Mugo Pine Bonsai

Mugo Pine Bonsai (Pinus Mugo) is another specie of pine bonsai that is native to Central Europe, Balkan Peninsula and the Alps. Its other common names include Dwarf Mugo Pine, Creeping Pine and Mountain Pine. These pines are generally slow growers making them ideal for bonsai. It grows like a bushy shrubs with dark green, needle like foliage and dark brown cones.

This species was first introduced to Denmark in the year 1978. However, it was only in the year 1860 when it was commercially grown in most European nations where it was used to stabilize coastal and sand dunes areas.

Compared to other varieties of pines, Mogu pines usually grow sideward instead of upward. This makes it look smaller when in placed with other pines side by side. Mugo pines produces buds and young cones that are harvested and dried. A certain syrup drips out of it and is used to make pine syrup which is a culinary commodity.

The sub-species are:

  • Pinus mugo subsp. Mugo – a multi-stemmed, low growing shrub with symmetrical cones
  • Pinus mugo subsp. Uncinata – found predominantly in Pyrenees and Poland. They are usually larger than the Mugo sub-specie with asymmetrical cones.
  • Pinus mugo subsp. Rotundata – this subspecies is a hybrid of the first two

Growing a Mugo Pine Bonsai

Location and Temperature

Mugo Pines thrive well in sunlight rich or partially shaded areas. Thus, it is best to grow them outdoors. They can somehow tolerate indoor condition but they must be place on areas with a little natural sunlight like near the window perhaps. While other species can only be tolerable hot climate, these guys can tolerate both warm and cold weather. It has a certain degree of tolerance to freezing temperature. However, just like other bonsai plants, its roots must be protected to avoid freezing which can be fatal to the plant.


If you are a busy person but still wanted to grow some bonsai, dwarf mugo pine is best for you. You do not have to water them everyday as they have high tolerance to drought. Some of its root may grow very close to the surface of the soil. Thus, placing a layer of mulch will be able to keep the soil cool and moist.


Feeding the bonsai with a regular dose of diluted organic fertilizer every month is ideal for optimum growth. Be sure to choose the type of fertilizer specifically for evergreens.

Pruning and Trimming

Pruning and trimming is best done during spring when most of new buds usually come out. You can simply pinch them using your finger or use the candle pinching method. Most bonsai users trim down the number of buds to 2/3 of its original number.


Wiring is suggested to be done during late fall or early winter. Wires must also be removed after 8 months. However, monthly inspection of the plant’s bark must be done to ensure that wires will not cause permanent damage.


Propagating a mugo pine bonsai can be done by planting its seeds in moderately moist soil. If you want to grow a new plant from an existing plant, you can do so by grafting method.