21 Standard Bushes to Develop for Bonsai


Many traits make a selected tree fascinating as a candidate for bonsai. Issues like seasonal curiosity, hardiness, and receptiveness to shaping are all parts that come into play if you end up choosing a tree.

A bonsai tree is a decorative tree grown in a pot and pruned in a selected method to stop it from reaching its regular dimension. The target is to develop a miniature model of the tree, management its development, and practice it into its most stunning kind.

The method of miniaturizing a tree requires a small container to regulate the expansion by limiting the quantity of water and vitamins it receives. Because of this all bonsai timber require a good quantity of upkeep. With that in thoughts, listed below are 21 of the commonest timber used for this artwork kind.

Juniper

Close-up of Juniperus bonsai plant in a brown plastic pot on a beige background. The leaves of the Juniper bonsai are scale-like and arranged in overlapping patterns along the branches. These evergreen leaves exhibit shades of green. The trunk is twisted and vertical.
Excellent for bonsai, juniper timber characteristic stunning bark with scaly foliage.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Juniperus
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


3-9

Hardwood junipers make very engaging bonsai timber. They’ve attention-grabbing and delightful bark that has the flexibility to kind deadwood when it’s handled in a selected style. This provides quite a lot of magnificence and motion to the tree. This typically includes peeling the bark and utilizing lime sulfur as a therapy. The result’s a portion of bark that’s lighter and has a silvery look. The method is price it in the event you admire the uncommon decorative bark of a number of out of doors tree species.

The foliage of a Juniper works nicely with this therapy, as it’s scaly and small. The leaves additionally have a tendency to alter coloration when pressured by chilly climate, which is a wonderful and stunning component in winter. Juniper timber are thought of straightforward to work with and make good newbie bonsai timber.

Fukien Tea

Close-up of Carmona retusa in a pot against a blurred green background. Carmona retusa, commonly known as the Fukien tea tree, is a popular evergreen bonsai species appreciated for its ornamental qualities. The plant features small, glossy, dark green leaves with an elliptical or ovate shape, providing a dense and lush appearance. The leaves are arranged in a neat, alternate fashion along the branches. The Fukien tea tree's bark is light gray, and the trunk exhibits an attractive, twisted structure.
An indoor bonsai favourite, the Fukien Tea tree thrives in heat climate and requires daylight and humidity.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Ehretia microphylla
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


10-11

This warm-weather tree is normally saved as an indoor bonsai. These timber choose heat climate and don’t tolerate frost. In addition they require a good quantity of humidity, which bumps this tree into the average vary by way of problem. As this isn’t a naturally massive tree, it makes a superb bonsai. It’s not tough to keep up the distinctive tree look in a small dimension. 

Fukien Tea tree is a well-liked selection for bonsai in China. Small, rounded leaves and gray bark that develops fissures because it matures are a few of its engaging attributes. It’s a blooming and fruit-bearing tree that may bloom at any time of 12 months when saved indoors. It requires quite a lot of daylight, so make an area instantly in entrance of a sunny window. 

Cedar

Close-up of Cedar bonsai plant on a blurred background of a blooming garden. This bonsai is characterized by needle-like leaves arranged in an attractive, scale-like pattern along the branches. The fine-textured needles create a dense and compact canopy.
Traditional cedar has a particular trunk and a excessive cover.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Cedrus
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


2-9

Cedar timber make elegant and delightful bonsai timber. Their excessive, well-formed cover ensures a particular trunk, which is a really fascinating trait in bonsai. Their younger branches are very malleable and could be wired to form simply. Wounds are inclined to heal slowly, so creating deadwood is a standard apply with cedar. 

You’ll have to repot this tree each two years initially after which each three to 5 years as soon as the tree is mature. Give it loads of water and fertilizer through the rising season, however watch out to let the soil dry between waterings.  

Beech

Close-up of Fagus bonsai, commonly known as beech bonsai, displays a distinctive and refined appearance. The leaves of the Fagus bonsai are deciduous, featuring a simple, ovate shape with serrated edges. The leaves are green with a yellowish tint. The beech bonsai's fine-textured foliage creates an elegant and airy canopy, and the branching structure develops a graceful, harmonious silhouette.
Select beech for stunning fall coloration and slow-growth.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Fagus
sun-requirements
solar necessities


A fan of full shade
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


3-9

For a tree with stunning fall coloration, a beech is a superb selection. Nonetheless, in the event you’re in search of a straightforward job or a newbie tree, that is in all probability not the one. Beech’s trunk takes a really very long time to thicken, so it requires quite a lot of endurance.

Beech timber will not be quick growers. They sometimes solely have one flush of development yearly, and their major branches are very lengthy, which makes pruning tougher. Pruning a beech bonsai takes talent and cautious planning. The ensuing bonsai is de facto stunning, although, and within the fall, the leaves flip a superb shade of yellow.

Ficus

Close-up of Ficus bonsai in a black plastic pot against a blurred background. The plant features glossy, elliptical to ovate leaves. The leaves are vibrant green and have a smooth, leathery texture.
A perfect newbie bonsai, ficus timber characteristic adaptable development, aerial roots, and a large crown.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Ficus
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


10-11

Ficus is taken into account the perfect tree for freshmen as it’s adaptable, amenable to pruning and coaching, and has a lovely and attention-grabbing development behavior. Many kinds of ficus timber have aerial roots that may add an attention-grabbing, stunning, distinctive look to your bonsai. They have a tendency to kind a big, extensive crown, which makes for a stunning form. 

It is a warm-weather tree that has tender roots, so it have to be grown indoors in cooler climates, particularly within the winter. It prefers full solar however could be grown in partial shade in the event you don’t thoughts the foliage coming in sparser. Conserving constant temperature and excessive humidity will encourage aerial root formation. 

Bald Cypress

Close-up of Taxodium distichum bonsai plant in a brown pot on a gray background. The tree features feathery, needle-like leaves that are arranged in flat, spray-like clusters, giving it a soft and graceful texture. The leaves are bright green. The bark is reddish-brown and exfoliates in thin, vertical strips.
Defend Cypress bonsai from winter chilly.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Taxodium distichum
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


4-10

Cypress timber are very tolerant of water, and their mushy, feathery foliage seems to be enchanting in bonsai kind. These timber have a definite trunk and excessive cover, so there isn’t any wrestle to encourage a tree form moderately than a extra shrubby kind. The bark is gray and closely textured when mature, and the foliage turns stunning shades of yellow and bronze within the fall.

Though it is extremely chilly tolerant when planted within the floor, as a bonsai, Bald Cypress will should be protected against the chilly in winter. If pruned too early or severely, department dieback could be a difficulty. Make sure to maintain off on pruning branches with no lateral ramifications or secondary branching.

Japanese Maple

Close-up of Acer palmatum bonsai in a sunny garden with a blurred background. This bonsai variety boasts palm-shaped, deeply lobed leaves that come in a vibrant red color. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs along delicate branches, creating a graceful and balanced aesthetic.
With ornate leaves and colourful foliage, maples thrive in partial solar however want safety from extreme warmth.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Acer palmatum
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar to partial shade
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


5-8

Maple timber make fantastic bonsais, particularly the categories that produce crimson and yellow fall foliage. Many of those even have colourful foliage within the spring, making them further interesting for decorative functions. Maple leaves are very ornate, with 5 pointed lobes. They like to be positioned in an ethereal spot with partial solar publicity. 

An excessive amount of warmth and daylight can harm the gorgeous maple foliage. Maples produce crimson flowers within the spring after which launch fruits which have small wings hooked up to assist disperse the seeds. All of those beautiful traits are miniaturized in bonsai kind, making for a really beautiful tree.

East Asian Cherry 

Close-up of East Asian Cherry bonsai indoors with blurred background. The Prunus serrulata bonsai bursts into a breathtaking spectacle of pink blossoms, resembling the famous cherry blossoms in Japan.
Cherry bonsai, difficult however stunning, loves the sunny outside.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Prunus serrulata
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar to partial shade
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


5-8

This bonsai tree is taken into account some of the tough and in addition some of the stunning timber to coach. It must be grown outside with quite a lot of daylight to thrive. Sadly, it’s also inclined to many pests and ailments, making it tougher to keep up, and this may drastically shorten the tree’s lifespan.

Within the spring, the East Asian Cherry tree produces stunning, aromatic white and pink flowers. Throughout this blooming interval, it is without doubt one of the showiest and most spectacular bonsai timber round. The extra solar it will get, the extra flowers it is going to produce, so further daylight in spring is finest. In summer time, transfer your cherry bonsai to a spot with shade within the afternoon and solar within the morning. 

Azalea

Close-up of a blooming Azalea bonsai in a gray pot. indoors against the background of a bamboo curtain. The bonsai features small, elliptical evergreen leaves that are glossy and dark green, providing an attractive backdrop to its vibrant floral displays. Azalea bonsai produce an abundance of showy, funnel-shaped flowers of delicate peach color.
This easy-to-care-for bonsai requires exact pruning for optimum flowering.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Azaleastrum
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar to partial shade
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


6-9

Azaleas make one other stunning, blooming bonsai. They’re sometimes straightforward to look after, however getting them to supply the utmost variety of flowers could be tough. Pruning time is important to the great thing about this tree because it blooms on outdated development solely. It needs to be pruned instantly after blooming to provide new branches most time to age earlier than bloom time.

Though they take the type of shrubs when left full-sized, Azaleas make good bonsai timber as a result of they’re straightforward to coach. They’re evergreen and develop positive branches that give the plant a extra treelike look. These branches can turn into brittle as they age, so wiring needs to be carried out very rigorously.

Ginseng Ficus

Close-up of Ginseng Ficus bonsai against a blurred background of wooden window blinds. The bonsai showcases glossy, elliptical to oval-shaped leaves that are deep green and have a leathery texture. The trunk of the Ginseng Ficus is swollen at the base, resembling the ginseng root, contributing to its characteristic and dramatic root flare.
This glorious newbie bonsai options distinctive raised roots and low upkeep wants.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Ficus microcarpa
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Brilliant oblique mild
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


9/11

The stunning ginseng ficus falls beneath the umbrella of ficus timber, however this particular species makes, maybe, the perfect newbie bonsai. It requires far much less upkeep than many others and is straightforward to coach and look after. It has raised roots, which add a component of curiosity unusual in different kinds of timber. Coaching these roots could be enjoyable and creates a sense of motion within the tree. 

Ginseng ficus is a warm-weather tree and isn’t frost-tolerant. It must stay indoors throughout chilly climate and prefers a excessive degree of humidity. Give your tree a potting combine that’s excessive in combination, similar to lava rock or pine bark. The thinner branches are fairly versatile and simple to wire, so this needs to be carried out whereas the plant is younger. 

Chinese language Elm

Close-up of Ulmus parvifolia bonsai, commonly known as Chinese Elm bonsai, against a blurred garden background. Its deciduous leaves are small, ovate, and serrated, showing a vibrant green color. The bark of the trunk is dark brown and smooth. The trunk has a strongly twisted shape.
This cold-tolerant starter bonsai is straightforward to form and might endure winter outside.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Ulmus parvifolia
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar to partial shade
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


5-8

One other good starter bonsai, if you’re in search of one thing a bit extra cold-tolerant, is the Chinese language Elm tree. They’re robust timber that reply nicely to pruning and are straightforward to form. The branches have positive ramification, which contributes to their aesthetic worth as a bonsai.

A pleasant component of this tree is that it may be left outside within the winter in additional temperate climates. Relying on the area of origin, some are frost tolerant. As a result of it’s straightforward to look after and adaptable, that is the commonest plant for freshmen to start out with on their bonsai journey.

Bougainvillea

Close-up of Bougainvillea bonsai in a large clay pot in a sunny garden. Characterized by small, ovate to elliptical leaves with a bright green hue, the Bougainvillea bonsai truly comes to life with its stunning display of papery bracts, which are modified leaves surrounding inconspicuous flowers. These bracts are bright pink.
A vibrant bonsai choice, bougainvillea blooms prolifically.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Bougainvillea
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar to partial shade
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


10-11

Bougainvillea is technically not a tree however a woody vine. Nonetheless, it makes a really good and colourful bonsai. It blooms for a protracted interval of the 12 months and produces stunning, colourful bracts on the ends of branches throughout its blooming interval. 

Due to their quick development behavior and tolerance of pruning and shaping, Bougainvilleas make nice candidates for bonsai. They do should be grown indoors in all however the warmest climates, although, as they aren’t cold-tolerant in any respect. They want quite a lot of solar to supply their bracts, so bringing this plant outside in the summertime will produce probably the most colourful tree. 

Snow Rose

Close-up of a Snow Rose bonsai on a blurred green background. The Snow Rose, scientifically known as Serissa japonica, is a popular bonsai choice celebrated for its delicate and compact appearance. This evergreen bonsai small features, elliptical leaves that are dark green and glossy.
Regardless of an disagreeable scent, Snow Rose is a popular bonsai, requiring indoor care.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Buchozia japonica
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Partial shade
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


7-9

Snow rose is a big shrubby plant finest recognized for the disagreeable aroma emitted by its bark and roots when they’re crushed or minimize. Regardless of this unappealing attribute, the Snow Rose is without doubt one of the hottest vegetation to create a bonsai with. If you happen to don’t thoughts a needy plant, this one is price a strive. 

Deliver this plant indoors within the winter in cooler climates. That mentioned, this plant can also be delicate to warmth, so preserve it indoors, in a cool house away from heating parts. Hold the soil moist however not soggy to make your snow rose completely satisfied.

Oak

Close-up of Quercus bonsai in a sunny garden with a blurred wooden fence in the background. The bonsai showcases deciduous leaves, lobed and shaped like those of a mature oak tree. The leaves are dark green in color and have jagged edges.
Sturdy, slow-growing oak bonsai is price ready for.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Quercus
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


3-8

Oaks are sturdy and gradual rising, making them a superb candidate for bonsai, however one which requires endurance. When it comes to watering, oaks undergo extra from underwatering than overwatering and needs to be soaked nicely when irrigated. In the summertime, your oak bonsai will should be watered day by day. 

Most oaks are frost tolerant, however make it possible for your particular species can tolerate a freeze earlier than leaving it outside in winter. Potted vegetation are extra susceptible to chilly due to their shallow root programs and lack of insulating soil. Wiring needs to be carried out in the summertime when the branches are extra versatile. 

Japanese Elm

Close-up of Japanese Elm bonsai in a rock garden. This deciduous bonsai showcases small, serrated, and ovate leaves that are green. The branching structure of the Japanese Elm is gracefully arranged, contributing to a well-balanced and aesthetically pleasing silhouette.
The one trunk and rounded cover make Japanese Elm a wonderful bonsai specimen.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Ulmus davidiana var. japonica
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


3-7

This elm makes an exquisite bonsai with its single, straight trunk and extensive, rounded cover. Making a well-balanced bonsai with this tree is just not tough, however wiring could be tough. Ramification could should be aided by defoliating the branches within the summertime.

Wiring is finest carried out within the winter, and it is not uncommon to tie branches collectively to achieve a brush form for this tree. It is very important take away the wires in spring earlier than the tree kinds buds. Japanese elm has clean, gray bark and engaging, ovate, serrated foliage. 

Spruce

Close-up of Picea bonsai on a blurred green background. This evergreen bonsai features needle-like leaves arranged in a spiral fashion along its branches. The needles of Picea bonsai are bright green. The fine texture of the needles and the tree's compact, pyramidal growth habit contribute to a visually appealing and balanced silhouette.
Difficult for freshmen, spruce Bonsai calls for cautious coaching attributable to cussed branches and development patterns.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Picea
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


3-8

Spruce timber are tough to coach, however they make gorgeous bonsai timber, so they aren’t unusual. This isn’t the perfect tree for a novice, as it might trigger some frustration if you’re not sure of whether or not or not your tree is rising because it ought to. The branches hardly backbud and are cussed the place wiring is anxious. Total, Spruce is a tricky chicken however a fairly one. 

Whorling branches could be one other roadblock, as can an absence of tapering within the trunk. Give your Spruce bonsai solar within the morning and filtered mild within the afternoon. Most Spruce timber are very cold-tolerant and might stay outside all 12 months. 

Golden Larch

Close-up of Golden Larch bonsai on a blurred beige background. The soft, needle-like leaves of the Golden Larch are arranged in clusters along its branches and display a vibrant green color.
Admired for its golden fall coloration, Larch bonsai requires winter safety.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Pseudolarix amabilis
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


4-7

Larch and Golden Larch timber are standard bonsai timber. They’re tall and coniferous and, when educated as a bonsai, have rapidly thickening trunks. This extremely fascinating trait, mixed with their golden fall coloration, creates a really fairly tree in a relatively brief time. 

It is a deciduous tree that sheds its mushy needles for winter, which then showcases the engaging and attention-grabbing flaky bark. Whereas the full-sized model is frost-tolerant, this isn’t the case for Larch bonsai timber. They want safety from the chilly within the winter.

Weeping Willow

Close-up of Weeping Willow bonsai in a large white ceramic pot. This deciduous bonsai showcases slender, lance-shaped leaves that are light green and have a delicate, pendulous quality. The branches gracefully droop, creating a weeping effect that is characteristic of the species.
Think about the Weeping Willow for a wonderful however difficult bonsai journey.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Salix babylonica
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar to partial shade
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


4-9

If you’re in search of a wonderful problem, take into account a Weeping Willow on your subsequent bonsai journey. Whereas their care and coaching could be demanding, they actually are some of the stunning bonsai species. These timber are finest educated into bigger bonsai timber, because it permits for higher shaping of their lengthy, hanging branches. 

Willow timber want quite a lot of water. They generally develop close to swamps, lakes, and streams of their native panorama. As a result of the branches will are inclined to develop upward to the tree’s full top, they should be wired down to realize the weeping high quality. It’s straightforward to kill branches consequently. This lands Willow within the average to arduous class. 

Yew

Close-up of Taxus bonsai on white background. This evergreen conifer features dark green, needle-like leaves arranged spirally along its branches, creating a dense and lush canopy. The foliage of the Taxus bonsai exhibits a glossy texture. The tree's bark is smooth and reddish-brown.
The prolific again budding, gradual development, and sculptable hardwood of yew are glorious for bonsai.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Taxus
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar to partial shade
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


3-8

Yew timber are nicely suited to bonsai for a number of causes. They again bud exceptionally nicely, even the place no foliage beforehand existed. They’re slow-growing however take nicely to pruning, and their hardwood is fantastic for sculpting deadwood. 

As slow-growing evergreen timber, they’re recognized to stay for a whole bunch and even as much as a thousand years. A yew bonsai is a lifelong journey that may end up in an extremely complicated and putting specimen. Yew timber choose partial daylight and safety from excessive temperatures, each cold and hot. 

Desert Rose

Close-up of a flowering plant, Adenium obesum, commonly known as Desert Rose. This plant features glossy, dark green, and leathery leaves that are clustered at the tips of thick, swollen stems. The leaves are elliptical, and the stem has a distinctive caudex, giving the plant a bulbous and aesthetically appealing base. Adenium obesum is renowned for its ability to produce showy, trumpet-shaped flowers of delicate pink color with bright pink edges.
Native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, this succulent bonsai boasts massive pink flowers.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Adenium obesum
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


10-11

This attractive bloomer is native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and is taken into account a succulent. It is a useful attribute when coaching a bonsai, as they don’t thoughts that their soil dries rapidly. Additionally generally referred to as Japanese Frangipani, the tree produces attractive, massive, pink flowers when it will get the correct amount of daylight. 

This warm-weather tree could be grown outside all 12 months in delicate climates however will want indoor or greenhouse circumstances within the winter in cooler climates. In temperatures beneath 40°F (4°C), Desert Rose will drop its leaves in winter. It stays evergreen when saved heat. The trunk of this tree grows very thick, however there may be much less department ramification than different timber. 

Boxwood

Close-up of Buxus bonsai in a clay pot against a white wall. The Buxus bonsai, commonly known as Boxwood bonsai, is admired for its compact and dense appearance. This evergreen shrub small features, elliptical to obovate leaves that are glossy, with a rich green color. The leaves are arranged densely along the branches, creating a finely textured foliage.
This is a perfect newbie bonsai, that includes small leaves and resilience to pruning.
botanical-name
botanical identify


Buxus
sun-requirements
solar necessities


Full solar to partial shade
hardiness-zones
hardiness zones


6-8

Boxwood timber make for nice bonsai with their naturally small foliage and really sturdy structure. It is a nice newbie bonsai, as their pure development behavior is kind of conducive to shaping, and so they tolerate pruning exceptionally nicely, even budding from outdated wooden. 

This tree is tolerant of full solar to partial shade. In heat climates, it is going to choose partial shade with some safety from the afternoon solar. Most sorts could be grown indoors however choose to be outside throughout occasions of heat climate. In winter, cool, however not freezing temperatures are finest. 

Ultimate Ideas

The artwork of bonsai could be as easy or difficult as you select, relying on the kind of tree you determine to coach. For these first embarking on bonsai, timber similar to Ficus, Elm, or Boxwood are straightforward to work with and resilient, so they’re versatile to the educational curve. For the extra skilled bonsai collector in search of a problem, Weeping Willow and Cherry make magnificent specimens with the correct care and setting. 

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