How To Grow An Apple Bonsai Tree

Growing an apple bonsai tree is easier than you think. There are a lot of steps that go into the process, but it is by no means a difficult process. By following these tips, you can easily grow your own apple bonsai tree.

Apple trees are normally thought of as large, lacey, and leafy. On the other hand, an apple bonsai tree is delicate and small. This guide will walk you through how to grow an apple bonsai tree, or use your apple tree to create a bonsai piece.

Why Grow An Apple Bonsai Tree:

One of the most popular types of tree used for bonsai is the apple tree. There are several reasons for this:

  • The trees are easy to get hold of and can be grown from cuttings or seeds.
  • They grow quickly and develop hard wood trunks.
  • They adapt well to the training required. Apple trees are also a good choice because they are widely available in the wild and can be found in almost any supermarket.
  • Also, they make great ornamental pieces that can be kept inside or outside your home.

Growing Apple Bonsai Through Cuttings

To take the cutting from an existing tree, first, choose which branch you want to use for your cutting. The branch should be about six inches long and have multiple buds on it.

Make sure that your cutting tool is clean, then cut just above the bud closest to the trunk at a 45-degree angle.

Remove all but two buds at the top of your cutting and keep only one bud on the bottom of your cutting.

Dip your cutting into the rooting hormone, then place it into moist sand or soil where it will get indirect sunlight until you see new growth on the top bud.

Once this happens, you may plant your new plant into a container where it will get more sunlight until it is fully grown.

Growing Apple Bonsai from Seeds

Apple bonsai tree care

The first step in creating your own apple bonsai is to collect seeds from different apple trees. You can purchase these seeds online or at a local garden store.

Apple seeds are small, hard, and flaky—you should plant as many as you like, using different varieties, for greater success in growing an apple bonsai.

Once you have collected the apple seeds, lay them out on paper towels and allow them to dry completely. Once they have dried completely, cover each seed with another damp paper towel and place them in sealable plastic bags.

Keep your sealed seeds in the refrigerator for about seventy-five days under temperatures between forty and fifty degrees Fahrenheit.

This simulates winter weather conditions, which promote seed dormancy, or the resting state of the plant. This is necessary for the successful germination of your apple bonsai tree.

Remove the seeds from the refrigerator and start planting.


Select a bonsai style. There are a number of styles available, including formal upright, informal upright, cascade, literati, and slant.

You can also create other styles from existing trees as long as they are compatible with the tree’s natural growth pattern.

Learn more about different bonsai styles in this post.

Caring for Apple Bonsai After Planting

Ideal Location for An Apple Bonsai Tree:

An apple tree needs full sun to grow properly. If you live somewhere with intense sunlight, like south Florida, it is best to keep your tree in partial shade to prevent sun scalding.

A good all-around position is one that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. This will give the apple tree the light it needs to grow and fruit but also protect it from excessive heat, which can cause leaf burn.

How to Fertilize Your Apple Bonsai:

Fertilizing your bonsai can be very beneficial. An apple tree needs a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 12-12-12, especially if you are planning to grow fruits.

You can either use a liquid fertilizer or slow-releasing pallets to feed your apple bonsai.

You can use a slow-release fertilizer during the growing season every two weeks or so. Stop feeding the bonsai when it starts bearing fruits or when it is dormant.

Do not overfertilize; too much nitrogen will make the tree grow too fast or may kill it. Your apple bonsai leaves should be green and have their normal shape after fertilizing; if they turn yellow or brown and wilt, chances are that you’re giving it too much.


Apple trees need a lot of water, especially during hot and dry periods. Water your bonsai little by little until water runs out of the pot’s holes.

Do not let your bonsai sit in standing water or soggy soil. If the soil is too wet, it can cause root rot and kill your tree.

On the other hand, if the soil is too dry, the leaves will wither and fall off. Apple trees can tolerate some drought but like any other plants, they will die without water.


Apple trees are quite hardy and survive winter quite well however, If you live in a climate where temperatures go below freezing for at least two months out of the year, you will need to bring your bonsai indoors before winter hits.

Keep it in a room with lots of bright light and temperatures consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

Repotting Apple Bonsai Trees:

Repotting your apple tree should be done every two years. Their roots grow quickly and will outpace the container’s ability to retain nutrients.

Bonsai are usually top-heavy and will tip over if their roots aren’t adequate for support. If you notice wilting or yellowing of leaves, repotting is likely the solution to the problem.

Repotting is also the best time to prune the roots. you can remove as much as 50% of the existing roots and your apple bonsai won’t complain.

Wiring Your Bonsai:

Wiring is the process of bending and shaping branches by wrapping them in copper or aluminum wire. Branches can be shaped into a variety of forms and designs, such as spirals and curves.

Wrap the wire around a branch to be bent and angle it downward, then use pliers to tighten it until the branch has formed a new shape.

Do not wrap the wire too tightly, as this may damage the bark, but make sure that it does not move when tapped with pliers.

Repeat this process for each branch that will be bent and shaped. Leave the wires on for several months until they have grown into their new positions, then remove them.

Read this post for detailed methods of wiring a bonsai tree.

Pruning an Apple Bonsai:

To make a bonsai out of your apple tree, start by removing any branches that are growing towards the ground or at awkward angles. Then, remove some of the smaller branches to give your tree more of a bonsai shape.

Leave only 4-5 branches on each side of your tree so it has a nice shape. Prune unwanted branches from the tree using pruning shears or a bonsai concave cutter (if the branches are too thick).

Make sure to remove any dead or damaged branches, as well as any that do not fit the desired shape of your bonsai apple tree.

Pests and Diseases:

Apple trees are susceptible to many diseases and pests that can harm your precious bonsai tree: aphids, powdery mildew, fungus gnats, and apple scab, among others.

These can cause stunted growth and even the death of the tree if not dealt with promptly.


Growing an apple bonsai tree is not complicated. If you’ve come this far and you’re still not sure if growing an apple tree into a bonsai is for you, I leave you this final reminder: it’s not easy. It requires plenty of patience, dedication, and perseverance.

But if you can get past the initial learning curve and develop a knack for it, it will be worth it in the end. You’ll have a unique bonsai that’s unlike any other.

I hope this post was helpful for you. If you like the information don’t forget to share it with others also.