Care and maintenance of your bonsai
Real life bonsai advice

Real life bonsai advice

Read bonsai books and you’ll get all sorts of exotic and esoteric advice. I’ve been growing bonsai for over 35 years and can offer some practical, if not traditional, advice. I’ll describe how I do the things that work for me. Feel free to pick and choose. Have you ever de-foliated a maple bonsai by strapping it to the roof of your pickup and barrelling down the Interstate at an excessive speed? I haven’t either, but, I know someone who did, truly an example of non-traditional advice.

You have three resources - books, internet, and local clubs. My first book was the Sunset Publications book “Bonsai”. It’s still available at any good garden center for about $20. The internet has two very authoritative sites, Google the American Bonsai Society at or Bonsai Clubs International at

I’ve tried much of the traditional advice and found that often there were simpler ways of doing things. Having been accused of being simple minded that seemed the way to go. Anyhow, apply common sense to any advice you get and go from there.

Check out these subjects, but, remember while these ideas work for me I don't guarantee they’ll work for you.