November 21, 2021

bald cypress bonsai

Bald Cypress Bonsai: The Ultimate Beginner’s Care Guide

Bald Cypress Bonsai is the species of the bald cypress tree, which is native to the southeastern part of North America. The species was used for lumber and are now popular with bonsai hobbyists. Bald Cypress trees have flat needles that are often considered beautiful by many enthusiasts.

However, when combined with other bonsai trees, it becomes a stunning specimen. The Bald Cypress is very easy to grow and needs a little more attention than other bonsai. We will know more information about this bonsai below.

Basic Information of Bald Cypress Bonsai

  • Variety: Bald Cypress ( Taxodium distichum )
  • Other names: Southern Cypress, Swamp Cypress, White Cypress
  • The preferred locations for growing it are the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Is Bald Cypress Tree Suitable For Bonsai?

The bald cypress is a deciduous evergreen tree that is commonly used for bonsai because it has the iconic look of the traditional Japanese style. The leaves are green and flat, giving you an impression of calmness.

However, some have criticized the use of bald cypress as bonsai, saying that it only looks good as bonsai. But the truth is, bald cypress has a characteristic charm and it can be compared to other trees such as Japanese maple and red pine bonsai.

It was once considered an ornamental tree because of its unique appearance with exposed roots and branches that easily lend themselves to use as bonsai.

The Bald Cypress is very easy to grow and needs a little more attention than other bonsai. It’s suitable for beginners because it doesn’t require pruning or training techniques that are difficult to perform, just follow our guide below:

General Guidelines For Growing Bald Cypress Bonsai

1) Planting Location

To make your bald cypress bonsai thrive, you need to choose the right location. For instance, in the summertime when the temperature is high, it’s best to place your bald cypress in an area where there is lots of shade.

2) Soil Composition

You should use well-drained soil that has some clay or organic material in it at all times. You can add sand and pumice if you want for easier drainage.  Never use the potting mix because they won’t absorb water correctly anymore.

3) Watering

When watering your plant remember to keep the soil moist at all times when growing bald cypress bonsai. This is why it’s better for beginners to use mica pots instead because they retain moisture for up to 3 days which is precisely what your plant needs.

4) Pests and Diseases

Aphids are the most common insects found on the cypress tree. They can usually be controlled with soapy water or insecticidal soap sprays, but you should always check with your local agricultural office first before applying any spray to your bald cypress bonsai because you might injure it instead.

5) Fertilizer

You should only use fertilizers that are low in nitrogen during the springtime . This is when your shrub will be producing new growth. Otherwise, just stick with a balanced fertilizer at all times which you should fertilize every 2 weeks.

6 ) Pruning/Training Techniques

bald cypress bonsai pruning

Bald cypress bonsai trees have unique characteristics that you should take advantage of when training them. The branches are horizontal so it’s best to use a ball and socket style for attaching your pruning wire to the trunk.

7) Styling

Styling bald cypress bonsai is very easy because they grow naturally into a cascade or slanting style. You can also do formal upright or slanted, slanting being the most difficult because there is no good way of doing it other than just trimming until you get what you want.

When should I Shave My Bald Cypress Bonsai?

Shaving your bald cypress tree should only be done during the summertime because this is when you can open up its pores and let CO2 inside. To shave, use a wire cutter to cut the trunk about 1/3 of the way down, but make sure it’s not less than 1/4 inch thick, or else it won’t heal properly.

Why Do I Need A Bald Cypress Bonsai Tree?

The bald cypress tree has unique features that you will appreciate after growing one for years. One unique feature is that it can adapt well in wet environments. This is definitely necessary if you live near ponds or rivers. These tree might suffer from humidity problems.

It also tolerates pruning techniques really well so there’s less risk of hurting the plant when styling it. It also has great trunk movement. This is impressive given that you can use them in different styles. You can have formal upright style, cascade style, and even literati style after shaving once every summer.

How to take care of the Bald Cypress Bonsai Tree?

Plant your bald cypress bonsai tree in an area with lots of indirect suns. It’s best to plant it near areas where the soil gets dry every day for at least 6 hours. You should also keep daily tabs on how often you water because this is when they are most sensitive to changes, especially if you are using mica pots that retain moisture for up to 3 days.

You should never prune or shave your bald cypress bonsai trees during the wintertime because this is when they are still growing and could get damaged easily. To prune, use a ball and socket style to attach your wire so that there is less risk of straining the plant when it heals.

You should also always use a low nitrogen fertilizer during the springtime because this is when your shrub will be producing new growth, otherwise, just stick to a balanced fertilizer at all times.

What Should You Do If Your Bonsai Tree Has a Brown Bug?

If you see brown bugs on your bald cypress bonsai, it’s best to spray them off with soapy water or insecticidal soap sprays. Don’t touch the insects because they could leave marks on the leaves if you do. If that doesn’t work, try applying horticultural oils to keep them away for good. You should always check with your local agricultural office first before doing any of these things though because you might injure the plant instead.


In general, growing bald cypress bonsai doesn’t require any special techniques but these steps will help beginners like us become more familiar with how our plant grows and what we can do to improve its quality and appearance. If anything, there isn’t much maintenance involved and you just really need to be patient because this type of bonsai is slow-growing.

By the way, if you want an aesthetic view of this plant you must take care of it and after that you will like the beauty of bald cypress bonsai.

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About the author 

Greg Reed

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