Best Soil for Bonsai

Best Soil for Bonsai – 6 Amazing Products & Reviews (2022)

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Many people engage in gardening because they want to enrich their homes with beautiful green plants and create their own little nook of nature.

However, becoming a gardener takes a lot of time, and you really need to do some research before you choose the plant that you will grow and take care of all the time.

For that reason, we hope our little guides are making this a lot easier for you and that you can get all the needed information to make the right decision.

Best Soil for Bonsai Trees

Bonsai is a very popular houseplant that originates from Japan, and it is considered the Japanese version of the penzai tree that is very popular in China.

It is known fr growing beautiful small trees that look almost the same as the real ones you can find in your surroundings.

The bonsai tree is definitely one of the most beautiful houseplants, and it can give new life to every single room even though it is a lot smaller than most other plants you can grow at home.

Bonsai trees don’t require too much care, and they can even grow in a very dry. Succulent soil like cactuses.

When creating your bonsai soil, you have to make sure it is rich in organic matter and that it is mostly natural; otherwise, you will need to check up on it frequently.

You can’t really find bonsai soil specifically made for this plant, but most regular potting soils will work just fine.

Bonsai trees love baked clay from Japan like Akadama, which can easily be found in your local garden center.

It will also benefit from lava rocks of different sorts because they will imitate the bonsai native soil perfectly and provide the bonsai with porous properties.

The best base ingredient you can add is peat moss because it will control the drainage and aeration well but still help the plant hold on to enough water.

This little tree usually doesn’t need fertilizer unless it is kept in really bad conditions, so I would say it is a very cheap houseplant too.

Everyone can make their own potting soil if they just decide to mix a few ingredients, but why waste time when there are hundreds of different bonsai soils on the market?

For that reason, we have gathered some of the best potting mixes you can find on the market, and e sincerely recommend using some of them if you want to help your plant grow and thrive without problems.

QUICK OVERVIEW: Best Soil for Bonsai

Espoma Moisture Potting Mix
  • Weight: 4.9 pounds
  • 100% organic
FoxFarm Ocean Forest
  • Weight: 39.4 pounds
  • Organic product
Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro
  • Weight: 5.09 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 11.5 x 3.5

1. Espoma Moisture Potting Mix

Espoma is known for having amazing soil mixes, and even though this is a normal potting soil, it will work great for your bonsai pot.

It can be used for plants grown inside and outside of your home and it is made of natural ingredients, so you can be sure it is of high quality.

I encourage everyone to try Espoma products because they are of very high quality, and they will definitely enable you to create your perfect bonsai organic potting compost.


  • Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Weight: 4.9 pounds
  • 100% organic

What plants is it good for?

This potting mix can be used for various plants, and you can use it both inside and outside of your house without problems.

It works great for bonsai trees because it creates a healthy and stimulating environment with all the bonsai soil components you need.

You can definitely use it to plant a tree in bonsai pots and ensure that it will provide you with good aeration and moisture retention.

I would also recommend using it for bonsais potted in containers because it really gives them the boost they need.

Key features

Espoma is the champion when it comes to creating organic potting soils, and this is their best product that will help your bonsai trees thrive.

This product is rich in coconut coir, earthworm castings, and amazing myco-tone, stimulating plant growth and improving drainage and water absorption.

Myco-tone is an amazing addition that will help you create a healthy and nutritive environment for your bonsai tree and provide it with enough air pockets, which can’t always be done with regular organic mixes and potting soils.

Since it will create an almost native soil for your bonsai tree and help it create a good and drained root system, but it will also help you with regular re-potting.

You can count on strong root growth when using this mix, and your bonsai tree’s roots will definitely be able to start growing very fast because of exposure to organic components, and you will need to repot them from time to time.

When using this mix, you will be able to repot the plant easily and without spending too much time on it because its texture is very sleek and allows you to separate roots without problems.

Unfortunately, many people have had bad experiences with this potting soil, not regarding its results, but regarding the ingredient list.

They claim that the ingredient list is not true and that the mix contains none of the ingredients listed on the package.

However, it seems like this potting soil manages to give great results, so I would still say it is worth the investment, but only if you have enough money because it really is quite an investment in comparison to other soils on the market.

  • Good ingredient list
  • Nutritive environment
  • Works well both indoors and outdoors
  • The ingredient list is not true

2. FoxFarm Ocean Forest FX14000 

Fox Farm is known for having some of the best products that will help you grow a healthy plant in a matter of just a few months.

Their products are really of premium quality, and they are very rich in organic components, which makes them a great choice for all sorts of plants, including bonsai trees.

Everything is made from premium quality ingredients and it can safely be used for both people and pets, so you can be your bonsai tree is growing in an amazing environment.


  • Weight: 39.4 pounds
  • Organic product

What plants is it good for?

This Fox Farm potting soil can be used both indoors and outdoors, but I also believe it will work great if you plan on growing your bonsai trees in containers.

You can be sure that this bonsai soil mix has enough nutrients and that your tree will get everything it needs in order to thrive.

However, I recommend keeping your plants in a place full of the sun while using this bonsai soil because it will definitely give you the fastest and best results.

Key features

This amazing Ocean Forets potting soil is one of the rare bonsai soil mixes with everything you need and eliminates the need for dozen fertilizers or chemical additions.

It is similar to regular organic potting compost, and it is an amazing blend of earthworm castings and organic bat guano that is rarely found in other soil mixes.

The mix also has a lot of sea-going fish and crab meals and a lot of forest humus, and also a lot of simple organic matter like vermiculite, sphagnum and peat moss, perlite, and all the similar ingredients you come across every day in these mixes.

There is also an addition of regular organic compost that will help you control the pH levels, which is very important, especially for a basic bonsai tree.

However, the pH levels you can expect while using this Fox Farm bonsai substrate are somewhere between 6.3 and 6.8, and it will provide you with optimum.

You can create a preferred tree species with this mix and make sure that you have your bonsai planted the way you want it.

Bonsai experts claim that soil like this will help you get a plant to drain immediately and improve aeration and help it retain water so it can survive.

It needs a lot of water, especially in the beginning, but you really need to be careful not to overwater it because you may have to deal with wet feet.

However, this is a soil mix that barely works on other trees, and people claim that it is only suitable for species like bonsai trees.

It tends to be too harsh for most plants, so we recommend using it only for your bonsai tree.

People claim that it reduces aeration in their plants and led to their plants’ death, so you definitely have to do brief research before you decide to use it for some of your trees.

It is also a lot more expensive than most potting soils, so I recommend buying it only if you know you will use it a lot.

  • Boosts bonsai growth
  • Improving drainage and aeration
  • Good pH levels
  • Expensive
  • Suitable only for bonsai trees and similar tree species

3. Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro

As you probably know, Miracle-Gro is definitely one of the most popular companies when it comes to creating a variety of different planting mixes, and this is a highly nutritious product that will boost the growth and beauty of your bonsai tree.

This concentrated garden soil will help any plant thrive without too much effort, and you will be able to see amazing results within just a few weeks.

It will help your bonsai tree thrive and get enough fresh air even if it isn’t grown in perfect conditions, so this is definitely a potting soil I would recommend to everyone.


  • Weight: 5.09 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 11.5 x 3.5
  • Compressed coir

What plants is it good for?

This Miracle-Gro potting soil is made mostly for indoor plants, especially those that need a lot of time and light to thrive.

When using it for a bonsai tree, I recommend keeping it somewhere indoors but still exposed to a bit of indirect light so you can be 100% sure your plant will be able to develop properly.

You should make sure it gets proper aeration and gets all the things a bonsai tree requires, which is a lot easier to do when your plant is inside, in controlled conditions.

However, you have to control the soil because the organic matter breaks, especially those found in pre-made potting soils.

I recommend treating it like inorganic soil and controlling and adding a few organic ingredients all the time so that you can be sure your bonsai tree will grow well.

Key features

As we have already mentioned, you have to be very careful while adding organic matter to this mixture, and you really have to control the whole potting process from start to finish.

This product can hold up even 50% more water than other postings oils you can find on the market, which can be quite complicated if you plan on growing a bonsai tree in it.

You have to be very careful with the things you are adding and whether there are enough well-draining soil components; otherwise, your plant may start to rot.

This potting soil will help your bonsai tree grow 3 times faster than it would with a simple bonsai soil mix you can find in your local garden centers.

Unfortunately, it may not be one of the perfect bonsai soils because it requires frequent watering, and it can be quite hard to find a good balance and get rid of excess water.

Proper drainage is the key, and that is something you will really have to work on if you plan on growing a bonsai in this type of soil.

It is also an organic product, and it has a lot of peat moss, pine bark, and coarse sand that should help you with drainage problems like this.

  • Makes the plant grow 3 times faster
  • Good water retention capabilities
  • Boosts plant growth
  • Needs a lot of care
  • Tends to hold on to excess water

4. Espoma AP4

As we have already mentioned, Espoma is a really well-known gardening company, and their products are among the favorites of all gardeners.

Every step in production is strictly controlled, and you really don’t have to worry about the safety of the products because they are all of the premium quality.


  • Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • 100% organic

What plants is it good for?

This organic soil mix fits a lot of different plants, and it will definitely work well for your bonsai too.

You can choose whether you want to use it indoors or outdoors, but I recommend putting your plant in a sunny window if you want to see good results with it.

I would recommend keeping your bonsai in the sun so you can see the best results because this mix really is not concentrated in any chemicals or fertilizers.

Key features

This Espoma potting mix is organic, and it is rich in amazing ingredients that will help stimulate the growth of your bonsai, even if it is grown indoors.

The ingredients list is pretty long, and it includes myco-tone, alfalfa meal, natural fertilizers, kelp meal, and feather meal.

Myco-tone will help stimulate the growth of your bonsai, and it will create a soil that is similar to the native one.

Earthworm castings are also included, and they will create an amazing environment for your bonsai and secure it with enough drainage holes.

Even though it doesn’t have any chemicals, this mix is concentrated and it will be able to feed your plant without any problems.

However, it needs a lot of water to succeed, and I recommend being very careful with it because it can cause serious problems and lead to root rot.

It can also decline the drought stress your plant experiences when put in a new potting soil, which is especially great for bonsai trees that really need almost ideal conditions to thrive.

pH balance also won’t be a problem for you because there is a lot of domestic limestones and fine gravel that will control it.

Unfortunately, this potting mix is not sterilized, which can cause serious problems, especially for young bonsai trees.

This is also very tricky for inexperienced gardeners, so if you never had to deal with something like this, then you should reconsider purchasing this mix.

However, it is pretty much affordable and can be sued for various plants, so you won’t use too much money even if you get it.

  • Organic
  • pH balanced
  • Has myco-tone
  • Not sterilized

5. Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix

Miracle-Gro is, without doubt, the most famous company in the gardening industry, and I recommend their products for your perfect bonsai soil too.

This potting product may seem to be way too simple and basic, but it still does the job well and can satisfy all the needs of your bonsai tree.


  • Non-organic
  • Dimensions: 16 x 10 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 7.63 pounds
  • A nutritious formula that lasts for 6 months

What plants is it good for?

This indoor potting mix is actually a mix of many different container herbs and plants, and it tends to work with all the plants you may want to grow in your garden.

You will be guaranteed a good drainage system and you can be 100% sure you will create bonsai soil that will feed the plant and help it overcome different obstacles.

However, I would also say you can be using it for outdoor planting because it is very simple, and your bonsai will definitely need some sun if you want to make sure it will develop properly.

In case you want to grow the bonsai outside of its growing season, this really is not the best choice, and it will definitely need some strong fertilizer to succeed.

Key features

This mix is a blend of many herbs and plants and is similar to organic compost, so it can work just fine with a variety of different plants and create a nutritive environment for them.

Even though it is not based on peat or sphagnum moss, it is rich in coconut coir that creates a perfect nutritive environment that will make your bonsai tree thrive.

The mix also has its own natural fertilizer that will help boost plant growth, but it is usually not strong on its own to create the soil for your bonsai.

However, this is an inorganic product that is a bit more efficient than most organic soils, but it must be put in full light if you want to see real, serious results.

A good amount of coconut coir will provide the plant with a lot of drainage holes and fresh air, but you still have to stay extra careful and make sure you never put way too much water.

This soil mix needs to be watered frequently, and that can cause some bugs or bacteria to appear, which can seriously harm your plant.

Even though there is no bark or compost, the soil mix is still prone to different plant diseases, so I recommend controlling it frequently.

That tends to create big problems for inexperienced gardeners, and I really suggest being very careful if you plan on using it.

It will also be able to nurture the plant for a longer period of time, even up to 6 to 7 months.

Since it is pretty cheap compared to other products on the market, I always recommend buying one and testing it out.

  • Nurtures the plant for more tha
  • Nutritious
  • Works well with every plant
  • Hard to be taken care of
  • Not the best option for beginners

6. Dr. Earth Gold Premium Potting Soil

Dr. Earth is also among the most popular gardening companies, and they offer hundreds of different products that suit all types of plants.

The brand has been on the market for decades and you really know you are investing in quality products every time you decide to spend money in their shop.

They are safe for both people and animals, which can tell you how quality everything of their ingredients is.


  • Dimensions: 19 x 12 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 5.94 pounds

What plants is it good for?

This Dr. Earth product is made for plants grown indoors and outdoors, but I believe it will give great results both ways, so you can choose the one that suits you better.

Bonsai trees don’t need really need too much sunlight and they can grow well indoors, too; all you have to do is put them in a good organic soil like this one.

It gives great results when used for container planting, too, and I believe large pots will be the best choice because the roots will grow very well.

Key features

This potting product has become crazy popular among gardeners because of its Myco Apply formula and it is certainly the best option for promoting the root growth of your bonsai tree.

It has amazing ingredients that will definitely fit all plants, and you can be sure they will be nurtured at all times.

The mix is rich in Tru Biotic microbes that are known to stimulate plant growth and help roots develop healthily.

Its formula is known for eliminating all sorts of plant diseases and preventing the leaves from turning yellow and falling out, so you can be 100% sure your bonsai tree will save its vibrant color.

It is also rich in simple ingredients like peat moss, dolomite, perlite, pine bark fine, coarse sand, clay, and compost.

You can use it for completely new plants, even young seedlings, but also for mature plants that need a bit of stimulus in order to develop well.

Unfortunately, this soil is not sterilized, and that can create a lot of problems for those who don’t have too much experience in gardening.

Even though many users claim their plants were growing extra fast while using this product, others claim that their plants stopped growing shortly after they incorporated this mix into their soil.

While there may be several reasons for this, I would still recommend thinking twice before you decide to spend that much money on a product like this.

The mix is also pretty expensive and I recommend reconsidering the purchase, especially if you are not struggling to grow your bonsai tree.

  • Tru Biotic microbes
  • Myco formula
  • Organic
  • Safe for animals and people
  • Very expensive
  • Is not sterilized

Things to Consider When Buying Best Soil for Bonsai


Good drainage is the key to a successful bonsai plant, and bonsai experts claim that your plant will not be able to develop as long as it doesn’t get rid of excess water.

In case something seems to be wrong with your plant, you should definitely check the drainage because most problems are connected to it.

This will also secure you with good aeration, which will stimulate the growth of your plant and help it become healthier.

Water retention

However, even though you need soil that is free of excess water, you have to make sure your bonsai will be getting enough water at all times.

Good water retention will help you to get rid of excess water but still get a lot of soil moisture that is needed for plant growth.

Related: Best Soil for Cactus – Top 5 Great Products and Reviews


Do bonsai trees need special soil?

Bonsai trees need special soil, and you have to create an ideal soil mix for them with soil components like pumice, lava rock, akadama, and a lot of compost.

The most important thing is that its environment needs to be organic; otherwise, there is little to no chance your bonsai will grow unless it’s an environment saturated with chemicals.

Can you grow bonsai in normal soil?

Bonsai trees can’t be grown in normal soil, so you will need to create a special and ideal environment for them that will be organic and neutral.

Bonsai can’t stan an alkaline or acidic environment, so it is best to grow it in soil that is pH neutral, with the levels being somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5.

They need good drainage so make sure your soil has enough drainage holes that will help it get both enough water and air at the same time.

Bonsais tend to root in regular potting soils, so the best thing is to follow our instructions carefully and find loose soil for your bonsai tree.

Can I use succulent soil for bonsai?

Bonsai trees can definitely grow in succulent soil, but you need to be aware that soil needs to be very nutritive and it still has to provide the roots with enough moisture.

Using good soil is the key to growing a healthy Bonsai tree, and you will definitely be able to do that if you take good care of your succulent soil.