How to Plant Bonsai Trees


Although the Japanese made bonsai trees popular, they originated in China, during the Tang Dynasty. The word bonsai means to plant in a shallow tray; shallow pots are the most common bonsai tree trait. The cultivation of bonsai trees requires care and patience, but even beginners can successfully nurture bonsai trees when armed with knowledge on basic bonsai care. Properly planting bonsai trees constitutes only one aspect of successfully growing bonsai trees. Other important factors include trimming and wiring, adequate sunlight, pruning and repotting.

Step 1

Select a location for your bonsai tree. Determine whether you will grow your bonsai tree indoors or out. Choose a location that works well for the specific bonsai species. Some bonsai trees require mild climates; if you live in an area with a harsh winter, this means your bonsai tree must grow indoors. All bonsai trees require sunlight to thrive. Indoors or out, select a sunny location for your bonsai tree.

Step 2

Purchase a container for your bonsai tree. Bonsai tree containers are shallow. Larger containers are required for larger trees. An average bonsai tree requires a container about 3 inches deep. Select a container with style; the container adds to the beauty of the tree. Choose a container with large drainage holes. Cover the drainage holes with mesh to keep soil from falling out.

Step 3

Shake clumps of dirt off the roots. Trim off the bottom third of the roots and any dead or damaged roots.

Step 4

Cover the bottom half of the container with soil. Put the tree into the pot and cover the roots with soil. Add soil until it reaches the top of the container.

Step 5

Pour water into the soil. Add enough water to thoroughly soak the soil, and then allow the excess water to drain from the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Garden clippers
  • Soil
  • Water


  • "101 Essential Bonsai Tips"; Harry Tomlinson; 1996
  • "Bonsai in Your Home"; Paul Lesniewics; 1997
  • "Bonsai: The Art of Growing and Keeping Miniature Trees"; Peter Chan; 1985
Keywords: plant bonsai tree, bonsai tree containers, bonsai tree planting

About this Author

Rebecca Moore has been a writer since 1994. She has been published on Associated Content, Suite101, eHow and numerous print magazines. Moore attended Living Word Bible College and Leeward Community College. Moore enjoys spending time at garden shops and botanical gardens and experimenting with hydroponics and square foot gardening.