Bonsai trees from stem cuttings, grow your own easily.

Saplings of the Fukien tea tree developed from stem cuttings.
Saplings of the Fukien tea tree developed from stem cuttings.

Bonsai trees from stem cuttings, grow your own easily. Truly the first step of growing a bonsai is exactly similar to that of any other trees. For example, we can use stem cuttings or seeds for propagation in most cases. Grafting and layering are other methods that are not much common. Usually it depends on the nature of the trees.

However you can try any of these with plants that are available in your locality. In tropical regions like the southern parts of India, there are a lot of beautiful trees suitable for making bonsai. For example the Tamarind tree, different varieties of Ficus, Cassia fistula, the Jade tree, Fukien tea tree, the Schefflera etc.

Among these, the propagation of the Tamarind tree, Cassia fistula etc. are through germination of seeds. But we can grow many others from stem cuttings.

How to make a bonsai from stem cuttings.

Sapling of a Jade plant grown from stem cuttings
Sapling of a Jade plant grown from stem cuttings

Collection of stem cuttings.

Indeed, collecting stem cuttings for propagation is the first step to grow a bonsai. For this, always select mature mother plants without any kind of diseases. Generally we can use cuttings with a length of about six to eight inches for this.


First we have to prepare a medium for the propagation of the stem cuttings. A well drained medium is required for proper rooting, which you can prepare in the following ratio.

River sand50%
Garden soil20%
Coco peat20%
Vermi compost10%
Potting medium

Fill about 3/4 of an ordinary garden pot with the above medium. Then plant your stem cutting in it about three inches deep. Always remember to select shallow pots with large holes for better drainage. Keep it in shade for a few days and water regularly.
Let your saplings grow in the same pot till they are ready to be transferred to the training pots.

Never forget to add an organic manure at intervals of four to six weeks.

Let us see a few examples of bonsai trees that we can grow from stem cuttings.

1. Trees from the ficus family.

Ficus microcarpa bonsai.

Ficus microcarpa bonsai
Ficus microcarpa bonsai

Definitely ficus microcarpa trees are the favorites of bonsai beginners. Small dark green shiny leaves, hanging roots, woody stem etc. are the main characteristics of these plants. If we care it properly, these low maintenance plants turn into beautiful bonsai trees within a short period.

Ficus benjamina or the Weeping fig. 

Ficus benjamina bonsai
Ficus benjamina bonsai

Long Island, golden gate etc. are the different varieties of Ficus benjamina, that we can use for making bonsai from stem cuttings.

Ficus bodhi.

Ficus bodhi bonsai
Ficus bodhi bonsai

There is a slight difference in the colour and texture of leaves of the ficus bodhi tree, from that of Ficus religiosa.

Ficus alii.

Really Ficus alii is one of the most beautiful plants in the family. Long drooping leaves and fast growing hanging roots are the main characteristics of the plant.
The ficus alii is a cultivated species and hence we cannot find it in the wild. But certainly we can buy saplings of the plant from sellers.
Here I have not mentioned in detail, about the most popular trees from the ficus family – religiosa and benghalensis. Because we can either use stem cuttings or saplings collected directly from nature, which is available from underneath large trees, old stone walls etc. Surely we can find these trees in temple premises, parks or even as shade trees on the sides of road, especially in the southern parts of India.

Sapling of Ficus religiosa sprouted from a stone wall.
Sapling of Ficus religiosa sprouted from a stone wall.

Definitely you will get an endless supply of oxygen, by keeping a few ficus bonsai plants in your home.

2. The Fukien tea tree or Carmona retusa bonsai from stem cuttings.

These trees are originally the natives of the Fukien province of china. Small dark green leaves, star like white flowers, green fruits that gradually turn to orange and red colours etc. are the special features of the plant.

3. Schefflera or the Hawaiian umbrella.

For making bonsai, we can use mature stem cuttings of Schefflera the fast growing tropical plants that need minimum caring. There are a lot of beautiful varieties of the plant, with dark green or variegated umbrella like leaves.

4. Jade or the Money tree bonsai from stem cuttings.

The Jade tree bonsai
The Jade tree bonsai

The beautiful heart shaped leaves of the plant resemble the precious stone jade. It is believed that, keeping a Jade bonsai brings good luck to your home.
The Casuarina, Brazilian rain tree, Bougainvillea etc. are a few other tropical plants ideal for bonsai, you can try  from stem cuttings.

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