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Small cascade bonsai in blue pot on stand

Looking for Bonsai Supplies & Gear?

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We’ve compiled some suggestions for products you might consider as you start crafting your own bonsai. Scroll through the entire selection of items, or jump directly to any section by clicking the category links below.

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Tools & Pots 

Concave Cutter

One of the first tools a new bonsai practitioner needs is a pair of concave cutters. This tool is used to cut branches in a way that helps them heal flush. This beginner’s quality cutter is well-priced and well-reviewed.

Long-handled Pruning Shears

Long-handled pruning shears are a recommended early purchase when assembling a bonsai tool kit. Their thin design helps get into tight spaces to trim foliage. This pair gets good reviews and is reasonably priced.

Beginner's Bonsai Tool Kit

This highly rated bonsai tool kit comes with a well-planned assortment of six tools perfect for those new to the hobby. It includes: concave cutter, knob cutter, wire cutter, long-handled pruning scissors, root pruning scissors and tweezers, plus a storage case.

7.6" Rectangular Unglazed Pot

This 7.6″x 5.5″ unglazed ceramic bonsai pot is traditional for housing a pine or other coniferous bonsai, and also works for other types of trees. Unglazed pots in earth-toned colors are always a classic choice. 

8" Oval Glazed Pot

This 8″ oval bonsai pot comes complete with a plastic humidity tray, stones for the tray, and mesh screens to cover the pot’s drainage holes. The deep blue glaze and styling will complement most trees.

6" Rectangular Glazed Pot

This 6″ rectangular ceramic pot works well for smaller-sized bonsai. The traditional lines and light moss green glaze makes the pot attractive,  understated and a good all-round choice. 

Soil, Supplies & Accessories

Bonsai Jack Soil

Bonsai Jack is a trusted brand for quality bonsai soil mixes. Their ph-balanced universal organic “221” mix is a good all-round soil suitable for most bonsai.

Bonsai Jack Conifer Soil

Pines and other conifers prefer a more acidic soil than other types of trees. This soil mix is blended to have a lower pH to promote optimum health for coniferous trees.

Pint-sized Watering Can

This mini version of the classic Haws watering can is perfect for giving smaller and indoor bonsai a needed drink. It holds a pint of water and the brass-faced rose is removable. This plastic watering can comes in a variety of attractive colors. 

Bonsai Wire

Bonsai hobbyists wire their trees to shape, style and train them. This set includes five rolls of wire in three sizes, plus a bonus wire cutter. The brown color of the anodized aluminum wire makes it less noticeable against tree bark.   

12" Turntable

Turntables are a great addition to any bonsai enthusiast’s gear! They make pruning and styling trees quicker and easier by facilitating a 360-degree view. This inexpensive 12″ heavy-duty turntable is made of ABS material and supports up to 150 pounds.

12" Soil Sieve

A soil sieve is a traditional tool used in bonsai to separate soil components into fine, medium and coarse grades. Each of the insertable screens allows you to separate the soil particles according to size.

Books

Little Book of Bonsai

The Little Book of Bonsai by Malcolm & Kath Hughes is my all-time favorite bonsai book. This charming and beautifully designed book presents information in a way that is targeted to beginners.

Encyclopedia of Bonsai

You’ll find a wealth of information and quality photos in this comprehensive guide. The Complete and Practical Encyclopedia of Bonsai is suitable for beginners and hobbyists with some experience.

Bonsai Beginner's Bible

The Bonsai Beginner’s Bible is well-suited to those who have a couple of trees already and are looking to expand their collections. It outlines information on numerous trees suitable for the hobby.

Clothing, Gifts & Fun Stuff!

"Big Man" Bonsai Shirt

Every bonsai guy knows that it takes a big man to grow small trees! Let the rest of the world know when you sport this comfortable, heavyweight 100% cotton t-shirt.  

 

Bonsai T-shirt with Masculine Messaging

Aspiring Bonsai Artist Shirt

This long-sleeved t-shirt offers a feminine way to declare your dedication to honing your bonsai skills. Casual and comfortable, it’s made from pre-shrunk cotton.

 

Aspiring Bonsai Artist Feminine T-Shirt

Bonsai Love Mug

Be reminded of your favorite hobby when you enjoy beverages in this dressed-up mug!  It features artwork  on both sides, enabling everyone to enjoy the view.

 

Bonsai Love Heart Mug

Bonsai Pullover Hoodie

Combining Yin and Yang and bonsai really puts you in a Zen kind of place! This long-sleeved cotton blend hoodie will keep you warm during your meditations and other activities. 

Bonsai Socks

Dress with flair and show off your love of bonsai at the same time! These earth-toned socks flaunt a garden scene replete with bonsai, waterfalls and more.

Mudman Figurine

Adding a mudman figurine to your bonsai pot lends interest and provides scale to the overall scene. This mudman fisherman even comes with a pole and a fish! 

Bonsai Coloring Book

Adult coloring books are all the rage, and what better subject to exercise your creativity than bonsai? The 26 full-page bonsai illustrations in this book  offer hours of  coloring fun. 

Bonsai Journal

This 6″ x 9″ journal is a nice size to keep in your bonsai toolkit to record notes and plans for your plants. Or, use it as a daily journal or as a regular notebook.

Bonsai Display Stand

Bonsai placed on display indoors are often presented on wooden slabs or short stands. This 8″ x 6″ rectangular rosewood stand is a nice choice to help show off your bonsai. 

Interested in Trying Bonsai?

Let’s get started!

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.

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 significant time of year for bonsai practitioners who own temperate...

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 – called jitas – using just a few items you can pick up at your local...

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 bonsai hobbyists gain experience and confidence successfully caring...

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 art. In addition, we offer tips on purchasing live bonsai trees. If you...

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 the winter ahead. Fall is many folks’ favorite season, and mine as...

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 how to apply it to a tree. Nothing completes the authentic...

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 decisions.  When I first started in bonsai, one of the most...

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 have a multitude of choices. Surprisingly, there are more than 30...

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 potential bonsai. In this article, the second of a two-part series on...

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 remains a common practice among modern day hobbyists. This article is the...

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 article offers inspiration for a variety of gifts that bonsai lovers...

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 bonsai as well. Ficus are among the easiest indoor specimens to grow and...

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 and you have an ideal mid-winter project – tropical shohin...

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. Those new to the hobby are sometimes intimidated by the prospect of...

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 sizes offer easier care for beginners and experienced practitioners...

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 familiar with bonsai know that this ancient living art form spread from...

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 species and varieties, and provides an overview of maple bonsai...

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” kinds of foods we should be eating to maintain good health. Just as we...

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 them. If you’ve ever attended a bonsai exhibition, you probably noticed...

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 concrete blocks, as well as a more basic version requiring less work. It...

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 consider to be the most important bonsai tool they own, and chances...

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 initial pruning and potting of an inexpensive boxwood to begin its...

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 decisions made in the process of transforming the holly into a bonsai...

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 the season. In this article, we’ll explore the impact that seasons have...

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 well-deserved popularity. Most bonsai practitioners, if asked about 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 these concerns and demonstrate that the hobby can be approached with...

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 requires some specialized tools. Beginners in the hobby often...

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 bonsai. While browsing at my grocery retailer recently, I came across a...

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 practice of bonsai is an artistic endeavor. It follows that the pot used to...

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 beginners covered in this post. As an added bonus, newbies can substitute...

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 shopping by size and suggest a number of species commonly found in local...

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. In this article, we’ll review information about what the hobby...

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 needed for practice, sources for acquiring a bonsai tree, and necessary...

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 recommendation. As you begin to practice bonsai, you’ll need to educate...

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 potential for making a great future bonsai. Although bonsai has an...

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 exhibits, museums, and nurseries where the finest bonsai are...

Ready to Start?

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You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there. And let's give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.

Bob Ross