Caring for a bonsai is an art form. It is an attempt to grow and train a plant in a container to look like an old tree that has been shaped by time and the elements. The process takes time and patience. Bonsais need special care to keep a shape and form that aims for the proper look. Most bonsais are hardy and like being outside during the growing season. They need to be placed in a sheltered area with bright indirect light.
Examine your plant and decide on the shape that you want to train it into. It may help to look at similar trees pictured in nature.
Cut branches that are rubbing, crossing or damaged. Use a sharp pair of pruning shears to prevent damaging your bonsai.
Pinch off new unwanted growth throughout the growing season. This will keep your bonsai in shape.
Remove your bonsai from its container every 4 to 5 years before the spring growth starts. Let the roots dry out a little.
Gently loosen the roots away from the soil. Only work on the outer third of the rootball.
Prune the roots in the outer third of the rootball. Remove about half of the roots in this section by thinning the amount of roots.
Replant the bonsai and resume your normal care of your bonsai.