Learn Bonsai

Learn the art of bonsai at the BonsaiLearningCenter.com

Read our informative articles here on our blog or register for a bonsai class or bonsai workshop.

Needle Reduction on Japanese Black Pine

Japanese black pines (pinus thunbergii) are among the most sought after of all pine species for development into bonsai. This two-needle variety of pine is an extremely vigorous grower which actually seems to thrive on container cultivation. Beyond the many and varied...

read more

Japanese Black Pine Pinus thunbergii

Light Requirements Pines in general and Japanese Black Pine in particular are sun loving trees. They should be given full exposure to as much sun as possible each day. Black Pines not only tolerate lots of sun, they actually thrive on it. This has the advantage of...

read more

Azalea (Rhododendron indicum)

The azalea, genus Rhododendron indictum, is one of the most sought after and satisfying of all bonsai subjects. First and foremost among its reasons for popularity is that it flowers spectacularly. In addition, the plant adapts well to container cultivation, trunks up...

read more

Figurines and Bonsai

A Question Of Relativity Figurines used in conjunction with bonsai plantings. Are they a valid and effective enhancement to the creation or are they a pollution of the artistic precepts upon which bonsai is based? One thing is certain. In the west at least, the...

read more

Getting Your Bonsai Ready To Show

How To Prepare A Bonsai For Exhibition One of the best parts about becoming involved in bonsai is having the opportunity to show our trees to others. Indeed, growing bonsai might not be nearly as fulfilling if we did not have the opportunity to see how others react...

read more

Bonsai Display

Bonsai Display A Western Viewpoint   The proper techniques for arranging bonsai for public viewing is almost an art unto itself. Indeed, If the artist’s objectives are to adhere to the formal rules governing traditional Japanese display techniques (known as...

read more

Winter Protection

All living things require a rest period. For humans its eight hours of sleep per day. For trees, including bonsai, its wintertime. This resting period is called “dormancy” and refers to that time frame in which the tree’s growth either slows down greatly or comes to a...

read more

Insect and Fungus Control

The world of bonsai is not immune to insect attack. The same critters that will eat your tomatoes and your zucchini will also eat your bonsai. Insects, like death and taxes, are a fact of life and at some point you are going to have to deal with them. Depending upon...

read more

Watering

Bonsai Watering Technique The single most difficult thing to learn in bonsai is proper watering technique. Most beginners are usually so afraid of letting their tree dry out that they wind up drowning it. If you have read the preceding chapter on soil composition, you...

read more

Fertilizer

Proper Fertilization Techniques For Bonsai A proper program of fertilization is important for the cultivation of all types of plants, but is of particular importance when growing bonsai. There are two reasons for this. First, bonsai are grown in containers. This means...

read more

Wire

Wire & Its Use In Bonsai Wire is placed on the trunk and branches of bonsai for one purpose... to assist in making branches and trunks bend to the desired location. Like a hammer or a screwdriver, wire is a tool designed to accomplish a specific task in the most...

read more

Selecting Containers For Bonsai

Artistic Considerations Selecting an appropriate container for bonsai involves the same thought and careful consideration as the selection of the frame for a painting. In both cases the decisions made can enhance or detract from the final impact the work will have on...

read more

Bonsai Soil

The preparation of a workable potting mixture in which to grow bonsai is certainly not the most exciting or interesting aspect of the art, but it is just as certainly one of the most critical. Because the growing space in a bonsai container is limited, it is important...

read more

Tools

Home Grown Or Imported? It is not necessary to own a spiffy assortment of Japanese tools in order to create bonsai.... but it certainly does make the work easier and even a bit more fun. Most bonsai tools are imported from Asia... usually Japan. Despite their exotic...

read more

Finding The Right Materials

Almost any plant material that grows anywhere in the world can be trained as bonsai. Practically speaking, however, some varieties work a lot better than others. You will find a partial listing of plant materials suitable for bonsai elsewhere in this publication....

read more

Fundamental Bonsai Design

Applying Rules Where None Exist Fundamental Bonsai Design It is almost impossible to formulate a list of rules for the construction of a bonsai. In art, rules are meant to be broken and sometimes bonsai which break all the rules are the most dramatic. Perhaps the word...

read more

Bonsai Objectives… In A Nutshell

What separates good bonsai from bad bonsai and what are the elements which every bonsai artist tries to replicate in their artistic creation? Understanding the goals of bonsai can help. The objective is not to produce miniature copies of ancient forest giants, but to...

read more

Bonsai Advice For Beginners

Beginner Basics: Creating A Bonsai For The First Time This step-by-step pictorial is designed to guide beginners through the mechanical process of cutting, shaping and transplanting fairly simple bonsai material for the first time. It makes the assumption that the...

read more

“Shohin” or Miniature Bonsai

Below is a general guide to size classifications and some of the names given to them. Usually size is taken as a vertical measurement of the tree, excluding the pot. Shito Bonsai Finger Tip 2" or 3" may be carried on fingertip Mame Bonsai Baby or Little Bean 3" to 6"...

read more

Raft Style – Ground Layering Techniques

The raft and sinuous styles are characterized by a single trunk that is growing along the ground, with three or more trunks rising from it. In raft style, the trunk along the ground is perfectly straight and illustrates a tree in nature that has been blown over by the...

read more

Group or Forest Plantings

  Definition: A bonsai planting consisting of more than one trunk can technically be considered a "group" planting. Twin and triple trunk plantings are generally not thought of as forests, but the principles inherent in their construction are repeated and...

read more

Cascade & Semi-Cascade Plantings

Definition - Semi Cascade: This style is often seen in nature hen trees are growing on or near vertical rock faces or by the side of rivers and lakes where light reflects off the water to the underside of the branches, encouraging the lower branches to extend over the...

read more

Creating A Tanuki Bonsai

The validity of creating a single bonsai from two separate sources of plant material (one of which has been long dead) has often been a matter of considerable debate within the western bonsai community. Such creations are referred to by the Japanese as “tanuki” bonsai...

read more

Literati or Bunjin Bonsai

Literati bonsai is an “approach” or “interpretation” within bonsai and not a specific style in and of itself. It is somewhat difficult to describe. However, we shall try. Consider the following comments by bonsai artist Harry Tomlinson: Also called bunjin, this style...

read more

Proper Fertilization Techniques For Bonsai

Bonsai Fertilization A proper program of fertilization is important for the cultivation of all types of plants, but is of particular importance when growing bonsai. There are two reasons for this. First, bonsai are grown in containers. This means there is very little...

read more

Bonsai Advice For Beginners

A Little Bonsai Advice For Beginners By Randy Clark, Charlotte, NC If you are reading this we make the assumption that you are new to the world of bonsai. If so, there are a few things we would like to tell you and a little friendly bonsai advice we would like to pass...

read more

Finding The Right Bonsai Materials

Bonsai Materials Finding The Right Bonsai Materials By Randy Clark, Charlotte, NC Almost any plant material that grows anywhere in the world can be trained as bonsai. Practically speaking, however, some varieties work a lot better than others. You will find a partial...

read more