Frequently Asked Questions
Do you offer gift cards or gift certificates?
Yes, we offer Gift Certificates in multiple denominations ranging between $10 to $500. For larger amounts please contact support @ 1-800- 982-1223.
Returning an Item / Our Return Policy
An item I ordered is damaged, wrong item, or ordered by mistake. How do I return it?
We want you to be 100% satisfied with your order. If you’re not, you may return any merchandise that is still new, unused and resalable. Carefully pack the items you wish to return, including a copy of your order packing slip to facilitate the process, and send to the address below.
Your account will be credited the amount owed. If the return issue is due to errors made on our end then of course we will cover the cost of return shipping.
Return Address: Dallas Bonsai Garden
Attn: (Returns Department)
4460 W. Walnut St. STE 218
Garland, TX. 75042
Out of Stock Items
How long will it take before I receive items that are backordered or out of stock?
Unless a shipment of the out of stock item(s) is about to arrive at our warehouse so we can quickly deliver them to you, you will be notified that the item(s) will not be shipped. Your money will be refunded back to you through the method which you used to pay for your order.
Which book would you recommend for a beginning Bonsai enthusiast?
Although a beginner will gain knowledge from any of our books, we recommend you start with "101 Essential Bonsai Tips" From there you can add a book or video to your collection, slowly gaining knowledge and experience. Have fun!
Which tree is the best Bonsai for beginners?
There are actually several trees that make great Bonsai trees for beginners. Consider the Golden Gate Ficus, Dwarf Jade, Money Tree, Japanese Gray Bark Elm, Fukien Tea and Chinese Elm. All are easy to care for, hardy and forgiving – the perfect first tree for someone without experience. The Dwarf Jade is great for someone who travels a bit and may not always be there to water. Being a succulent, it requires less water and is more forgiving if you fail to water it routinely.
We also offer two premium Bonsai starter kits, a Windswept Juniper and an Informal Upright Juniper. Each kit comes with everything you need to get started including the Bonsai 101 Book and the premium Bonsai shear. The kit contains everything you need to grow and train your new Bonsai into a work of art. We provide care guides for more than fifty Bonsai on our site. Follow the instructions for your Bonsai and you will share a healthy, happy relationship with your tree for many years to come.
Which soil is best? How do you sell your soils?
Our soils are sold by volume rather than weight. Visualize a one-quart milk carton and how much soil would fit in it for the amount of soil in the one quart size. For the five-quart size, think of the soil that would fit in a one-gallon milk carton plus the one-quart milk carton.
Ensuring that your Bonsai is in the proper soil mixture is one of the most important decisions you can make for the health of your tree. Dallas Bonsai carries every type of Bonsai soil needed to grow healthy indoor and outdoor Bonsai. Best of all, it is premixed and ready to go.
Fujiyama Bonsai Soil is a premium all-purpose soil mix blended specifically for Bonsai trees. This soil is carefully blended with the right amount of components to ensure high drainage, proper moisture retention, and aeration helping to avoid soil compaction. We personally use this high quality sterile potting medium in over 3,000 plants at our own nursery. Using the right soil is critical for the health and longevity of your Bonsai.
Fujiyama Tropical Bonsai Soil Mix is a pre-mixed blend with the proper components and ratios necessary to support all indoor tropical Bonsai trees such as Hawaiian Umbrella, Fukien Tea Tree, Golden Gate Ficus and all other tropical and subtropical Bonsai.
Fujiyama Deciduous Bonsai Soil Mix is blended with a combination of granular material consisting of small grain structures, multiple drainage components such as grit and lava rock, plus just the right amount of organic material to support the growth of deciduous trees, such as Japanese Maples, Chinese Elm, Ginkgo Biloba and Dawn Redwoods, to name a few.
Fujiyama Conifer Bonsai Soil Mix is blended with porous substrates at the proper ratios to support optimal growing conditions of coniferous Bonsai trees, such as Shimpaku Juniper, Cedars, Podocarpus, Spruces, Pines and many more.
Kanuma Bonsai Potting Medium/Soil is a granular Japanese potting medium for acid loving Bonsai. This potting medium comes from the Kanuma Area of Japan, the center of Azalea Bonsai cultivation, excavated 10 feet below the surface, allowed to dry, crushed and then sorted for size. Its acidic nature makes it perfect for the cultivation of Azaleas, Camellias, Gardenias and other acid loving Bonsai.
Akadama Bonsai Potting Medium/Soil is soil in Japan. Being actual Japanese soil, it is used as a potting medium throughout Japan in the cultivation of Bonsai. Akadama in Japanese means “red ball” describing the color and shape of its particles. Akadama has been dug out of old Cryptomeria Forests of Japan at about 10 feet depth, allowed to dry naturally, baked to desired hardness and then sifted for size. Akadama is an effective Bonsai potting medium because it has good water retention while also draining well.
If you have any questions about the classification of your Bonsai, or which soil will be best for your tree, reach out to our support staff. Send an email to: support@dallasBonsai.com or call our Toll Free #: 1-800- 982-1223
and one of our team members will help you select the proper soil mixture for your tree.
How often should I water my Bonsai?
There are many factors that come into play when answering this question. The frequency you need to water your Bonsai will depend upon plant type, temperature, soil type, plant location, size and depth of pot and so much more. Although water guidelines can be given, ultimately you are the only one that can best determine when your Bonsai needs to be watered.
Check your Bonsai daily to see if it needs to be watered. Insert your finger into the soil approximately half an inch. Does the soil feel moist and cool or dry and warm? Moist and cool does not need to be watered. Dry and warm needs to be watered. You will eventually figure out the routine required by each of your Bonsai. As outdoor temperatures change, diligently check the watering needs of your Bonsai. Hot weather can kill a Bonsai very quickly. Make sure to conscientiously monitor their water needs when temperatures are hot.
It is easier to water outdoor Bonsai from overhead using a spray nozzle attached to a hose or by using a watering can specifically designed to water Bonsai. A blast of water that is too strong, such as that produced by standard spray nozzles, can wash away valuable soil and damage the foliage and roots of your Bonsai; therefore, if you use a hose with a standard nozzle make sure to use a fine spray of water. Using a watering can also enables you to mix liquid fertilizer into the water to feed your trees as you water. Some Bonsai, such as conifers, actually feed through their leaves and benefit from the overhead application of fertilizer.
Allow the water to spray over the plant and into the soil. If water pools on the top of the soil, give it time to drain; then water once more. Keep watering for a couple minutes after the water begins to flow from the bottom of the pot.
All Bonsai will not require the same watering schedule. Monitor your tree and you will soon become accustomed to its needs. Remember, as it becomes warmer you will need to water you Bonsai more frequently.
Can you water a Bonsai using a mister?
Misting the plant with fertilized water can provide small amounts of nutrients to the foliage, and can refresh the plant, but it will not provide enough moisture for your Bonsai. A mister can be used with clear water to clean the Bonsai’s foliage.
What is immersion watering? Is it better than overhead watering?
Immersion watering is the most popular method used when watering indoor Bonsai. Begin by filling a tub or sink full to the point where the water covers the soil when the pot is placed into it. If fertilizing, mix the water/fertilizer solution as directed. As the pot is lowered into the water, you will see bubbles. Lots of bubbles, like boiling water, may mean that you are not watering your tree often enough. Increase the trees watering schedule. As time passes, you will soon recognize what different levels of bubbling means, and eventually become more in tune with your tree’s needs.
Leave your Bonsai in the tub until bubbles stop rising to the surface. Once bubbles stop rising, the root mass is thoroughly soaked. Carefully remove the Bonsai from the water, picking it up by the pot (not the tree). Allow it to drain before returning to its saucer.
If too much soil, rocks or moss gets dislodged or washed away with immersion watering, lower the water levels to the top edge of the pot. Allow to sit for 30 minutes so the water can soak up through the drainage holes.
All Bonsai will not require the same watering schedule. Monitor your tree and you will soon become accustomed to its needs.
I water my Bonsai by immersion and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Which fertilizer should I use and how should I use it?
We recommend Bonsai Pro 7-9-5. It doesn’t contain urea; therefore, you will not have to worry about root burn. It is low in soluble salts and contains essential micro and macro nutrients. Mix per directions on the label, using leftovers to water other plants or discard.
What fertilizer do you recommend for use as a pellet on top of the soil?
We recommend Bio-Gold Bonsai Fertilizer. Its triangular pellets help it to stay in place. It is economical, requiring only a half to a third compared to ball-type fertilizer and lasts longer. It has been fermented, making it cleaner so it does not mold, and with less smell so it does not attract insects, birds or small animals. It is time released, feeding your plants constantly for six to seven weeks. The pellets can also be pressed into the soil or placed in fertilizer covers.
What liquid fertilizer would you recommend for a beginner to use on both deciduous and evergreens?
The Fujiyama combo is a great liquid fertilizer and a root stimulator vitamin combo formulated to be used together. Use as directed if fertilizing every two weeks; but if a weekly fertilization schedule is desired, reduce fertilizer and vitamin amounts by half. You may mix both formulations together as they do not cause nutrient lock-up when mixed.
It is summer and I’m in San Antonio (or some other hot city in the summer). I recently repotted some juniper Bonsai. How do I balance the fertilizer aspect since they are still in intensive care and keep them alive through the intense heat of the summer?
Summer is not the most ideal time to repot trees. Although junipers are evergreen, they too go dormant.
The best time to repot is late winter when the plant is dormant. February is when most repotting and root pruning should take place. Root pruning and repotting a tree during its growing season can be very stressful on the Bonsai placing it at more risk of disease and death.
With this in mind, you definitely want to fertilize, but at a greatly reduced rate – meaning use 25% strength weekly. Using the Fujiyama combo which contains a root stimulator and fertilizer, shower your trees (overhead water) with the solution since the tree assimilates about 10% of its nutrients through its needles. Shower the trees early morning or late evening when the nutrients are more effectively utilized by the trees. If you use a different fertilizer, you should still use a root stimulator component like Menedael. The root hormones will stimulate new root growth.
When should I repot my bonsai? How often should I repot?
The most ideal time to repot your Bonsai is when it is dormant, generally in late winter, very early spring – before you see buds breaking out. For most people in the northern hemisphere, this is early to mid- February.
Subtropical and tropical trees, such as Hawaiian Umbrella, Fukien Tea Tree and Golden Gate, do not go dormant, so repotting these trees can be done with care when needed.
Most Bonsai are repotted every one to two years depending upon their needs. Several factors should be considered when determining if repotting is needed. Young Bonsai in small pots often require more frequent root pruning. Some species produce more roots filling up a small shallow Bonsai pot quickly. Subtropical and tropical bonsai can require more frequent repotting since they grow year-round.
Does repotting always mean going to a bigger pot?
No. Repotting can mean going to a bigger pot if the tree has been allowed to get larger and aesthetically a larger pot is called for. However, repotting often means root pruning – cutting away the larger roots that no longer feed the plant, giving the smaller new feeder roots more room to grow, then returning the Bonsai to the same pot.
What pesticides do you use to fight root rot problems? What about mites? Or fungus?
We don’t sell or recommend the use of any pesticides or fungicides. Prevention is the key to pest control. We recommend the use of Neem Oil by Dyna-Gro for pest problems. Not only will Neem Oil produce shiny, clean leaves on your Bonsai, it is also a natural bio-pesticide that repels a variety of insects while remaining non-toxic to the environment.
Should you decide to use pesticides, remember to use the dilution rate for the plant listed on the product. Read the instructions for the plant type … juniper, pine, etc. If you try to dilute it more than what the instructions call for, it won’t be effective.
What are your thoughts on pruning compounds? What do you recommend? Is it even needed … some texts say it is not?
First of all, make sure to use a clean blade, wiping the blade with alcohol between cuts, to prevent spread of disease. Make the cut at a 45-degree angle to help it shed water.
Sealing the cut is important. It protects your Bonsai against decay. It lowers the chance of insects taking advantage of the wound, eating it and laying their eggs in it. Lastly, covering the wound helps to fend off fungal infections.
Wound sealing products do all of these things and contain antiseptic ingredients, as well. There are 4 major wound sealing products to choose from. The first two are of toothpaste consistency, making them easier to use – Calusmate and Kiyonal. The last two, Cutpaste, are a consistency similar to spackling compound and are the same except Green Cap is used with evergreens and White Cap is used with deciduous trees.
If you do not have one of these products, Elmer’s Waterproof glue can be used in a pinch to seal the cut with little to no shrinkage of the cambium layer.
Miscellaneous Bonsai Care
How do I overwinter my bonsai if I live in a very cold area such as Minnesota?
Although Bonsai do go dormant in the winter, overwintering them when temperatures drop can be very important for many Bonsai owners. Freezing temperatures can cause pots to break causing exposed roots to dry out and freeze. Foraging animals looking for an easy meal may eat the branches and roots. Extreme cold can just be too much for the Bonsai to endure.
When the temperatures drop, Bonsai can be moved to a cold frame or an unheated room, which will keep temps slightly above freezing. Deciduous Bonsai require very little light during their dormant period. Evergreen Bonsai, on the other hand, will require some light, either natural or through the use of plant lights hung to within one foot of the Bonsai.
My Bonsai appeared fine a few weeks ago, but one day when it was hot, I came home and the leaves and new branches were wilted. It quickly turned brown and looks very dead. I am still watering and fertilizing it. Should I give up, or is there still a chance it can come back?
We are saddened to have such an unhappy answer to share, but it’s probably dead. However, there are a few things you can do to see if there is any life left in your Bonsai.
First, try the fingernail test. Scratch a branch and the trunk. Does the area under the scratches look green? If yes, then there is life left in the trunk or branches where the green appeared. Unfortunately, this test does not work well with junipers.
If you do find green, then water it using a liquid fertilizer plus root hormones (such as Fujiyama Fertilizer and Vitamin Combo) mixed at 25% the recommended strength. If you have your own liquid fertilizer, mix in a Bonsai vitamin like Menedael. If after carefully and routinely watering your Bonsai and using the fertilizer and root hormones/vitamin for three or four months, and you do not see any new growth, then your Bonsai has died … sorry. Don’t give up on Bonsai. Try again. You’ve learned a lot from this experience and will enjoy another one.
Tools and Tool Care
NOTE: Bonsai tools are sharp; care is advised when handling. Bonsai tools should be kept out of reach of children.
What brands of Bonsai tools do you carry and where are they made?
Fujiyama and Masakuni are the only brands Dallas Bonsai Garden carries with Fujiyama being the primary brand. Both brands are manufactured in Japan and are of the highest quality. When properly used and maintained, our tools will last a lifetime! There are many similar looking tools on the internet costing a fraction of what our tools cost. This is because they are manufactured in China. Although they may look alike, the quality and life span do not even come close. The old saying “you get what you pay for” rings in loud and clear. If you’ve ever handled both types of tools then you know exactly what I’m referring to. When researching and shopping for your Bonsai tools, carefully read the descriptions to see if the company clearly states the country of manufacturing. Keep in mind that Japanese made products, regardless of the industry are known for being extremely high quality. If a company sells products made in Japan, they want the customer to know this and it will be clearly stated in multiple places on their website. It’s not often you will find a company selling Chinese made bonsai tools with “made in China” plastered everywhere and for good reason. Usually what you will find in the description will be something along the lines of “Japanese quality”, “Japanese design” etc. To reiterate and for the record, our tools are made in Japan. We are direct importers and have been since 1968. Our warehouse has an unmatched inventory and is located in Dallas Texas.
Which tool set would you recommend for beginners?
A beginner can start with a very basic tool set, such as our 6-piece tool set from Fujiyama. It will serve all the needs of a beginner. As you gain more knowledge, you can add to your tool set as well as upgrade the tools you have.
How should I care for my Bonsai tools?
Inspect each tool after use to ensure it is clean and in good working order. Use a soft cloth to remove dirt or debris. Remove sap using warm soapy water, drying well. Apply a light coat of Camellia Oil over the entire surface of the tool, carefully working it into the joints, removing excess with a soft cloth. Camellia oil will preserve the metal surface of your tools and prevent them from rusting. It can also be rubbed into wooden handles to preserve and protect them.
Well cared for tools will deliver years of service.
I live in a humid climate and worry that my tools will rust. What is the best tool material to order so they do not rust?
If you are concerned about rust, you should choose stainless steel tools. However, stainless steel tools can be above some people’s budget. They can be double or triple the cost of the traditional black metal Bonsai tools. Plated tools will slow down the rust problem, but you should be able to control rust on even the traditional black metal tools by just oiling them with Camellia Oil, which is advised as part of a good tool care regime.
Do you sell the spray nozzles to water Bonsai that attaches to standard garden hoses?
We sell the rain wands which do attach to stand garden hoses. Each 16” rain wand, both the SN112 and the SN113, enables you to water your Bonsai like a pro. Their nozzles both contain over 1,000 micro-holes in Stainless Steel creating an ultra-soft shower which will not disturb delicate soil or harm tender plants. SN113 comes with a brass water shut off valve, giving you complete control of the water pressure.
The SN79 spray nozzle is a Japanese spray nozzle built for the watering systems used in Japan; therefore, it does not attach to a standard garden hose. If you want to make this traditional Japanese nozzle work, cut off the female end of a garden hose leaving about 2” of hose attached. Press the spray nozzle into this 2” of hose, then clamp it down with a Stainless-Steel clamp that can be purchased at any hardware store. Viola! You now have an excellent way to water your Bonsai with a traditional Japanese spray nozzle.
We also sell water cans with the spray nozzles that provide the perfect shower for your Bonsai. The end of the spray nozzles on the plastic versions each have 52 tiny holes providing a gentle shower type watering experience for your tree.
Faux/Fake Bonsai Tree
We need a large Bonsai style tree for our office space. (Think $2-$5K if the tree were real.) Can we buy one this size or have it commissioned?
Faux Bonsai of that size are available. We have personally seen some extremely beautiful ones in the southern part of Japan, used in restaurants and entry areas to large buildings. The most realistic in appearance are actual dead Bonsai that have had all their needles replaced.
Just imagine a truly beautiful Bonsai that is dead with its few remaining needles falling off. These dead Bonsai are cleaned up and repotted into a refined decorative pot. Then a sweet lady of 70 or so years carefully places plastic needles one by one, by hand, restoring the Bonsai to its former glory. The cost is equal to or more than the cost of a live Bonsai of the same size. We’ve seen cheap imitations from China and they look like cheap imitations. If you want a fake one you need to think of prices equal to or higher than a live one.