Bonsai Training Information

Ligustrum japonicum
Japanese Privet, Tree Privet, Wax Leaf Privet

It is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to between 2 and 5 meters tall, with smooth, pale grey-brown bark. Often grown as small city trees or above hedges. Makes delightful bonsai of all sizes, especially attractive when in full bloom.


Informal Upright, Slanting, Cascade, Semi-cascade




Semi Shade to Full Sun. It is more likely to flower and bear fruit in full sun conditions.


Water regularly during the growing season, during the hot summer months if the trees are in full sun you may need to water more than once a day. Let soil surface dry out between watering though. In winter ensure that pots do not get water logged.


Feed just twice in spring and autumn, this will ensure that the plant gets enough fertiliser when it has its growth spurts and needs the extra feed, while ensuring that leaf sizes are kept in check.

Leaf and Branch Pruning:

Ligustrum are vigorous growers and constant pruning is necessary to ensure the plant stays in shape and that the leaf sizes are reduced. In mature bonsai pinch out shoots as soon as a to leaflets appear, in younger bonsai cut back to 2 leafs once 5 to 6 leafs have grown on a shoot. Structural pruning can be undertaken at anytime of the year, but for faster healing best between spring and summer.

Re-potting & Growing Medium:

Repot every year on younger plants which can get pot bound quickly, older plants should be repotted when they need it around once every two years. Use a well drained moisture retaining soil. Use 100% Akadama, or 1 part loam, 1 part peat, 1 part sharp sand.


Branches are very flexible and wiring can be done anytime of the year. Do not leave the wire on for too long autumn and winter wiring will leave for the least scars possibility as the branches do not thicken too much during this season.


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