Taxus cuspidata

Japanese Yew Bonsai

Native to Japan and Northeast China. Taxus cuspidata holds many similarities to its English cousin though its foliage colours alter across the seasons. Japanese Yew is also a slower grower than its English counterpart. These evergreens also make brilliant colours after sunlight bleeching. 

Japanese Yew Bonsai Care Tips

As an evergreen Japanese Yew requires good sunlight year-round. Be mindful in summer that higher temperatures can dry out the soil of the tree. This specimen will require bringing indoors in more temperate climates during if winter sustains -5 C temperatures. 

Check the soil before watering your Japanese Yew. Only water once the soil starts to dry out, judge by the top inch layer of the soil. Learn the rate of watering through this measure. Waterlogging will bring on root rot. 

Japanese Yew requires feeding every two weeks across the growing season. 

Pruning your bonsai is important not only to create or maintain an aesthetic style but also to ensure optimal health. Pruning can be carried out in Spring or Autumn. Trimming back and pinching out new shoots will foster growth and branching out. Structural pruning can be done at the same time. 

Japanese Yew can be wirred any time across the year. Younger wood will be easier to shape than older. Only wire after the tree has healed from pruning. Only perform one or two tasks per year to provide time for recovery and growth. 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.

Repotting your tree is an important way to provide a fresh and suitable soil mix and ensure appropriate root health. Repot your Japanese Yew every 3-4 years as the new buds elongate in Spring. 

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.

Yews make for some of the world’s most famous trees. They are found all across the world’s temperate regions and are known for their red berry-like cones pleasing the eye and many bird’s appetites. The English Yew is commonly used for bonsai. These are slow-growing and long-living species.

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 Yew Bonsai - Typical Queries

Japanese Yew can be propagated in three different ways, by cuttings, layering or air layering. Take semi-ripe cuttings at either Summer’s end or the opening of Autumn. Layer toward Spring’s end. 

Japanese Yew can suffer from pests. Older growth is certainly more susceptible to scale while younger growth is more like to attract aphids. Remove with water or insecticide.     

There is no need and it’s not advisable to keep a Japanese Yew indoors, this is a perfectly hardy plant native to a temperate region. Doing so would likely hamper growth and get them further away from their naturally suited settings.