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How to Start a Dogwood Bonsai Tree

By Kimberly Johnson
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Dogwoods trees are loved by many due to the masses of blooms they produce in early spring. Dogwood bonsai trees are miniature versions of the outdoor dogwood trees, complete with blooms. You can start Dogwood bonsais from a dogwood tree in your yard, because there is no such thing as a bonsai tree seed. Instead, it is the bonsai pruning techniques and the small pots of bonsai dogwoods that keep them small.

Wait until late summer or early fall and locate an existing outdoor Dogwood tree. Grasp the red seeds in your hands and pull them off of the tree. The seeds will come off easily when they are ripe. If you prefer, you can purchase Dogwood tree seeds from a garden center or nursery rather than collecting them.

Place the Dogwood tree seeds into a bowl and set it in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight for one week.

Fill a bucket three-quarters full of water and place the Dogwood seeds into it. Allow the seeds to soak for approximately 15 to 20 minutes and squeeze the seeds gently. The black seeds will fall to the bottom of the water, while the white and red pulp floats to the top.

Scoop the black seeds out of the bottom of the water and lay them on a plate. Nick the top of the seed with a sharp knife just until you see a cut mark appear. Repeat to create one to two more cuts in each seed.

Fill a bonsai pot, that has drainage holes, with 1 inch of gravel. Fill the remainder of the bonsai pot with potting soil until it is 3/4 full.

Place two seeds onto the top of the soil spaced evenly apart. Place an additional 1/4 inch of potting soil on top of the seeds just until they are covered.

Water the soil until it is completely moist but not soggy.

Place the pot in a location that receives partial sunlight and water it only when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch.


Things You Will Need

  • Dogwood tree or Dogwood seeds
  • Bowl
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Knife
  • Plate
  • Bonsai plant pot
  • Gravel
  • Potting soil


  • If both seeds germinate, wait until they are approximately 3 inches tall and then remove the weaker tree seedling.

About the Author


Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.