The Best Books about Bonsai

June 7, 2024

Bonsai is an art that requires knowledge, patience and practice. Over the years, numerous authors have written books that break down the techniques and philosophies behind growing bonsai. In this article, we explore some of the best bonsai books that can help you hone your skills, whether you are a beginner or an expert.

Bonsai Guide for Beginners (O. Jonker)

Book Summary

This book is a perfect introduction for those just starting out in the world of bonsai. With photographs and illustrations, O. Jonker provides a step-by-step guide to basic bonsai care.

Featured Contents

  • Pruning and Irrigation: Clear instructions on how to prune and water bonsais.
  • Bonsai Choice: Tips for choosing the most suitable bonsai species for beginners.
  • Troubleshooting: How to identify and solve common problems in bonsai cultivation.

Opinions and Ratings

Readers highlight the clarity and usefulness of this book, especially for those just starting out. The images and diagrams help to better understand the techniques described.

How to Create a Pine Bonsai (Abe Kurakichi)

Book Summary

Abe Kurakichi focuses on growing pine bonsai, offering a detailed guide on the techniques necessary to create and maintain these trees.

Featured Contents

  • Wiring and Pruning: Specific techniques for wiring and pruning pine trees.
  • Substrates and Fertilizers: Recommendations on the best substrates and fertilizers for bonsai pines.
  • Common problems: How to manage pests and diseases specific to pine trees.

Opinions and Ratings

This book is highly rated by pine bonsai hobbyists and experts, appreciating its detailed and practical approach.

Bonsai: Art and Nature (Carlos Lázaro)

Book Summary

Carlos Lázaro offers an artistic perspective on bonsai, combining cultivation techniques with design principles.

Featured Contents

  • Design and Aesthetics: Principles for designing bonsai that imitate nature.
  • Cultivation Techniques: Advanced transplanting, irrigation and fertilizing methods.
  • Artistic Inspiration: Examples of bonsai that show the integration of art and nature.

Opinions and Ratings

Readers appreciate the depth and beauty of the illustrations, as well as the balanced approach between technique and artistry.

The Art of Indoor Bonsai (John Ainsworth)

Book Summary

This book is a gem for indoor bonsai lovers, full of illustrations and tips for growing tropical and temperate species indoors.

Featured Contents

  • Indoor Conditions: How to adapt bonsai care to an indoor environment.
  • Species Selection: List of the best bonsai species for indoors.
  • Common problems: Solutions for typical indoor growing problems.

Opinions and Ratings

Highly recommended for those who want to grow bonsai indoors, appreciating the detailed illustrations and practical advice.

Suiseki: The Art of Stones (Jesús Quintas)

Book Summary

This book delves into the art of Suiseki, the appreciation of natural stones that complement bonsai cultivation.

Featured Contents

  • Stone Selection: How to choose and prepare stones for Suiseki.
  • History and culture: Origins and cultural significance of Suiseki.
  • Exhibition: Techniques for displaying Suiseki stones next to bonsai trees.

Opinions and Ratings

Bonsai and Suiseki fans value this book for its depth and the quality of its illustrations and explanations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bonsai Books

What is the best book to get started with bonsai?

“Beginner's Guide to Bonsai” by O. Jonker is an excellent option for those just starting out, due to its practical and accessible approach.

Are there specific books for bonsai species?

Yes, “How to Create a Pine Bonsai” by Abe Kurakichi focuses on pine trees, while other books may focus on specific species such as maple or elm.

Do bonsai books include design guides?

Yes, many books, such as “Bonsai: Art and Nature” by Carlos Lázaro, include design principles and techniques for creating aesthetically pleasing bonsai.


These books offer a wide range of knowledge and techniques for all levels of bonsai hobbyists. From beginner's guides to advanced treatises on specific species, there is something for every bonsai enthusiast. Investing in these resources can enrich your practice and help you reach new levels of skill and understanding in the art of bonsai.

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