Steps in Bonsai Making

Steps in Bonsai Making

Know about the steps in bonsai making. Bonsai is an art of expressing the beauty of nature in the form of miniature plants which is the replica of its developed stage. Technically, it is the nature in miniature.

Bonsai is consists of two words, Bon and Sai. Bon means tray or shallow tray, while Sai means to grow. Hence, it is an art in which something is grown in a shallow container. Nowadays that something stands for plants.

ArtJapanese art
(1). Styles
(2). Basic principles
(3). Different sizes
(4). Steps in bonsai making
(5). Methods of propagation
(6). Materials and method
(7). Things to remember

Also read: Steps in topiary making

(1). Styles of bonsai

  • Formal upright.
  • Informal upright.
  • Broom.
  • Wind swept.
  • Rock grown.
  • Slanting.
  • Raft.
  • Semi cascade.
  • Full cascade.
  • Multiple trunk.

(2). Basic principles of bonsai making

(I). Use a 5-7 cm deep container.
(II). Use copper wire.
(III). Use growth retardant plant hormones.
(IV). Use low amount of manures and fertilizers.
(V). Find a naturally dwarf plant.
(VI). Leaves should be small.
(VII). Internodes should be short.

(3). Different sizes

(a). Size of mamie is 2″ to 6″.
(b). Size of small is 6″ to 12″.
(c). Size of medium is 12″ to 24″.
(d). Size of large is 24″ to 60″.

Also read: Ornamental shrubs list

(4). Steps in bonsai making

4.1: Selection of plants

  • Knowledge, perseverance, and experience is necessary to select a right plant.
  • Select plants with smaller flowers.
  • Choose plants with smaller fruits.
  • Plant should bear flowers on leafless branches.
  • Selected plant should survive well in low nutrients.
  • Plant should resist water stress conditions.

4.1.1: Suitable plants for making bonsai

Also read: Ornamental climbers list


  • Amaltas.
  • Araucaria.
  • Aucuba.
  • Azala.


  • Babul.
  • Bamboo.
  • Banyan.
  • Ber.
  • Bottle brush.
  • Bougainvillea.


  • Camellia.
  • Casuarina
  • Cherry.
  • Chinese orange.
  • Chinese hat.
  • Coral tree.
  • Cryptomeria.
  • Cypress.


  • Deodar.
  • Duranta.


  • Excoecaria.


  • Flame of the forest.


  • Ginko.
  • Gulmohar.


  • Hibiscus.


  • Ixora.


  • Jacaranda.
  • Java fig.
  • Juniper.


  • Koelreuteria.


  • Magnolia.
  • Malpighia.
  • Maple.
  • Murraya.


  • Oleander.


  • Peach.
  • Pines.
  • Pilkhan.
  • Pipal.
  • Plane tree.
  • Plum.
  • Prosopis.


  • Sal.
  • Silver fir.
  • Silver oak.
  • Spruce.


  • Tamarind.
  • Taxus.
  • Thujha.


  • Willows.


  • Zanthoxylum.

Also read: Ornamental Flower Plants for Home Garden

4.1.2: Characteristics of plants

  • Naturally dwarf looking plants.
  • Resistant to water stress.
  • Low nutrient requirement.
  • Number of leaves should be less.

(5). Methods of propagation

  • Seeds.
  • Cuttings.
  • Layering.
  • Grafting.
  • Field collection.
  • Collect it from forest land.
  • Buy it from any plant nursery.

(6). Materials and method

Also read: Landscape Gardening Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)

6.1: Materials

  • Plant.
  • Pot.
  • Potting mixture.
  • Potting sticks.
  • Sieves.
  • Copper wire.
  • Wire cutter.
  • Pruning knife and secateurs.
  • Watering cane and tub.


Square, round, oval, rectangular, heart, hexagonal or octagonal shape with one drainage hole at the bottom.

Potting mixture:

  • Soil, sand, and leaf mould.
  • Use equal portion is soil, sand and leaf mould.
  • Top layer must have humus.


  • Bonsai requires regular supply of water.
  • Best time for watering is morning or evening.

Also read: What is wintering in rose?

6.2: Different methods of bonsai making

6.2.1: Formal upright

(I). Use conifer plant.
(II). Train the tree trunk in straight direction.
(III). Train the tree branches alternatively.
(IV). Remove the bottom third branches.
(VI). Train branches to dropping habit.

6.2.2: Informal upright

(I). Use a conifer plant.
(II). Training the tree trunk to slightly curve.
(III). Use copper wire to train the plant.
(IV). Try to express one thing through the plant, that this plant is facing the harsh climate.

6.2.3: Broom

(I). Use Elm, beech, false cypress, or maple for this style.
(II). Keep the trunk very straight.
(III). After some height, the main stem will produce many branches to form a thick canopy.

6.2.4: Slanting

(I). You can use any plant species suitable for this style.
(II). Keep the lower stem straight to slanting position.
(III). Train the upper portion of the tree in slanting position.
(IV). Keep 3-4 branches in one side.
(V). Keep one to two small branch in other side.

6.2.5: Rock grown

(I). Make a small rocky terrain.
(II). Find a wild plant from any rocky place.
(III). Adhere to the basic principles of bonsai making.

6.2.6: Wind swept

(I). It is very difficult to achieve.
(II). Find a naturally wind blown plant from the hilly areas.
(III). Train the branches in one direction.

6.2.7: Multiple trunk

(I). Select a fruit plant.
(II). Develop it into a multiple branched small tree.

6.2.8: Clasped to stone

(I). Use banyan plant.
(II). Follow the basic principles.
(III). Train it on small rock.

(7). Things to remember

7.1: Do’s

  • Choose plant which is suitable for local climatic conditions.
  • Select simple container with adequate drainage.
  • Position it correctly.
  • Do potting and re-potting at the right time.
  • Place it in open airy place.
  • Do timely irrigation.
  • It should be natural looking.
  • Do pest management at right time.
  • Prune it at right time.

7.2: Don’ts

  • Avoid plants with large leaves and fruits.
  • Don’t use blunt secateurs.
  • Never keep it on the ground.
  • Don’t tie it very tightly.
  • Don’t perform hard pruning.
  • Don’t retain wire for long a time.
  • Avoid over fertilization.

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