What trees can grow from rocks

Bonsai rock plantings

Japanese: Seki-joju / Ishisuki - The sight of trees growing on or over rocks can be quite dramatic as these trees struggle to find nutrients in their harsh environment. Such landscapes can be modeled as bonsai, often with pine trees. These instructions describe in detail how a rock plantation is designed.


The best time of year to plant trees on a rock is early spring.

How do you design a bonsai rock planting?

First of all, you have to find a suitable rock. It should have many small crevices and caves in which the tree roots can grow. Next you look for the tree or trees with which you want to plant the rock. Pine trees are often preferred, but deciduous trees can also be used. The trees you choose should be healthy and have long roots, which is why they should be planted in a large bowl for at least a year before setting them on the rock. Finally, the substrate is prepared, which in this case should consist of half Akadama and half garden compost (read the article on bonsai substrate for more detailed information on substrate mixtures for different tree species, climates, etc.).

When you have selected the rock and the tree, follow the step-by-step instructions for creating a rock planting.

And then? The aftercare

When you have done the rock planting, you can perfect the composition by placing it on a flat trivet. Prune the tree immediately after setting it on the rock to reduce its water needs for the root system to meet. Start fertilizing a month later as the limited volume of substrate will quickly lose its nutritional content. Timely watering must also be ensured, as the substrate dries out quickly.