Bonsai trees can be very expensive. As a rule of thumb, the higher the age and the more impressive the trunk - the more expensive a Bonsai gets. In this article we'll share some projects with cheaper Bonsai material, working with nursery stock plants.
Styling an Ilex crenata, $5 US
The first project is a Japanese holly that we purchased in a garden center, for only $5 US. With a few straight trunks and little ramification, the tree definitely is no bonsai yet, but it's got potential. Applying Bonsai technique we can unlock the potential and set it up for a nice future. In the video below we styled the tree, which happened in Fall. About a year later we'll repot the tree and prune it again to develop the tree further.
The Ilex that we purchased in a garden center.
Pruning the branches.
The tree after pruning and wiring, we'll repot it next year.
You can create nice bonsai projects from very cheap and widely available nursery stock. In this video we show you how to prune and wire an Ilex crenata plant with a price tag of $5 US. The Ilex crenata bonsai (also called Japanese holly bonsai) is a strong and versatile plant. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see how this tree progresses over time!
Tools and pots
Apart from the trees, we can also spend big on tools and pots. Stainless steel Japanese tools easily cost $150 a piece, and handmade pots even more. But as a beginner, you don't need these things to create a Bonsai tree. Either purchase some cheaper tools, or use standard pruning shears. And as for pots, factory made or second-hand pots will be far cheaper.
Two other examples of cheap Bonsai projects
In this video we show you how to prune and wire a Buxus bonsai of about 8 years old, it cost us $20 US, plus a pot of about the same value.
In this video we show you how to prune, wire and repot a Japanese white pine of about 8 years old. The pricetag was $50 US, which perhaps isn't cheap - but it was great value. The pot cost us about $15 US.