The Best Bonsai Trees For Beginners To Buy Online

Starting out for the first time can be incredibly daunting, especially when you don’t have a mentor like Bonsai Alchemist. It’s worse when you’re purchasing a gift for someone, and you have no idea what to look for or whether it’s a good choice. Well, we’re going to show you the best bonsai trees for beginners to buy online to maximize their chances of survival.

Here are the topics we’ll cover in this article:

Here are the topics we’ll cover in this article:

Top Three Bonsai Trees for Beginners

Brussel's Live Chinese Elm Specimen Outdoor Bonsai Tree - 30 Years Old

Brussel's Live Chinese Elm Outdoor Bonsai Tree - 14 Years Old

Creations by Nathalie Live Dwarf Jade Plant Mini Bonsai Tree with Ceramic Base Succulents

Brussel's Live Chinese Elm Specimen Outdoor Bonsai Tree - 30 Years Old

  • Editor's choice

Brussel's Live Chinese Elm Outdoor Bonsai Tree - 14 Years Old

  • Editor's choice

Creations by Nathalie Live Dwarf Jade Plant Mini Bonsai Tree with Ceramic Base Succulents

  • Editor's choice

Reviews Of The Best Bonsai Trees for Beginners

Before we explain how we selected the best bonsai trees for beginners to buy online, we’ll introduce you to the products. In this way, you can see which one you like the most and then compare the factors you believe are essential for you.

Brussel's Live Chinese Elm Outdoor Bonsai Tree

14 Years Old
  • Age: 14 years
  • Style: Informal upright
  • Hardiness zone: 4 - 9
  • Dimensions: 29 x 16 x 24 inches
  • Weight: 34 lbs

Review of the Unique Qualities

Some of the best bonsai trees for beginners we often recommend are Chinese Elms. These trees have beautiful small leaves, while you can also grow them in various styles. This product has an informal upright design with different branch levels, which makes it more appealing.

One remarkable aspect is how heavy it is. Then again, you need to consider that the bonsai tree is 14 years old, which is a massive achievement. We can only guess how difficult it must be for the seller to market this Chinese Elm after putting so much effort into it.

Pros

Cons

Summary

This 14-year old Chinese Elm bonsai tree has an outstanding design that will turn the eyes of your friends and family. We recommend you maintain the tiered approach of the branches, but you should feel free to add a personal touch.

Brussel's Live Chinese Elm Specimen Outdoor Bonsai Tree - 30 Years Old

  • Age: 30 years
  • Style: Semi-cascading
  • Hardiness zone: 4 - 9
  • Dimensions: 42 x 27 x 38 inches
  • Weight: 70 pounds

Review of the Unique Qualities

Here’s a special treat for collectors of the best bonsai trees for beginners. It’s 30 years old, which is something you rarely see for sale online. And you can tell how well it’s been maintained but the shape and color of the leaves, as well as the extended branch that cascades over the rim of the container.

Of course, if you are a beginner, you may want to invest in some tools and a tray to continue maintaining it to a ripe old age. There’s the main trunk that has some foliage a the top, which you can develop further if you wish. However, your primary focus should be the cascading branch.

Pros

Cons

Summary

This Chinese Elm will look amazing in someone’s prize collection. Even if you’re a beginner, you can show off your skills with this old bonsai tree. It has a thick trunk, but that cascading design will catch the eyes of any visitor in your home.

Creations by Nathalie Live Dwarf Jade Plant Mini Bonsai Tree

With Ceramic Base Succulents
  • Age: Not indicated
  • Style: Formal upright
  • Hardiness zone: 8
  • Dimensions: 5 x 4 x 10 inches
  • Weight:1 lb

Review of the Unique Qualities

Many people see the Jade tree as one of the best bonsai trees for beginners due to how easy they grow from cuttings. They’re versatile and flexible for most styles, and this product showcases a formal upright form. The bonsai tree loves full sunlight and you’ll need to water it often without letting the roots soak in water.

When you place your order, you can customize it. The first option has the rocks and succulents glued in place, pre-arranged, and ready for placement upon delivery. The alternative is to receive the container, rocks, and succulents separately so you can arrange it yourself.

Pros

Cons

Summary

The Creations by Nathalie offer some of the best bonsai trees for beginners if you want to get started. This Jade tree is only one example of how magnificent a small specimen can be, while still highlighting its outstanding beauty.

You can also see by the product description how much effort the seller puts into maintaining its bonsai trees. It’s well worth the price if you’re willing to put in some effort.

Brussel's Live Dwarf Jade Indoor Bonsai Tree - 8 Years Old

  • Age: 8 years
  • Style: Formal upright
  • Hardiness zone: 10 - 11
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 11 x 22 inches
  • Weight:7 lbs

Review of the Unique Qualities

Here’s another Portulacaria afra in our list of the best bonsai trees for beginners that presents a stunning display. You’ll receive an oval container and soil, while there’s a humidity tray with decorative stones. What we love about the tray is that it’s wide and allows for maximum evaporation.

The bonsai tree has a stunning formal upright design, with branches developed in tiers. There’s scope to grow it further or shaping it in a different form. The more you prune, the smaller the leaf blades will become, delivering a gorgeous appearance.

Pros

Cons

Summary

This 8-year old bonsai tree is durable, and the age counts in its favor. It means it’ll last long and survive any harsh conditions until it settles in by your home. The color of the decorative stones matches the container, which is what makes it more appealing. You’ll also love the arrangement of the branches and leaves.

Cotoneaster Bonsai Tree - Upright Style

  • Age: 7 years
  • Style: Formal upright
  • Hardiness zone: 5 - 8
  • Dimensions: 14 inches tall
  • Weight: Not indicated

Review of the Unique Qualities

The Cotoneaster bonsai tree produces round, red berries that look amazing in summer. The seller has managed to keep this one relatively small, which is ideal for your home or office. It’s one of the best bonsai trees for beginners since it’s so easy to maintain.

The rectangular ceramic pot holds the soil well, while there’s drainage for when you water the bonsai tree. The formal upright style ends in a broom shape at the top, giving the berries chance to show off their colors. We also love how neat the trunk is.

Pros

Cons

Summary

We’re in love with this small design, but you can always grow it taller if you’d like. Try to maintain the broom shape if you can, as it will set the town for the flowering season. You should also invest in a humidity tray unless you plan on spraying the leaves daily.

Cotoneaster Bonsai Tree Flowering & Fruiting Evergreen 7 Years Old

  • Age: 7 years
  • Style: Formal upright
  • Hardiness zone: 5 - 8
  • Dimensions: 14 inches tall
  • Weight: Not indicated

Review of the Unique Qualities

If you’re looking for an alternative Cotoneaster, here’s another one that we feel is one of the best bonsai trees for beginners. It’s also 14 inches tall and also forms a broom at the top. The red berries are bright, which will add to the color of your home or bonsai display.

There’s also a small rock for decoration, adding a nice touch to the soil and container. You might want to add a few deco stones to help retain water during the summer. It’s just a pity there’s no tray or extra tools to make the product more appealing.

Pros

Cons

Summary

This Cotoneaster presents a gorgeous display, and the product photo doesn’t do it justice. Keep a good eye on it, and it’ll remain with you for many years. The color of the leaves and berries will inform you whether it’s still doing well, and you should see the fruit after the first flowering season in your home.

Live Dwarf Bonsai Tree 6"-8" Tall | 7-8 Years Old

Juniper or Jade Bonsai Tree
  • Age: 7 - 8 years
  • Style: Formal upright
  • Hardiness zone: 3 - 9
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 5 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: Not indicated

Review of the Unique Qualities

When you’re looking for the best bonsai trees for beginners, look no further than the majestic juniper. With stunning needles and a beautiful form, these bonsai trees are easy to look after and maintain. We particularly like the sweeping form of this product, while the trunk is strong and sturdy.

There’s an extra touch with the moss around the base, but we’re not sure whether it will enjoy any new locations. Be that as it may, there’s a large, shallow container that’s ideal for the juniper bonsai. It’s full of standard mix soil, which you may want to change as soon as the appropriate repotting season arrives.

Pros

Cons

Summary

There’s something about how this juniper bonsai tree looks in this container that has us excited. It mimics an adult tree in the wild so well, and it only needs to be dangling off a cliff or have small figures on the soil to really bring it to life. You’ll enjoy pruning these needles when it’s the right time.

Eve's Garden Japanese Juniper Bonsai Tree, 10 Years Old Japanese Juniper

  • Age: 10 years
  • Style: Informal upright / broom
  • Hardiness zone: 3 - 9
  • Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 14 lbs

Review of the Unique Qualities

Eve’s Garden has one of the best bonsai trees for beginners with this outstanding foliage in informal broom style. It’s quite a heavy product, but that just makes it sturdier with less chance of falling over. This feature is helpful for when you place it outdoors and there’s a strong wind blowing.

Sadly, we don’t see any starter tools, so you might want to invest in some separately. The container is gorgeous, and we love the color that stands out against the greenery. You’ll have loads of training you can experiment with, so enjoy the ride for the next couple of years.

Pros

Cons

Summary

Of all the features that mark this product as one of the best bonsai trees for beginners, we love the form of the foliage the most. It has such a gentle sweeping motion, which we encourage you to develop further. Keep some of the lower branches if you can, giving it that tiered approach we love so much here at Bonsai Alchemist.

Brussel's Live Golden Gate Ficus Indoor Bonsai Tree - 17 Years Old

  • Age: 17 years
  • Style: Formal upright
  • Hardiness zone: 10
  • Dimensions: 10 - 11
  • Weight: 11 lbs

Review of the Unique Qualities

This product caught our attention as one of the best bonsai trees for beginners for several reasons. Firstly, the Ficus genus is well known for how durable and forgiving it is. Secondly, it’s 17 years old, as you can tell from the thick trunk and rich, green leaves.

You can see the seller spent loads of time developing this bonsai tree. The different branch levels on each side maintain the balance, but we love the showers of leaves all over the trunk. You’ll also see some dangling roots, which is a trademark of this species.

Pros

Cons

Summary

We’ll never get tired of promoting old bonsai trees. They add such an air of honor to your home, and you’ll impress even the experts out there. However, you’ll need to make sure you look after it to maintain that appearance.

Brussel's Bonsai Live Gensing Grafted Ficus Indoor Bonsai Tree - 4 Years Old

  • Age: 4 years old
  • Style: Nebari / Exposed root
  • Hardiness zone: 10 - 11
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 9.5 x 14 inches
  • Weight: 5 lbs

Review of the Unique Qualities

Finally, we have one last Ficus to show you in our list of the best bonsai trees for beginners. This product has a special treat. You’ll receive a bottle of fertilizer and a humidity tray with deco stones. There’s also a bonsai book from Brussel’s that’ll help you look after your Gensing Ficus.

We love the fat roots and trunk that form part of the Nebari style. The foliage has a broom shape, but you’ll love the rich green leaves at the top. It gives you that tropical feeling when you’re sitting at home appreciating it.

Pros

Cons

Summary

While this bonsai tree is relatively young, it’s sturdy with its fattened roots and trunk. You’ll love the feeling of the bark against your skin, while the ceramic container will ensure proper drainage.

Of course, the prize goes to Brussel’s for including fertilizer, a bonsai guide, and a tray to aid with humidity.

Why Are These The Best Bonsai Trees for beginners?

We’ve shown you a few of the best bonsai trees for beginners, but why do we recommend them? What are the factors that make them so easy for new bonsai enthusiasts to grow? Let’s take a look at some of them now.

Durability

The bonsai tree species we presented are known for their durability. They are spread over several hardiness zones and can overcome most of the unforgiving circumstances. As the seasons change, they generally keep their leaves green with a few exceptions.

One issue you may find is with the bonsai trees dropping leaves when you acquire them. Don’t worry, though. This phenomenon is common when a species moves from one location to a new one. It needs to adapt to the new lighting and humidity, and you’ll see some new foliage soon.

Withstands Changing Climates

Any of the best bonsai trees for beginners we recommend will be able to withstand climate changes from one extreme to another. Sure, they may not like frost so much, which is why it’s better to bring them indoors. They adapt quite well to hot temperatures, as long as you increase the water supply for the thirsty roots.

You’ll notice that most species perform better in specific hardiness zones. Where some trees may suffer when changing regions, the ones we indicated have a better chance at survival.

Survives Poor Conditions

We know how tough it can be for beginners to start a new routine. You’re not used to watering daily, and you’ll have to get used to knowing when to do some pruning. Don’t forget that you’ll need to repot the bonsai tree every few years.

Thankfully, the species in our list of the best bonsai trees for beginners are well-known for how well they perform even in poor conditions. Even if you forget to water for a day or two, it’ll spring right back when you remember. It also doesn’t matter if you skip a year before you move it to a new pot.

Handles Damage Well

As a beginner with bonsais, you’re bound to make several mistakes. You might accidentally break a branch or cut into a stem, causing some damage. That’s ok, as it’ll add to the beauty of the tree. However, not all species can handle severe damage.

Fortunately, the ones we’ve recommended can take harsh injuries and survive. The scars will look outstanding, and you can really become creative and artistic by stripping bark and clearing leaves for that deadwood appearance.

Easy to Maintain

Overall, it’s clear how easy it is to maintain these bonsai trees. It’s this feature that makes them the main attraction to beginners. You can prune a little or a lot, and the bonsai will continue to grow strongly.

bonsai trees for beginners

What Bonsai Tools Should You Have As a Beginner?

You may notice that some of the best bonsai trees for beginners we’ve highlighted don’t have tools included. If you’re planning to buy these separately, here’s a list of equipment you should look out for when shopping.

Branch Cutter

These cutters have concave surfaces to make a clean cut that heals easily. You want to ensure you give your bonsai the best treatment, avoiding any infestations or bad wounds that won’t recover well.

Knob Cutter

As the name suggests, these spherical cutters remove knobs, but they’re also excellent for cutting roots. It creates a circular cut, known for healing faster than other wounds. You’re also assured of a proper trim that won’t cause problems for your bonsai in the long-run.

Wire Cutter

Bonsai wire cutters aren’t the same as standard ones. Some of the best bonsai trees for beginners available online have wires attached. When the time comes to repot or the wire cuts into the branch, you’ll want to remove it. These tools have rounded tips specially designed to deal with bonsai wire.

Shears

Bonsai shears are miniature versions of the standard-size tools used on massive trees. You can hold it in one hand, clipping leaves and small branches with ease. There’s also a protective sleeve you can place over the blades to keep them sharp and pristine.

Root Rake

Unlike normal garden rakes, the bonsai one has a single point to help you dislodge the soil from the roots. You can also disentangle the roots from each other, making it easier to determine how best to trim them. You’ll only need this tool when the time for repotting arrives in a few years time.

Moisture Meter

A moisture meter for soil is essential if you want to ensure you’re providing enough water. While you’ll get the hang of it eventually, you’ll struggle as a beginner. The meter will show you if the soil needs less or more water, but you’ll learn as the seasons go by how to tell without it.

Humidity Meter

Finally, you can also invest in a humidity meter, but it’s not completely necessary. The bonsai’s leaves will love having the leaves misted anyway, so go and give it a good spray. The tool is mostly helpful when you’re not sure how bad the humidity levels are and how much misting is needed.

bonsai trees for beginners

What Sets These Bonsais Apart From Others

Now that you’ve had an opportunity to read through our recommendations for the best bonsai trees for beginners to buy online, let’s look at what sets these items apart from others. There are only a few aspects, but we do consider them essential for determining unique qualities.

Greenery and Form

We love bonsais that look healthy and in strong form. It suggests that the sellers looked after them, giving them the loving care they need and we expect from every one of you. We didn’t merely look at the luscious marketing images, but also photos from customers to show how they looked upon delivery.

Styles

Some styles suit bonsai tree species more than others. While there may be some extravagant ones, we pay more attention to how easy it is to maintain. We don’t expect a beginner to know how to care for a root-over-rock or cascading bonsai, so we stick to the easiest ones.

Support Structures

There are many items and structures that’ll aid in keeping the bonsai in place for beginners. We look at whether the container is appropriate and if you’ll find any wiring or support. The last thing a newbie wants is to buy a bonsai in a plastic container and learn how to transplant it to a ceramic one within the first few weeks.

Brand

We’ve learned which brands deliver better products in our time spent in online stores. Some have sparkling reputations for beautiful bonsai, while others are known for sending trees that are busy dying. We also don’t like sellers who grow thick cuttings and then claim the bonsai is old.

How We Picked Our Top Selection

While the above factors inspire us when selecting the best bonsai trees for beginners to buy online, we have a set of criteria we usually follow. The list may be small, but it suits our purposes. It’ll help you understand how we think when rating products, and how one item stands above another.

Customer Reviews

What buyers say is important to us. The seller can market its bonsai as much as it wants, but that doesn’t mean the clients are happy with the delivery. While we may love the small bonsai we receive, it doesn’t mean everyone has the same experience.

Brands generally do their best when they know an organization like Bonsai Alchemist is going to rate the item. So we see what others are saying too.

Warranties

There are some companies that provide a warranty for the first month or two if something goes wrong. They also offer advice if you find some damage or pests and wonder how to deal with them. We mark these products highly for the best customer support.

Kits and Bundles

When you’re hunting for the best bonsai trees for beginners to buy online, you’ll want more than just a tree. You may need some fertilizer, extra soil, another container, or pruners to help you maintain the tiny tree. We prefer to find bundles for these situations.

Value for Money

We know bonsais can be expensive. It costs even more if there are accessories or you’re buying a mature tree. However, we prefer you receive value for your money than recommend only the affordable ones. If you see an item that costs a lot, take a look at what it has to offer.

Local vs. Import

Some species don’t like moving from one climate to another. If you’re importing a bonsai from another country, it may take months for it to adjust. There’s also a good chance it may die. Therefore, we prefer recommending local trees that are native to the US.

bonsai trees for beginners

What Factors to Consider When Buying Your First Bonsai

And now it’s your turn. We’ve shown you how we select the best bonsai trees for beginners, but what should you look out for when shopping locally or online? Keep an eye out for these factors, and you should be safe.

Dimensions

You’ll need to measure where you plan to place the new bonsai or keep the dimensions in mind if you’re buying it as a gift. While bonsai trees are notoriously small, some are larger than average due to the species and age. You’ll want to ensure that there’s enough space to keep and maintain it and for future growth.

Zone

Make sure the species you’re buying can survive in the hardiness zone of your location. Excessive heat or front can damage a bonsai’s health, which is something you need to prevent. However, you can take steps to create a similar climate inside your home.

Age

Old bonsai trees are more valuable than younger ones due to how much time and care has gone into looking after them. It can take years to get a healthy-looking trunk, and you’ll want to aim for five years and older for a better survival rate. It more challenging to wire and maintain younglings.

Location

Do you know whether the bonsai will do better indoors or outdoors and what humidity levels it needs? You’ll also need to ensure it will receive enough sunlight in the morning, which might not be possible in some apartments or rented rooms. Ensure that the tree will receive the best care in the proposed location.

Known Pests and Diseases

Make sure you do some research on which pests and diseases are common for the species. If you know those will be a problem in your home, you may want to choose a different type. As a beginner, look for a tree that’s resistant to most diseases.

Final Thoughts

Buying any of the best bonsai trees for beginners can be an amazing feeling, but it can be disappointing if they die within the first few weeks. While many buyers like to blame the seller, it’s often the cause of poor maintenance and care. It’s better to choose a species that has a better chance of surviving no matter what.

bonsai trees for beginners

FAQ About Best Bonsai Trees for Beginners

We’re sure you have several questions on your mind as a beginner. While we assist with the questions people always ask, you’re free to send us any other queries you may have. We’ll do our best to supply a response.

The ficus bonsai is by far the easiest tree to grow for beginners. It’s forgiving when it comes to poor conditions and underwatering. Therefore, you can practice as much as you want with bending and wiring until you get the hang of it.

After you purchase your first bonsai, you’ll want to look up the species in our care guides to see what it needs to survive. You’ll need to check how much sunlight, water, humidity, and food it wants per season. It’s also good practice to decide which style you would like to shape it in.

There are several factors that will help you pick a good bonsai tree. The plant’s size will play a part in where you place it in your home, while you’ll also see how versatile it is with changing conditions. You’ll also want to assess the age and health of the bonsai to ensure you receive an excellent specimen.

There are several bonsais you can keep indoor. While many prefer outdoor sunlight and fresh air, some are more than happy to stay inside. A few examples include Ficus, Chinese Elm, Pomegranate, Snow Rose, and Fukien Tea.

Bonsai trees love humidity. The more air moisture you can provide the better. However, it also depends on how much direct sunlight the tree receives, as the droplets can act as magnifying glasses. You can also use a humidity tray as an alternative.

It depends on the species. Some bonsai trees enjoy several hours of light, while others want only a few with some dappled shade during the afternoon. You’ll need to check our species guides to see how much sunlight your bonsai tree needs.

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