Beginner’s Guide to Growing a Bonsai from Seed

green bonzai tree on table

Growing a bonsai from seed to tree can be one of the most satisfying experiences in life. It will take a long to accomplish this, but the result is astonishing. You will end up with an incredibly beautiful bonsai tree that you can say you grew from scratch (seed), literally. Before you buy the seed, you need to know what variety you plan to grow. Do some online research to determine the best species for your lifestyle. Once you decide what tree species you plan to grow, you can move onto the following step.

Buying the seeds

When buying a seed that you plan to train for bonsai, it is essential to note the name of the seeds. Many retailers attempt to sell special bonsai tree seeds for a relatively higher than the normal price. Don’t fall for this scam; remember that bonsai are grown from regular seeds that should not cost more than typical.


The fundamental thing you will need is an essential ingredient to grow a plant: dirt. This can be stocked by going out behind your home with a shovel. If you want better results, picking up some seed starting soil from your neighborhood gardening store will enhance success. Seeds are prone to diseases that are located regularly in outdoor soil. Seed starting soil has been tempered at a high temperature to become sterile soil without harmful bacteria. If you are growing just a few random seeds, backyard dirt is alright. A few of the sown seeds are likely to persist regardless of what soil you are using.


Next, you will need a place to put that soil. You can use anything from a divided seed tray to a generic plastic cup with holes poked in the bottom. Anything that will properly hold the soil in place and let excess water escape will do the trick. Use of a humidity dome is suggested if you use a clean seedling tray; this will assist the seedlings in absorbing water since their internal root systems have not fully evolved.


After you have the stocks ready, you will need to pick a great location to plant your seeds. Whether you are growing an outdoor or indoor tree, we suggest that you plant the seeds indoors. This will let you fully control the setting while the trees are still growing. Ensure this location gets a decent amount of sunlight.

Planting the seeds

Once you have your soil in a pot or tray, you can plant your seeds in the ground. Plant your seeds at the approved depth on the pack. Each tree species does best if grown at a varying depth, so ensure that you genuinely pay attention to the box. Water them immediately after planting the seed.


Keep an eye on your seeds to guarantee that the soil does not dry out. When you see the tip of the soil begin to look dry, it’s time to water. Depending on the seeds you chose, it could take weeks or even a month for the seeds to sprout. After they grow, keep watering as usual until you see the first set of true leaves. The first leaves that seedlings present are not “true leaves.” These are leaves in the shape of the seed that held nutrients for the tree to start its life. The true leaves will be the initial set of leaves that are the right shape for the varieties. After you discover these, transplant the plant into a cup or pot if they are not already in one, continue watering the trees, and fertilize according to species recommendations until wintertime.

First winter (if outside)

It would help if you overwintered your seedlings for the first winter. Overwintering is the method of protecting the tree from its first winter. This will give it a higher chance to survive without any problems. Bury your pot into the soil with a proper mulch up to the first branch. This will offer your tree the best chance of endurance by keeping the roots warm. It would be best if you never left your bonsai tree outdoors during the winter without the bottom of the pot in the ground, as this will allow the roots to freeze and kill the tree. If possible, shield the tree from the cold wind as well. Another probability is to keep your tree in a garage or an unheated shed.

Let it Grow

Keep deeding, watering, and winterizing your tree until you have a pre-bonsai. This is when you get to determine what style and shape you want your bonsai to be.

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