The Ultimate Bonsai Tree Maintenance Guide

A few months ago our experts wrote a guide on crafting your own bonsai garden. Well, for today’s blog we’re going to be taking a short break from what to do with your concrete driveway in Melbourne. Instead, we’re going to be scaling it down and looking at some major factors that are involved in maintaining a bonsai tree. Quarantine is the perfect time to care for a bonsai since you’ll be home all the time and can give it the nurturing care and love that it needs to thrive.



The reason we prune bonsai trees is so that they can maintain their shape. The majority of growth will be on top of the bonsai as well as the outer parts, which means these are the areas you’re going to want to concentrate on pruning to refine the shape as well as make way for the new growth.

Regular pruning is encouraged as it will drive your bonsai to distribute even growth. Any type of branch or shoot that seems to have outgrown the overall shape of the bonsai should be targeted. Bonsai can be pruned at any time but should especially be pruned during their growing season.



Watering your bonsai tree is a crucial part of keeping it alive – but it can get a little tricky since every type of bonsai has its own watering requirements. That being said, there are a few factors that should be considered that can help you water your bonsai tree efficiently. For starters, there’s no need to adhere to a watering schedule – in fact, it’s much better if you water it at abnormal times and only when it needs it.

How do you know if your bonsai needs to be watered? The soil shouldn’t still be wet – it should be dry at least one centimetre below the soil before you should consider watering it again. Bonsai require thorough soakings, so the entire root system is appropriately wetted. If you can – use harvested rainwater as its lack of chemicals makes it ideal to use (but tap water is still appropriate).


Soil mixture

The nutrients the soil will provide your bonsai trees is paramount to it thriving. A good soil mixture must provide sufficient aeration, be able to drain properly and also retain water effectively. There are five common components used in bonsai soil mixture (the first three are more common than the last two, however):


Pumice – This soft volcanic product can efficiently absorb nutrients and water (as well as helping to retain water) when used as a bonsai soil mixture.

Lava rock – Whilst roots can’t grow into lava rock, it does retain water and add fantastic structure to the bonsai.

Akadama – Made to be used specifically for Bonsais, Akadama is a hard-baked Japanese clay that should be sifted before use. It lasts around two years – at which point the bonsai should be repotted as aeration quality is reduced.

Fine gravel – Fine gravel can act as the bottom layer of the mixture to enhance drainage and also just generally create a more aerated bonsai soil mix.

Organic potting compost – On its own, this ingredient won’t do much good but combined with the above elements it can yield great results.


Whilst each type of tree will require its own mixture –two general mixes can be used for Deciduous and Coniferous/Pine bonsais. More Akadama should be added if you’re unable to regularly check your bonsai – to improve its water retention.



50% Akadama

25% Pumice

25% Lava rock



33% Akadama

33% Pumice

33% Lava rock



Because Bonsai are planted in small pots – their roots are unable to branch out and search for more nutrients as a normal plant would. This is why regular fertilisation is key to a bonsai’s growth season. This is the only way they’re able to replenish their nutrients. As a general rule – our Melbourne-based driveway experts recommend fertilising your bonsai regularly throughout its growing season.


Are you looking for a new driveway in Melbourne?

Caring for a bonsai is no simple task and takes a lot of dedication and maintenance – but once you get used to it you can become a bonsai master in no time. A Better Driveway is still operating during the quarantine and can provide you with high-quality concrete driveway solutions in Melbourne – whether they are exposed aggregate, coloured or textured concrete patterns.

If you require a new driveway in Melbourne, then please get in touch with us by calling (03) 9308 6112 or filling out the contact sheet on our website.