GROWING BONSAI FROM A SEEDLING
The reality is, bonsais grow slowly from a seed. Depending on the species, it may take up to a few months for your seed to germinate. Having said that, if you are willing to be patient and put in the time, you will be rewarded with something incredibly unique, that can be passed down through the generations.
Patience is key with bonsai. For the first several months of growth, the plant will stabilize and begin to spread its roots. During this time, you will need to be diligent about watering, so that the young seedling stays well nourished. Try your best not to over-water or under-water. The best way to check if the watering is sufficient, is to simply put your finger in the soil. Does it feel moist? Wet? Dry? You want the soil to be moist but not saturated. Just add water if it is dry. Nothing more too it!
During this initial period, let the bonsai grow as it sees fit. You will not need to prune or trim the plant for the first several months, as it is still in the process establishing itself.
Five to six months in, depending on the species, your bonsai should now be thriving and may need re-potting. Plants require space to spread their roots. If the pot or container is too small, the plant may become stunted and root bound.
As your bonsai matures, then you will have the opportunity to prune the leaves and branches into a desired shape. Typically, the best time to prune is during the growth season (March to September). Don’t overdo it. If you are a beginner, go slow at first. A snip here and there to maintain the shape, but nothing drastic.
As time goes on, you will need to fertilize the soil to keep the plant healthy. Typically, a fertilizer high in phosphorus and nitrogen should do the trick.
Enjoy the process. They are only young once (said with a sniffle and tear in the eye). Happy bonsai-ing.