What are the Different Bonsai Supplies?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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One of the most relaxing hobbies with the most aesthetically pleasing results for people around the world is growing bonsai plants. Bonsai is the art of creating miniature trees in containers through the proper cultivation. To successfully grow a bonsai plant, it is important to have the correct bonsai supplies.

At a minimum, one of the most important supplies is the pot that the plant will grow in. Pots of any size, shape, color, and material can be used. It is a matter of preference to the grower whether a simple round or rectangular pot or a more intricate, irregular-shaped pot should be used. The grower can also have a pot that is split between land and water features – perhaps a bonsai tree with a miniature, Zen-like pond to the side. Bonsai pots can range from the size of a thimble to over three feet (.91 m) in diameter and from inexpensive to quite costly.

Other necessary bonsai supplies include the potting soil and other medium. The type of potting soil used will vary from plant to plant. For example, some plants do well with a Fujiyama potting medium and red ball soil, called akadama. Other plants prefer a more acidic soil; therefore, kanuma is a better choice. Then, the grower can add other components to the soil such as river sands for drainage, calcined clay, peat moss, pine bark, and zeolite – again depending on the kind of bonsai that will be growing.


A bonsai plant will not grow properly without a few additional bonsai supplies that can be found in most bonsai pruning tool kits. The majority of the tools are used to create a special design through pruning the roots, leaves, branches and trunk of the plant. The concave cutter is one of the most useful tools of the group. It is designed to prune the plant so that it is smooth, without a stub. Other tools include the bonsai shears, pliers, root pick, knob cutter, pruning saw, tweezers, and wire cutters.

Other helpful bonsai supplies for cultivation include copper wire and branch benders or clamps. Copper wire is wrapped around the bonsai’s trunk and branches, so that a unique form is created. In fact, with the proper skills, detailed leaf and branch placements can occur, as the wire holds them into place until they re-connect, and a distinctive tree is created. Clamps or branch benders can either bend or straighten a portion of the bonsai plant, especially if the plant is larger in diameter. It usually takes a few years to obtain the desired look when using clamps or branch benders.

A large portion of bonsai supplies serve only one purpose – to be aesthetically pleasing. Decorative rocks give a special look to the arrangement. Bonsai rakes and brooms can be used to put a special pattern in the top soil or decorative rocks. Moss can be used for a natural appeal. Little figurines of frogs, turtles or other Asian-inspired stone creatures also give the arrangement a tranquil look.


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