Bonsai Kit Reviews

A Bonsai Tree for Beginners Chinese Elm Bonsai

We all appreciate how practicing the art of Bonsai has all kinds of stress relieving benefits and I have previously written posts about tree selection and bonsai tree care.

With that said, I thought it important to have a special review of the tool kits that are readily available because if you want to get into Bonsai in a meaningful way, you will need a proper Bonsai kit.

I’ve been doing some in-depth research and found three of the best value sets on the market. These will allow you to care for your Bonsai tree with the type of care it deserves. So let’s get started.

Yescom 35 PCS Bonsai Kit

Suited to: Bonsai tree beginners and those on a medium budget.

This Bonsai kit features everything you could possibly need to properly take care of your Bonsai tree. The kit includes 35 different tools, including a variety of scissors, cutters and tweezers. This is the type of tool set used by master bonsai gardeners who know just what kind of quality is necessary.

The tools are presented in a convenient folding kit bag and the supplier also includes a can of oil.

Aside from the number of tools, what makes this Bonsai tree kit so appealing is the fact that these tools are made out of high quality carbon steel.

In other words, you won’t have to worry about their durability even after extended periods of use. With that said, proper tool maintenance is always key, which is especially true with carbon steel.

Those who are just starting to get into the art of Bonsai will find this kit to be great value for the money. You get a great variety, which will definitely come in handy as you grow your Bonsai skills.

TianBonsai JTTK-05 Master’s Grade Bonsai Kit

Suited to: Those who want top quality; more advanced artists.

This Bonsai set comes with fewer tools than the Yescom kit, however the quality is on a whole different level.

TianBonsai is a highly respected well-known name in the business.

Professionals and serious enthusiasts around the world have used their Bonsai supplies and equipment for many years.

The kit comes in a nice folding case that you open using a large zipper. Inside, each of the seven tools sits snugly in its own pocket and includes the following:

  • Jin pliers,
  • Trunk splitters,
  • Branch cutters,
  • Round edge cutters,
  • Knob cutters,
  • Tweezers, and
  • A set of wire-cutters.

These beautiful tools are made using a combination of 3Cr13 and 5Cr15MoV stainless steels (if you’re a tech-head!).

When you take them out of the case, you will find that each of the tools comes pre-oiled from the factory. Tolerances are very good, they hold their edge very well and they feel like the quality product that they are.

The overall design is pretty simple but highly functional. With long handles, you can easily work with this tool set even if you have a pair of thick gloves on. Overall, while this might be a more limited set, there is no doubt that the quality definitely makes up for it.

Due to the high quality of materials used, this kit offers great resistance to rust and requires minimal maintenance. As an added bonus and for peace of mind, this kit also comes with a 3-year Quality Assurance.

Any issues during this period, just contact the supplier for a free replacement.

Voilamart Bonsai 14 Piece Tool Kit

Suited to: Those starting out and on a limited budget.

Lastly we have a pretty affordable set which is perfect for those beginners on a limited budget.

The Voilamart Bonsai tool kit comes with everything you could need to get started. There are 14 different tools in this set presented in a convenient folding zipper case to store them after use.

In terms of build quality, you are looking at all carbon steel construction and pretty tight tolerances right out of the box. All of the scissors are relatively sharp, so you won’t have to spend money sharpening them upon arrival.

Since the steel contains carbon, you will have to be extra careful when it comes to maintenance. Frequent use of oil is necessary. However it’s not supplied with the kit, unfortunately, so bear this additional cost in mind.

When it comes to value for the money, this kit may simply be too good to ignore. The tools included might not be suitable for real enthusiasts and professionals who may attend to several Bonsai trees every day, but they are certainly adequate for beginners.

Conclusion

Advancing skills in the art of Bonsai takes time, so patience is a must.

The tools that I have reviewed above should ensure that you have everything you need to practice the art of Bonsai properly and efficiently from the outset.

I’ve included two great carbon sets, one for beginners and one for advanced users, as well as a professional grade stainless steel set.

Whether you are just starting out or at a more advanced level, these kits certainly offer a solid foundation that you can build upon later.

Continue Reading

Eve’s Small Japanese Juniper Bonsai Tree Gift Kit

Eves Small Japanese Juniper Bonsai Tree Gift Kit

Start your bonsai experience by getting this lovely set from Eve’s Garden, Inc.

It comes with everything a novice could ever need: a strong bonsai tree, plant food, a cute statue, a special pair of garden shears for bonsai and you can have it delivered to most states with a gift wrapper!

The actual bonsai tree is a Japanese Juniper, with perfectly thick, coniferous and needle-like leaves and sturdy branches, the exact variety of the dramatically contorted trees often portrayed in Japanese movies.

Features

  • A convenient set that inlcudess a Japanese Bonsai Tree, one small booklet of instructions, one small bottle of fertilizer, one plastic figurine of a Japanese old man in traditional clothing (which may vary from one order to another), a pair of small garden scissors and one small ruler-sized ceramic pot
  • Outdoor Japanese Juniper Bonsai tree
  • Gift wrapping option available
  • Actual bonsai tree is around six years of age, height of nine to 11 inches, length of branch spread is six to eight inches
  • Two states cannot receive this shipment: California or Hawaii

Advantages

Growing bonsais can be easy with this thoughtful package provided by Eve’s Garden. Learn the basics of the art of bonsai and practice your skills without the hassle of multiple purchases by buying this one product.

With the price it has that is far cheaper than other trees on the market, there will be no regrets! In addition, what the features do not show is that this comes with a special type of soil, one to maximize your bonsai’s growth for a lifetime.

Also, it has moss and pebbles for landscaping. Pruning is easy with this well-known bonsai tree due to its thick branch and leaf system. So, hone up on your bonsai pruning skills with this beauty!

Want to also try wiring on a bonsai? Place the wires while the tree is still young to get that old Japanese traditional look: twisted poses that display plenty of flair and drama. Just allow the deadwood to be cut off from the living part, to promote the look.

Living in the colder states of America should not discourage you. The best part is yet to come: the Juniper tree is also well-equipped to withstand chilly temperature differences. Although it grows best in sunny weather, it can live through winter, when freezing and below freezing conditions come. Welcome the leaves turning purple as it prepares for winter.

The tree itself is evergreen, meaning, they do retain their leaves throughout the year. Their leaves are needle-like, and they grow under direct exposure to the sun. Watering the plant means not putting in too much water, but the tree does love a bit of misty water spraying as well!

To put the cherry on the cake, you have the option of placing the decorative figurine on the tree, perfect for your garden party!

As a rule, most customers are satisfied with this purchase. The packages were received in good condition. One customer even complimented on the fact that it was delivered looking fresh out of the garden.

The trees are known to be very adaptable. One customer even mentioned the tree, as it was getting older, to be very resistant to most maladies commonly suffered by other bonsai trees. The tree, whether bonsai or not, is also resistant to pests when pruned carefully.

If you follow the rule of avoiding too dense of foliage and too much watering, you should not have a major problem with aphids, fungi infestation and the like.

Shipping and delivery was prompt and the plant was treated with very good packaging material, primarily composed of peanuts. The actual size and shape of the tree may vary, however as well as the color of the pots.

Things to Be Aware of

Probably the biggest disadvantage is that those living in California and Hawaii will not be able to receive the Japanese Juniper Bonsai tree. The former will be given a Dwarf Cypress variety instead, in compliance to the California Agricultural Restrictions.

Other customers pointed out some minor problems that are more based on the personal preference and less on the product performance.

It should be noted, however, that because of individualized characters of each Juniper tree as well as their training, they will never look the same as the picture shown in the advertisement.

In rare cases, this tree may get infected with fungi. Probably applicable not just to Japanese Junipers but also to all trees is the fact that this type will not be completely cured once they get this type of infection. You may have to burn the whole tree to prevent spreading the fungi to others.

Bottom Line

A great buy as a starter bonsai kit for most beginners and enthusiasts.

Continue Reading

Chinese Elm Bonsai Tree

Chinese Elm Bonsai Tree

The Chinese Elm Bonsai Tree is reminiscent of the art of bonsai as something not unique to Japanese culture. As such, this comes as a recommended buy from 9GreenBox for both green thumbs and beginning gardeners.

As an evergreen, this plant will continue to bear leaves throughout the four seasons of the year.

Adding to the mature look, this was trained and grown under controlled conditions, perfect if you want to achieve the old bonsai look without much of an effort.

Features

  • Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays are no shipping days
  • Initially grown for ten years before being released into the market
  • Height is around 10 to 12 inches
  • Ideal for inside of the house upkeep
  • Set and potted with a ceramic plan oval bowl.

Advantages

A Chinese Elm Bonsai tree is a thick limbed bonsai variety originally from China, with small leaves. It may survive outdoors but may be placed indoors, as it loves full exposure to sunlight. When it is being planted in areas with light climate, the tree can stay in the outdoors even during cold seasons.

The idea is to never leave them in freezing conditions all of the time. The leaves may either drop during this time or may stay on their branches until better conditions appear. The tree is also wonderfully low maintenance for some because it generally does not need a high quality soil or fertilizer.

Even a mixture of some homemade fertilizer with commercial ones added to standard quality soil will do. In addition, during dormancy or winter seasons, the tree should not be given more than the usual water and sunlight.

Like other bonsais, they need to be watered every two to three days, or more specifically when their roots are dry. They also need to be protected against constant moisture. However, this is the norm for most bonsais, so this may not be new information for some growers.

As for the pruning and wiring, the best part about this type of bonsai is that if left alone, the limbs may thicken naturally. If you are given to the trimming sickness or are addicted to trimming frequently, then this is a good outlet for you. The Chinese Elm tree will result in thick foliage.

Re-potting of ten year olds can be done every three to four years. The tree from 9GreenBox is already trained with standard and guide wires to look dramatically different with two curves on its limbs as well as a slightly classy wide scattering of branches and leaves.

Generally, the customers receive the product in great condition, without any problems concerning pests or fungal infections. Many of such trees thrived and flourished, even after being found to be filled with pests or after an initial period of looking like it was dying out.

The idea here is to be well-informed about how to take care of the bonsai before buying the product in the first place.

However, there are generally more people who found the tree to be relatively easy to take care of.

In addition, the product can be shipped to all areas in the United States.

Things to Be Aware of

Unfortunately, the Chinese Elm Bonsai tree is highly susceptible to pests such as Spider mites and aphids, so it is advisable to check your plant once you receive it. Once you work out the problem, meaning the identification of the pests, apply the appropriate insecticide as soon as possible.

It is also advisable to spray mists of water every once in a while to aid the effect before the insecticide is applied. Most of the complaints stem from this problem and at times, systemic infestation is evident, meaning the whole tree is affected.

Some problems are that the trees died out within a few days to a few weeks after arriving in the customers’ homes.

Other problems, which may be more minor than these are the following: incorrect product delivery, too small letters on the instruction, cracked pots and the difference in appearance from what was shown online (but this only natural).

Some of the packaging was overly done, with some of the tape overlapping some branches, making it hard for some to take off the tape without breaking some of the branches.

Bottom Line

Consider well before buying this product. Although most of the time customers get a healthy bonsai tree, you cannot discount the time if and when you may have to deal with pests, which is the number one problem with this product.

Continue Reading

Cherry Blossom Bonsai Silk Tree

Nearly Natural Cherry Blossom Bonsai Silk Tree

This cute pink Cherry Blossom plastic bonsai is reminiscent of the beautiful, world renowned Japanese tree. It comes with a dark brown plastic, low lying vase and artistic renditions of the actual Cherry Blossoms designed to let you sit back and appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature in miniature, without having to maintain the real thing.

Features

  • Pastel colored Cherry Blossoms in silk
  • Chocolate brown pot with these dimensions: 17.5 by 10 by 15 inches (width, length and height)
  • 8 lbs as a total weight upon delivery
  • May be bought new or second-hand
  • Available for shipment worldwide (please see list of applicable countries)
  • Other features include: a option for free shipment within two days as a promo should you opt to get Amazon Premium

Advantages

It’s all in the details for most customers. It is cute, it is pretty and although it is artificial, most customers appreciate how intricate the details are with the plant; the way the roots imperfectly align themselves, the minuscule marks of the bark and branches, the way some of the blossoms are still closed and the way some of the flowers are not symmetrical all add to the beauty of the product as a whole.

The longest branches reach a length of seventeen inches.

Although some may more be discerning with the real thing, at least seventy percent of those who bought the item are more than satisfied with the product. Most of the clients and their friends cannot even tell it is an imitation at first glance.

Others claim it is “obviously fake” but kept the item nonetheless, because “it looked really nice”. One other customer comments, “just don’t look at it too closely.”

Perhaps the best comment that this product received was from a client who was born in Japan but presently living in the US. He claimed the product itself made him nostalgic of the Cherry Blossom festival when he was still in Japan.

At any rate, others have tried to boost up the appearance by replacing the plastic pot with a ceramic one or at the very most, classical Asian pottery, and replacing the artificial soil with real peat moss. The results may vary but quite a few have remarked it certainly does wonders to the interior design of the room. Some flowers may also be easily detached but this can be easily remedied.

Being plastic, it has at least two advantages: one, the product may display anywhere as far as personal preferences go. From the living room, to the kitchen, in your bedroom or your desk at work or even underwater in the aquarium, the pink and silk-flowered Cherry Blossom bonsai tree can do wonders for your relaxation and decoration.

Two, you don’t have to be a green thumb to enjoy the plant, whether it looks real or not.

Besides that, the product, as a rule, arrives on time and in proper packaging. You may be able to ship it as a gift, in gift wrapping, no less, to more than twenty countries including China, Philippines, Brazil, Venezuela, Denmark, Australia, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Malta, among others.

Not only that, but you can save more by buying second-hand products to save a few dollars. In addition, you can have a one to two day delivery. Shipping conditions may apply.

At the time of this review, there are only twenty four new items and only eleven used products left.

Things to Be Aware of

Some clients are not too happy with some of its features. Others say it is glaringly artificial and the silk in the product name may be too misleading, since the flowers are without a doubt plastic rather than silk as promised. I guess you simply cannot please anyone.

It’s all down to what you want and what you expect from the item in question. If you are very particular to details and quality, then this product may not be for you.

If you are still interested, please be advised that the stock is in limited supply. Buy now or risk waiting for a time.

Bottom Line

The Nearly Natural Bonsai Silk Tree is reasonably priced and is low maintenance. It looks great anywhere. People have been known to mistake it as the real Japanese bonsai. Buy it if you do love the beauty of bonsai but would rather not spend too much time pruning, watering or fertilizing an actual plant.

Continue Reading

Bonsai Juniper Tree Zen Garden with Pool Fisherman 

Bonsai Juniper Tree Zen Garden with Pool Fisherman

This beauty from 9GreenBox is a living, breathing treasure of an American Juniper Tree in miniature.

Set with a Japanese fisherman figurine and an actual water flowing device, it attempts to combine the Zen quietness for meditation and the fulfilment of growing your own bonsai.

Smaller than most bonsai trees, it nonetheless exudes the same beauty and elegance.

Features

  • No deliveries to be made on weekends and on Monday
  • Juniper tree is well adapted to most weather conditions and against pest and illnesses
  • Bonsai tree is best for cosmopolitan and space-restrictive areas
  • Set also comes in a seven inch clay bowl (may be delivered with a different color than what is shown), with small toys in form of a fisherman and a rocky mountain mini landscape

Advantages

This cute bonsai is one playful way to combine fun and practical gardening. One customer even suggested this set as a gift rather than giving fresh bouquets. The customers are mostly satisfied with how effective the set works.

Packaging was done very well, with everything intact and fresh.

The Juniper tree was also received in good condition, weathering outdoor conditions, even in winter. The leaves are green and looked like needles, same as the untrimmed and unbonsai-ed Junipers.

Typically Junipers are very hardy trees, and there is every reason that with proper care and attention, this bonsai will survive for a good long time. One customer even left the tree with all its inner wrappings outdoors for two weeks and the poor tree survived, not that this practice is recommended, of course.

In addition, Junipers are known to be able to withstand cold weather. In many instances and reports by customers, the tree thrived to grow a healthy spread of dark green to yellow-green foliage.

The tree can be placed indoors, however it should be able to receive a lot of sunlight. Typically, it will need watering every two to three days.

Probably the most striking feature to this product is the Zen-like atmosphere that the toys try to emulate.

The product will be arranged beforehand, so it should look like this: a white bearded fisherman in an Oriental hat is displayed with a fishing rod, sitting on top of what looks like a range of small rugged, Japanese mountains, with a tiny ladder-like bridge.

It also includes a toy water fowl. Place it strategically and the whole scenario will look as if it is a scene right out of an old Japanese book. The “fishing hole” will be empty of water to prevent any mess in the shipment, so it will have to be filled up upon arrival to complete the whole look.

Most customers have appreciated this feature and have received the whole thing intact, without any problems at all. In addition, the product can be delivered across the United States. You can even choose to have it gift-wrapped.

Things to Be Aware of

Some problems do occur with the product and relate mostly to the figurines. One problem is that the set did not look similar to the one shown online. Another problem is that the fishing hole may not be able to hold water for long periods of time, leaking extra water into the plant.

This defect may adversely affect the bonsai’s overall quality, as watering the soil too much can result in poor health. You may do well to take note of this fact by simply choosing not to place water in it in the first place.

Some of the customers pointed out that the figurines arrived with the hand or the whole thing broken. Some did not receive the fisherman toy at all. In the end, one customer just opted out of the decor and re-potted the Juniper Bonsai tree. The tree survived, to no surprise, but the toys may not be appreciated by all customers.

Some less common complaints are related to the bonsai tree itself, being that it died after three months or so. Unfortunately, there is no background information on what was done to the tree before this happened, so this kind of information cannot be considered as completely valid as grounds for giving negative points on the tree.

Finally, there is an issue of limited shipment days, as the product will only be delivered four times a week.

Bottom Line

You may have to balance both views at this point. Whether you do not mind that many reviews were against the decorative side to the product or not, you will have to contend with paying the money.

Continue Reading

Brussel’s Gardenia Outdoor Bonsai Tree

Brussels Gardenia Outdoor Bonsai Tree

Dig deeper into the world of beautiful miniature trees by selecting a tropical wonder Gardenia plant from Brussel’s Bonsai. Get the three loveliest features: dark green foliage, exotic perfume and white delicate flowers in one package, all under eight inches. Brussel’s Bonsai delivers the item, already grown for four years under the optimum environment.

Features

  • Free shipping all throughout USA, except the state of Arizona
  • Tree fitted for outdoor setting
  • Flowers in months from March to June
  • Glossy leaves, gorgeous alabaster-colored flowers
  • Age: 4 years old
  • Height: six to eight inches tall
  • Total weight with the whole package: around seven pounds, with the shipping: nine pounds

Advantages

Gardenias are prized flowering plants from Asian, Pacific and Madagascar with potent perfume. The leaves are super green, almost emerald in shade. As such, they are primarily grown outdoors, under strong but not direct sunlight.

Brussel’s Bonsai has striven to grow this variety for four years, turning the plant into bonsai, perfect for indoors. Keep it in under little sunlight for seven days, gradually moving it into a place with more exposure, and the plant should be in healthy condition.

Most of the customers do receive their plants in well packed packages, without any issues with the plant drying out. The packaging is usually not of the styrofoam and popcorn variety, since the former can be absorbed into the roots, and the popcorn can be a contributor to damaging excessive moisture.

In addition, it is actually expected that some of the leaves may turn yellow or brown upon arrival but there should be no other problems when proper care and attention are given.

As a rule, the bonsai has also been reported to thrive after arriving at the clients’ homes. The good side with this type of plant is that it typically does not need daily watering, but only every two to three days in cold seasons, but with plenty of water. When summer and spring come, the plant may be watered once every two days.

Generally, gardenias are hardy plants. They can survive under tropical heat or at least more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but tolerate shady areas. When it’s too hot, you may need a tray to be placed under the pot for extra moisture. When it’s too cold, the plant can be placed indoors, in areas with maximum sunlight exposure.

Growing this variety has a lot of rewards for those who don’t give up!

Things to Be Aware of

Taking care of bonsai’s typically requires specialized care and it may be a bit of a challenge even for those who have experience with growing and maintaining gardens of their own. For instances, because they are root-bound, the amount of soil can be very limited.

They have to be watered with a light spray, but it is generally better to go directly into the root systems. The water current should not be too strong that the soil may be washed away and the fertilizer placed may seep through.

Also, when re-potting, which is done every three to five years, soil should be placed under the bonsai and through the free spaces between the roots.

In addition, gardenias can be particular. Getting the flower petals wet may turn them yellow or brown. Getting your Gardenia Bonsai to bloom also require certain conditions, such as placing the plant somewhere cold (35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit) while maintaining enough sunlight.

Flowers may bloom after three or four months after this condition. Also, you cannot use pesticides with gardenias.

The chemicals can be too strong that it not only will kill off insects but also the plant itself. Should you encounter an infected gardenia bonsai, it may be prudent to contact the company before anything else. Meanwhile, the potted plant may have to be isolated from healthy ones, to prevent spreading of the pests.

As for the aspect of pruning into a bonsai, you may have to trim the roots during the times when the gardenias are not blooming and are stored in cold areas.

Other problems included with shipment and receiving deliveries for a live plant can be problematic, as some of the clients have encountered. Some customers complained that the plants arrived with yellow or browning leaves and with pests, such as whiteflies or aphids.

Bottom Line

Purchase this bonsai if you have already gotten your hands dirty with growing some other bonsai’s of your own.

Continue Reading