A good soil mix must:
  • anchor the tree in the pot
  • hold moisture and nutrients
  • drain well and allow the roots to breathe

Coarse-textured peat or sludge, coarse building sand and garden loam are the three ingredients of good bonsai soil.
We use more or less equal parts of Okhla sludge, Badarpur (red) building sand and garden soil.
A handful of leaf mould per pot improves texture and nutrition and a layer of broken earthenware pot shards or gravel at the bottom of the pot assists drainage and absorbs extra water.


Earthenware pots available from potters are a good choice for trees in training as excess water can evaporate through their walls.

    Basic pot wisdom:
  • it must not be glazed on the inside
  • it must drain completely
  • its base should be completely level

As a thumb rule, the pot length should equal 2/3rd. of the height of the tree.
Earthen colours go best with Indian trees— browns, ochres and deep reds are ideal. Bright colours— blues, greens, whites and creams compliment flowering trees such as bougainvillea.

    Out there in the world are power saws and drills, huge jinning pliers etc., but all you will need are:
  • A pair of concave cutters for heavy branches and trunks.
  • A heavy pair of scissors for branches and roots
  • A fine pair for twigs and soft growth