Best Bonsai Trees for Beginners: Tiny Trees With Big Impact

Ready to take your plant skills to the next level? Enter the world of bonsai with one of these tiny, beginner-friendly trees.

Published February 2, 2024

Are you a small-time gardener with big dreams? Put your green thumb to work caring for a small plant with a household name — the bonsai tree. Don't be fooled or intimidated by this dazzling and charming plant. There are beginner bonsai trees ready for you to call family. We happen to think that the hardest part about exploring the world of easy-to-care-for bonsai trees is limiting yourself to just one. 

Boxwood Bonsai Tree

The boxwood is a dream when it comes to care and maintenance, and it might be the most patient and enduring plant you add to your collection. It's forgiving and tolerant of pruning — both intentional and accidental. That makes it perfect for the bonsai beginner when it comes to pruning practice. Their slow growth makes it easy for beginners to learn as they go. 

Ficus Bonsai Tree

Like the boxwood, the ficus is kind and forgiving to bonsai beginners. However, unlike the boxwood, the ficus grows much faster in comparison. So, for the starter bonsai enthusiast, results happen quickly, meaning that watching for the outcome of the pruning and shaping happens relatively sooner.  Hardy, fast-growing, forgiving, the ficus bonsai is a dream. 

Chinese Elm Bonsai Tree

The Chinese elm is hardy, resilient, and thrives in both indoor and outdoor environments, so you can make your bonsai office and bonsai patio dreams a reality without much stress. Its small leaves mirror its small stature, giving the impression that this bonsai was only ever meant to be a miniature. Those smaller leaves also make it a versatile addition because of the bonsai shapes and forms you can prune and shape it into. 

Related: 9 Petite Plants That Stay Small & Add Color Without Taking Over

Bald Cypress Bonsai Tree

Although the bald cypress might be best accustomed to the humid and lush conditions you usually find in the southeast, they're still able to acclimate and thrive in colder temperatures and dryer conditions, too. And like the changing weather outside, the leaves of the bald cypress will flourish in the spring and summer, change color in the fall, and drop during winter. 

Desert Rose Bonsai Tree

For the beginner bonsai gardener who wants something with a splash of color, the desert rose is a beautiful bonsai to bring home. This succulent plant has an excellent tolerance for growing indoors, which is great for gardeners who prefer to keep their gardening inside or don't have a wealth of space for their new bonsai. The downside to this blossoming bonsai? Improper pruning could lead to rot, but it does help beginners, as it'll require new bonsai gardeners to be methodical and careful as they grow their skills. 

Juniper Bonsai Tree

For those just starting their journey who want a low-maintenance bonsai tree, the Juniper bonsai tree should be the first pick. In addition to their low-maintenance, drought tolerance, and flexible styling, the Juniper bonsai has a long history in the bonsai world. So not only do beginner bonsai enthusiasts kick start their collection with one that's easy to grow, but they can fully immerse into the world of bonsai artistry with minimal cost. Why? Juniper bonsais are readily available in most nurseries, garden centers, and even online shops.  

Dwarf Jade Bonsai Tree

Small leaves, thick trunks, drought tolerant, and thrives indoors. Not only does the dwarf jade bonsai make the perfect roommate — it's a great plant for beginners. The gnarly trunks make it a unique addition to any collection, and, for when you inevitably fall in love, this bonsai is easy to propagate and doesn't come with a host of pest issues. 

Beautiful Bonsai Trees for Beginner

Low on space? Big on green dreams? Want to dive into a gardening tradition that's rich with history, plants, and art? The bonsai tree is everything a budding or experienced gardener could dream of, and then some. Add some natural beauty and give your plant collection a special narrative by making your next plant a beginner-friendly bonsai tree. 

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Best Bonsai Trees for Beginners: Tiny Trees With Big Impact