Bonsai Landscape

Are you thinking of using bonsai trees in your landscape design? Using bonsai trees for landscaping has been the practice of popular gardens especially imperial gardens. The bonsai tree is used as the centerpiece with all other plants and trees as well as other garden elements like rocks and water features blending in the background. Well trained bonsai trees are mostly cherished as priceless heirlooms and are part of outdoor and indoor gardens. If you wish to use bonsai for your own garden, you need to take note of a few important techniques to create a successful landscape installation.

The bonsai tree that you will use as a part of your landscape design must not only complement the overall design of your garden but at the same time, the tree should also be in good health. The tree must be properly fed, watered, trained and re-potted to be able to become a winning centerpiece of a landscape design.

Bonsai Landscape

Things you need to follow this tutorial

  • Bonsai plant
    • Being part of a landscape design is a chance for any bonsai grower to show off his skills and talents. Therefore for this tutorial, you will use the best, healthiest and well-trained bonsai you have. If your bonsai is still far from being completely trained and shaped then forgo placing it in a landscape design.
  • Bonsai Pot
    • Since you will be adding your bonsai to a landscape design, its pot should complement the overall design. There are a variety of pots for bonsai growing and these vary in shape, depth, width, color, and material. If you are creating a Japanese-themed garden then you must use jade pots. This kind of pot is known as the traditional Japanese pot for bonsai. These are available from local nurseries and from bonsai growing shops online and offline.
  • Bonsai potting soil
    • Potting soil ideal for bonsai growing is available from garden stores and bonsai nurseries. The ideal potting soil is soil that can hold much water and nutrients and at the same time drain excess water and fertilizer as well to prevent nutrient toxicity and root rot.
  • Rocks
    • Using rocks in a landscape design is adding natural elements in a design. There are a variety of rocks to use and usually in a garden setting; large, clean rocks with defined surfaces are used. You can purchase rocks from a local garden store or shop or you can use ones that you can get from your own backyard or neighborhood.
  • Aggregates
    • You must improve drainage and aeration capabilities of your soil by using aggregates. These are small pieces of rocks and material that are placed at the bottom of the pot. Aggregate materials allow excess water to drain and will let oxygen enter the soil to feed the roots. You can purchase aggregate materials from local garden shops or from bonsai nurseries.
  • Water
    • You must have clean and safe water to be used on your bonsai plants. You may use rainwater or tap water as long as this is clean water which won’t pose any risk to your plants. Have your water tested for quality and safety before using this on your bonsai.
  • Balanced fertilizer
    • The most commonly used fertilizer is a balanced fertilizer which can provide just the right amounts of nutrients. But you must do your research; check the right type of fertilizer that will benefit your tree during its specific level of development. You can purchase balanced fertilizer from online shops or from a local bonsai accessories supplies shop.
  • Pruning shears
    • Pruning shears will help you prune and trim your bonsai carefully according to the style you wish to achieve. There are many types of pruning shears but no matter what type you wish to use always use clean or sanitized shears to prevent the spread of disease or molds.
  • Wire
    • You need wire to position your bonsai to the bonsai style you want to achieve. Wires come in different types and aluminum and annealed copper are the most commonly used. Aluminum wires are for bonsai with young and pliable branches. Annealed copper is for larger and thicker branches and trunks. Wires are also available in a number of gauges from as thin as 1 mm to 4 mm thick.
  • Pliers
    • You need a good pair of pliers to cut the wire and to remove these after training is done. A good pair of pliers is also needed to work with tough roots, branches, and trunks on mature trees.

Step by step instructions

1) Planning the landscape design

Careful planning of the entire landscape design is important. Landscaping is all about integrating natural elements like trees, grass, plants, water, soil, and rocks to other elements needed in a garden design. For instance, you want to add bonsai to a patio landscaping, to a poolside landscaping or aZen garden style meditation area. To guide you in creating the design you want, here are a few techniques to help you out:

  • Consider the size of the area you will be working on. You can create landscaping design for anything as small as a patio or you can make one for a huge backyard.
  • Consider the immovable natural elements in the area. These include trees, plants that are growing from the ground, an outdoor structure like your garage, pool, fish pond, water fountains, grottos etc. You need to create a sense of balance in the area so you must consider everything not just where to place your bonsai tree. Also considering these elements will determine where is the ideal area in your garden where the tree would be placed as well as the type of bonsai tree you will add to your landscape design.
  • Consider the natural environment where the landscaping design will be

This is very important when adding bonsai to any landscaping design. Because bonsai is very delicate, it needs the right growing environment to thrive. And since your bonsai would be the centerpiece of your design, this should be growing well and should maintain its good health despite growing outdoors. Considering the appropriate bonsai to grow in such environment where the new landscaping would be added is therefore very crucial.

2) Choosing the appropriate landscaping rocks

Bonsai Landscape

Bonsai landscaping is creating a strong focus on bonsai tree or trees in a garden and to achieve this focus, most bonsai growers use other natural elements like rocks. Rocks come in all shapes and sizes and usually, the gardener uses these to create some kind of a story or symbol.

A bonsai garden usually uses large and small rocks. Small, pebble-sized rocks are usually placed around the base of each bonsai tree while large rocks are for additional focal pieces in the garden.

Large rocks are usually more vertical than horizontal in shape. These large, vertical rocks will also be more top-heavy. Rock characteristics matter in a bonsai garden. Usually, the base of the focal rocks in a bonsai garden landscape will be narrower than the top. Rocks should also be visually appealing.

Choose rocks with vertical cracks because these are more likely to allow bonsai roots to grow on to the rock even in various rock formations. Rocks chosen for bonsai landscaping should be black, gray, white, brown or red in color. Never use moss-covered rocks, since this will make it difficult for the bonsai trees to stand out.

3) Preparing your bonsai trees

Bonsai Landscape

If your bonsai is not yet ready to be part of your landscaping then consider these techniques. Readiness is all about plant health, strength and overall development.

Shaping the roots

Healthy plant roots are the basis of a healthy tree. When roots are diseased or weak, the entire plant suffers. This is true not just for bonsai plants but also in regular plants.

The roots of the bonsai are composed of the exposed roots and the underground roots. Cultivating a proper root system is crucial to proper bonsai growth and appearance.

If you are working with an older plant, you will have to take special steps to restructure the root system if it did not originally grow in a proper fashion. Roots that are located below the surface will need to be pruned for optimal root growth.

Cultivating the bonsai root system

Growing bonsai will need to be re-potted several times as it becomes its mature size. It is during the tree’s growing time when its root system can be pruned during repotting. Check that the external roots should be growing well and spaced evenly from the trunk before it is repotted.

Once this has been observed, you can start pruning your tree. You will only prune parts that are unnecessary such as outgrowths. The bonsai should be re-potted as soon as possible. This is repeated to develop the root system.

Restructuring the root system

You can use simple cutting, air layering or graft to develop and restructure your root system.

  • Cutting off the undesirable parts is removing the bark, cambium, and The cambium is the growth tissue located just beneath the bark which develops at a rapid rate. The phloem is the structure that transfers nutrients to the roots. Do not cut the deeper structure of the root because this will completely affect the absorption of water and nutrients from the soil. After cutting off the areas where new root growth is desired, the plant should be left alone so the roots will grow well.
  • Air layering is removing the bark, cambium, and Then you will wrap these with a material that will retain moisture. The most common material used in air layering is moistened sphagnum moss. This method is the best for root development because it is quicker and has a higher success rate compared to just removing undesirable plant parts. However, this method is hard to maintain.
  • Grafting is done by attaching a tree of the same species to your mature tree. The graft is attached in the area of the tree where you want to encourage root growth. The young plant will take root in this desired area.

Pruning the tap root and subsurface roots

The roots found below the ground’s surface also require pruning. This will help improve the structure and the ability of your tree to absorb nutrients. This should be done when the tree is re-potted.

Pruning seedlings

Preparing your bonsai to be the star attraction of a landscaped garden starts early, even as early as when the tree is just a very young seedling. Pruning will not begin until the trunk has been formed. This is done by careful maintenance of the bonsai tree. Repotting improves growth by systemically giving the plant just the right amount of room to develop.

Choosing the right pot is very important. The pot should be just large enough to accommodate the roots while leaving some growth room. If the pot is large, it will be hard to provide the roots the right amount of water and nutrients and this will lead to over-saturation of the soil. Over-saturation depletes the soil’s oxygen which could lead to root rot and the development of molds.

Root pruning for established trees

Once the trunk has thickened the underground roots will be ready for pruning and for training. During this time, the bonsai is also ready for re-potting into a container that will accommodate the roots. However, there must be no extra-space allotted for root growth.

Before placing the tree in its new container, prune the roots to fit the pot. This is also a good time to inspect the roots for any kind of condition. The root is good when it has a thick structure with balls of thin roots found along the surface of the soil.

Pruning the taproot

To establish strength and resilience and to prepare your bonsai as the showcase of your landscape design, you need to prune its roots. The taproot is the very first root that develops from the seed as it germinates. The taproot grounds the tree by creating a deep root. This is important if you want to grow your tree outdoors due to the wind and other external forces that may affect your precious bonsai.

A large root such as the taproot takes up a lot of space and will even consume resources so this has to be pruned. When this is pruned, smaller roots will develop along the site of the taproot pruning. This will allow the bonsai to grow the desired root system that has dense groupings of lateral and hair roots below the surface of the soil.

Shaping the bonsai tree trunk

You want a bonsai tree with good structure and form and this can be achieved by strengthening and shaping the tree trunk. The ideal appearance for a bonsai trunk would be thick at the bottom with an even tapering towards the middle and the top part of the trunk.

This form is impossible to achieve naturally so you need to train your tree to be able to look this way. You must take time to plan the final form of your tree and how it would look in the middle of a landscape bonsai garden design. Form the final appearance of your bonsai in the paper. Consider everything up to the location of branches, foliage distribution, and leaf reduction. Shaping the trunk should be done while the tree is still young and the trunk is still pliable.

The basic bonsai trunk forms

The following are tour basic bonsai trunk forms. Careful understanding of these forms will help you shape the trunk, branches, and leaves of your tree at the earliest time possible.


The chokkan is the traditional upright form in bonsai. It is one of the most aesthetically natural forms because this shape is like how a tree traditionally is in nature. And even if the tree has an organic form, you still need special attention to detail and careful training to achieve the final upright form.


The moyohgi is similar to the chokkan but more informal. It is upright like a regular tree, but it is less symmetrical compared to the upright tree design. The trunk may be slightly tilted, but it remains straight to stay true to the vertical form.


The shakan is a slanting form in bonsai and this needs a prominent root system to hold the tree. The bonsai grows on one side with the bulk of the limb and leaves on the other side. Special planning should be made to achieve this form. The tree must start training while it is still actively developing its roots.


The bunjingi is the literati bonsai form. This style is based on a line formed by the tree. The trunk, limbs, and foliage are trained to follow this line. There is a subtle difference between this form and the other bonsai form but the most prominent characteristic of the literati form is the prominence of the line which dictates the stature of the trunk.

Shaping the Trunk

Before you start shaping the trunk the final form must be decided. Once you have decided on the final form you may use different approaches to crafting the trunk such as repeated pruning and selective trunk pruning.

4) Wiring to shape your bonsai tree

Bonsai Landscape

Wiring lets you control the growth of your tree. It is placed around a developing trunk and branches to manipulate their growth into the ideal shape. You can start wiring once the roots of the tree have been established and the trunk is starting to develop. Wiring does not only happen once, it is an ongoing process that is done in stages and with multiple branches.

Wiring lets you guide the growth of the trunk and branches. Wiring also benefits the tree aesthetically because it lets you form the tree in an artistic manner. This will make the bonsai beautiful in ways that would not be possible when the tree is left to grow naturally.

Types of wire used for wiring bonsai

Bonsai wiring may be done with either copper or aluminum wires. The wire used should be around 1/3 the diameter of the branch or trunk. Copper wire is more durable compared to aluminum and, because of this it will be able to maintain its form and stays in place compared to aluminum wires.

On the other hand, copper wires can damage the branches and trunk if you do not carefully monitor your tree. This can bruise or cut the plant when left unattended. Aluminum wire is easier to use. It may not be as strong as a copper wire but it won’t injure your bonsai. Aluminum is easy to use and it only needs to be monitored every two weeks.

The best time to wire your bonsai

Wiring should be done to a young, healthy plant to create the ideal shape and style. Wiring is done when the plant has been re-potted to support new growth. The type of plant, whether the tree is deciduous or coniferous will tell you when the best time to prune is.

You must apply wires on deciduous trees during the early spring. This is done when there are new buds on the limbs. Wiring at this time will give you a good appearance of the trunk and branches before the leaves and new growth emerge.

Wires should be applied to coniferous trees in the late autumn or early winter. This is because coniferous trees renew their foliage annually. Compared to deciduous trees, bare limbs are not important in coniferous trees. Wiring is performed when the sap is lowest in the branches so the branches will be more flexible and respond better to wiring.

Never wire a tree that has any kind of condition. Weak branches should be spared because this will only snap off. Spend time providing well-balanced nutrients to the tree and improving its strength before you start applying wires.

Let your tree absorb water before wiring it. Doing so after recently watering your tree would be difficult. The branches and limbs will not be flexible. The best time is when the tree is moderately dehydrated.

Wiring your bonsai tree

Prepare your bonsai trees for a landscape design by wiring it while it is still young. Choose a healthy and young tree.

  • Hold the limb that you will wire with both hands.
  • Bend the wire to the branch and not the branch to the wire.
  • Start wiring from the trunk and then move from the thickest branches to the thinnest.
  • Bend the wire from the trunk and outwards on the branches or from the trunk to the tip of the branch.
  • Sit comfortably in front of the bonsai tree to give you the maximum control and to evenly wrap the wire.
  • Wrap the wire at a 45-degree angle in a “barber pole” fashion. Do not wire the branch too tight so your tree has space to grow well.
  • Anchor the branches to improve stability and prevent crossed wires or excess tension on the different branches.
  • Wire the trunk with a firm foundation which is on the soil surface or on a strong root. Once you have achieved a steady foundation, then the trunk can be wired.
  • Start wiring the trunk at a tight angle as the wire starts from the ground.
  • Wire at a 45-degree angle throughout the trunk and the branches or limbs.
  • Branches must be anchored by winding the end of the wire near the trunk around the wire that holds the trunk.
  • You may use the same piece of wire on two branches if these have the same thickness. Do this by anchoring the wire around the trunk to secure and balance the wiring.
  • Use separate wires for each branch that has different thicknesses.
  • For a strong branch, you can use two or three wires that are winded together.

Removing the wire

After the wire has achieved its purpose you may now remove the wire. This is removed usually during the same season it was applied for moderately-growing trees. You must never forget this rule because wire could damage or injure your bonsai when removed past its due.

As you remove the wire, do not completely unwind it. This will cause injury to the branch or limb. The best thing to do is to cut off the wire with wire cutters. Never unwind the wire from the limb or reuse wire. Cut the wire at every turn so you can easily remove the wire as well.

Pruning your bonsai

Pruning is important in all the phases of bonsai growth and maintenance. If you want to use a bonsai tree as a part of your landscape you need to learn the basics of pruning to shape and maintain the shape of your trees.

Pruning is cutting away unnecessary growth on the bonsai and this includes branches, buds, and leaves. Pruning controls the progress of the bonsai’s development and later maintain its mature form. The tree is considered mature for branch pruning when its trunk and first three branches are established and also when the tree’s basic form has already emerged.

Branch pruning removes emerging growth and existing limbs that do not conform to the bonsai’s shape. Branch tips and apical buds, existing branches and anything that is unattractive and harmonious to the tree as a whole is also removed

Prune branches which will not contribute to the structure and the aesthetic quality of the tree. These are branches that are growing in the wrong direction and oversized thickened branches. Branches that may not be explicitly deformed but do not fit with the tree’s design should also be removed.

The right time for branch pruning

Prune branches when the tree is still young so that the basic form of the tree can take shape. Do not prune your trees when weather or temperature is in the extremes because this will only stress your plants.

Pruning during the summertime can damage cuts because of the strong heat and sun. In winter, the cuts can be easily injured because these are susceptible to freezing especially when you are maintaining your bonsai landscaped garden outdoors.

The type of plant is also a consideration when to prune. Deciduous trees are pruned during springtime when leaves are not on the branches and new growth has not developed. Coniferous trees should be pruned during the end of the plant’s dormant period for the year. This is the period between autumn and early winter. Pruning should be done before freezing starts.

Pruning the branches

Pruning the branches usually comes late in a tree’s life after establishing the trunk form. This should be done using a concave branch cutter or pruning shears. Your tools should be sharp to provide the cleanest and the best cuts. Once you have created a cut, it should not be allowed to remain open. Moisture can accumulate and molds may affect the cut part. Use a drop of glue, paste or a sealant to cover this part. This should heal quickly and will no longer worsen the area.

Pruning tree buds

Bud pruning is done with a developed tree along with branch pruning. Bud and branch pruning aim to harmonize the final form of the bonsai therefore before you start pruning buds the tree has to be well-developed.

Pruning the buds lets you maintain the form of your bonsai tree without extra growth. Pruning will suppress branch growth. With coniferous trees, bud pruning is recommended compared to leaf pruning because this can damage the tree’s growth and affect leaf quality. Bud pruning is also necessary for trees that grow lateral buds that are not developing.

The best time for pruning buds

Buds should be pruned as they grow on the trunk. This usually happens in the spring. Some trees have an extended season of budding which can last from spring until autumn so the buds need to be monitored and pruned as necessary throughout the entire period of budding.

Bud pruning should be avoided in an unhealthy plant or a plant that has been weakened such as after being repotted.  Do not prune if you are still thickening the trunk. The buds need extra water and nutrients to grow, and the trunk and branches usually thicken to accommodate the transport of those nutrients to the buds.

How to prune buds

Bud pruning is done by pinching by hand or pruning with scissors. Remove the undesired buds as soon as these grow. Apical buds encourage the growth of the branch so this must be pinched to slow branch growth. Pinching also helps control the size of the tree and growth.

Bud pruning is done on older branches along the top of the tree. Pruning near the bottom should be stopped if you choose to prune at the top. Before and after pruning, make sure that the plant has been adequately fertilized and watered so this can easily recover.

Leaf pruning

Consider the full-sized form of your tree before you prune leaves. Make sure that your tree is healthy and adequately watered and fertilized before you start pruning leaves.

You must prune in the late spring and early summer so that budding and foliage formation will develop. Pruning later in the season is possible when you are considering selective pruning. The full growth of leaves will have developed during this time, therefore, you will have a better view of the leaves that you wish to prune or remove.

5) Choosing the bonsai tree styles

Bonsai Landscape

After you have chosen the ideal rock formation you need to determine if there will be a distinct style of bonsai trees in your landscape design. Will the landscape display bonsai trees with a windswept, half-cascade, or semi-cascade styles of bonsai trees? Although there is no particular rule as to what style should be used or which styles go best with each other, you must have a sense of balance and harmony. Choose the best design that will work perfectly with your landscape.

A few ideas to consider: Use a tilted or cascading bonsai design if you have a water feature that looks like a mini waterfall. You may place cascading bonsais near the water feature to appear that these were naturally grown in the setting.

Another idea would be a literati style or broom style in the middle of a Zen garden feature. A green and healthy bonsai tree could be the focal point of this simple yet relaxing design.

Bonsai designs and types

Here are basic bonsai designs and styles that you might want to consider when shaping your bonsai tree form.

  • Broom style (hokidachi)

This is very popular broom style bonsai design best suited for deciduous trees with extensive branches. This design is simply straight and upright. The tree branches out in all directions at about 1/3 of its height. The branches and the leaves create a ball-shaped crown which is the focal point of the hokidachi design.

  • Formal upright (chokkan)

This is a very common form of bonsai design. The chokkan style is achieved naturally when a tree is exposed to lots of light and is of good health. Tapering the upright-growing trunk is very obvious and the trunk must be thicker at the bottom and must grow thinner as it goes higher. At about ¼ of the total length of the trunk, branching should start. There should be a single branch at the top of the tree that looks like a crown. The trunk should not span the length of the tree.

  • Informal upright (moyogi)

The trunk grows upright which looks like the letter “S”. This style is common in bonsai as well as in nature. The tapering of the trunk should be clearly visible. The base of the trunk is thicker than the higher part of the trunk.

  • Slanting bonsai style (shakan)

The slanting bonsai style is the effect of the wind blowing in one direction. The leaning style should beat at an angle of 60 to 80 degrees relative to the ground. To achieve this style, the roots should be well-developed on one side to keep the tree from falling. On the side where the tree is leaning the roots must not be too developed so as not to compete with the roots on the other side. The first level branch grows opposite the direction of the tree for a sense of visual balance. The trunk may be slightly bent or completely straight in this design. The trunk remains thicker at the bottom than along the top.

  • Cascade bonsai style (kengai)

This design is actually what trees look like when these are found along the sides of cliffs and waterfalls. The tree bends down due to snow or falling rocks. This is quite a challenge to maintain in bonsai because it opposes the tree’s natural tendency to grow upright.

This type of bonsai is planted in tall pots to be able to support the tree’s cascading growth. The tree grows upright only for a small stretch but then the trunk bends downwards for the cascading form. The crown of the tree grows above the rim of the pot while the branches grow alternately left and right on the outermost curves of the trunk.

  • Semi-cascade bonsai style (han-kengai)

The semi-cascade bonsai style is similar to the cascading style and is also seen in nature along cliffs and near the banks of rivers and lakes. The trunk is upright for a small length and then grows downwards or sidewards. Compared to the cascade style, the trunk in this style will never grow below the bottom of the planter. The crown is at the bottom of the rim of the pot.

  • Literati bonsai style (bunjingi)

In this style, the tree may be growing in areas that are densely populated by many other trees. The competition is very fierce that the tree can only survive by growing taller and stronger. The trunk develops crookedly and does not branch out because the sun only focuses on the top of the tree. Usually, branches are jinned or removed from the side of the trunk. This means the tree’s struggle to survive in nature. The trees are planted in a small round pot to emphasize the striking design.

  • Windswept bonsai style (Fukinagashi)

This is a good example of trees that struggle to regain control despite tough weather conditions. The branches of the tree grow to one side as the wind blows strongly and persistently from the other direction. The branches may grow out on the sides of the trunk but these will eventually be bent to one side.

  • Double trunk style (sokan)

This is common in nature but may not be very common in bonsai. The tree trunk branches out into two main trunks and both trunks grow out from only one root system. In this design, it is possible to have one trunk smaller than the other and the other trunk thicker. The thicker one will become nearly upright as it grows and develops while the smaller one will grow out in a slanted way.  Both trunks will grow a single canopy of thick leaves.

  • Multitrunk bonsai style (kabudachi)

This style is similar to a double trunk but it has three or more trunks instead of just two. All the trunks grow from a single root system and actually just one tree. All the trunks form one crown of leaves and the thickest and the most developed trunk grows at the top of the display.

  • Forest bonsai style (yose-ue)

The forest bonsai style is like a multi-trunk but these don’t grow from only one trunk. These trees have individual trunks and one large pot is used to complete the arrangement. The most developed tree or trees are planted in the middle of the display while one side of the arrangement there are a few smaller trees that are planted in a staggered pattern. The design may look like a mini forest.

  • Growing on a rock bonsai style (seki-joju)

Trees can grow anywhere in the real world even on a rocky terrain. In this environment, trees are forced to search for nutrient-rich soil with their roots. The roots may grow in cracks and in holes just to search for good soil. As the roots become exposed on the surface soil, these protect themselves from the sun with a special bark that grows to cover them. The roots will also grow over and around obstacles and this is depicted in a seki-joju bonsai design.

  • Growing up in a rock bonsai style (Ishisuki)

Compared to the previous design the roots of the trees here grow in cracks and holes of rocks. There is not much room for roots to grow and absorb nutrients from the soil because of this formation, therefore, you must water and fertilize your bonsai more often than regular styles. There is not much space to store water and nutrients as the bonsai grows in a shallow pot with a rock in the setting.

  • Shari bonsai style (sharimiki)

In the shari bonsai style the trees develop a bald or barkless area on their trunks as time goes by. The barkless part is due to harsh weather conditions. The bald part starts from the area where the root emerges from the ground and this becomes thinner and thinner along the top of the tree. The barkless part can be bleached with the use of sunlight. Some growers also remove the bark using a sharp knife and use calcium sulfate to speed up the bleaching process.

6) Arranging the bonsai tree in your landscape garden

Bonsai Landscape

Now that you have the right rocks and the ideal bonsai shape or design for your bonsai landscape you must arrange these in your landscaping space. For aesthetic reasons consider arranging the trees and rocks to create an equal balance of filled and free space. Never place tall elements near each other and small elements near each other as well. Here are a few suggestions to consider.

Create a Zen garden to highlight your bonsai tree. A Zen garden usually has a minimalist design with pebbles, stones, sand or fine gravel, bamboo panels or fences, water and lights. This landscape design will not just be a lovely area in your garden but can also be used for relaxation and meditation.

Use water features to showcase bonsai designs. Use cascading bonsais as a focal point of a cascading water feature. Arrange bonsai near a fountain or waterfall or use cascading bonsai near cliffs and steep rocks.

Arranging a bonsai garden is a learning experience. You will learn how to form this garden setting by creating and arranging different elements in your garden. Don’t be afraid to arrange elements and experiment with different styles.

7) Maintaining your bonsai trees

Bonsai Landscape

Once your bonsai trees are arranged and placed in position, these must be meticulously pruned to maintain their desired shapes. Maintaining a bonsai is dependent upon the chosen bonsai tree styles as well as the specifications for each particular type of tree.

Take note that some trees only need to be pruned once a year while may require seasonal trimming so you need to keep a tight schedule of your pruning, trimming and pinching.

Water your bonsai regularly and keep the soil moist if you plan to keep your bonsai outdoors. Water only when the soil is dry though because when bonsai is outdoors, it is more susceptible to mold and root rot.

Feed your bonsai accordingly. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to feed your trees, when to feed them and how. Never overlook the type of tree and the developmental stage of your tree because of this matter when it comes to feeding your plants.

8) Adding other elements that complement the landscape design

If you want, you can add other elements to your bonsai landscaping that will enhance the beauty of the trees and rocks in your setting. You may add water features like small waterfalls, fountains, or ponds with live fish. You may also add other outdoor enhancements like lighting, furniture, lamps, canopies and other fixtures.


Using bonsai in a landscape design is done through careful planning. If you are looking forward to having a bonsai garden in the future then you have to prepare your trees early. Have your landscape plans ready and decide on the shape, style and the type of bonsai tree that you wish to use.

Prepare your trees early by pruning, pinching, wiring and enhancing your trees’ health. Choose a style or design that is appropriate for your landscape plans. Finally, do not forget to maintain your bonsai as well as all the other elements in your bonsai garden as soon as these are settled.