What are the most suitable bonsai trees for beginners? Now that you are into the world of these petite woody plants, it is pretty common to wonder about which variety to begin with.
For novice growers, bonsai varieties that will stand common beginner mistakes are the best choice of all. Even though most of them need care, you can still find ones.
However, before selecting your very first bonsai, try to ask yourself whether you want to put the tree indoors or outdoors.
If your answer is outdoors, take the climate of where you live right now into account.
Generally, tropical as well as sub-tropical bonsai species are capable to thrive perfectly indoors. However, some others need to be placed outdoors and get direct exposure to the seasons.
Whatever the variety is, bonsai trees for beginners are typically an established one. This means you don’t need to start with seed for growing the plant.
Most novice growers tend to begin with an established bonsai tree since it is far more effortless. Nevertheless, cultivating your own from seeds is nothing wrong as well.
Before looking for some bonsai trees for sale, refer to the following information to help you pick your favorite type as a beginner.
1. The Chinese Elm Bonsai
This slow-growing bonsai tree is a popular option for beginners. Compared to many other petite varieties, this woody plant is not too fussy about its location.
As one of the best bonsai trees for beginners, the Chinese elm bonsai also acquires an exceptional quality that only several bonsai have.
You can easily keep this tiny tree both outdoors and indoors. It also requires minimum shelter only from harsh weather conditions.
The Chinese elm bonsai would be happy if you expose them toward morning sun and provide partial shade in the afternoon.
When it comes to pruning, this bonsai tree won’t complicate you as well, making it perfect for beginners who often make mistakes.
Just like some best bonsai trees for beginners, you can shape the Elm easily with wire. Besides, they will thrive in beautiful proportions without unpredictable structures.
Their tiny yet lovely bright green foliage is amazing. Since they are semi-deciduous, the leaves will probably become yellowish and shed throughout the winter.
Even though the Chinese elm bonsai rarely gets infested by pests, you still need to watch for spider mite infestations.
2. The Ficus Bonsai
Discussing bonsai trees for beginners won’t be complete without mentioning the ficus bonsai. This choice is available in more than 800 species and the most common one is the Retusa.
Ficus bonsai is known for its charming dark green leaves and unique aerial roots that are commonly called nebari. These sub-tropical species are capable to stand lower levels of light compared to many other bonsai trees.
Moreover, this bonsai variety can tolerate lower humidity levels as well even though it will thrive better in high moisture.
Another good reason to start with the ficus bonsai is due to its toleration of pruning mistakes. This mini tree can recover from such beginner slip-ups.
Besides, the ficus bonsai is not prone to pests. However, you may need to keep an eye out for spider mites that can bother your little buddy sometimes.
Bonsai tree care for this selection is not complicated as well. Compared to other varieties, the Ficus is more forgiving to either under or overwatering.
As one of the best bonsai trees for beginners, the Ficus requires you to water it when the soil starts to dry but before the same is completely dry.
If you are interested in this popular bonsai tree, here are several common varieties of the Ficus to choose from.
It is safe to say that ficus retusa is one of the most fascinating choices among the tropical bonsai growers. They have good resistance to carelessness and mistakes. Then, you can also easily style them.
That’s why ficus retusa is popular as the best bonsai trees for beginners and more advanced growers. You can even learn the basics of creating bonsai by having some experiments with this species.
The rule of thumb for growing ficus retusa is to keep them in partial sun if you are living in a warm climate.
Meanwhile, it will be a good idea to grow them indoors in a cool temperate climate. Put the ficus in a well-light spot that is out of direct sunlight.
Also known as bodhi tree, ficus religiosa is a tough bonsai variety that cultivates quickly and typically forms aerial roots.
Even though it is not in the top of the most suitable bonsai trees for beginners, you can still take ficus religiosa into account.
Many growers love its charming shiny heart-shaped leaves that come in bronze colors. The foliage of ficus religiosa will turn into glossy green once matures.
Since ficus religiosa is a tropical bonsai tree, it will be happy in a place with much heat and sun. You can consider positioning the plant in a spot that receives minimally six hours of daily sunlight.
You may also need to give the bonsai protection from freezing temperatures.
Although ficus benjamina is not one of the most popular bonsai trees for beginners, it is pretty famous for more advanced growers.
This stunning evergreen tree features a broad awning of fine branches that cascade down towards the ground. That’s why the ficus benjamina is often called weeping fig as well.
It is possible to grow this bonsai tree in either outdoor or indoor areas. Since the ficus loves bright light, consider putting the variety around a windowsill when you plant inside your home.
3. The Juniper Bonsai
If you are looking for bonsai trees for beginners, the Juniper bonsai should be on the list. This is especially perfect for those who want to grow this petite woody plant outdoors.
The Juniper bonsai typically grows gradually, but it acquires a bunch of elegance to watch. This small tree is also well-known for its ability to withstand cold temperatures.
An exposure to minimally four hours of daily sunlight is necessary for growing the Juniper bonsai. As usual, you need to protect it from harsh hot and freezing conditions as well.
Deadwood styling is pretty popular for the Juniper bonsai because it can present little additional character to this tree.
Another good reason to choose these bonsai trees for beginners is because of its high resistance toward some common pests.
All you need to do is check them regularly and never let the leaves get overly dense since it may improve the probability of pests like juniper scales, webworms, and spider mites.
4. The Japanese Maple Bonsai
Do you want to add types of bonsai trees that are perfect for outdoor growing? Then, the Japanese maple can become your best bet.
Many beginner growers love this bonsai variety because it owns exceptional, superb leaf color. Besides, who can resist its beauty throughout the autumn when the foliage is tinged with a mix of gold, orange, and red at the same time?
The Japanese maple bonsai is known as one of the perfect bonsai trees for beginners due to its weather-tolerant characteristic.
They are also one of the most frost hardy bonsai trees that need a little shelter only from the severe heat of the midday sunlight.
Besides, you may need to give the Japanese maple some protection from frost when the temperatures dip below -10.
To care for this bonsai tree, make sure to never leave it completely dried out since the Japanese maple will call for moisture.
Because of its slightly acidic nature, rainwater is more preferred to shower your Japanese maple bonsai. In terms of pests, you don’t need to worry since this tree is not prone to them.
5. The Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai
If you are searching for an indoor bonsai tree, the Dwarf Schefflera that is often sold as a house plant could be a great option.
Commonly known as the Hawaiian umbrella bonsai, this dwarf variety is a tropical species that can be kept indoors throughout the year.
As one of the most appropriate bonsai trees for beginners, it is capable to stand dimmer levels of light than others. Also, the Hawaiian does well in lower humidity regardless of its preference for high dampness.
Similar to some other varieties, you should keep its soil moist and never leave the Hawaiian umbrella bonsai completely dried out.
A great feature that novice growers will appreciate from this bonsai is its capability to warn you when it receives too much or little watering.
When you are watering this Hawaiian bonsai too often, its leaves will start to turn black. On the other hand, overwatering may make the foliage curl a bit at the tip.
These warnings make the Hawaiian one of the perfect bonsai trees for beginners. You just need to adjust your watering accordingly to let the species recover.
6. The Boxwood Bonsai Trees for Beginners
The boxwood is another popular little bonsai for novice growers. This dwarf tree is very effortless to care for and typically does well in a range of different conditions.
You can place the boxwood bonsai in the partial shade even though it is very adaptable. Moreover, the soil must be kept moist to let the tree thrive better.
Regular feeding with plant food or fertilizer is also necessary. Similar to most bonsai trees, it requires protection from extreme frost and cold as well.
Most novice growers will love this bonsai tree because it is simple to shape using wire. The variety can also stand aggressive pruning, making it perfect for beginners.
Nevertheless, different from some bonsai trees for beginners mentioned above, the common boxwood is prone to fungal infections.
Once your boxwood bonsai is affected by fungal infections, you better seek advice from professionals to select the safest and the most suitable pesticide for managing the situation.
7. Crape Myrtle Bonsai
Here are another one of the most enchanting bonsai trees for everyone. With showy pink blossoms, exquisite branch formation, and colorful layers of bark, the crape myrtle is indeed lovely.
These bonsai trees for beginners have outer layers that vary from white to purple while the underlying part can be gray, nearly pink or even rusty brown.
Since the myrtle tends to enjoy the full sun for its flower formation, you can keep it indoors on a windowsill that receives enough sunlight.
Throughout the winter, make sure to maintain the temperature around 45 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit. To promote dormancy, you may need to keep the light as lower as possible too.
Once spring comes, you can move the crape myrtle bonsai in a spot that has good light again. Do this when the buds start to swell.
8. Baobab Bonsai
Baobab is probably not one of the best bonsai trees for beginners. However, this tall, colossal, and enchanted African woody plant is very adaptable.
In warm climates, it is relatively easy to care and maintain baobab bonsai. However, you may need to pay more attention in winter, especially if your region is cooler.
If you are living in a warm climate, simply put this bonsai tree under the sun and let it thrive perfectly.
However, if you are currently in a temperate area, consider placing the pot indoors in winter to protect it from the harmful frost.
9. Pomegranate Bonsai
Who doesn’t know pomegranate considering this is one of the best bonsai trees for beginners?
This nice fruit tree is pretty easy to make into a cute dwarf variety thanks to its narrow root system that adapts seamlessly to bonsai culture.
Growing the pomegranate bonsai allows you to expect a petite tree with wonderful red flowers, attention-grabbing bark, and magnificent fruits.
You should place the tree outdoors for full sun throughout the whole year. Nevertheless, if the temperature goes below 41 degrees Fahrenheit, consider bringing it indoors.
In conclusion, some bonsai trees are beginner-friendly, making them an ideal choice if you have just explored the world of these dwarf varieties.
Now that you have known some good bonsai trees for beginners, simply pick your favorite and start to grow it around your home.