The Chinese Privet, Ligustrum Sinensis, is a small tree grown in almost any soil, and Privets are very hardy and take well to root pruning and all Bonsai shaping techniques. The Chinese Privet leaves turn red in the fall and produce small scented white flowers appearing at the ends of new shoots in the summer. Followed by small black fruit, which is not edible. Seeing how well the Privet takes to pruning and wiring, it is a great indoor choice for beginners and experts alike. 


The Chinese Privet likes direct full sun and must be kept in moist soil during the summer months when placed outside. Indoors, the soil must not be allowed to dry out and requires 


  1. The Privet enjoys a lot of water during the summer months, and the root ball must not be left to dry out. 
  2. During the winter months or when kept indoors year-round, the soil must be checked regularly, ensuring that the root ball does not dry out.  
  3. It is good practice to check on the soil often until you are familiar with its watering needs. 

  • Training: Chinese Privets do well in all forms of Bonsai training, including wiring, pruning and shaping. The tree can also be defoliated entirely during the winter, allowing for new growth to emerge. This is also a good practice if there is insufficient light during the winter months. 

  • Repotting: repot once every 2-3 years and older ones once every 3-5 years. Make sure to not repot on years where hard pruning has been done. 


YOUNG: 6"-12" tall, comes in a 6" grower's pot. 

MATURE: 8" - 16" tall, comes in an 8" handmade ceramic pot.


These are not seeds - But an Actual Living 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.


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