Bonsai Technique (Workshop of the Hibiscus)

The Bonsai Workshop of the Hibiscus material owned by Ugi Uyehara by Master Yang Kuo Yin features the new technique of grafting developed through years of practice. It is the first time that Master Yang shared in detail this technique to the public.


  1. The first step is to understand your material. It is important to know basic botany. The science part of bonsai. Then make a drawing of what you want your material would become. For the expert, they can draw this in their mind. When you have decided, you can start removing the leaves that are not necessary. In this case, almost all leaves were removed. Then cut the unnecessary branches. Apply sealant on the cut areas.
  2. Prepare the cuttings to be grafted taken from another tree. Make sure you use a very sharp knife to cut cleanly. The cuttings are wrapped with a Buddy-Tape, used for grafting and budding.
  3. Study well where you want to graft the cutting. Location of the grafting will determine the expected new branches to bud and develop.
  4. Cut the cutting from the base. Slanted on both sides and pointed. Make sure you expose the three layers – bark, cambium and the wood.
  5. Make a slit on the part of the branch where you want to graft. Make sure the slit is deep enough. It should be slanted to expose the three layers.
  6. Insert the cutting. The scion should be aligned as it is the channel for plant food. If it is not aligned, (tie cutting will dry up and die. Repeat this procedure in branches where you want new twigs to bud and form new branches.
  7. Cover the newly grafted branches with PE plastic bag and seal well to maintain moisture to hasten the budding of newly grafted cuttings. In one week’s time, it should start budding. Loosen the bag without removing it to allow air to come in. Remove only after loosen the seal of the bag when it starts to bud to allow air in. Remove bag only after the buds are well established.
  8. Notice how the branches were prepared for grafting. All unnecessary branches were cut but with enough length to allow grafting with ease.
  9. Stretch the Buddy-Tape (special tape for grafting and budding size : 30mm x 40m) when tieing to hold the cutting firmly. It is a very convenient and effective material to use for grafting work even for nursery seedlings.
  10. Take note of the direction of the cutting that is to be grafted. The base of the twig should be the part attached to the branch to follow the natural flow of nutrient. Rule of thumb, the wider diameter is the base.
  11. Tie the newly attached cutting with a 0.5mm bonsai wire to hold it firmly in place but not too tight as to “choke” the branch. Apply sealant on all exposed cut of the branches to prevent infection and diseases.
  12. Wrap all the newly grafted branches with Buddy-Tape. The bud will push through the tapes. No need to remove upon budding.

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author: Toto Barcelona,, photo from

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