About Bonsai

This page has helpful information for the cultivation of bonsai. We hope it serves as a useful reference.
Calendar of Bonsai Care

BC Bonsai Society provides this Bonsai Calendar.pdf which shows when to work on your trees, fertilize and other care tasks.  It is a useful reference for the types of tasks you should complete each month.  The timing is based on the climate in the BC Lower Mainland and should be adjusted if you live elsewhere. 

Custom Care for Each Species

Each species requires different care, and when you are learning it is good advice to limit yourself to about five species so tree care does not become too complicated.  There are good websites available with instructions for individual species care such as: bonsai4me.com/species_guide.html.  You can look your trees up on these websites and learn how to take care of the species you have.  Some members find it helpful to record their annual care routine in a journal, so they recall what needs to be done in each month of the year.

Soil Mixes

Soil mixes are one of the most commonly asked questions in bonsai and one that receives a wide variety of answers.  Answers are varied because each individual needs to find a soil mix that works with their watering routine.  The less frequent you water, the more water retention your soil mix needs, but there are limits to how much water retention you can get away with.  Bonsai soil needs to be granular and well draining enough to promote fine root development and to avoid root rot.  The following basic soil mix will provide that drainage, but you will also need to adjust it and carefully establish a watering routine to give each species the moisture they require.  A basic recipe to follow is: 2 part Akadama (sifted), 1 part pumice and 1 part lava.  More information can be found here. bonsaiempire.com/basics/bonsai-care/advanced/bonsai-soil

Winter Care

Store your trees healed into the ground and lightly covered in leaves to protect them from freezing temperatures.  The cold is good for most trees growth in the lower mainland, but some imported trees may require additional protection.  You can check your plant hardiness at the www.planthardiness.gc.ca website.  Look to see if your plant is hardy enough to survive winters in your area.  If it is not, it needs to be brought into a garage over the coldest winter months to keep it above freezing.

Useful Links


Bonsai for beginners. Very well done series of articles and links on how to care for your bonsai. Highly recommended. Click here



Sometimes bonsai supplies are hard to find. BCBS does not endorse these suppliers, but we would like to share where our members purchase supplies for your convenience.

Wire, tools and pumice

Art’s Nursery
8940 192 St
Surrey BC

Bonsai pots

China Pottery Trading Ltd
13920 Bridgeport Rd
Richmond BC


Cedar Rim Nursery in Langley
David Hunter Nursery in Langley
West Coast Farms in Fort Langley – by the yard

Black lava

Burnco on 56th Ave in Langley

Bonsai and all supplies

Bonsai Floral Garden
19298 Colebrook Rd
Surrey, BC


Bonsai Northwest
5021 S 144 St
Tukwila WA