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Hi! I’m Brenda, and I’d like to welcome you to Bonsai Made Simple. Our goal is to encourage interest and participation in the hobby of bonsai by providing content and resources that help our followers create and care for bonsai.  Explore our articles, shop our suggested products and start crafting your own bonsai!

 

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While bonsai trees that have undergone years of training can be very expensive, the art of bonsai can be practiced and enjoyed at a very modest cost. Read our articles to learn more about bonsai and how to get started in this fascinating hobby.

Air Layering Bonsai

Air layering is a technique that prompts roots to grow at a chosen point on a living tree. In bonsai, it is used to correct flaws in existing trees, as well as to create new trees. Air layering is a...

Three Important Late Winter Bonsai Tasks

Bonsai enthusiasts look forward to late winter, as this is the time to perform the three bonsai tasks that are the most crucial for their trees’ development. Late winter easily qualifies as the most...

Simple DIY Bonsai Displays

A common practice within the discipline of bonsai is to exhibit a tree by placing it upon a special slab, stand or table. This article describes how to make simple, inexpensive displays...

Brazilian Rain Tree Bonsai Have Many Charms

The Brazilian rain tree is a delightful addition to any bonsai collection. In this article, we’ll explore the characteristics that make this species attractive as bonsai and provide tips on care. As...

12 Holiday Bonsai Gift Ideas for the Bonsai Enthusiast in Your Life

For those who would like to give a bonsai-related gift this holiday season, but aren’t certain where to start, we offer a selection of bonsai gift ideas sure to delight hobbyists who practice the...

Five Essential Fall Tasks For Bonsai Care

The autumn months are a time of transition for bonsai and their owners. In this article, we outline five essential fall tasks hobbyists should perform during this season to get their trees ready for...

Using Moss in Bonsai

Many bonsai hobbyists incorporate the use of moss as an integral component of a tree’s presentation. This article explores the benefits and cautions when using moss in bonsai, how to collect it, and...

The Significance of the Triangle in Bonsai Design

A widely accepted principle within the art of bonsai is to prune and style the top growth in a triangular shape. This article explores the whys and hows of applying this concept to bonsai styling...

Creative Bonsai Styles: Five “Beyond the Basics” Techniques

How many different ways can we style bonsai? As it turns out, quite a few! In this article, we’ll explore five styles or style classes that go beyond the basics. When it comes to styling bonsai, we...

A Bonsai from the Backyard: Collecting a Small Sweetgum

Field collecting for bonsai doesn't have to involve wandering through fields and woodlands. Landscape plants slated for removal or those that have sprung up wild in the backyard can make excellent...

The 7 Essentials of Bonsai Field Collecting

Have you ever noticed a young tree that shows great potential for bonsai growing wild in a field, woods or even landscaping? Field collecting was the original way to obtain bonsai trees, and it...

Bonsai Gift Ideas for Summer Occasions

Bonsai gifts are perfect choices for special occasions when there is a bonsai enthusiast in your life. With Mother's Day, Father's Day, graduations and summer birthdays just around the corner, this...

Ficus Bonsai Offer Enjoyment Year-round

Looking for a low-maintenance bonsai you can keep indoors year-round?  You need look no further than the familiar ficus. Yes, this common houseplant enjoys popularity in the world of...

A Pair of Tropical Shohin Bonsai

Small shohin-sized bonsai are popular with both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts. Tropical bonsai are kept indoors during cold weather and can be worked almost any time of year. Combine the two...

Bonsai Wiring Basics

One of the unique aspects of bonsai practice is the use of wire to shape trees. Let’s delve into the reasons for wiring bonsai, the typical types and sizes of wire, and how to apply wire to trees....

Bonsai Size Classifications

The practice of bonsai classifies trees into categories based on factors such as height and ease of handling the tree. Some classes of bonsai require extra attention and maintenance, while other...

The Interesting History of Bonsai

The rich history of bonsai dates back more than 2,000 years. It is a story of cultural exchange, of religious and mystical influences, and of simplicity through discipline.   Most people...

The Best Species for Maple Bonsai

Maples, particularly Japanese maples, figure among the most iconic bonsai subjects. This article explores why maples are so popular in the hobby, compares the suitability for bonsai of common maple...

Bonsai Feeding and Fertilizing

This article looks at considerations involved in bonsai feeding, including the elements that trees need for nutrition and how to use the various types of fertilizer. Most of us know the “right”...

Using Bonsai Accent Plants for Tree Displays

A traditional bonsai practice is to use smaller accent plants to complement a tree on display. Let’s explore the characteristics of good bonsai accent plants, along with how to use and care for...

A Simple DIY Bonsai Display Bench

As bonsai practitioners add more and more trees to their collections, they inevitably need a bonsai display bench. This article provides details on building an attractive bench from wood and...

Concave Cutter: An Indispensable Bonsai Tool

In this article, we’ll unpack details about the concave cutter, explore buying considerations, discuss how to use it, and cover how it differs from similar tools. Ask any bonsai enthusiast what they...

A Boxwood Bonsai from Nursery Stock

Boxwoods, with their small, evergreen leaves, make very nice bonsai subjects. They are also readily available from nurseries and garden centers in a variety of sizes. This article walks through the...

A Japanese Holly Bonsai for Under $7

Evergreen and berry-producing, hollies make interesting bonsai subjects. This article walks through the initial pruning and potting of a small, nursery-bought Japanese holly. It details the styling...

The Best Time to Prune Bonsai

It's important for beginning bonsai hobbyists to learn how to care for trees at different times of the year. Those just starting out may not be aware that the best time to prune bonsai depends on...

Juniper Bonsai: Small-leaved Gems with Big Bonsai Potential

Junipers have gained a reputation as some of the most common – and most iconic – species used for bonsai. This article focuses on the characteristics that have earned juniper bonsai their...

You Can Be Successful at Bonsai: 7 Concerns Debunked

Many people are interested in the hobby, but worry they won’t be successful at bonsai. They fear killing their trees and are apprehensive about the difficulty and expense. We’ll address some of...

A Bonsai Tool Dilemma: Quality or Quantity?

In this article, we’ll examine the pros and cons of investing in inexpensive bonsai multi-tool sets, as well as other strategies for acquiring the tools needed for the hobby. The practice of bonsai...

Mass Market Bonsai: 5 Reasons to Avoid Bonsai from Big Box Stores

Mass market retailers commonly stock small plants labeled as “bonsai” and intended primarily for gift giving. Let’s take a look at how well plants like these stack up to accepted standards for...

Beginner’s Guide to Choosing a Bonsai Pot

In this article, we’ll explore guidelines for choosing a bonsai pot, look at why most trees need a bigger pot in the initial stages of training, and discuss preparing the pot for planting. The...

5 Essential Bonsai Tools for Beginners

It’s possible to get started in bonsai with a minimal investment in tools. Those new to the hobby who choose simple initial projects should be able to get by with just the five bonsai tools for...

Choosing Your First Bonsai Tree: 10 Varieties to Consider

When it comes to choosing a first bonsai tree, beginners can easily get overwhelmed by the wide variety of plants and trees that can be used for the hobby. In this article, we provide guidance on...

Is Bonsai for Me? Get a Handle on the Hobby

Is the hobby of bonsai for me? You may ask yourself this question because you are interested in the pursuit but hesitant to try it. In truth, most people can learn the skills needed to practice...

Bonsai FAQ: An Overview of the Hobby

This bonsai FAQ answers some basic questions for those new to the world of miniature trees. It also covers the first steps to take if you’re interested in trying the hobby, including the skills...

Bonsai Books for Beginners: 3 Great Choices

For beginners, bonsai books can serve as invaluable reference tools. This article explores bonsai books particularly suited to those beginning the hobby. We'll cover three books, plus add a bonus...

How to Choose Nursery Stock for Bonsai

Purchasing nursery stock to train as bonsai is a low-risk way to get started in the hobby. In this article, we look at the advantages of using nursery stock for bonsai and how to choose a plant with...

Bonsai Exhibits: 6 Places in the U.S. to See Great Bonsai

An artist learning impressionist painting might visit a museum to study originals by Monet and Cezanne. By the same token, someone interested in the art of bonsai should make a point of visiting...

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Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?

Walt Whitman