Caring for a Bonsai Tree

5 handy tips on how to care for a Bonsai tree.

Monique SC
27 July 2017

Over the weekend I ventured out to a Bonsai nursery to buy a Bonsai tree for a friend’s birthday. I quickly learned that the decision to purchase a Bonsai tree shouldn’t be taken lightly. Bonsai trees come in several shapes and forms but the one that caught my eye was a tiny 5-year-old Juniper Bonsai.  Juniper is a genus of about 70 species within the cypress family.  This particular Bonsai is an outdoor tree that requires direct sunlight and watering every day in spring, summer, and autumn. During winter, it requires water every other day. Bonsai trees can easily be killed and need a lot of attention, love, and care to grow. They are a long-term commitment and they will need your attention every day to truly flourish. 

A 5 year old bonsai tree

I was recommended the 101 Essential Tips on Bonsai Trees book so I decided to add it to the gift to help my friend make sure this tree lives to become a beautiful big bonsai. 

Here are 5 tips on caring for your Bonsai.

1. Location. Knowing what type of Bonsai tree you have purchased and whether it is an indoor or outdoor Bonsai would be the first step. The main factors to consider when choosing a location are a good viewpoint, the right conditions for healthy growth, and the best space for you to be able to water and prune your tree. 

White Pine Bonsai Tree


2. Watering This is by far the most important part about caring for you Bonsai tree, they love water! Water the Bonsai daily. Watch carefully in the winter that the Bonsai is getting enough water and be sure to always keep your plants moist. 

3. When to Water Bonsai trees like to be watered in the evening once the sun has gone. The reason being is that the water remains in the soil throughout the night so the moisture lasts. Watering in the morning means that the water could dry out under the sun throughout the day leaving the soil dry more quickly. 

4. How to water Bonsai trees like to be watered from above with a hose, cup, watering can, or water bottle. Make sure that the hose or watering tool has a small or fine nozzle to avoid any damage to the tree. For indoor plants take them outside to be watered so that they are well drained before bringing them inside. 

5. Soil and Fertilizer Bonsai trees like a mixture of one part loam, two parts peat, and two parts coarse sand. The reason being is they need well-drained soil. Bonsai trees need to be fed with liquid fertilizer or solid fertilizers. 

Re-potting a Bonsai tree should be done at the nursery where you purchased the tree with the assistance of someone who has sufficient knowledge of the needs of the tree. At the nursery where I purchased the tree, they offer re-potting for a cost and a free check up every 6 months. It is recommended that root pruning and repotting be done at your local nursery.  Light pruning and trimming of the leaves can be done yourself to keep the plant looking tidy and full. You can use our handy snippers to trim off unwanted stray leaves.

Here are a few different Bonsai species to pick from.

Fukien Tea

Fukien Tea Bonsai Tree

Red Japanese Maple

Red Japanese Maple

Silver Birch

Silver Birch Bonsai Tree



Satsuki Azalea

Satsuki Azalea Bonsai Tree


Banyan Fig​

Banyan Fig Bonsai Tree

Scots Pine

  Scots Pine