Tips for Buying a Bonsai

Maureen Massey brings you the beginner some great tips on looking after your first bonsai. With these simple bits of advice you and your tree will get off to a good start.



  1. Try to buy from a reputed bonsai specialist or garden centre where the staff can help you choose the bonsai that most suits your needs. Indoor or outdoor, light of shade, the correct temperature etc. They can give you advice on the best position to keep your tree and how to care for it. If they don’t know, don’t buy!
  2. Make sure that you know the type of tree you are buying and you are given comprehensive care instructions on how to mind it. A label isn’t enough.
  3. Check to see if the soil is wet and the foliage is plentiful, healthy and undamaged. (Deciduous tree are the exception to this in the autumn, as leaves are falling. These trees should be bare in winter
  4. Avoid buying in supermarkets and hardware stores. Chances are that the bonsai has not seen light or water for several days. They may be cheap, but it’s a false economy if they die soon after you buy them.
  5. Make sure the place you buy has an aftercare service, so you can return for further advice, re-potting etc. Anywhere else and you are on your own.
  6. Avoid bonsai that seem wobbly in the pot, or looks like a twig stuck in the soil. The tree should have a well balanced shape and good anchor roots and should be in a proper bonsai pot, with good drainage holes.
  7. Finally, choose the tree that appeals to you and you feel that you can mind properly. It doesn’t have to be perfect, as a bonsai is an ongoing project and there is always room for improvement. If taken care of it should last for years and give you hours of pleasure
  8. Make sure the person you are buying for would like a bonsai and will appreciate it.
  9. Be sure they will take care of it properly, and not shove it in the corner and forget about it.
  10. Don’t give a bonsai to someone who is away a lot or is not good at caring for plants.
  11. Don’t buy it too early before christmas so you have to mind it and hide it away until the day.Shoving it in the bottom of the wardrobe is not an option.

About Maureen Massey


  1. Tips for Buying a Bonsai for Christmas | Bonsai Ireland –

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