Course CodeBHT320
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Unleash Your Creativity

Producing bonsai is often considered to be a complex skill which requires many years of practice and devotion to attain desirable results but this is not strictly true. Of course, is does require knowledge and commitment but it is possible to achieve worthwhile results in a relatively short space of time whether as a hobby or on a commercial scale. You just need enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.

Aim to become a bonsai expert

As you pass through your journey creating and growing bonsai plants you may find that you can produce plants beyond what you thought was possible. It may be the beginning of a new direction for you. 

." I have never found the staff at any other learning institution as supportive as the staff at ACS. This gives one a lot of peace of mind and confidence to go on - at every squeak from my side, you guys have always been there, immediately to sort me out. The feedback on my lessons has always been really good and meaningful and an important source of my learning. Thanks!..."
- Student with ACS

A course for Hobbyists, Nurserymen, Horticulturists or Enthusiasts

There is no restriction on who this course might appeal to. Join the many who have learnt the ancient oriental art of bonsai through this practical and comprehensive course.

This fully informative course has eight lessons which cover the selection of plants suited to bonsai, understanding the history and classic shapes which form the basis of the art, techniques of planting, training, pruning, watering & feeding and ways of using bonsai both indoors and outdoors. You will create several bonsai of your own during the course and receive constructive criticism from your tutor as they help you develop your own personal bonsai style and techniques.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
  2. Propagation
  3. Plants for Bonsai
  4. Bonsai Styles and Techniques
  5. Creating Bonsai
  6. Bonsai Culture and Maintenance
  7. Landscaping Principles for Bonsai
  8. Special Assignment


  • Demonstrate knowledge of the plant kingdom, an understanding of the taxonomic hierarchy, and an appreciation of the types of plants suitable for bonsai.
  • Explain the methods of propagation used in bonsai.
  • Select species of plants most suited to bonsai.
  • Describe a range of bonsai styles and techniques used to achieve them.
  • Demonstrate the process of creating bonsai.
  • Explain the basics of successful bonsai culture.
  • Discuss landscape design principles to better create bonsai landscapes.
  • Carry out research into a particular aspect of bonsai.

What You Will Do

  • Develop plant review sheets for different plants suitable for bonsai.
  • Make up a list of resources/contacts useful to a bonsai grower.
  • Research what constitutes a good propagating mix.
  • Visit a nursery and observe the nursery stock present to assess suitability for bonsai production.
  • Propagate different species of plant that have the potential to be used as Bonsai.
  • Select different plants and determine the style of bonsai each plant lends itself to.
  • Make a list of the most commonly grown varieties of plants you consider as being used for bonsai today.
  • Visit a bonsai house, bonsai farm, bonsai nursery or other facility where bonsai are available for viewing and classify the style of different bonsai plants.
  • Evaluate, prune, wire, shape and pot different plants as bonsai
  • Obtain soil from two different types of soils; test the soils for drainage, and name the soils.
  • Obtain (or make up) a potting mix which you consider appropriate for growing bonsai in.
    • Conduct tests to name the potting mix you have obtained. Test the drainage of the potting mix.
  • Visit a nursery or garden growing bonsai plants to assess the plants for pests, diseases and environmental anomalies.
  • Design a miniature garden pot incorporating a bonsai plant
  • Using your knowledge of landscaping principles, decide on the best outdoor locations three different bonsai, and the optimum indoor locations for short term display. Take photographs or sketch the locations in which you would place the bonsai. Submit these photographs with your assignment.
  • Obtain plants of different varieties and using what you have learned in the course, turn your chosen plants into bonsai and either photograph or draw what you have created; then report on this work.

Bonsai involves growing plants in a confined situation. By confining root growth and regularly pruning the roots and top, the plant can be kept in a miniature form for hundreds of years (in some cases).

The bonsai should look like a miniature tree, with not only the trunk and branches scaled down, but also the leaves. As such it is preferable for bonsai to utilize smaller leafed plants. We try to achieve the following in the plants we use for bonsai:

ROOTS spreading densely and many branching in all directions.

TRUNK well tapered and very thick at the base.

BRANCHES thick, lower down and multi branched with thinner branches at the ends.

LEAVES small, dense and vigorous.

TOP of the plant must look vigorous, healthy and vital, even if it is not growing with any real vigour.


How This Course Could Benefit You

This course could not only indulge a passion for bonsai and help you to explore your creativity. It could also be taken as part of a certificate or other qualification. It might also help you to explore other study or work opportunities. It suited to:

  • Horticulturists
  • Gardeners
  • Artists
  • People with an interest in bonsai or setting up a bonsai business




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