Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How To: Bonsai

I have had a few people ask how I "made" this bonsai tree.
Mostly my mom. 
I'm terrible with words. I just can't explain things right.
I'm a visual person.
Here is a How To with pictures.
Wish me luck.

How To Style A Bonsai Tree From A Juniper Bush

You will need: 
Gardening gloves (optional)
I didn't use any gloves. The pain was minimal.
I just used scissors
Juniper bush
I used a Japanese Garden Juniper. 
When picking your plant look for a healthy juniper with a single stem.
(You might get pricked a little when examining)
A New Pot
Make sure it is big enough to hold your juniper

Got everything?

Plants that experience sudden change may go into shock. 
This plant is about to change homes and get a huge hair cut. 
(That's enough to put anyone in shock)
 It may be best to spread this process out over a few days.
Junipers are very forgiving and hardy. I did mine both in one day and they are doing fine.

Step One:
Replant your tree.
Most of you probably now how to do this. In case you don't.. 
Make sure the soil you are using is moist, you can add water to it. 
To remove the plant, slip your hand over the pot and hold the plant's stem, then turn the pot upside down. Remove about one-third of the soil. Put a few inches of potting soil in the bottom of the new pot. Put the plant into the pot. Fill in around the roots with soil.
It's fun to be messy!

Step Two:
Locate the trunk of your tree. There should be a solitary stem. Using your trimmers clean up that stump area. Remove any branches or leaves from it. You will start to see the structure of the juniper bush, from the trunk you will see bigger branches, begin to clean those up too.
This picture is just terrible. So sorry.
Step 3:
Choose which side you would like to be the front. The front should have one main branch. Choose a few other branches to be in your tree. Junipers tend to grow with beautiful curves and slants, those make the best bonsai trees. From the front of your tree you should be able to see a lot of the trunk but still have branches at the back to give depth. You can remove branches to achieve this.

(Those little sticks coming from the trunk can be removed later)

Step 4:
Snip off the little branches and foliage. You want this to look like a tree and not a shrub. Gaps between foliage is desirable. Use pictures of trees or real trees as a reference for how leaves grow. 
Keep snipping until you are satisfied with your tree. 
There you have it.
This project cost me 7.00 (I already had the pot)
There is a mini tree hidden under shrubbery. Who knew!?

Give your new tree plenty or water, sunlight and love.
Regrowth will start to appear every few days, just trim your tree down to size.


  1. we had one of these! but then we planted it in the backyard behind the treehouse in rexburg haha because we had to died. so sad.

  2. This tutorial just hits the spot! I have been Bonsai curious lately! and know I know what to do! Thanks Rachael!

  3. I love bonsai trees. My ex boyfriend had 2 that he sat on his front porch and they were stolen. True story.

  4. Now I want to make one!!! But I'm afraid my cats will eat it. They try to eat any plant we have, do you ever have a problem with that?

  5. i LOVE this. thanks for sharing!!

  6. i had a bonsai tree once and it died rather quickly so i'm afraid to get another one but this is so cute, i may have to give it a go :)

  7. I love this idea! Bonsai trees are pretty much awesome, I saw some in Florida that were over 100 years old!

  8. Thanks Rachael! I started mine tonight!

  9. love this idea!! and your blog! It is absolutely fabulous!

  10. Im Happy to Inform you that I bought a Juniper bush today! I shall be making a Bonsai very soon!

  11. ok so I'm going to try this, first is finding right shrub or tree...I'm living in Lombok, Indonesia. Certainly looks real easy, maybe this weekend this will be my mission. Will let you know how I go :0) Thanks


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