How to Plant a Bonsai Tree


The bonsai tree is an enduring miniature plant that is cultivated from regular trees. Like most trees, the bonsai tree requires good establishment and soil environment to successfully thrive and grow. Still, planting a bonsai tree is similar to potting a common houseplant. With a little care and attention, the bonsai tree can be planted in a few minutes.

Step 1

Select a potting container for the bonsai tree. Choose a container that has a depth equal to the diameter of the bonsai's trunk. Ensure that the pot has a diameter equivalent to the one third of the tree's height. Select a plastic containers over clay ones to promote even soil moisture. If a wood container is selected, choose an untreated, rot resistant container. Make sure that the selected container includes a generous drainage system that allows excess water to exit from the bottom of the pot.

Step 2

Prepare a sandy loam for the bonsai tree. Mix equal amounts of nutrient rich soil, organic matter and fine sand. Select organic matter, such as peat compost, oak-leaf compost or another natural selection. Always select clean sand that has never been used for another purpose. This will greatly reduce the potential of bonsai disease.

Step 3

Remove the bonsai tree from its original container. Carefully remove any excess soil from the bonsai tree's root system. Comb out the root system, being careful not to pull or tear the roots. Inspect the root system, looking for any dead, dying or compressed roots. Trim away any damaged areas from the root system. Do not trim away more than one third of the system. Use sharp, sterile scissors to complete this process.

Step 4

Line the selected potting container with a layer of soil. Position the bonsai tree in the center of the container. Fill the container with the remaining soil. Make sure that there are no exposed roots. Press the soil lightly but firmly around the tree to secure its upright position.

Step 5

Promote a good establishment. Fill a sink with tepid water. Place the potted bonsai tree in the water-filled sink. Allow the bonsai to rest in the water until the bubbles cease to rise to the top. Remove the potted bonsai from the sink. Place it in a warm, sunny area to rest. Ensure that the selected location provides at least six to eight hours of partially shaded to full sunlight; morning sunlight is ideal.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not fertilize the bonsai tree while planting.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting container
  • Scissors
  • Water
  • Soil
  • Compost
  • Sand


  • Choosing the Right Pot for your Bonsai
  • Basic Care of Bonsai
  • Caring for your Bonsai
Keywords: plant a bonsai tree, bonsai tree, bonsai care

About this Author

Charmayne Smith is a business professional. She has worked in management for successful organizations since 1994, and her writing career began with her business career. Her business has successfully assisted many clients with start-ups, development, and expansions. She has a bachelor's degree in business and has published with Identity Theft Chat, Garden Guides, eHow, Travels, Associated Content and others.