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Bonsai Project: Starting with seeds


Here is a nice project for beginning with Bonsai. It is starting with seeds! It can be challenging but also very rewarding. The biggest hurdle is having the patience to care for your tree over the course of years while it still is developing and doesn't look much like a bonsai!


A sprouting seedling

The picture shown above is a seedling of a Chinese Elm. It took eight days to germinate. Now it will take about 5-7 years before I can call it a bonsai!

How to do this project

I recommend you don't just plant one seed! I suggest you plant a half dozen or more. Some won't germinate and others won't survive so you have to have a few of them. And you will be able to choose the healthiest of the crop. This gives you a greater chance at success over the long term.

You might also want to get some local seeds from your yard, neighborhood, park, or patch of local woods. This is a wonderful way to start with bonsai because the trees are perfectly acclimated to where you live. These would be outdoor bonsai and would be more difficult to keep indoors, particular in winter.

What you do is gather up the seeds when they drop from the trees and you keep them in a safe and dry outdoor location for the winter and in spring you sow them. If you live in a climate that gets cold in the winter you could also store your seeds in the refrigerator for the winter.

Every Type of tree seed is going to have it's specific requirements for how to germinate it. Some can be sown right away, some have to be overwintered and others need scarification or soaking in water for as long as 24 hours. Decide which type of tree you want then follow the specific instructions for that seed. Here is some help in deciding what type of seed: Choosing Your first Bonsai

And here is a video of me planting some seeds for bonsai. I tell you a little bit about the process, the soil and other things.


Chinese Elm

Chinese Elm Bonsai 25 Seed/Seeds - Ulmus parvifolia

  • Has small evergreen leaves which remain on the tree year - round
  • Proper name: Ulmus parvifolia
  • Mature Height: 70'
  • A lovely park or landscape tree
  • 25 Seeds


Tamarind Tree 10 Seeds/Seed -Bonsai- Tamarindus indica

  • Mature Height: 80'
  • Known for its tart pulp used in chutney and numerous other dishes
  • Very attractive tree, especially when young - makes a terrific indoor tree that may easily be kept short
  • Makes an excellent bonsai!
  • 10 Seeds