Botanical Bonsai Grow Guide

Downloadable Guides:

Download Getting Started Guide
Download Planting Instruction Guide
Download Bonsai After Care Guide

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Getting Started - Assembling the Kit
Planting Instructions
Bonsai Varieties
Bonsai After Care


    Getting Started

    Preparing the Coir

    You will need...

    • a waterproof container
    • approx 150ml water
    • 5 coir discs (included in this kit)

    Simply place the 5 coir disks into a waterproof container. Add the 150ml water and leave to absorb. The coir will expand to 3 times its original size. Once the coir has stopped expanding, stir it round to ensure there are no hard lumps. If you need to extra water do this a little at a time. 

    Assembling your Eco-Kit

    1. Slide tabs out carefully so they are not damaged.
    2. Insert the drip tray into your stadium
    3. Slide tabs into internal slots so that they anchor securely into position then fold down the flaps where the cells will go. Doing this now will make it easier to insert the planting cells later.
    4. Your plant cells come in flat sheets of two that need to be Separated. Take care when doing this so that the cells do not tear.
    5. To create the planting cells, gently fold the 4 panels into a square with the tabs facing inwards.
    6. Slot the planting cells into your stadium. You are now ready to start growing.


    Planting Instructions

    Seed Preparation

    Juniper - Soaking the seeds on wet tissue paper and placing in the fridge for up to 12 weeks will help the germination process. This is known as simulating a winter.

    Sweet gum - This seed can be planted straight away.

    Pine - This seed can be planted straight away. Soaking the seeds for 24 hours will soften the seed and speed up germination but this is not required.

    Redbud - This variety has an extremely hard shell so lightly rub the seed with fine sandpaper to score the outer skin before soaking for 24 hours. The seeds can then be planted.

    Larch - Soaking the seeds on wet tissue paper and placing in the fridge for up to 12 weeks will help the germination process. This is known as simulating a winter.

    Sowing The Seeds

    Fill plant cell half way with the prepared coir. Add 2 seeds per cell and cover over with the remaining coir. Place in a warm position and water when needed. The coir should be damp to the touch but not waterlogged. When seedlings are large enough to handle they can be transplanted in to larger pots.


    Bonsai Varieties

    Juniper Bonsai Tree

    Juniperus Communis

    Junipers are an evergreen meaning they look great all year round. They come from a colder climate meaning they are resilient to most weather conditions and will thrive outdoors.

    • Intermediate difficulty rating
    • Native to Britain
    • Fast growing
      Redbud Bonsai Tree

      Cercis Chinensis

      Redbud’s make a particularly beautiful bonsai but they are known to be one of the harder specimens to grow. Perseverance and patients will ensure you get a stunning display of tightly compacted bright pink blooms.

      • Expert difficulty rating
      • Beautiful pink blossoms
      • Native to china
        Larch Bonsai Tree

        Larix Leptolepis

        Larch is a versatile variety that can be kept indoors, but will also thrive outdoors. This variety is very popular as a bonsai as the trunk grows thicker quite quickly and the tree displays stunning seasonal colours.

        • Intermediate difficulty rating
        • Native to Japan
        • Can be grown indoors
          Sweet Gum Bonsai Tree

          Sweet Gum
          Liquidambar Formosana

          Sweet Gum is an ideal variety for a beginner. This stunning variety looks fantastic throughout the year but really comes into its own during the autumn months when the leaves turn, create a spectacular display of reds, oranges and yellows.

          • Great for beginners
          • Seasonally colourful leaves
          • Simulated winter not required
          Pine Bonsai Tree

          Pinus Halepensis

          The Pine is an evergreen, meaning it will have vibrant green needles all year round. As the tree matures it will produce small cones and will loose these in the summer, as it would naturally in the wild to spread its seeds.

          • Great for beginners
          • Evergreen
          • Simulated winter not required


          Bonsai After Care

          Growing Bonsai from seed is a real test of patients but is very rewarding. It can take up to 3 years before you have a tree you can start working on, but growing your own bonsai from seed gives you complete control over the health and development of your tree. It is also much cheaper than buying one which may become a sickly plant due to incorrect feeding and training when it was younger.


          Before propagating seeds, it’s important to understand the development of a bonsai.

          Image 1 - Tree at 1 year old. No pruning or wiring until plants are at least 3 years old but they can be re-potted.

          Image 2 - Tree at 5 years old. Now re-potted. The roots and growth have been pruned and the trunk has been wired.

          Image 3 - Tree at 10 years old. From now on the tree should be re-potted ever 5 years and growth pruned and trained every autumn.

          Image 4 - Tree at 15 years old. Continued training and pruning will start to shape the tree.

          Illustration of Bonsai tress at four development stages

          Watering The Bonsai

          The biggest killer of Bonsai is improper watering. Getting the watering right for your Bonsai is essential to the health and survival of your tree. Bonsai need to be watered only once every two or three days. The soil of your Bonsai pot must be damp, not dry or wet. The best time to water is early in the morning or at the end of the day when the temperature is at its coolest. During summer you may need to water more frequently - if so water in the morning and in the evening.

          It’s good practice to soak water your Bonsai pots once or twice a week. Simply submerge the pot into a bowl of tepid water. This forces out all the stale air and releases nutrients stored in the soil.

          When the pot is taken out off the water bowl, water drains out from the bottom of the bowl and fresh air, oxygen and nutrients flow down to the roots.

          Another way of keeping your bonsai hydrated is by adding a thin layer of slate chippings to the top of the pot. Water evaporates quicker from potted plants than it does from the ground.

          Pruning Bonsai

          All Bonsai require a certain level of maintenance pruning throughout the year. If you have a Bonsai, which produces flowers, it will also help to encourage more blossoms. Structural pruning should be carried out in autumn and the early parts of winter, as the plant begins to go dormant and you begin to see the fine branching of the tree. There are two primary approaches to pruning...

          1. Structural Pruning - this is driven by an artistic need to shape and coax the tree into a new form.

          2. Maintenance Pruning - this is horticultural in nature enriches plant growth and vitality by encouraging new shoot development and ensuring the bonsai tree does not become to big for its pot.

          Shoot, Leaf & Branch Pruning - key shaping in Bonsai training. Without shoot pruning your Bonsai will quickly lose its shape and outgrow it’s pot rapidly. Use a sharp pair of long handled scissor and cut back twigs that have 5-6 sets of leaf on them.

          Small Twig Pruning - occasionally you need to thin out the crown that has got too much foliage and growth to allow more light and air to reach the lower branches. Identify the branches and twigs; remove them with a pair of strong scissors or branch cutters. Remove any dead wood and stubs left from last season.

          Budding and Pinching - the removal of the tips of the growing needles to encourage more branching and create a more compact shape. Leave up to 3 needles that are growing in the desired direction and pinch out the strongest of the buds.


          Don't forget to tag us in your progress pictures! @prontoseed #prontoseed - Happy Growing!