Over the years we’ve written many articles about different aspects of bonsai care. To make it easier to find the article you need we’ve grouped them into categories as shown below. You should also review Monthly Tasks – a check list of tasks you should do to care for your bonsai throughout the year.
Note: Because we are currently converting our website some articles linked to below will be to an archive of our previous website.
If you’ve recently started bonsai, or just need a reminder, here are a few basics you need to know.
About Your New Tree – an “owner’s manual” for starter bonsai that we sell at our Annual Shows
Introduction to Bonsai – the history and art of bonsai – it’s origins, tree species often used and styles. Presented at Filoli in 2012.
A Year in Your Bonsai’s Life – an overview of what happens to your bonsai and tasks you need to perform over the course of a year.
Watering Basics – all you need to know about watering your bonsai
Fertilizer Basics – an introduction to fertilizer for your bonsai
Bonsai Lifecycle – to improve our bonsai we need to understand the different stages a tree goes thru, from seedling to mature bonsai, and the different techniques that make sense at each stage.
Finding Bonsai Material at the Nursery – a checklist of things to look for at the nursery when you want to create a new bonsai
Pruning and Pinching – basic information about two techniques used to create and maintain fine branch structure
Repotting Basics – after a couple of years you may need to repot you bonsai. This article discusses how to know when it’s time, and how to repot
Soil Basics – because of the size of bonsai pots, potting soil isn’t appropriate. This article discusses how to create a bonsai mix for your trees
Summer Care – how to handle hot summer weather
Tool Basics – what you need to know about buying your first set of bonsai tools
Information about species such as Pine, Maple, Elm, etc.
Black Pine Basics – the most popular article on our site
A Primer on Seasonal Pine Tree Bonsai Care – a presentation at our September 2020 club meeting
Maple Pruning Basics – steps to follow when pruning maple and other deciduous trees
Moss Basics – an introduction to Moss
Procumbens Juniper – an introduction to this easy to grow juniper
Subtropical Bonsai for Indoor Gardening – an introduction to bonsai that can be grown indoors
Unusual Bonsai – discusses a few plants not typically used for bonsai
Air-layering Basics – an introduction to air-layering, turning an old plant into smaller plants.
Bonsai Care in the Time of Drought – some suggestions about how to care for bonsai during drought conditions
Pest and Fungus Control Basics – information about how to control pests and fungus that may attack bonsai
Pine-specific Pest Control – Information specific to pine tree pests
Displaying Shohin – A quick introduction of how to display Shohin (small bonsai)
Making a Heat Box – how to build a tool for increasing success with cutting and preventing damage to cold-sensitive plants
Mycorrhiza Basics – an introduction to how Mycorrhiza (fungus) suppliment a tree’s roots to provide water and nutrients to the tree.i
Nitrogen Cycle – a detailed look at how Nitrogen moves from plant to animal to atmosphere and back again. Not actually critical to understand in order to do bonsai, but still an interesting bit of biology.
Propagation of Woody Plants from Cuttings – summary of how to make new plants by taking from cuttings from existing plants
Selecting the Right Pot – an introduction to how tree style, size, color, etc. should be considered when chosing a pot
Show Tree Preparation – how to prepare a tree for a show
Bonsai Tree that Survived Atomic Bomb – the story of a 390-year old bonsai tree that survived the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan
Tips and Tricks 2 – Tips and tricks from Michael Greenstein
Tool Sharpening Basics – How to keep your scissors and similar tool sharp