Bonsai translates into English as ‘Tray Planting’. It is the Japanese art of growing miniature trees in shallow containers or trays.
The art itself dates back to the 6th century originating in China as Penzai which later became penjing.
Penzai translates into Japanese as bonsai

The Vietnamese art of living landscapes hòn non bộ, also originated from the Chinese art of penjing. Further information on the origins of Bonsai can be searched for on the internet or from this website which I found gives a good insight into the origins of the art.

My Bonsai Diary

Thursday 4th June 2020

The contents of the kit

My Bonsai Kit ordered from Amazon arrived this morning.

The Contents of the kit

A selection of 5 different tree seeds,
Italian Cyprus,  Judas Tree,  Japanese Cedar,  Dwarf Mountain Pine,  Red Leaf Mapel.
Each packet containing approximately 10 seeds. Plus a bonus packet of quick growing Chinese Wistreria Seeds.
Five each of Biodegradable Pots, Expanding Soil Discs, Propagation Bags, a Pencil,  Wooden Plant Markers and Instruction Guide.

Step 1

Soak the seeds for 24 – 36 hours in water.

The seeds soaking in water in egg cups with the markers identifying them

I’ve used half the number of each type of seeds in egg cups. A wooden plant marker for each tree type and with the starting date have been payed in front of each egg cup to identify the contents. With no young children or pets they should be quite safe from being knocked over or muddled up! They could of course be taped to each respective egg cup for extra security.
As there were only five markers there isn’t one for the Chinese Wisteria so have left the seed packet in front until I can get some extra markers. 

Friday 5th June 2020

Step 2

Place soil discs in water for 60 – 90 seconds. They will swell considerably. Squeeze excess water out and break each one up Into a biodegradable pot. Leaving a small amount to cover the seeds when planted. Completely drain all water from the seeds and carefully sow them into the the pots.
Cover with the remaining soil and insert the markers carefully into each pot for the type of seed sown.

The soil discs took a lot longer than the stated 60 – 90 seconds. I found it easier to remove the disc from the thin white bag each disc is in and though messier the discs did eventually expand.

The 2 pots on the left are the Chinese Wisteria

Propagation Period
Take a plastic propagation bag and pierce it with several holes.
This allows the air to circulate through the bag.
Place a planted pot into the bag and close it.
Place the bagged pots in a cool dry and light area (Not in direct sunlight) for 14 to 21 days.



Thursday 11th June 2020




After just 6 days one of the Chinese Wisteria seeds is shooting!

For further updates of the Chinese Wisteria
development, Click here




Friday 19th June 2020

Step 3

Cold Stratification Period
This is to simulate the real world conditions of winter that seeds would experience outdoors. To achieve this each bag with a pot in it is placed into a refrigerator for the following lengths of time.
Red Maple 5 – 7 weeks
Judas Tree 6 – 8 weeks
Italian Cyprus, Japanese Cedar and Dwarf Mountain Pine 4 – 6 weeks

Not needed for the Chinese Wister


Friday 14th August 2020

Step 4

Cold Stratification period ends

After the required Stratification Period the bags and pots are removed from the refrigerator and placed in a warm area. Watering gently the germination should begin.

One seedling has sprouted.

Friday 4th September 2020

Unfortunately no sign of any further seedlings germinating.




The following is a To-do list which will move down as each step is completed

Step 4

After the required Stratification Period the bags and pots are removed from the refrigerator and placed in a warm area. Watering gently the germination should begin.
keep out of direct sunlight and keep the soil damp but not waterlogged.

Once germination has begun remove the pot from the bag and when the seedlings are strong enough, re-pot into a larger pot where they should remain for about 12 months.


Link to the Bonsai Empire website