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.


How about indigenous?

by Adam Harrower

I'm sure that all have heard it said that we , in the Western Cape, live in one of the six floristic kingdoms of the world, I can not emphasize enough how true this is and how blessed we are. Studying Botany at UCT, has brought me face to face with this tremendous wealth of beauty and diversity, which is matched in very few other places on the planet. The other thing is that South Africa has such a variety of flora types, ranging from the fynbos to forest to grassland etc., which is echoed in the diversity of species. In terms of bonsai use, we have been relatively biased towards exotic plants, probably because most of the literature on bonsai is from overseas and deals with tried and tested species that are sure to be fail-proof. The problem is that many of these species are often difficult, if not impossible, to get hold of and often do not like our climate so we need to look to the next best option, which in our case happens to be an extremely good one - our indigenous plant material.


For the Beginner - Summer Care of your Bonsai

by Viky Petermann

headerThe potting season has finally come to an end. You found it to be a mad rush, but you managed to pot all your trees on time. If you think that you can now sit back and relax, think again. The fresh soil in the pots and the extra space given to the roots have given a great amount of vigour to your tree. Now is the time to begin establishing the look of maturity of your tree and what you do now will depend entirely on the stage of development of your plant.


Potting in Summer

by Rudi Adam

The following notes are given rather early - but as everyone knows, Summer, in the Cape, always turns up very suddenly and it's best to be prepared.

Summer potting is possible, as long as enough caution and after care is exercised. It is also limited to a few species, such as maple, Chinese elm (which have to be defoliated completely a few days beforehand) and the ficus species.

Next Workshop

3rd February, Viky Petermann. 13h30

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.

Send us a mail

Year Programme

We have an exciting calendar of club meetings, events and public exhibitions planned for 2017/8.

Learn more


Pools in the rocks

Softly tinted russet red and brown

Autumn is near

Random Bonsai Tip

To improve branch ramification one can defoliate deciduous trees in summer. This method should only be used on healthy, strong trees in their later stages of development.