bonsai tree seeds

Growing bonsai trees from bonsai seeds can be a creative and delightful process to get bonsai trees from the beginning. This process also allows you to enjoy the beauty of sprouting trees from seeds and worship the unforgettable beauty and essence of blossom. 

In Japan, one of the most ancient fields of bonsai art, the process of growing bonsai trees from seeds is known as “Misho.” This process is now getting much more popular not only in Japan but also all over the world. Bonsai tree artists praise “Misho” because the process is very beneficial, ensuring the trees are free from diseases, pests, and other sinister. 

You may find the process is prolonged, and it takes a long time (minimum three years) to become mature enough to start shaping and pruning over the tree. But the thing is, this process, “Misho,” allows you to gain complete control over your bonsai trees, and finally, you will be rewarded with nicely shaped, styled, and healthy bonsai trees.

So in this article, we offer you a complete and fruitful guide on bonsai seeds that allows you to gain enough knowledge about growing bonsai trees from seeds. 

So dear audience! Let’s drive into the entire article and gather the necessary information you need to know.

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How to Get Bonsai Tree Seeds 

If you’re thinking about growing a bonsai tree from seed, first of all, you need to get your desired tree seed in your hands. You can get your seeds from trees in your surroundings because bonsai trees are created from typical trees that we can see in our surroundings. So there’s no such thing as a special “bonsai tree seed.” 

You can also buy them from any of your local gardening shops or online shops. 

If you collect your bonsai tree seeds from your local area, it will be the best choice for you. This is because they will be in their climate, and there will be no trouble to thrive and live for them. But remember one thing, if you choose them to collect from local trees, you should plant your seeds during Autumn for the best results. 

However, if you’re planning to plant your local seeds in any season out of fall or if you want to plant any foreign seeds that aren’t in your local climate, you’re recommended to go through “stratification”- a unique technique of treating seeds. We’re going to discuss this process broadly in the following section of the article. 

Stratification of Bonsai Seeds

Stratification is the process of breaking the dormancy of seeds and preparing the seeds for planting. It is an artificial way of dominating tree seeds to the cold temperature and treating them to simulate the natural growing conditions to germinate. Most seed species need to go through this processing right before they are set to sprout or grow.

In nature, generally, a seed falls from the mother plant to the ground during fall. Then in the cold soil, it remains nestled throughout Winter. After that, Spring comes, the warming grounds become very humid, and we know how important humidity is for germinating tree seeds. 

This humidity of soil helps to bring the seed out of latency and soften the seed’s shell for sprouting.

But when you’re using the seeds that have been stored inside and out of the soil for a long time, you should go through the artificial technique of “stratification” snap seeds from dormancy. Besides, this is a genuine way of making sense of the cold and warm cycle seeds that are very important for most seed species to sprout. 

Stratification is required 

  • You’re planning to plant your seeds out of season.
  • The seeds you’re using aren’t in their climate. 
  • You are using packaged seeds.
  • The seeds you’re going to plant are kept inside for some time and out of soil throughout the cold season.

If you’re required to go through the process, get your seeds and soak them for 24 hours in a container full of water. Then you will find some of your seeds floating on the water. To remove them from the water. Because they are empty shells.

Now put them in a plastic bag filled with humid potting soil and keep the bag in your refrigerator for seven days to cold stratify. Finally, at the time of planting, pot out the seeds from the pack and plant them. But remember one thing, the duration of time and the optimal temperature usually depend on the tree species. So a book written on bonsai tree species or an online search can help you know the exact answer in this regard. 

Where to Get Tree Seeds

As we mentioned above, bonsai seeds are created from typical trees. You can collect them from your local forest in the fall. Most tree seeds, such as chestnuts and acorns, are easy to find in the woods. Conifer seeds are found inside the pinecones. 

Once you have collected pinecones, store them in a warm place so that they can release their seeds from in and between their scales. Therefore, you can also get seeds of several bonsai tree species by visiting your local bonsai tree shops or ordering from various online bonsai shops.

Tips When Buying Tree Seeds Online

When you’re planning to purchase your bonsai tree seeds online, there are many things that you should be aware of. First, all online shops or sites aren’t trusted. Many of them are scammers. 

Most of the time, they sell immature, diseased, and thin seeds that won’t be able to germinate. Seeds can also expire and might not be well stored. Consequently, you can’t get the result you expected. 

So in this section of the article, we would like to add some helpful tips that you should follow before buying your desired seeds online. 

1. First and foremost, discuss with experienced gardeners you trust to find out the sites and brands they prefer and have had success with. Online reviews and ratings can also help you in this regard.

2. Talk with the site’s staff and see how knowledgeable they are, and respond to answer your planting and gardening questions.

3. How long the site has been in the business must be researched. Though newcomers are not always nasty, the sites have been around a long time and must be doing something great from experience.

4. Before purchasing the seeds, make sure they are well packaged and aren’t expired. Besides, don’t forget to read the level and other information attached to the seeds’ packet.

5. Finally, don’t be afraid to try new things. The more you will try, the more you will learn. Experimenting is a part of gardening. So go on the way you feel like it’s ok.

Types of Seeds for Bonsai

There are many bonsai tree species you will find. Seeds of these beautiful tree species are also available in local or online bonsai shops to be collected. Some of the bonsai tree species that are good to grow from seeds are:

  • Maple
  • Fir
  • Pine
  • Cedar and 
  • Beech

They are also trendy for easy cultivation. So if you’re a beginner, they would be the best choice for you to grow bonsai trees from seeds. 

When to Sow Bonsai Seeds

Autumn is the best time to sow your bonsai tree seeds like most of the tree species prefer. This fact is that seeds naturally keep dormant in the Winter and sprout in the early Spring. So when you’re planting your seed in Autumn, you’re following nature’s schedule to germinate seeds.

However, this realistic timetable ensures your young seedlings will have a whole summer season to grow after sprouting in Spring. They will also get enough time to develop their entire preparation for the incoming cold Winter. Sowing seeds in this season also means that you don’t need to worry about “stratification.” 

How to Plant Bonsai Seeds

In this section of the article, we’ll discuss how to plant bonsai seeds. First, however, to grow your bonsai tree seeds, you must follow the following steps as properly you can to get the best results. 

So let’s have a look at the following guidelines.


First of all, collect or purchase the seeds of your desired bonsai tree species.


After collecting the seeds, check if they require stratification. The process, however, depends on the tree species you selected and the climate of the area where you’re going to grow your trees. 


Choose a container where you will plant your seeds. The planting container can be a pot or starter tray but must be consistent with sufficient water drainage holes to drain extra water from the container. 

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Now fill the container with standard bonsai soil or with suitable potting compost. 


Finally, now it’s time to sow your seeds into the pot. First, create shallow holes on the soil using your finger or a chopstick and then place the seeds into the holes. Here make sure that there is enough room (at least 2 inches) between two seeds. Otherwise, they will become overcrowded when they germinate. 

After that, add another level of bonsai soil or potting compost on the top of the seeds. Now compact the ground a bit using your fingers. 


Water moderately and keep the soil slightly moist but not too wet until the seeds ultimately germinate and sprout. It would help if you also were careful that the soil does not dry out at all. 


Keep the container outside or in a warmer place where the container can get sunlight properly. This will help the seeds to germinate and sprout naturally.


From the day of planting seeds, you have to wait at least one year to place the seedlings into the large pots individually to grow fast and be healthy enough. 

Then wait at least two years more to start training, styling, pruning, and wiring the seedlings. So it will take at least three years for your seedlings to get ready for proper training and shaping.


How long does it take for a bonsai tree seed to sprout? 

Generally, it takes around four weeks to sprout if you go through stratification. But if you plant the seeds of your local in the fall, it will grow early in the Spring. 

How do you start a bonsai tree from a seed? 

First of all, I selected the tree species I would like to grow as bonsai. Then I collect seeds of the species. Most of the time, I want to collect seeds from my local forest. After that, I plant them in a starter tray in Autumn. The seedlings take approximately three years to mature enough to start pruning, styling, shaping, and training. Like this, it takes between five and ten years to get the final result. 

Is it hard to grow a bonsai tree from seed? 

If you start as a beginner or seasoned gardener, it may seem a bit difficult to grow a bonsai tree from seed. But if you have enough time, patience, and knowledge, it’s not as hard to grow bonsai trees from seeds as people think. So go through the outline of developing a bonsai tree from seed and apply all tips and tricks you learned in your work.

How long do you soak bonsai seeds?

The usual time of soaking seeds is between 8-12 hours but not more than 24 hours. Therefore, soaking seeds overnight is a good choice. It will depend on the temperature of water you used to soak bonsai tree seeds. If the temperature of the water is high, the duration of soaking seeds will decrease. 

Final Thoughts

We’ve come up at the last stage of the article. I hope you found the article helpful. Throughout the report, we tried to let you know different things about bonsai seeds. 

Growing bonsai trees from seeds is not an easy task after all. If you’re a beginner, it will be more difficult for you. Most of the time, people who try to cultivate bonsai from seeds go wrong because of their lack of patience and time. 

But at the same time, it doesn’t sound like it’s complicated. It’s all about your practice. If you want to gain something, you should take risks. So if you have enough time and patience, you can cultivate your bonsai trees from seeds and ensure your garden is a success. It lets you be in control throughout the entire process of growing a bonsai tree.