25 Aug
Posted in: Bonsai/Garden
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Step By Step How to Make a Bonsai Tree, Pictures of Japanese Boxwood Bonsai Tree

Here is a step by step illustration of how to Make a bonsai tree. I am making a Japanese Boxwood (Buxus microphylla) plant into a Bonsai tree in this example.

How to Make a Japanese Boxwood Bonsai Tree –

At the end of the Article are a series of pictures that will help illustrate what the text is describing. (Pictures of transforming your bonsai tree are in order from Top to bottom, left to right)

Before beginning, make sure that you have chosen a tree that will survive in the climate where you live. Once you select a type of tree that you would like to Bonsai, start by taking it out of the pot and loosening up the root system.

Start pulling off about an inch of soil from the top of the plant to expose the root system. Do this gently, trying not to damage the roots. Using a chopstick works well to stick in and pull away soil from the roots without harming the plant. After doing the top, start working your way up from the bottom now. You will need to pull away close to all the soil from the bottom of the plant up, until the root ball and soil are are a little less than the thickness of the height of your bonsai pot. The roots may be very long, it is OK to cut most of them off so that you can fit your tree in the pot, just make sure that you have the mail center part of the root system, and a good amount of smaller routs surrounding it. (See Pictures Below for an example)

Next let the plant soak in some water for about 20 minutes. The plant will need a lot of water over the next few days due from all the stress caused.

When potting the bonsai tree, add some soil to the bottom of the pot and then place the tree into the pot. Getting a good bonsai soil mixture is a good idea because it helps with the drainage. But regular soil will do if you don’t have access to anything else. Then set our tree in the pot and position the bonsai tree where you would like to see it. As an artist, the rule of thirds applies pretty well here also. Never plant it dead in the center of the pot. Try to place it slightly off centered. In this case, I don’t have a good bonsai pot yet, so I just cut the pot that the Japanese Boxwood came in down to a couple inches tall for now, and will just be using the original soil again. If you had a good pot, you would want to wire the tree in place. Refer to this article on how to make a bonsai tree for a more detailed description.

Now that you have your tree in the pot, you can begin to prune and shape it to the desired size you like. It is important not to trim off all the leaves, but you will most likely be getting rid of a good amount of them, as you did to the root system. Think of it as balancing the tree out. Start snipping away at branches and leaves until you get it looking like you imagined. Try to expose some of the trunk and branch system to give the look that it is a miniature tree. Over time the leaves will start to shrink a bit, and fill out more, so it will look even more like a mini-tree.

The Pictures below show you how to make your Japanese Boxwood Bonsai Tree!

Click on any image to View Full Size


  • Hi, I was thinking of purchasing Japanese Boxwoods to use as centerpieces for my wedding. Is this something you did in one day or over a period of time? My wedding is next week, so I was wondering if I have enough time to shape them. Thanks!

  • Hi Trinh! This is something you can do in a matter of an hour or two (depending on the size of the tree).

    That is a great idea for center pieces, and would be fund to create all of them!!

    Good luck!

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