Japanese Holly


The Japanese Holly is really good Bonsai material and is very sought out for its naturally small leaves, white flowers and small black berry-like fruits. Although the holly only produces fruit when there are both male and female plants by each other and both are flowering at the same time. 

The Japanese holly thrives outdoors in the spring, summer and fall and like most other Bonsai, will not tolerate the Canadian winters. Please see our winter care guide for tips on caring for your holly in the winter. 

The Japanese Holly is also known to do well indoors, year-round. Although this will require a little more effort. Ensuring to place it on a humidity tray that is constantly kept with water. As for watering the Japanese Holly, it's best to not let it dry out completely, the Holly likes moisture, just make sure that it is in very well-draining soil, that will protect the roots from root rot. 


These are not seeds - But Actual Bonsai Tree

Please see our Choosing a Bonsai page, for the age and dimensions regarding the different stages of our Bonsai (Baby, Young, & Mature).

Soil (Substrate)

Bonsai soils are usually a mixture of organic potting compost (Pine Bark or Forest Floor), Akadamapumice, lava rock in varying amounts. 

It is important for the soil have good water retention while also draining well, along with very good aeration. The quality of the soil directly affects the health, size and growth of your tree. One of the worst things you can do to your tree is plant it in regular garden soil. Garden soil hardens when it drys and can often lead to a disadvantage when growing a Bonsai. 

Soil mixtures can be purchased here, but given their weight and cost of shipping, you can also easily make your own. 


Depending on the type of Bonsai you're growing, here are the general formulas for successful mixtures. 

Deciduous Tree (Leafy and looses leafs in the fall)

50% Akadama

20% Pumice

20% Lava Rock

10% Potting Compost


Coniferous Tree (Evergreen like Juniper, Cedar)

1/3 Akadama

1/3 Pumice

1/3 Lava Rock


If you are not able to check on your Bonsai's moisture levels daily, add more Akadama to the mix. 

Given how these soils erode over time, repotting every 2-3 years is required. 


Here are some suitable replacements if you cannot find the recommended types of soil.

  • Akadama - fine fired or baked clays, some even recommend cat litter as a substitute. 
  • Pumice - fine crushed aggregates, expanded shale and vermiculite.
  • Lava Rock - This can be replaced with fine gravel or you can also look into purchasing a larger lava rock at a hardware or gardening centre and crushing it. 



One of the best and easiest ways to fertilize your Bonsai, is to add a liquid fertilizer mix when water your Bonsai's once a month during the spring/summer. If your Bonsai looses leaves in the winter there is no need to fertilize it then. If you have a coniferous tree, fertilizing the tree once in the beginning of winter and once in the middle of winter should be sufficient.


Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
Katharine House (Huntsville, CA)
Love it!

Very healthy, lovely, and well shaped !


Japanese Holly

Dr. Robert Smale (Hampton, CA)
Lovely Holly

This Holly bonsai arrived well packed and in fine condition. Lovely to add another of the store’s wonderful bonsai plants to my collection. Very happy with this plant thus far.

Carl (Charlottetown, CA)
Japanese Holly

Beautiful plant with vey dense tiny leaves. Packaged for shipping in a virtually indestructible manner. Very helpful support provided when I had some questions re. caring for the plant. Look forward to seeng what it be shaped into over time..

A Ogilvie (Montreal, CA)
Perfect gift!

Purchased for my mother and she loves. Arrived healthy and on time. Thanks!

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