Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:29 am
Location: Nairobi kenya

Kenyan member new to bonsai.

I too live in kenya.
And am really searching for some help with starting bonsai I don't even know where to get all the stuff in kenya if you know where I can find help please contact me.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A


Welcome to The Helpful Gardener and to bonsai. As a beginner one of the best things you can do is to join a club or take some classes. Here are some linke to get you started.


These mostly seem to be in the South Africa region so I realize that you may not be able to travel to these location but nevertheless they may be able to point you in the right direction. They will also be able to guide you to which species you should work with in your climate. Also, explore the links that they provide and you may find something more local.

Some tips, really quickly. Work with native species or ones that are well suited to your environment. Don't try to force a temperate species to conform to your climate, that's going to be very difficult especially for a beginner.

One plant that you probably can locate will be Portulacari afra which I believe is called Spekboom. Ficus will probably work for you as well.

Be aware that bonsai soil is very different than soil in the ground or even other types of potting soil.

This thread has a lot of fine pictures that should give you some appreciation for true bonsai as opposed to the mass produced bonsai that are so often foisted upon beginners.

Hopefully some others will have more to add. Please stop back and let us know how things are going for you.


Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2661
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Trees-shrubs worth your looking (on the net) for pictures of, that might have cousins who live near you.

Figs, ficus
Texas Ebony, Pithacelobium flexicaule
Baobab, I don't know the latin
Peach-cherry, prunus (Barbados cherry?)
Olive, olea
Mesquite, I don't know the latin

Figs: grow most anyplace free of frost.

I guess I want you to look at African cousins of Pithecellobium flexicaule. The legume family has woody cousins all over the world. Our USian shrub
is a pest plant in south Texas.

Baobab: I used to correspond with a fellow from South Africa, his stories of caring for baobab as bonsai, almost got me to seek some seed.

Prunus: some kind of stone fruit tree lives just about eveywhere.

Olives: again almost any place free of frost, this tree or its cousin might also live.

Mesquite: you have a wide growing distant relation to our mesquite. Thorny too.

Our only local ebony (paw paw) will not tolerate root pruning. hence it is not a good bonsai candidate. Yours might be different.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A


Thanks for the information. Unfortunately I fear this member is no longer with us. This question was originally posted in another thread and I it split from that thread.

I PM'd Jinsu to inform him/her but it seems either Jinsu has not returned or is not familiar with the Private Message system as it has gone unread.

Jinsu, are you still with us?


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