Bonsai supplies and accessories are available by the hundreds (perhaps thousands) --bonsai soil, pots, wire, rakes, tweezers and even moss!
You may not need them all.
In addition to the basics, many additional supplies and equipment are true assets and conveniences.
Others are nothing more than novelties.
Listed below are some of the most commonly used bonsai supplies.
In addition to the items shown on this page, there are pages for:
Basic Bonsai Tools - Everything you will need to get started and what each item is used for.
Bonsai Pot - There are many sizes, shapes and colors of bonsai containers. There are also lots of "rules." Let's call them guidelines.
Bonsai Wire - Essential for styling bonsai, wire comes in many sizes and several types.
Bonsai Soil - When it comes to bonsai supplies, bonsai soil is one of the most difficult to determine. There are many types and there is no simple answer.
Although many roots can be raked out to trim and remove soil, Some such as boxwood can not be combed. Others may need to be “sliced” with a saw or sharp knife.
Used judiciously, the bonsai rake is valuable. You should have one in your tool box, but know it is not perfect for every root pruning situation.
Seems everyone has a chopstick in their bonsai tool box – and for good reason. They are helpful in many ways: discovering nebari (roots which often flare under the soil); poking around for borers in soft wood; and checking for soil pockets when repotting, to name a few.
You never know where you will find bonsai supplies. Take chopsticks home from your favorite Oriental restaurant. Even better are the "chop-sticks" made of very hard wood, sometimes available from bonsai shops or at conventions.
Bonsai Tweezers are a convenience tool. They are often used for plucking needles and many swear by them for removing weeds.
(Pull up the roots when removing weeds, otherwise they will return quickly.)
In my early bonsai years, I experimented with many things to cover the holes in bonsai pots ... pottery shards, fabric mesh, window screen and even burlap to name a few. None of them were as good as the black plastic mesh packaged specifically for bonsai. Why?
The holes are large enough to give good drainage and not clog. Wired into the pot, they are secure and will last for many repottings to come.
Moss is a small, leafless, soft plant. There are thousands of different kinds. It is usually found in damp, shady spots. However, some varieties grow in full sun.
Although it is a plant that doesn't bloom, and therefore has no seeds, it sends out spores to spread itself.
Because bonsai are watered frequently, moss sometimes appears on its own. Its success has a lot to do with the micro-climate where your bonsai is growing.
The moss “seeds” (spores) available from many bonsai suppliers, may or may not work in your climate zone.
Bonsai exhibits are known for there fantastic displays of moss on the trees. The secret? Many times the moss was “planted” the night before. I know in Miami, just before the annual show there is a mad quest for wild moss at the local nurseries!
Moss is only a decoration. Although pretty, it is not required to make a good bonsai.
If you are a bonsai beginner, in time you will develop your own list of the most valuable bonsai supplies. The important ones are the ones that work for you!
Have you seen the page of plants for Bonsai Beginners?
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