Ultimate Guide to Bonsai Tree Care Tips

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Bonsai comes from two words: Bon (tray) and Sai (plant), literally meaning 'plant in a tray'. It is pronounced as Bahn Sy and is a way of growing miniature plants. They are often kept indoors and are grown in containers. The Bonsai tradition began around the third century B.C by the Chinese. It was later adopted and developed into an art form by the Japanese. Americans discovered this gardening pleasure some 50 years ago.

Bonsai are not trees themselves. It actually refers to the process which is used to grow and care for the trees. Each branch and twig of a bonsai is shaped until a beautiful image is achieved. Constant trimming, pruning, cutting and bending are needed. For the first 3-6 months however, it is advised to let the bonsai tree grow on its own. The most fascinating thing about bonsai trees is that these miniature art forms make it possible to keep and grow trees in limited spaces. The bonsai tree that sits in a dish on your tabletop can be the same kind of tree that grows twenty feet tall in your yard!

Bonsai beginners and enthusiasts alike would probably love to know all about bonsai history, types, styles and most importantly, bonsai tree care tips! The following resources will help to guide everyone to ultimate bonsai tree care.

Bonsai Trees History and Origin

Bonsai History
Facts and legends surrounding the beginning of bonsai

Bonsai Secrets
Article on origin and meaning of bonsai trees

Bonsai for Beginners

If you have decided to take up bonsai as a hobby, there are many questions you will have. What is Bonsai? Which bonsai tree should you start with? Where can you buy the bonsai trees and soil from? How do you grow your bonsai?

These resources cover bonsai basics from the selection till the last step of bonsai tree perfection.

What is Bonsai
The Bonsai International Club provides information about bonsai trees and basic tips for their care

Bonsai Basics
Help and advice on how to grow your bonsai tree and maintain its health

Basic Bonsai Information
What are bonsai trees? What are the different types of bonsai trees? Which tools are used for bonsai tree care? What steps need to be followed to grow bonsai trees? Articles on these and other topics on bonsai tree care

The First Bonsai
Excellent tips for bonsai beginners like: don't buy your first bonsai and keep all plants outdoors unless not tropical

Bonsai Questions
Answers basic questions on bonsai tree care

How to Bonsai
Bonsai growing videos, tips, articles and techniques if you're on your way to choosing bonsai trees as your hobby

Bonsai Tutorials
Articles with detailed tips for beginners on bonsai trees and ways to grow amazing ones

The Bonsai Blog
All important Bonsai tree care tips and updates for beginners by a true lover of Bonsai plants

Bonsai Types and Styles

There are many bonsai tree types, styles and kinds out there! It is believed that each person's bonsai can have a different style and hence, reflect a person's personality!

The 5 major styles of a bonsai are broadly characterized as:

  • Moyo-gi: An informal and upright style
  • Shaka: A leaning or slanting style making the bonsai seem windswept
  • Kengai: A bent style, as if weighed down by snow, or grown on a cliff
  • Hokidachi: A fan like style, often symmetrical
  • Bunjin-ji: A style that is a representation of the ideal form of a tree

There are also several different types of bonsai trees. It is very important to identify which type your bonsai is because each needs to be taken care of in a particular way. The types of bonsai can be classified according to the time of year in which they grow. These types are:

  • Deciduous Bonsai Trees: These are known for their spring and fall colors. They require a dormancy period in winters when they shed their leaves. Deciduous bonsai include maple, larch, crabapple, apricot and many elm species.
  • Tropical and Sub-Tropical Bonsai Trees: These are grown throughout the year. They can be easily grown indoors by providing them sufficient light and water. Some bonsai types include ficus, serissa, fukien tea, brush cherry, bougainvillea and dwarf umbrella.
  • Evergreen Bonsai Trees: These maintain their foliage throughout the season changes. Sometimes they become dull-green or yellow during winters when they are in a rest period. Evergreen bonsai types include junipers, boxwoods and pines, to name a few.

There are also several kinds of bonsai trees. A few examples are the Japanese Maple Bonsai, Chinese Elm Bonsai, Chokkan and Olive Tree Bonsai. These differ in their leaves and stems and their growing needs. Some are harder to grow while others are relatively robust and will survive even in bitter conditions. Some can be kept indoors while most are grown outdoors.

Outdoor Bonsai Tree Care
Tips for placing, watering, and trimming right up to the stage of cutting and repotting your outdoor bonsai tree. You can order bonsai books, pots and other accessories and various kinds of bonsai plants for shipping within America

Bonsai Essentials
Article on different kinds of bonsai shapes and plants. Also plenty of resources related to tree care which will help one understand bonsai trees and how to care for them better

Japanese Maple Bonsai
Tips to care for the Japanese maple bonsai the most popular bonsai in Japan! There are also care tips on other bonsai plants like the western hemlock and the Chinese elm

Types of Bonsai Trees
Information on all types of bonsai trees and shapes with pictures. The home page leads to the complete bonsai experience!

Bonsai Types
Differences between different bonsai types like the flowering, evergreen, artificial, outdoor, indoor, and juniper - with pictures too!

Bonsai Styles
Information on 20 plus types of bonsai trees that one can design and style!

Benefits of Bonsai

Bonsai trees are extremely beautiful and have a relaxing effect on the observer. Though they require a lot of patience and care, they are very fruitful to both the eye and health! Recent researches show that bonsai trees are a hobby which can reduce the risk of heart attacks and stress! Discover the benefits of bonsai growing from the following links:

Benefits of Growing a Bonsai Tree
Article on the benefits of growing bonsai trees along with plenty of resources on bonsai shopping and species

Bonsai Plaza
Four excellent reasons to grow bonsai with dozens of articles on bonsai trees pruning, growing, fertilizing and care

Beat Stress with Bonsai
Ways on how bonsai can be an excellent stress reliever! Learn tips to start the art

Benefits of Bonsai
An article on the benefits of growing bonsai trees with links to information on related bonsai topics

Bonsai Decor
Good read on how artificial and preserved bonsai trees provide excellent home decor

Bonsai Tree Care Tips

There are plenty of organizations and bonsai lovers who have described endless tips on bonsai tree care. These experts have often written them from their own experiences. They have covered all aspects of bonsai tree growing from tree selection to re-potting. Some have even taught how to brace your heart when your first bonsai dies and to never give up hope!

Some valuable tips are:

  • Repotting a bonsai plant is needed once every year. Always choose a pot with holes on its side. This will allow the excess water to flow out.
  • Water the plant when the soil dries out. And water till the excess water flows down the pot. Watering is needed every 2-3 days. An easy test of whether a bonsai needs water is to put a toothpick into the soil: if it comes out very dry then it needs watering.
  • Always pick high quality soils
  • Fertilize the bonsai plant during the growing season once or twice a month. Always use a water soluble fertilizer.
  • Prune the roots and the branches separately and at different growing times.
  • Bonsai trees need light to survive. However, be careful not to place them very close to the window as sunlight passing through glass is intensified.
  • Most importantly: have patience and perseverance in growing and taking care of your bonsai!

Bonsai Tree Care Tips
Ways to care for bonsai trees

Bonsai Made Easy
Which bonsai should you start with? Learn about the different bonsai trees for beginners, intermediates and advanced bonsai practitioners! Also discover a treasure-trove of articles and resources on several other bonsai topics!

Instructions for Bonsai Tree Care
How to wire your bonsai? How to repot the plant? When to water the plant? Also includes articles on different bonsai figurines, pots and accessories. You can also subscribe to the e-newsletter for relevant updates!

Bonsai Care Empire
Tips and articles on bonsai tree care basics and bonsai tree species. There is also a forum for bonsai tree lovers!

Bonsai Tree Care
Find out all about the bonsai - its history, type and care tips! Plenty of bonsai tree care tips specifically for each type of bonsai tree such as the bougainvillea bonsai, Hawaiian umbrella, dwarf jade bonsai. Also discover the difference between bonsai flowers, plants and trees, and order them through the website!

Bonsai First Aid
Tips to protect bonsai trees from pests, diseases and bugs. Also has links to advanced bonsai care

Buy Bonsai

Bonsai Home
Home base for bonsai purchases, tips and information. You can win a gift certificate and have a bonsai tree a gift that will stay forever!

The Bonsai Site
All about bonsai stands, seeds, trees, tools, supplies and history. The bamboo shoots in the background really give off that bonsai feeling!

Green Dragon Bonsai
The perfect haven for a bonsai enthusiast in the UK, where all bonsai needs are catered to, from soils and trees to pots and tools!

Brussels Bonsai
America's largest bonsai nursery! You can call in with your questions at their toll free number and also sign up for their catalogue and newsletters

More Bonsai Tips and Resources for Bonsai Lovers

Bonsai Art
Apart from a few ads on the side, the web is a perfect resource for articles, videos, books and information on bonsai tree care and types

Bonsai Book
Guide to making bonsai a hobby, art and horticulture practice. Also download secrets and tips on tree care written by a bonsai expert

Bonsai Articles
What is a good starter tree? How to prune a bonsai tree? How to care for an indoor bonsai? Articles on these and several other topics

Complete Bonsai Guide
Articles on everything about bonsai!

Happy Bonsai
Tips and experiences about bonsai tree care for all bonsai lovers

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