Over the years I have spent a lot of time and money using various products for my bonsai trees, anything from mesh to starter kits. The items I’m sharing with you are time-tested products that I’m certain you’ll be satisfied with.
Please keep in mind that I am not trying to put forward the highest quality, high price tier products as I honestly believe that they aren’t needed. I’m just sharing reasonably priced products that you will actually find useful.
Bonsai Starter Kits
If you haven’t yet got a bonsai tree and lack years of experience in gardening, I would HIGHLY recommend getting a starter kit – this is the exact one my girlfriend got me years ago. The benefit of having a kit is that everything you need comes in one bundle, with a tree already potted – there’s a limit to what you can do wrong. Years later, this exact tree is still alive and kicking after being pruned and repotted.
The kit comes with a Chinese Elm bonsai tree, potted in a china bonsai pot, with bonsai soil, rocks, instructions and a basic pair of pruning scissors. Starting with a starter kit is honestly the best way to do it in my opinion. If after months your bonsai is still alive and you’re enjoying the process, repot the bonsai and start taking it more seriously – but it’s definitely a great place to start, I would highly recommend that’s what you do.
The benefit of this kit, is the fact you are starting with a Chinese Elm, one of the most resilient bonsai tree species – great for beginners.
Bonsai Pots & Mesh
I don’t really have a recommendation in terms of final bonsai pots as I really think different shape and depths suits different trees, it really depends on the shape you’ve gone for in my opinion. However, I have found these plastic pots really helpful when starting a new tree using nursery stock. They’re cheap, cheerful and do the job as you don’t really need anything permanent and expensive in that initial stage.
You’ll need mesh over the drainage holes to stop soil falling out and roots growing out. These are super easy to get and I never actually bought any online as I had some from other gardening projects, but here are some extremely cheap mesh circles that you can use in your bonsai pots.
Soil + Nutrients
The soil you grow a bonsai tree in is really important, it’s a tree after all – dead soil won’t do if you’re in this for the long game. Bonsai Focus do a super cheap bonsai repotting soil mix with additional nutrients – which I highly recommend.
I would also recommend getting this soil mix if you have a starter kit bonsai – repotting the bonsai tree can help it flourish, as most starter kits typically aren’t the most healthy of trees.
During the colder months, or if you’re trying to grow a bonsai indoors, you’ll need grow lights to help supplement the light levels – window light isn’t enough, contrary to belief. This grow light is absolutely perfect for what you need.
Pruning is a huge part of bonsai, but luckily it’s extremely cheap to get kitted out for it. Here is the set I use, very cheap, very useful and does exactly what it claims to do. You get two pruning scissors with a root un-picker rake, which is really all you need during the whole process of pruning a bonsai. I would recommend keeping the tools clean to avoid infection to your tree.