Cryptomeria japonica

Japanese Cedar Bonsai

One of the most popular species of Bonsai native to Japan, these upright evergreens are challenging species and require a lot of attention and care. Its dark green foliage can turn shades of brown in the winter and the red-brown bark only compliments this. An ideal training species, these miniature cedars are reliably hardy. 

Japanese Cedar Bonsai Care Tips

Japanese Cedar is ideal to keep outdoors for the duration of the year. Thrives in a bright shaded position across summer. Extensive exposure to the coldest temperatures will turn the foliage brown, though it will regreen in spring. If you want to avoid the turn of colour in the winter, consider moving it to an unheated greenhouse, conservatory or providing insulation for the pot.

During the growing period, the Japanese Cedar demands a lot of water to enable its growth. During the summer, these species need feeding twice a day. Underwatering may cause branch die-back. Light watering across winter to ensure soil moisture, cease watering in frosty weather. 

Japanese Cedar responds well to frequent misting in the summer. This can be achieved by using a mister to spray the leaves, as well as placing a gravel tray under the pot to create a more humid microclimate around the tree and reduce evaporation from the leaves.

Feed every two weeks from spring through to late autumn. At the height of growing season around the turn for summer, consider a fertilizer of high nitrogen content. Come, Autumn, a general fertiliser is the best choice to facilitate shape and growth. 

Pruning your bonsai is important not only to create or maintain an aesthetic style but to also ensure optimal health. Japanese Cedars are among the most demanding bonsai when it comes to grooming. Consistent pruning is necessary to keep the tree looking its most vital. Start at the end of spring and continue across the growing season. New shoot tips can be pinched out across the summer. Unwanted shoots from branches and the trunk can be cut back and removed. 

We recommend using wires with a thickness that matches the thickness of the branch: if the wire you choose is too thick you will damage the bark. If it is too thin, it won’t be effective.

Japanese Cedar should be repotted every other spring. Akadama soil is advised for the new soil mix. 

Trees that are ready for repotting will require root pruning, a suitable new pot and appropriate soil mix.

When repotting, do not cut back the root mass by a large amount, and choose a well-draining soil mix that has a neutral or slightly higher PH value of 5-6 but not over 7. We tend to use a mixture of different speciality bonsai soils on our trees. Every species is different so please contact us for free soil-mix advice or to take advantage of our repotting service.

Bonsai trees aren’t only magnificent additions to an indoor oasis, they are more than capable of standing out in any garden. Many Bonsai species are incredibly hardy and withstand nature’s colder and damper turns with aplomb making them worthwhile outdoor plants. We have an extensive library of care guides for outdoor bonsai trees. It’s not about selecting the perfect bonsai, it’s about selecting the perfect bonsai for you. 

Japanese Cedar Bonsai - Typical Queries

No, a Japanese Cedar Bonsai is not suitable for indoor cultivation. It needs full sun exposure and cold winter dormancy to thrive and flower. It should be placed outdoors in a sunny spot and protected from frost and strong winds.

A Japanese Cedar Bonsai can be propagated by seeds or cuttings. Seeds can be sown in spring, but they may take a long time to germinate and may not produce true to the parent plant. Cuttings can be taken from young shoots in summer and rooted in moist sand or soil. 

Not toxic but precaution is advised. Japanese Cedar are considerably more toxic in nature.