Bonsai Training Information

Ligustrum sinense
Chinese Privet, Small-Leaved Privet

A deciduous Shrubs or small trees growing to between 2 meters and 4 meters, rarely 7 m. Branchlets and leafs are hairy when you gradually become hairless. It habitat is in China and Vietnam is in thickets, mixed woods and forests in valleys and ravines mainly along streams. Is widely grown as a Bonsai in China from where hundreds of thousands have been exported to Europe and the America.


Informal Upright, Slanting, Cascade, Semi-cascade




When growing indoor place out of direct sunlight. When there is no danger of frost it can be can be grown outside in 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. Ensure that pots do not remain 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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