Growing Bonsai from Seed

Growing bonsai from seed is the most traditional approach of growing bonsai plants. The other approaches are air layering, grafting, etc. Ideally enthusiasts prefer getting the bonsai plant ready for training as soon as possible, but this won’t happen while growing bonsai from a seed.

If you are really interested in going through the full cycle of growing a bonsai plant starting from the seed itself, then this article will help you in understanding the basic techniques and methodology that is necessary for growing bonsai from seed.

You can either grow bonsai from seed by following the natural cycle of germination, or you could speed up the process by following methods like cold stratification.

The very fist step for propagating bonsai from seed is to soften up the hard outer layer, so that the germination process will be quicker. Mix your bonsai seeds with three times the amount of sterile peat. The sterile peat used should be moist (too much of water will result in development of fungus in the soil and the seed). Once the peat soil is mixed with the seeds, place it in your refrigerator in an area where the temperature stays above 0 degree centigrade, so that the moisture in the soil does not freeze.

If you find any fungus or mould developing in the bag then quickly replace the soil and the bag. You might also need to treat your seeds with fungicide before putting it into a new container.

To wear down the hard outer surface of the tree, you should rub the seed on sandpaper, but while doing so you have to be careful not to destroy the embryo inside. Make a slight cut in the outer surface of the seed so that it can absorb moisture more readily and this will help the seed sprout quickly. Another option is to keep the seed in hot water for around one minute and then soak them in normal water for about two days. Next mix them with moist peat and keep in the refrigerator.

While preparing your plan to grow bonsai from seed, you should start your refrigeration process at a time such that the seeds would be ready to be planted during the early summer or later spring season.

After about 6 weeks in the refrigerator bring the seeds out of the sterile peat and wash the seeds properly with fungicide and then plant them in sterile soil. When planting the seed outside, place the seed at a depth of about 20 cm from the surface of the soil. For indoor plantation you can place them at a depth of 12 cm from the soil surface. Once planted keep the soil around the seed moist, but beware of over watering.

If you do not want to force germinate your bonsai seed, and prefer to follow the natural germination cycle then the ideal time to plant your bonsai seeds, would be at the end of the summer season. So that by the time spring season arrives again the seed would have already gone through a natural stratification process.

Growing bonsai from seed is certainly an arduous task and calls for a lot of patience and perseverance from the artist. But then that is what bonsai is all about, isn’t it?

Return from Growing Bonsai from Seed to The Bonsai Hub home