Bonsai Trees: 6 Types, Growing and Styling Them

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bonsai trees

Bonsai trees are an ancient living art form that uses growing and training techniques to produce miniatures trees.

These miniature trees mimic the appearance of their full-sized counterparts.

These different techniques include heavy crown pruning, root pruning, and root confinement in shallow containers.

It is important to note that you can train nearly any perennial, woody-stemmed tree or shrub that produces branches as a bonsai tree.

However, there are some species that are more well-suited to growing as bonsai than others.

Some species are more popular due to their aesthetic reasons like having small foliage or gnarled-looking bark.

While others are popular because they are notorious for being low-maintenance and resilient when they grow as bonsai.

Thus, you can grow any tree variety as bonsai in a special potting mix that you can buy from the market with a tag bonsai soil mix.

Let’s learn more about them in detail.

Growing Bonsai Trees

Before growing a bonsai tree, you need to figure out which tree species suits your needs.

Moreover, select a species that can survive in your climate and other circumstances.

Whether you intend to keep them indoors, or outdoors, it will play an important role in determining the species.

When you select an indoor bonsai tree, it limits your options to a subtropical tree that can survive indoors.

bonsai trees 1

Whereas growing them outdoors gives you more options to choose from.

Most non-tropical can grow outdoors as long as you protect them from intense sunlight or freezing temperatures.

Thus, choosing an indigenous tree is the safest idea.

After identifying the best species, there are different cultivation techniques.

Let’s discuss them as follows:

Cultivating Bonsai Trees

To cultivate a bonsai tree, you will need seeds or a pre-bonsai, rough material to be pruned and wired.

This short orientation will help to select an indoor bonsai or outdoor tree that best meets your criteria.

After selecting the species, you need to get one. You can buy it online or even gather trees from your natural surrounding.

However, choosing the trees can be quite tricky and you might need permission to grow them.

The least expensive and slow method is to cultivate your own tree using seeds or cuttings.

It will take around 3 to 5 years before a young tree can be styled, thus, you might want to do this as a side project, and buy a pre-bonsai to get started with.

Shaping and Styling your Bonsai Trees

After getting your bonsai tree, you will have to learn some shaping and styling techniques.

This is the most creative and fun part of growing a bonsai tree, however, it is also a challenging one.

Although it takes years to master and refine your skills of pruning and wiring them, you can learn more basic techniques.

So let’s get started.

Pruning is the most basic step and is also a crucial one to shape your trees and keep them miniature.

The goal is to create a Bonsai tree that accurately replicates or mimics a miniature version of a full-scale tree in its natural environment.


The best time to prune your tree is during the spring season.

Thus, make sure to buy a good pair of concave cutters when pruning thick branches.

bonsai trees 4

They can help create a more hollow wound that heals much better than those made with a standard cutter.

Some situations in which you should include branches are as follows:

When there are 2 branches at the same height on the tree trunk, cut one branch and keep the other one.

If you have a branch with unnatural twists and turns.

Or if you notice disproportionality thick branches at the top of the tree.

Another important technique to shape your Bonsai tree is wiring.

However, be careful wrapping anodized aluminum or annealed copper around the branches. You can bend and sheep them to your will, at least to a certain extent.

You can apply wiring year-round, however, make sure to remove them before digging into the branches that grow thicker.

Caring and Maintaining Bonsai Trees

Both care and maintenance are a crucial part of growing a Bonsai tree, although every species has its specific guidelines.

The watering of your bonsai tree depends on a wide range of factors.

These can be tree species, pots size, soil mixture, and climate.

As you usually plant a Bosnia in a small pot, they tend to dry up fairly quickly, thus it is important to water them regularly.

However, overwatering your tree can cause root rot, which is one of the causes of death for the Bonsai tree.

bonsai trees 3

Moreover, choosing the right soil mixture and re-potting every 2 years makes sure that your tree does not become pot-bound.

This makes it harder to soak up and store water. It is important to keep a close eye on your tree while watering it, and water is when necessary.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that placing an outdoor tree inside or vice versa can kill your Bosnia.

Thus, it is important to decide the place of your tree and species before placing them outdoor or indoors.

Sub-tropical trees tend to grow perfectly well indoors and need a lot of sunlight and relatively high humidity.

You can only grow them indoors with a warm climate that is enough for their growth.

However, if you want an outdoor tree, it is best to get one that is native to your environment.

Fertilizing your Bonsai Trees

Other than watering and repotting fertilization is another important factor to consider for your Bonsai Tree.

Small pots will need little space, limited water and there will be nutrient retention.

Fertilizing your Bonsia regularly in the growing season is the key to make sure that your tree stays healthy and thrives.

Most importantly, the amount and frequency with which you will fertilize them depend on the species of the tree you will want.

The brand or type of fertilizer you choose will not have a major effect on your plant.

You can use either solid or liquid fertilizer as long as you are sure to apply smaller qualities than normal plants need.

Now let’s discuss different Bonsai tree species you can have in your home.

1# Juniper

Juniperus is a large genus of over 50 evergreen coniferous tres and shrubs that are famous as bonsai trees.

You can grow all species of juniper successfully. These species are popular for 2 reasons.

First, the small foliage sits nicely with the miniature aesthetic of bonsai.

Second, Junipers are hardy trees that can withstand aggressive pruning.

juniper bonsai

Moreover, juniper bonsai trees do not do well when you grow them indoors, thus, it is essential you plant them in dry soi.

They prefer bright, sunny light, and make sure that the soil is dry before watering them.

They are available in different colors and needles can be yellow, pale green, or dark green, depending on the species.

2# Pine

Pine trees are popular bonsai trees as they are hardy and trainable.

In fact, you can train them in any and almost every known bonsai style. Pine trees are characterized by needles that appear in bundles of 2 to 5, and the bark becomes scaly or flaky as it ages.

pine bonsai

However, the species that are good for bonsai are Pinus Thunbergii, or Japanese black pine, P. mugo or Mountain Pine, P. Sylvestris or Scots Pine, and P. Parviflora or Japanese white pine.

These trees prefer full sun and you need to water them when the soil looks dry.

Its color varieties and needles range from light green to bluish-green to dark green.

3# Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple is deciduous hardwood trees that are famous for red burgundy or green leaves that turn bright red, orange, or yellow in fall.

The bark of young Japanese maples is usually green or reddish, thus, turning grey or grayish-brown as it ages.

However, an important thing to consider is that these types need a lot of time and water, especially during the growing season.

japanese cherry

Thus, depending on the temperature, they may need daily watering, possibly even several times a day.

They prefer sunny or partial sun and need frequent watering.

Some varieties of these trees have red or yellow leaves from spring to fall, while others are reddish in the spring, turn green in summer, then change into brilliant reds, yellows, or oranges.

4# Japanese Flowering Cherry

Cheery leaves are traditionally believed to signify friendship and different varieties like Japanese flowering cheery also make beautiful bonsai trees.

These ornamental, deciduous trees are not only beautiful, however, they are also easy to train as their branches and trunks are pliable and easy to shape.

flowering cherry

Moreover, you can grow bonsai cherry trees indoors, they may suffer from lack of light and grow best outdoors in the summer months.

They prefer full sun and you need to keep the soil consistently moist.

Their foliage is green or bronze, and the flowers can be of various shades of white or pink.

5# Cedar

The rough, ragged bark of cedar trees is the reason they are famous among Bonsai enthusiasts.

These are evergreen conifers that grow short needle clusters along their branches, thus, providing an opportunity for dramatic styling.

However, it is important to note that they are not ideal if you are a beginner. They need specialized care and expertise to grow properly as a Bosnia.

Thus, they are best suited for experienced growers.

cedar bonsai trees

There are 4 types of cedar species that people grow frequently.

These are cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libania), Cyprus cedar (Cedrus brevifolia), Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara), and Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica).

Cedar prefers direct sunlight and you have to allow the soil to partially dry between waterings.

Moreover, they have dark green needles.

6# Weeping Fig

Their beautiful umbrella-like canopy makes them a popular choice for bonsai.

It has twisted surface roots which makes it more stunning that lends well to bonsai styling.

Other than their appearance, Ficus benjamin is a hardy, resilient tree making it perfect for bonsai training.

weeping figs

It adapts well to growing indoors and it is often grown as a houseplant year-round.

They prefer part sun and need frequent watering.

They have glossy green leaves and light-brown bark.

Final Thoughts

Bonsai trees are a centuries-old living art form, getting started with a fascinating hobby is not so difficult. Starting your own bonsai trees, in the beginning, might feel tough, however, once you get the hang of them, you can grow, style, and cultivate them easily.

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