Conditions for development
Conditions for development


While the physical properties of soil are to provide a secure anchor for the tree, the organic composition enables the tree to grow and develop into a masterpiece. The roots of the tree draw water and food from the soil. This is vital for the photosynthesis process.

Exposure to sunlight.

Sunlight is indispensable to the process of photosynthesis, without sunlight the tree, or any tree cannot develop or grow and will die. The type of trees we use in South Africa for bonsai are 100% exposed to the African sun 90% of the day.

Growing Bonsai in the sun
Growing Bonsai in the sun

Exposure to the wind.

It is extremely important to develop your tree in a natural environment, remember a bonsai tree has the same needs and characteristics as a big tree in the wild. At the same time, one should not overlook the fact that wind may accentuate the ambient conditions for example, a bonsai exposed to the sun will be more prone to drought if it is exposed to the wind at the same time (that is why we say keep your tree damp). We need to protect our trees against the wind in the winter as wind and cold air increase the risk of frost in the winter.

The Climate.

A bonsai is a miniature tree, not a hothouse tree, and it must live out of doors all the time, being brought into the house only on special occasions, for a few hours. (You will not bring a big tree from the garden into your house, will you?)

Rain is essential to the good health of a bonsai, but it must be taken under cover if very hail or if there is a gale or strong wind which might upset the pot or uproot the tree. You want to protect your tree against hail especially these days when we get hail as big as tennis balls.

Our climate is a sort of mild climate in South Africa and will allow most species to grow. In some cases, we need to intervene to make sure the trees are kept damn and to protect our soft trees like figs from frost, but most species can be grown in the soil outdoors without much difficulty.


Started playing with Bonsai trees from 1978

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