Do I Need a Humidity Tray for my Bonsai?

If you’ve seen pictures of large powerful or graceful, amazing bonsai trees, many of them are pictured in stunning bonsai pots, with a humidity tray, and then placed on a beautiful stand. It’s easy to conclude that your bonsai thus also needs a humidity tray for optimal health. Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. A humidity tray …

Recommended BETTER Beginner Bonsai Tools

One of the more commonly heard refrains from bonsai professionals and serious enthusiasts is that beginners in bonsai shouldn’t spend their money on cheap tool sets. They argue that cheap tool sets are worthless.  Instead the serious beginner should invest in just two or three better quality tools. The trouble I have with this recommendation is the ambiguity of exactly …

Recommended BASIC Beginner Bonsai Tools

One of the more commonly heard refrains from bonsai professionals and serious enthusiasts is that beginners in bonsai shouldn’t spend their money on cheap tool sets. They argue that cheap tool sets are worthless and instead the serious beginner should invest in just two or three better quality tools. The trouble I have with this recommendation is the ambiguity of …

How To Care for Your Bonsai Tools

FORWARD Failing to take care of tools can cause tools to rust, bend or get chipped, stick together, dull, and corrode. Bonsai tools are generally expensive and worth taking the time and effort to clean and properly care for. Having tools in good clean condition can also make bonsai work easier and more enjoyable.     CARBON VS STAINLESS In …

How to Water Your Bonsai

This sounds like a stupid question: “How do I water my bonsai?” Um, you put water into the pot.   This is not a dumb question. Over and under watering is a prime cause of dead bonsai trees. It’s the prime cause of death of potted plants in general, and bonsai have more specific needs than other potted plants. Anyone …

What is a Mud Man?

They’re called mud men. You likely saw them on mall bonsai all over the place a decade or so ago. He was small and made of different color clays, and he may or may not have been holding a fishing pole. Perhaps instead he was looking into the distance in a reflective manner.   Lately, most people would say no …

Review: Best Packaged Bonsai Soil Mix

For those of you who have been tinkering in bonsai for a while, you’ve likely learned that just because a package says “bonsai soil” on it doesn’t mean it’s actually good for your bonsai.   From buying soil that that is too moisture retentive and you might as well just pot in potting soil, to getting a product that seems …

Review: Plant Moisture Meters (A Side by Side Review)

In my quest to firmly grasp the art of bonsai, I’m eager for any tool that will help add a dollop of science to the art form.   Through the years I’ve been dabbling I’ve lost a lot of bonsai, and I believe most plants that have died have been from over or under watering. There are plenty of other …

Who Makes the Best Bonsai Tools?

Who makes the best bonsai tools? The answer used to be Masakuni, but is it anymore?   Good bonsai tools are a bit like good knives. They aren’t necessary to do the job, but they make tasks easier and more pleasant. One could argue the cheapest $50 bonsai tool set will work just fine if you keep it clean and …

How to Choose Bonsai Material From Nursery Stock

In the event you don’t have a plethora of material to work with you’ll have to pick something up. One of the options that’s always listed is going to your local nursery and selecting something, because unlike finding in the wild or salvaging something from your property or that of your neighbor, going to a nursery is always an option. …