Top 10 Most Popular Bonsai Types

image shows a single bonsai tree.

With winter coming to an end, spring is a great season to start picking out plants for your home and yard. As the days get longer and the temperature gets warmer, there can be no better pastime than enjoying the beautiful greenery of your garden.

If you’re up for a new challenge this spring, consider taking care of your own bonsai tree. 

The art of bonsai is known to stimulate joy and bring peace to the soul. Formerly reserved for the upper classes of Japanese society, many now enjoy this ancient practice of cultivating miniature trees around the world.

Not only are bonsai trees thought to make one feel more in tune with their inner self, they are also said to have calming effects on the mind. Researchers have found that elderly patients and patients with spinal cord injuries felt more relaxed and positive around bonsai trees.

Other researchers also found that cultivating and pruning bonsai can be beneficial to physical and mental well-being. Therefore, bonsai is helpful on both emotional and personal level levels.


Various bonsai in pots


How to Care for a Bonsai Tree

Keeping your own bonsai tree can be a reward in itself. With the right care, you can keep it healthy and attractive for a lifetime.

Many bonsai species thrive indoors. Unlike some other plants, they require similar care and attention to bonsai trees grown outdoors. It may take dedication to grow these trees in your home, but the pay-off is worth it. 

Indoors, bonsai trees require direct sunlight and irrigation to grow to their full potential. Artificial light is not enough for these mini trees to photosynthesize. This means you should place your bonsai in your favorite sunny corner or spot in your home.


Here’s some additional tips on caring for your bonsai:

  • While cultivating your bonsai, clip or pinch off any fresh growth.
  • Most indoor bonsai species should be re-potted every other year, so check the soil for root-bound trees once a year.
  • Apply a bonsai fertilizer such as the Pro Organic Bonsai Food once a month at half-strength, except during the winter.


Whether you are an experienced gardener or a beginner, these ten popular bonsai trees will thrive well in your home. 


The Top Ten Bonsai Trees for Your Home

Bonsai Ficus trees are perfect for beginners. They are fairly low maintenance and resilient to conditions that may not fair so well for other bonsai trees. The Ficus species is also an indoor bonsai tree, which means that they are great no matter your climate.

There are many, many types of Ficus Bonsai Trees to choose from. Currently, there are predicted to be over 800 species of Ficus. Some of the most popular among Bonsai Lovers include the Ficus Ginseng Bonsai, Ficus Benjamina, Ficus Carica, Willow Leaf Ficus, and many others. 

However, don't let this choice worry you. Your local home improvement or plant store can consult you on which Fig is best depending on your climate and home. Click here to learn more!

Ginseng Ficus

Since it requires little attention, Ginseng ficus bonsai is a great species for beginners. It thrives in warm climates and indirect, strong sunlight and happens to be one of the best varieties to grow indoors.

Ginseng ficus is a gorgeous houseplant to decorate your home. Its distinctive aerial roots and oval, glassy-green leaves make this evergreen broadleaf species stand out among other bonsai tree types.

Image of a Ginseng Ficus Bonsai Tree



Chinese Elm

The Chinese Elm Tree has been one of the most popular bonsai tree types. Its fast growth, small leaves, and tolerance to overwatering makes it a perfect bonsai tree for a beginner.

Repotting these trees should be something you do every two years; your upkeep and attention will be rewarded by the beautiful and frequent changing of colors.


Image of a Chinese Elm Bonsai Tree



Dwarf Jade

This soft-wooded semi-evergreen shrub needs little water and has small foliage, making Dwarf Jades another great starter bonsai tree.

If grown inside, dwarf jade bonsai trees prosper. In fact, they thrive better in indirect sunlight, so you can put them in any shaded area of your home. 

However, keep in mind, growing dwarf jade bonsai outdoors is a challenge. These gorgeous trees do not handle freezing temperatures well.


Image of a Dwarf Jade Bonsai Tree



Fukien Tea

The mass-produced Fukien Tea tree is a popular indoor bonsai tree with a sturdy trunk and beautiful flowers and fruit year-round.

A Fukien Tea requires 5-6 hours of sunlight daily to grow at its best but can withstand dry soil. Also, the Fukien Tea adapts well to pruning, which results in a strong branch structure when trimmed regularly.


Image of a Fukien Tea Bonsai Tree



Weeping Fig

The Weeping Fig's small, umbrella-like canopy, along with its twisted roots, distinguishes it as an excellent bonsai type for your home. 

The Weeping Fig got its nickname from its unique shape; when it grows outside, the branches may get so long it touches the ground. Its leaves are small and the tree has strong roots, making it a great bonsai for a beginner to care for.

If you choose the Weeping Fig for your home, just remember, it is essential that it has moist soil to grow. 

Image of a Weeping Fig Bonsai Tree



Japanese Flowering Cherry

In Japanese culture, cherry trees represent friendship, and a variety of cherry trees make a marvelous bonsai tree. In particular, the Japanese Flowering Cherry bonsai have gorgeous green and bronze foliage and white and pink flowers that are sure to catch your eye. 

And, not only do they look beautiful, they are easy to train! This is due to their pliable branches and trunks, which makes pruning a simple task.  

However, bonsai Cherry trees thrive best outdoors during the summer months, since they require consistently moist soil and lots of light.


Image of a Japanese Flowering Cherry Bonsai Tree



Japanese Maple

The Japanese maple is a graceful hardwood tree with bright red or green leaves that change to gorgeous shades of red, orange, or yellow in the fall. They are also great for beginners, as their flexible branches lend themselves to easy maintenance.

Before purchasing your Japanese Maple, keep in mind that they need a lot of water, mainly in the growing season. However, they do not require as much sunlight as some other bonsai do, making them a great addition for your home.


Image of a Japanese Maple Bonsai Tree




The Juniper bonsai is a miniature version of the gorgeous Juniper tree and happens to be one of the most popular bonsai on the market. It is one of the largest genera of trees, including more than 50 species of conifers that are grown as bonsai. 

Bonsai enthusiasts favor Junipers because of their hardy nature and relatively small foliage. They require bright light and dry soil before watering.


Image of a Juniper Bonsai Tree



Pine trees are extremely hardy and trainable, which means they work well for bonsai. In fact, you can trim pines into virtually any style. 

Different pine species have needles ranging from two to five inches in length and bark that becomes scaly and flaky. Color variations include light green, bluish-green, and dark green. It is important to water them in full sun, and the soil must be completely dry before watering. 

Among the best pine species for bonsai trees are Japanese black pine, mountain pine, Scots pine, and Japanese white pine.


Image of a Pine Bonsai Tree




Cedar trees provide a natural display with their rough bark that has become popular among bonsai enthusiasts. Four cedar species are commonly grown as bonsai: Lebanon cedar, Cyprus cedar, Himalayan cedar, and Atlas cedar. 

They are evergreen conifers that provide small needle clusters that grow along with their roots, making for a very dramatic look. Cedar trees require sunlight and slightly dry soil between waterings. They require careful attention and are best suited for seasoned bonsai practitioners.


Image of a Cedar Bonsai Tree

Choose the Best Bonsai Tree For You

With easy maintenance and gorgeous facades, any of these bonsai would be a great addition to your home. And, to achieve the best results with your indoor tree, just follow our simple care guidelines. 

A bonsai tree's personal and emotional effects come from one of the most profound, everlasting relationships between man and nature. Cultivating bonsai not only offers a wide range of physical and mental advantages, but is a great practice in mindfulness.

If you are still unsure what tree is best for your situation, speak to employees at your local plant nurseries and garden supply stores.

Continue to learn more about the world of gardening by checking out some of our favorite gardening tips and tricks this spring in our spring gardening guide.


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