Growing Bonsai From Seeds

Growing Bonsai from tree seeds requires a long-time (at least three years) before you have a tree you’re able to start focusing on, but it can be very rewarding and is the only method to grow a Bonsai right from the start and experience the whole cycle – from seed to finished product.

The simplest way is to follow what mother nature does and choose and plant seeds locally found during the fall. To try to plant non-local species or at a different time of the year would require “stratification”.

Stratification is a way of reproducing natural winter problems a seed should endure before germination. For beginners this could be a bit intricate (although might be as simple as putting your seed pots in the fridge for three months), so it is advisable to select simply a tree species that is suitable for your environment.


By growing from seed you will have the chance to prune and shape from a much earlier time than you would otherwise do – but there is a long waiting time before it will really get going, you at least need some wooded stem to start cutting back. Some bonsai will take five or more years to grow from seed to a satisfying pruning and shaping size – bonsai is not a hobby for quick rewards.

Some of the easiest species of trees to develop are Scots Pine, Maple species, Black Wood, Larch and Zelkovas.

Seeds can be quite easy to come by (for instance, pine tree seeds are often found laying around, and things like lemon seeds can be obtained using a damp paper towel), and is usually the cheapest method to get started. You can use old yoghurt pots or push the boat out and purchase plastic cups etc. as their initial pot so there is no need to spend a lot of money in the beginning. Just get started and have some fun!


The above photo shows lemon seedlings with 2 months growth