How To Grow A Bonsai Tree From Cuttings

Since bonsai trees can be very expensive to buy, a great alternative to growing from seeds is using cuttings from parent trees! Growing from cuttings is the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to grow a new bonsai tree. The main benefit of this method is the fact you can style the tree however you would like from the beginning, meaning you can achieve the perfect bonsai for you.

Growing A Bonsai From Cuttings (Step By Step Guide)

What You’ll Need:


  • Bonsai Pot (With Mesh Over The Drainage Holes)
  • Bonsai Soil Mix
  • Parent Tree To Get Cuttings From
  • Clean Pruning Shears
  • Watering Jug
Step 1 – Take your bonsai pot and fill it about two thirds of the way up with your bonsai soil mix. (You can pick up a great soil mix on Amazon if you are running low)


Step 2 – Carefully take the cuttings from your parent tree – I would advise taking 2-4. The cuttings should be 7-10cm in length, any larger and it won’t be successful.


Step 3 – Take your cuttings and cut the stem at about a 45 degree angle with a really clean cut. Make sure your shears are clean before doing this stage.


Step 4 – Trim most of the leaves off the branch – leaving just few.


Step 5 – Water the bonsai soil so it is moist all the way through.


Step 6 – Place your cuttings into the bonsai pot, pushing them straight about an inch deep.


Step 7 – Keep regularly watering this over the next months. Also place the bonsai pot somewhere it will get a great amount of sunlight to encourage the healthy growth.


Why Use Cuttings To Grow A Bonsai?

It’s no secret that bonsai trees sell for a lot of money and if you’re looking to purchase a really beautiful, aged tree it’s going to set you back a good few thousand pounds – I’ve got an article here about the actual value of bonsai if you’re interested. There are a few alternatives to shelling out a lot of money on a tree and growing your own tree from cuttings is one of them! Providing you have the parent tree needed, this is going to cost you absolutely nothing and in 10-15 years you are going to have a stunning, fully grown bonsai styled exactly how you want.


When using cuttings rather than buying a nursery stock plant or another bonsai, you can ensure that the growing tree will have all of the characteristics that you are looking for the bonsai to have later down the line. For instance, let’s say you’re looking to grow a very straight trunk White Pine – if you purchase a tree say 15 years old, it’s going to be extremely hard to shape it exactly as straight as you would like it to be. If you’re growing from a cutting, you have the tree along its whole life to wire and shape it to the desired outcome.


Usually you’ll see thick trunk bonsai trees having some sort of scaring where large branches or sacrificial branches have been removed during the process of styling – which can be avoided if you are growing from cuttings.


The downside of using cuttings to grow a bonsai is simply the time this process is going to take. From cutting to stunning bonsai, as long as everything goes well you’re looking at 10-15 years to produce an amazing tree. If you have the patience though it can definitely be a great way to grow your bonsai collection and get the exact aesthetic you desire for the trees. I have put together quick post about how long it takes to grow a bonsai if you’d like more information on the length of the growing process.



If you have the time and patience to commit to a 15 year project, growing a bonsai tree from cuttings is a great idea! You’re going to be able to style the bonsai exactly how you want it to look and providing you own a parent tree to get the cuttings from, it’s free to do! The only downside of using cuttings is the lengthy time required for it to grow into a larger bonsai tree, anywhere from 10-15 years.

Positives –

-It’s free to do.
-You can promote good growth for the tree.
-Style the bonsai however you wish over the years.
-No ugly scarring from cutting large branches to meet your vision for a tree.
-It’s very easy to successfully grow.
-This process is much quicker than growing from seeds.

Negatives –

-The time taken for it to grow into a large tree will be 10-15 years.

A Video Of The Cuttings Process

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