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How To Grow Bonsai Trees From Cuttings? (10 Steps)

People have been growing bonsai trees from cuttings for centuries, so it’s a well-established method that is almost guaranteed to work. 

Plus, it’s a super easy and cheap way to grow new trees. 

And although the whole process requires you to be a bit patient, once you’re in the swing of things, your new hobby will keep you busy for hours. 

To grow a bonsai tree from a cutting, you’ll first need to ensure the parent tree is suitable to clip before breaking off a few healthy branches. 

Next, you’ll prepare your pot and your cuttings. 

Finally, you can plant your cuttings, care for them, and wait until they take root. 

In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to grow bonsai trees from cuttings. 

Can You Grow Bonsai Trees From Cuttings?

Yes, you absolutely can. 

In fact, growing bonsais from tree cuttings is the most common way of growing bonsai trees.

10 Steps to Grow a Bonsai Tree From a Cutting

This step-by-step guide will show you how to successfully grow beautiful bonsais from small cuttings off your favorite trees. 

And fortunately, the process isn’t too hard. 

It just takes some patience and care. 

Step 1: Ensure the Parent Tree is Healthy 

Before you start the cutting process, you have to make sure the parent tree of your desired bonsai is healthy. 

And, by the way, the parent tree is the tree from which you are taking the cutting. 

Overall, you should be able to tell whether the tree is in good shape from how it looks. 

If the branches look healthy and the roots are intact, you’ve found a winner. 

Step 2: Check the Parent Tree’s Characteristics

You should also ensure the parent tree has the characteristics you want your bonsais to have. 

For example, if you prefer a particular shape, you should look for a parent tree with that form.

So, in all, make sure you choose a parent tree that suits your style. 

Step 3: Select Your Branches

Next, pick the branch of the parent tree you will use to grow your bonsai. 

This branch should be healthy with plenty of leaves to ensure you have a good chance of growing a decent plant from it. 

Additionally, at this step, it’s best to choose about two to four branches to increase your chance of one of them taking root. 

Step 4: Prepare Your Pot

You will also need to find the perfect pot for your bonsai. 

And, remember that the size of your pot will determine how big the tree will grow. 

Thus, take a moment to think about how large you want your bonsai to grow before you choose your pot. 

Then, line the bottom of your pot with gravel or anything that will improve drainage. 

Lastly, fill the pot until it is two-thirds of the way full with soil mix. 

Step 5: Add Water

Water your soil so that it becomes moist the whole way through.

Step 6: Prepare Your Cutting

To prepare your cutting, you first need to measure approximately 3-4 in (7-10 cm) down from the tip of your branch. 

And make sure you measure with an actual ruler or measuring tape instead of trying to guess because a cutting that is too big will almost certainly fail. 

Then, once you’re confident with your measurements, it’s time to cut your branch. 

To do this step correctly, you need to ensure that your cutting tool is clean to prevent contamination which could kill your tree before it even takes root. 

Also, make sure your tool is sharp so that you can make a clean cut. 

Next, cut through your branch at an angle of about 45 degrees. 

Repeat this process with each of your tree cuttings. 

Step 7: Remove the Leaves

Now, remove most of the leaves off of your cutting. 

However, leave just a few leaves on the top so that the baby bonsai gets the nutrients it needs. 

Step 8: Plant Your Cuttings

Go ahead and place the cuttings into your prepared pot. 

You can put all of your cuttings into the same pot or place them in different pots if you prefer. 

Just ensure that you put the stems of the cuttings into the soil about 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep. 

Step 9: Give Your Cuttings Sunlight 

Place the pot with the bonsai cuttings in a spot where they will get plenty of sunshine. 

And keep in mind that this step is vital because sunlight will ensure they grow. 

Step 10: Water Your Cuttings

Water the bonsais as regularly as they need. 

Generally, in the first few months, you just need to make sure the soil remains moist. 

However, never overwater or drown your cuttings. 

How Long Does it Take to Grow a Bonsai Tree From a Cutting? 

Your bonsai cuttings will start to develop roots about two weeks after you plant them. 

Then, you should have a well-established bonsai tree within about two years. 

But, keep in mind that if you want to propagate more bonsais from your original cuttings, you will have to wait between 5 and 10 years, depending on the type of tree. 


Growing bonsai trees from cuttings is relatively easy. 

However, it will take several years before your bonsais grow to their permanent size. 

So, make sure you have plenty of patience if you are going to partake in this ancient tradition.

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