15 Most Popular Types of Bonsai Trees

Bonsai trees are miniature versions of full-sized trees, trained to grow in small pots. The 17 most popular types represent diverse species with unique features, each favored for their aesthetic appeal and suitability for the art of bonsai. These include varieties like Ficus, Juniper, and Japanese Maple, among others, each offering a distinct shape, leaf pattern, and growth habit ideal for bonsai cultivation.


A Ficus bonsai is a small tree you can grow inside your home. It comes from the fig family. This type of bonsai is popular because it’s tough. It can survive even if you forget to water it sometimes. You will notice it has a thick trunk and can grow lots of small, green leaves.

The Ficus bonsai likes plenty of light but not direct hot sun. It’s good for beginners because it’s strong and grows fast. To keep it healthy, give it water when the soil starts to dry. Also, you can trim the tree to make it look the way you want. The Ficus is great for learning how to care for bonsais.

ficus microcarpa bonsai tree


Juniper is a type of bonsai tree that’s well-loved by many. Its botanical name is Juniperus. You will often see this tree in bonsai collections. Junipers are famous for their needle-like leaves. This gives them a sharp, elegant look that many people enjoy. They are also hardy and can tolerate many growing conditions. This makes them a good choice for beginners.

Junipers can be styled in different ways, such as upright or cascading shapes. You must prune and wire them to maintain their design. They need plenty of sunlight and should be watered when the soil feels dry. During winter, protect them from harsh cold. With the right care, a juniper bonsai can live for many years. It will become more beautiful as it ages.

California Juniper Bonsai Tree


The Carmona, or Fukien Tea, is a bonsai tree that comes from China. It’s known for its dark green leaves that have a shiny look. The leaves are small, which helps make the tree look like a tiny version of a full-sized one. This bonsai can bloom tiny white flowers that add to its beauty. They may appear all year round in the right conditions.

The Fukien Tea has a thick trunk and branches that make it look old and wise. This type of bonsai needs a lot of light, but not too much heat. You must keep its soil moist but not too wet. It’s a popular type because it’s beautiful and not too hard to take care of.

People like it also because it can live indoors, which is great if you don’t have a garden. If you look after it well, the Carmona bonsai will grow strong and look stunning in your home.

Chinese Elm

The Chinese Elm bonsai comes from a tree that is native to East Asia. It is well-loved because it’s sturdy and easy to look after. This bonsai has a shapely trunk and tiny leaves, which make it look very graceful. The leaves are a bright green color and can stay on the tree all year in warmer climates. In colder areas, the tree loses its leaves in winter, showing off its delicate branches.

Water your Chinese Elm regularly, making sure the soil doesn’t dry out completely. With proper care, this bonsai can live a long life, providing endless enjoyment with its classic beauty.

Chinese Elm Bonsai Tree

Japanese Maple

A Japanese Maple is a small tree that you can shape over time. It’s from Japan, Korea, and China, and it’s really popular for bonsai because of its lovely leaves. In fall, its leaves change colors. They become bright red, orange, or yellow. This is why people love them.

The trees can have different leaf shapes. Some leaves are thin and pointy, while others are more rounded. To take care of a Japanese Maple bonsai, you need to give it enough water and protect it from the hot sun. It also needs pruning to keep its miniature size. Every year, you should trim the roots a little. This helps the tree stay healthy and keeps it small enough to be a bonsai.

Taking care of a Japanese Maple bonsai can be fun and rewarding. It teaches you patience and care. Plus, you get a beautiful tree that changes with the seasons.

japanese maple bonsai tree

Jade Tree

The Jade Tree is a type of bonsai that is easy to recognize. It has thick, smooth leaves and a sturdy trunk. This plant is often known by its scientific name, Crassula ovata. Many people like it because it is simple to take care of. You should water it when the soil gets dry.

Also, place it where it can get a lot of light. One cool feature of the Jade Tree is that it can live for a very long time. It’s also tough, which means it can handle conditions that other plants might not like. Plus, it can grow to look like a small tree, which is just right for the style of bonsai. When you trim and shape it, you help keep its size perfect for staying in a small pot.

Not to overwater the Jade Tree, as too much water can harm it.

Jade Bonsai Tree


Azalea bonsai trees bloom with bright flowers. You will see their vibrant colors in the spring. The Azalea is part of the Rhododendron family. It needs good care to grow well. The soil must drain water quickly but keep some moisture.

Place your Azalea where it gets some sun, but not all day. Pruning is important after the flowers fall off. This helps the tree stay healthy and look nice. Be careful with fertilizers. Use them sparingly so as not to harm the tree. If you treat an Azalea bonsai right, it will brighten your home every year.


Pines are a favorite type of bonsai tree. You’ll recognize them by their needles and cones. These trees adapt well to shaping. They are strong and can live for a long time. Pines need a lot of light but not too much water.

Their roots should not stay wet for long. Pruning helps maintain their shape. Pinching the candles, which are new shoots, controls their growth. Repotting every few years is key for their health. Pines make a great choice if you are new to bonsai.

pine bonsai tree


Spruce trees are a type of bonsai that stand out with their sharp needles and woody cones. They belong to the Picea genus, which includes many species. These trees often grow in cold, mountainous places.

As bonsai, spruce trees are popular because of their hardy nature. They need plenty of light and should not sit in wet soil for too long. When you shape a spruce bonsai, you use wire to bend its branches. This creates the miniature version of the tree that is admired by many. The spruce bonsai trees keep their needles all year round, which makes them a constant beauty.

You will need to water them well and give them the right food to keep them healthy. If you live in a place with cold winters, a spruce bonsai might be a good choice for you. It can handle the chill better than other types.

Spruce Bonsai Tree


The Serissa, also known as Snow Rose, is a bonsai with tiny leaves and beautiful flowers. It blooms almost all year round. You will often see small, star-shaped white flowers covering it. The Serissa comes from warm regions in Asia, like Japan and China. It likes a lot of light but not direct sunlight during the hot summer.

This tree needs to stay moist, so you must water it regularly. It’s famous for its ability to thrive indoors with enough light, which is great for keeping as a houseplant. Taking care of a Serissa bonsai can be tricky because it can drop leaves if you change its location suddenly. You need to prune and shape it often to maintain the miniaturized tree look.

The Serissa adds a touch of beauty to any space with its flowers that remind us of snowflakes, earning it the nickname Snow Rose.

serissa bonsai tree


Boxwood is a type of bonsai tree you might see in gardens. People like it because it is tough and looks nice. The leaves are small and stay green all year. This makes boxwoods good for shaping into different styles.

You need to water it well but be sure you don’t soak it. It also likes lots of light, but too much direct sun can harm it. Boxwoods can live both indoors and outside if you care for them right. When you trim a boxwood bonsai, do it slowly. This way, you help it grow thick and bushy.

Tropical Boxwood Bonsai Tree


An olive bonsai is a miniature olive tree. It grows slowly and lives a long time. This tree is from the Mediterranean. It likes lots of light. You will see small white flowers on it in the summer. The flowers turn into olives. Its leaves are dark green and shiny.

Keep the soil somewhat dry. Do not let the roots sit in water. This bonsai needs protection from cold. It loves to be outside when it’s warm. Pruning helps keep its shape. It’s a popular choice because of its calm look. You must take care of it carefully.

olive bonsai tree

Bald Cypress

The Bald Cypress is a unique bonsai tree. It grows naturally in wet, swampy areas. You’ll recognize it by its feathery, light green leaves. These leaves turn a rusty orange in fall.

What’s cool about the Bald Cypress is its thick, fluted trunk. This trunk can look old and wise, even on a young tree. When you grow a Bald Cypress as a bonsai, you need to keep it moist. This mimics its natural swampy home. It’s a fun tree to shape and train.

As it grows, you can create a miniature version of those grand old trees you see in the wild. It’s tough too, which makes it good for beginners. Remember, it loses its leaves in winter. But don’t worry. They’ll come back in spring, just as lush as before.

Bald Cypress Bonsai Tree


Rosemary is a popular choice for bonsai. You might know it as a tasty herb. As a bonsai, rosemary has a pleasant smell and small, needle-like leaves. Its woody stems twist interestingly as they grow.

You need to water it regularly but let the soil dry out a bit between watering. Rosemary loves the sun, so you should put it where it gets lots of light. It can be kept indoors or outdoors, but it thrives in warm climates. Pruning helps maintain its shape and size. With care, a rosemary bonsai can live for many years.

Rosmarinus officinalis bonsai / Bonsai de Romarin

Pomegranate Bonsai Tree

A Pomegranate Bonsai Tree is a small version of the regular pomegranate tree. It produces small fruits. This type of bonsai is popular for its flowers and fruits. You can grow one at home with care. They work well indoors and like lots of sunlight.

The pomegranate bonsai drops its leaves in cool winters, but this is normal. Its bark is thin and can get damaged, so handle it gently. Water the bonsai when the soil gets slightly dry. Prune it to keep its shape. Feed it with fertilizer during the growing season for best fruiting. This bonsai blooms with bright orange flowers in spring.

pomegranate bonsai tree
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