How to Flower Bonsai Starter Plants


Flowering bonsai plants can range from blooming plants to flowering fruit trees. They are any flowering plants or trees that are cultivated in containers and grown to be smaller than their natural, mature sizes. The blooms of your bonsai starter plant are dependent upon the amount of nutrients, water and sunlight it receives, as well as its natural growing patterns. Although you cannot force a bonsai to flower, you can promote healthy, long-lasting blooms by providing your starter bonsai with the care it needs.

Step 1

Choose potting container with drainage holes for your bonsai starter plant. Make sure that the container complements the size of the root system and the potential growth of the plant. Choose a container that has a depth that is at least equivalent to the trunk’s diameter with a width that is about two-thirds the height of the plant, as explained by Bonsai4me.

Step 2

Plant your bonsai starter in a bonsai soil mixture or create your own. Mix equal amounts of nutrient-rich soil, organic compost and fine, clean sand to create a water-retentive, but porous environment.

Step 3

Line the bottom third of the potting container with soil and place your bonsai plant in the center of the container. Fill the remaining portion of the container with soil and press the soil firmly around your bonsai to secure its position.

Step 4

Keep your starter bonsai in a warm, sunny and well-ventilated location. Choose a location that receives at least six hours of full sunlight each day. Ensure that the location doesn't experience extreme temperatures variations, including drafty doorways and heating vents.

Step 5

Water your starter bonsai according to its individual needs, rather than on a schedule. Check the soil’s moisture levels daily by placing your finger about 1 inch into the soil. Water your bonsai only when the soil feels slightly dry and never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Step 6

Irrigate your bonsai with tepid water. Pour the water at soil level to avoid getting the foliage wet, which reduces the potential of disease. Water your bonsai until the water pours evenly from the drainage holes.

Step 7

Feed your bonsai beginning in the early spring, just before bud break. Select a well-balanced, water soluble fertilizer, recommends Evergreen Garden Works. Apply the fertilizer according to instructions and irrigate it deeply into the soil. Feed your bonsai every other week throughout the growing season.

Step 8

Prune your bonsai to promote healthy blooms. Use sharp, sterile pruning shears to prune away spent blooms and stems, as needed.

Step 9

Hard prune your bonsai plant during its dormancy period, between late winter and early spring. Remove any dead, dying or wilting foliage, as well as any damaged or dying branches and twigs. Use sharp, sterile pruning shears to complete this process. Sterilize your shears between each cut to prevent disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting container
  • Fertilizer
  • Soil
  • Organic compost
  • Sand
  • Pruning shears


  • Evergreen Garden Works: Growing Bonsai Indoors
  • Bonsai4me: Choosing the Right Pot for Your Bonsai
  • Bonsai4me: Starting Out in Bonsai
Keywords: bonsai care, growing starter bonsai, caring for bonsai

About this Author

Charmayne Smith is a business professional and freelance writer. She has worked in management for successful organizations since 1994. Smith draws on her business background to write articles, and her work has appeared in a variety of online outlets. She holds a degree in business from Cleveland State University.