How to make a bonsai from a seed

One of the most asked questions in the world of miniature trees is, without a doubt, how to make a bonsai from a seed . That is, how to go from a single seed to a work of art like the one you can see in the image at the top of the article. Well then…, it is not easy and it will take us a long time. But what I can tell you is that it is an experience that every fan must have.

Do you dare to take the step?


Sow the seed

The first thing to do is obtain the freshest possible seeds from the plant from which we want to make a bonsai. To do this we will take those that are ripe and still on the tree in question. Next, we will put them in a glass of water to check their viability, something that we will be able to see quickly as some sink and others remain on the surface. In a seedbed with a porous substrate such as akadama with a little peat, we will plant them in a location in full sun. The ideal planting time will depend on the species: deciduous and coniferous trees are generally planted in the fall to germinate in the spring, while evergreens are planted after the risk of frost.

first pruning

When our little tree has 3 to 4 pairs of true leaves, it will be time to prune the taproot . You will see that this root is the thickest of all, since it has the function of anchoring the plant well in the ground. For a bonsai this is a problem, as it could remove the plant from the tray where we have planted the tree.

Lonicera nitida prebonsai

Normal Potted Sapling Stage

After having trimmed the tap root, it must be allowed to grow freely for two to four years so that the trunk thickens. If you see that it grows a lot in height, it should be cut back, leaving it with about 50cm from the base of the trunk to the highest branch. When its trunk is at least one centimeter thick, we can start thinking about the design we want to give our future bonsai, pruning it accordingly. This is my favorite stage, since it is when the plant is worked the most: wiring, pruning, clamping… in short, everything that we are seeing in the step by step of the bonsai design once a month.


pre-bonsai is a tree that has undergone at least three transplants since it was planted, always in a shallower pot, and that the design is already beginning to be clearly seen but without being finished. Taking this into account, to reach this stage your tree has to be about five to ten years old and even more if it is very slow growing, and you must have worked to get it to start seeing a bonsai project.

Finally, after more than ten years of work, you will be able to transfer your tree to the tray, now yes, of bonsai proper, preparing it to be admired.

How to make a bonsai from a seed

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