The Bonsai Grower in Winter

By Lionel Theron

Winter is the time when bonsai trees are resting and are dormant. It is also the time when bonsai growers may not feel very inclined to be outdoors in the elements, but would prefer to be sitting in front of the fire with a warm drink reading and absorbing ideas from the many bonsai books and magazines that are available. It is a time to watch the many bonsai videos that are available.



Welcome to the website of Cape Bonsai Kai where you will find out all about our club, events we are hosting and other news. Here you will also find galleries containing images from exhibitions, workshops, club meetings and more. We often post valuable information like "What to do this month" and other tips as well as many articles which will help you keep your bonsai collection healthy and you enjoying your new art form. Be sure to visit often!


About CBK

History tells us that bonsai were first displayed in South Africa at the British Empire Exhibition held in Johannesburg in 1933, where Asian exhibitors displayed their trees. Thereafter, mention is made of soldiers, returning home from the east after the Second World War, expressing interest in the beautiful trees they had seen in Japan.


Winter pruning

by Eugenie Sohnge

According to the Chambers Dictionary PRUNING comes from OFr proignier - origin unknown; it is a transitive verb meaning to trim by lopping off superfluous parts; to remove anything superfluous from - ; to remove by pruning. For our purposes we can describe winter or maintenance pruning as a never ending cycle of replacing old with new.


For the Beginner Part I

What to do when you get home

By Victoria Petermann

You have been searching in a number of nurseries and now you are back home; your backyard is filled with bushy-looking plants in black bags. What do you do next?

My first suggestion would be to stop worrying about making mistakes. We all make mistakes and often those tum out to be the best decisions. If not, most mistakes can be corrected in time (yes! even cutting off the wrong branch). The most difficult mistake to correct is that of a dead tree, but then you are bound to loose an occasional tree whilst you learn and even some of those can be "revived" by turning them into phoenix-grafts! (this, only a few years down the line when you start hankering for something new).


Autumn and Winter Tasks

by Gail Theron

Bonsai growers tend to think that as their trees slow down towards the end of summer they can take a well earned rest, however, there is still much to do and think about.


Beginners Corner - Repotting

by Dorothy Franz

Spring is generally accepted as the time for repotting, but there are exceptions. Figs, for example need warm weather, so in the Cape we repot them in December. Flowering trees are done after flowering. Pines late Spring and Junipers are usually repotted in November. Olives, what can I say, they seem to have a will of their own. I wait till they show movement, then I repot.

Next Workshop

Bishopsford Bonsai, 13h30 on 3rd September

Contact Us

We would be happy to hear from you should you like to find out more about the club, meetings or bonsai in general.

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Year Programme

We have an exciting calendar of club meetings, events and public exhibitions planned for 2015/6.

Learn more


Distant mountain heights...

Lonely trees clinging...

In the hollow of my hand

Random Bonsai Tip

You can bend thick, hardened branches by undercutting. A wedge is cut underneath where the bend is needed and then the branch is eased down anw wired into place. Thick, coarse branches could also be removed completely and replaced with new branches by thread grafting or approach grafting