blank How to Grow Bonsai: The Ultimate Reading List

How to Grow Bonsai: The Ultimate Reading List

How to Grow Bonsai: The Ultimate Reading List


Our Bonsai Best Reads for Every Type of Bookworm

Whether you’re looking to advance your own practice or gift a good read to the budding bonsai enthusiast in your life, this comprehensive reading list has got you covered. Let’s take a look at our favorite titles for every type of bookworm. 

How to Grow Bonsai: A Beginner’s Best Friend

The Complete Book of Bonsai: A Practical Guide to Its Art and Cultivation

This comprehensive handbook by Harry Tomlinson is the perfect personal assistant for bonsai beginners. Dive into the foundational principles of bonsai, and root your practice in a thorough understanding of this fascinating ancient art form. When you’re ready to get growing, The Complete Book of Bonsai takes you through the process step by step. Learn how to grow bonsai from seeds, saplings, or garden center starter plants; follow detailed illustrations to master the tools and techniques of the trade; and absorb everything you need to know to start your bonsai journey off right. 

What readers say: Detailed history of bonsai; Specific guides; Helpful illustrations. 

Buy The Complete Book of Bonsai online.

How to Grow Bonsai: The Whole Shebang

Bonsai: The Art of Growing and Keeping Miniature Trees 

Bonsai: The Art of Growing and Keeping Miniature Trees is an essential read for anyone looking for a one-stop shop in bonsai cultivation. Written by world-renowned bonsai expert Peter Chan, this comprehensive guide is beginner-friendly and detailed enough for the intermediate grower. Chan outlines everything from picking the perfect tree, selecting the right tools and supplies, cultivation and maintenance, and how different containers affect bonsai growth. A perfect read (with hundreds of color photographs) for anyone ready to expand their existing knowledge or dive in deep. 

What readers say: Clearly written and comprehensive; Great author; Information well-organized.

Buy Bonsai: The Art of Growing and Keeping Miniature Trees online.

How to Grow Bonsai: For Learners at Every Level 

Bonsai Masterclass: All You Need to Know About Creating Bonsai From One of the World’s Top Experts

Another excellent read by Peter Chan, Bonsai Masterclass is an easy-to-read guide to basic and advanced techniques. Beautifully illustrated and expertly written, this straightforward handbook is the perfect pick for bonsai growers seeking a complete summary of care and cultivation techniques. Learners at any level can find value in the content covered in Bonsai Masterclass, making it the perfect book to have on hand for your personal bonsai journey and to share with budding enthusiasts in your life. 

What readers say: Well-written summary; Aspirational and inspirational; Great photos. 

Buy Bonsai Masterclass online.

How to Grow Bonsai: For the Visual Learner

The Living Art Of Bonsai: Principles & Techniques of Cultivation & Propagation

With 288 color pages, The Living Art of Bonsai is a practical, visually stimulating guide to cultivating bonsai. Featuring hundreds of photos of star specimens from author Amy Liang’s personal collection, this breathtaking handbook makes the ancient practice come to life. In addition to an impressive photo gallery, The Living Art of Bonsai features techniques and highly detailed instructions for shaping, training, and nurturing beautiful, artistic trees. 

What readers say: Lovely specimens and photography; Easy read; Great for gifting.

Buy The Living Art of Bonsai online.

How to Grow Bonsai: For Deeper Understanding

Bonsai: Its Art, Science, History and Philosophy

For growers who want to understand the “why” behind the “how,” look no further than this decades-old staple. Another fan favorite by bonsai expert Peter Chan, Bonsai: Its Art, Science, History and Philosophy takes a microscopic look at the art, science, history, and philosophy behind the practice. Discover these elements at a general and species-by-species level, complete with photo series that illustrates how different techniques progress. This guide is a must-have for any bonsai enthusiast ready to take their practice to the next level.

What readers say: Head and shoulders above the rest; Well-explained and illustrated; Practical and non-academic. 

Buy Bonsai: Its Art, Science, History and Philosophy online.

How to Grow Bonsai: Master the Great Indoors

Growing Bonsai Indoors 

Growing bonsai indoors comes with its own set of challenges and rewards. This excellent guide highlights 20 species of popular and unusual tropical and subtropical indoor bonsai. Master sustainable and organic growing practices, browse articles by top American bonsai experts, and learn from the beautiful labeled illustrations and full-color bonsai photographs. Ready to keep a bonsai alive indoors? With this book it’ll be no problem!

What readers say: Useful for adapting outdoor bonsai to indoor growing; Practical and compact; Helpful for new growers.

Buy Growing Bonsai Indoors online.

How to Grow Bonsai: Coffee-Table Charmer

The Little Book of Bonsai: An Easy Guide to Caring for Your Bonsai Tree

A little book with big impact, The Little Book of Bonsai is packed with inspiring photos of stunning trees. While The Little Book makes for a stylish coffee-table conversation piece, you’ll no doubt find this entry-level guide making its way to your bonsai station. With simple, clear guidance on wiring, watering, pruning, pests, repotting (and more!), author Jona Dupas presents a perfect visual guide to all types of bonsai trees. Whether you’re caring for bonsai indoors or outdoors, curious about containers, or not sure which species is best for you, The Little Book of Bonsai provides a modern look at this ancient art form so you can grow with confidence. 

What readers say: Visually compelling; Great bulleted lists; Uncomplicated and engaging. 

Buy The Little Book of Bonsai online.

Did we miss your personal must-read? Tell us about your favorite bonsai books in the comments section below!

Bonsai With Us!

The Bonsai Resource Center is here to help you learn how to grow bonsai and provide you with the tools you need to keep your tree healthy and strong. Explore our other articles, visit our online shop, and connect with other bonsai lovers in our Facebook group to learn everything you need to know about this rewarding hobby!

More Bonsai Tree Care Resources

The Best Bonsai Tree Benefits for Your Body and Soul

The Ultimate Bonsai Plant FAQ Cheat Sheet

4 Tips for Choosing a Bonsai Planter

Best Bonsai Tree Instagram Accounts 


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