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Experimenting with a new batch of Bonsai from seeds

I have been tinkering with growing bonsai from seed and the first batch is about three years old now.

Time to start a new batch and make some new discoveries and distinctions.

Our batch include some very interesting new trees including:

Wisteria, Japanese Maple, Hornbeam, Firethorn and Cider Gum.


Various tree bonsai seeds


About starting from seed -

Every seed will have its own type of handling you should do. For all the seeds there are different recommendations for how to plant them. These mostly have to do with tricking the seed to believe it's following its naturall coarse - falling to the ground in the fall rain (soak in water) keeping it in the refrigerator (to simulate winter) then sowing the seed at the beginning of spring in will draining soil at the appropriate depth.

We skipped some of the more elaborate recommended steps for germination of these seeds.

  1. All of the seeds were soaked in drinking water for 24 hours.
  2. For the soil we used possting soil mixed with horticultural charcoal with a thin layer of pebbles on the bottom for drainage.
  3. Recycled plastic containers and small plastic pots were used.
  4. The seeds were drained after 24 hours and sewn according to the recommendations.

Conventional wisdom about soaking seeds in water says that you soak them for 24 hours any seeds that float are no good. But, we take those floaters and sow them anyway. We carefully labeled floaters so we can get a look at if any of them germinate.

Soak in water


Pebbles in the trays


Back of seed packet

And here is something to note. These Japanese Hornbeam seeds may take two to three years to germinate. It epitomizes the patience of growing bonsai.




Instructions on packet

Next it is time to sow the seeds then care for them. I will break this down into the specifics of each seed. To get the sowing depth right we used a marked dowel.



The Specifics of each seed type

Wisteria: sown 3/4 inch deep. These seeds all opened within 24 hours of soaking so we made sure to plant them with the sprout facing upward. They need to germinate in lightly moist soil not wet. And they need to be kept warm.

Japanese Maple: sown 3/8 inch deep. Thse need 50% shade so they are placed out of the direct light of the gro light so they don't get a lot of light.

Hornbeam: 1/8 inch deep and are labeled with a caution that they may need to germinate for 2-3 years.

Firethorn: planted 1/8 inch deep and kept on the edge of table out of the direct gro light.

Cider Gum Eucalyptus: These seeds are very tiny. The label doesn't specify sowing depth so they went just under the surface of the soil They do need to be watered sparingly and they do need generous direct sunlight so they go right under the gro light.


label the containers

So, make sure you label everything clearly and with basic information such as date sown.




Eve's Kiwi Bonsai Seed Kit, Fruit-Bearing, Complete Kit to Grow Kiwi Bonsai from Seed

Grow Bonsai Trees from seed with this Complete Kiwi Bonsai Seed Kit. Perfect for children or any individual who wants to get their hands dirty and learn the hobby of Bonsai. The seeds in this kit will germinate and continue to grow for many years. Kit includes Kiwi Bonsai Seeds, Ceramic Container, Bonsai Potting Mix, Pebbles, and Instruction Guide.

Kiwi (Actinida chinensis). The Kiwi is a berry produced on a woody, deciduous vine with flowers that are orange-yellow in color. Kiwi Bonsai is able to tolerate light winter frost during its dormant period. Kiwi is a very popular fruit which is exceptionally rich in vitamin C with a long ripening period which enables it to store for long periods of time.


Eve's Bonsai Tree Starter Kit, Complete Kit with 2 Year Old Japanese Juniper in Gift Box

Bonsai represents the artistic use of gardening techniques to develop a tree into a miniaturized version of its counterpart in nature. Bonsai is not a specific type of tree; rather many types of trees go through the gardening process of bonsai.



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