bonsai tree and how to maintain it.

Bonsai on a pine table against a white wall indoors

Methods For Growing A Bonsai 

Growing a bonsai needs proper techniques such as pruning, reducing the roots, defoliation, potting, and grafting, which help replicate the full-sized big trees. There are two methods for growing a bonsai tree.

The first method is the basic one, which is using a seed to grow it, and the second is the cutting method. The following process of growing a new bonsai tree will be in precise detail below, mentioning both methods. 

Seed Method 

If you are up for the challenge, give this method a go. It will require both time and passion. The best way to acquire these seeds is during the fall season.

You can collect them from the trees in your nearby area at that time. You can also look into another option, which is buying them online. 

Experts recommend buying the seeds online as you are free from the diseases the seed may have while growing and would know the perfect seed to go for.

Make sure you keep the seeds in lukewarm water for a day to let the outer shell break. 

Steps To Plant A Bonsai With Seeds

  • Firstly, add a base layer of lava rock or fine gravel.
  • Then, add a layer of your bonsai soil.
  • Check the purchased or collected seeds if they need stratification.
  • After stratification, place your seeds on the bonsai soil layer and try to keep some space between them, depending on their size. 
  • Add 2 centimeters of more bonsai soil on top of the seeds.
  • Press the soil with your hands to make it compact.
  • Water your soil and mix it with seeds. Make sure to keep it moist now and then. 
  • After a year, repot each seedling in your individual pots and wait for another year to prune them. 

From planting seeds to finally maturing, bonsai trees are pretty delicate and fragile. Try to keep them in the shade and at a temperature level of 15-20°C.

Make sure to allow a space in the corner of the glass lid which will help in aeration and balance the temperature without vaporizing. 

Cutting Method

For beginners, this method will make things easier. Usually, experts recommend the cutting method to newcomers who are planning to grow a new bonsai tree. Creating a bonsai tree through cutting requires less time than seed growth. 

This method ensures you get the positive features in your new bonsai, which it will receive from its parent tree. This makes a perfect budget choice as it requires little to no money as you are already taking it from an existing plant. 

The best time to collect cuttings from the trees would be during the summer and spring. You can also plant these cuttings during these seasons; some exceptions can be processed and planted in late summer.

Steps To Plant A Bonsai Using Cutting Method

  • Prepare your pot by filling it in with a layer of lava rocks or fine gravel.
  • Add your bonsai soil layer.
  • Take multiple branches from the parent tree as cuttings; they should be 7-10cm long, not more. 
  • Using a sharp clean shear, prune your cuttings at a 45° angle precisely.
  • Trim off most of the leaves from your cuttings. 
  • Place the cuttings into the soil straight, about 2 centimeters deep.
  • Water your soil mix with the cuttings thoroughly. Try to keep the soil moist regularly for the next few months. 
  • The cuttings will start to grow within a few weeks, so make sure to keep them moist and have proper sunlight. 

The majority of people prefer the cutting method over seed-based planting because it not only saves them time but also money.

Another major factor for choosing this method is that you can easily style your bonsai tree from the start, making things smoother. 

How To Look After a Bonsai?

The Japanese art of growing beautiful trees in miniature size is Bonsai. Any tree can be a Bonsai, with proper care and styling.

The most important thing is to remember that a Bonsai is just like any other tree; all trees need love and maintenance.

Trees will always respond to your care, and will thrive with your attention!

Depending on its type, growing a bonsai may take up to 10-15 years. They are just like any other full-sized trees, which usually take about 15-20 years to grow. Bonsai trees can live up to 100 years or more.

Nevertheless, bonsai trees get constant nursing which generally the majority of trees won’t get. A bonsai grows slightly quicker than a typical tree would due to regular pruning and better care.

Even a study claims that bonsais live 25% longer than their parent trees. 

Proper Growing Conditions For A Bonsai

  • Choosing the proper environment is crucial while growing a bonsai. Do your research on the type of bonsai you are growing. Recognize its natural state and recreate it.
  • Using proper nutrients for your newly growing bonsai will ensure good growth within less time. Make sure to give balanced bonsai feeds, which is a good fertilizer to boost the process. In winter, try to lower the nitrogen content in the feed.
  • One of the key ingredients behind a healthy plant’s growth is sunlight. The right amount of light intensity is crucial for every plant, including a bonsai. 
  • Constantly pruning a bonsai helps it grow more rapidly than any other normal tree. It grows faster than a full-sized tree because they are in observation for diseases and pests.
  • Watering your bonsai at the right level helps it grow into a healthy tree. Make sure to keep an eye on the amount of water you are using as messing up the level will damage the tree entirely. 

Some of the good examples of these fast-growing bonsai trees are- 

  • Maple
  • Juniper
  • Ficus
  • Jade
  • Aspen


Before planning to invest in a bonsai, you must know about it from top to bottom. Learning about your plant can help you better understand it and take better care of it while it is growing.

After going through the methods of growing your new bonsai, now you know the answer to the question, how is bonsai reared?

Follow the steps and your new bonsai will grow up to be a healthy and beautiful tree. It just needs your total commitment and love.

Therefore, consider this opportunity as a head start that puts you a bit closer to the most beneficial parts of your practice.  Thank you for taking the time to read the article!