5 Best Bonsai Plants For Beginners-Getting Started From The Most Easily Cultivated Bonsai Tree


Bonsai, more of art than gardening, has favored by more and more people around the world due to its unique design and aesthetic touch.

Many beginners are dazzled by the awesome bonsai trees on display, while have no idea about choosing which plant to getting started. Choosing a wrong plant at the very beginning would waste lots of efforts and cashes for novices.

Here we are going to share 5 best bonsai plants for beginners, even the novices can easily get started. Hope will make your first step into the bonsai world a bit easier.

1: Elm Bonsai Tree 

2: Ficus Bonsai Tree 

3: Five Leaf Pine Bonsai Tree

4: Flowering Heavenly Bamboo Bonsai Tree

5: Baby Jade Bonsai Tree 

Elm Bonsai Tree


Elm tree belongs to deciduous species and can grow up to around 25 meters in natural world, with spheroidal tree crowns. The bark is rough and cracked with color in grayish black. The leaves are oval with serration on their edges.

Elm tree is drought-tolerant and cold-resistant, and it is also resistant to inferiority and has a strong adaptability to the environment. Therefore, when coming to bonsai plants for beginners, elm tree will be a top selection.

In addition, the trimming techniques of the starters are still not good enough and may mess it up when trying to shape the bonsai tree. While elm tree gets not only strong viability, it is intense in germination, which can well tolerate the trimming.

Maintenance And Care


Elm bonsai prefers full sun and is tolerant to partial shade. But avoid direct sunlight during heating summer to prevent the tree getting sunburnt.

Bring the elm bonsai indoors during freezing winter with good light or set it in lee places but with good sunlight.


Elm tree can be pruned throughout the year. But to prevent too much sap flowing, do not trim it during rainy days.


Elm tree is not demanding on the soil to be planted in. Ideally, it would be sandy loam soil with rich humus and good drainage.


The elm bonsai needed to be watered as soon as the surface of the potted soil is dry.

When watering, the soil need to be soaked. And water more if the weather is hot or dry. Keep in mind that no water accumulation is allowed, otherwise the tree’s roots will be rotten.

While in winter, reduce the water as the tree has entered into dormancy. In addition, we do not suggest spray water on the elm bonsai’s leaves to prevent its leaves getting larger.


During the growing season (April-October) of the elm tree, apply some diluted NPK liquid fertilizer every half month to boost its growing. While in harsh, apply some PK liquid fertilizer on the soil 10 days before taking it indoors to strengthen its cold resistance.

Ficus Bonsai Tree

ficus bonsai

Another popular bonsai plant for beginners would be Ficus.

The recommendation reason: the vitality of the ficus is particularly strong. The roots system of ficus is very prosperous, easy to grow, and not very picky about the environment.

Moreover, it is resistant to drought and moisture. In addition, the shape of the ficus is unique, there is no need for a lot of skills in its styling. And the ficus is also tolerant of pruning, calling for simple maintenance.

Maintenance And Care


Ficus prefers full sun and will grow well in well ventilated, warm and moist environment.

Properly shade it during scorching summer to prevent sunburn. And spray water regularly around the ground where the ficus bonsai is set to maintain a certain humidity in the micro climate.

When the temperature is lower than 5℃ (41℉) during winter season, bring the ficus bonsai indoors where there will be some scattered sunlight.


Ficus is strong naturally, and is not picky on the planting soil, which is ideally been loose and permeable humus soil.


Water the ficus bonsai thoroughly and deeply, until there is water leaking through the drainage hole under the bonsai tray. But avoid water logging on the planting soil. Water again once the surface of the soil turn dry. Generally, the watering frequency should be more in summer and autumn, while less in winter and spring.


Ficus will grow well in rich soil, if the fertility in the soil is insufficient, we need to add some nutrients manually. Otherwise, it will affect the growth of the ficus and results in poor ornamental effects.

We can renew the soil of the ficus bonsai regularly, replace the old soil with fertile ones, such as: rich garden soil or humus soil. We can also fertilize it on a regular basis, which will boost the bonsai’s growth dramatically.

In summer and autumn, apply some diluted liquid fertilizer on the bonsai once a month. Replace some barren soil with fertile ones during late spring, when ficus will grow faster. And apply some liquid fertilizer to make it flourish.

Fertilizer is not necessary or even forbidden during winter, during when the ficus will hibernate. Fertilizer might bring significant damage to its roots.


The germination of ficus is strong, and the pruning can be carried out all the year round.

Generally, it is advisable to trim the unwanted cross branches, overlapping branches, and dead or diseased branches in early spring. You can always cut off the long branches at any time to keep the tree look nice.

Five Leaf Pine Bonsai Tree


There are a wide arrays of pine bonsai trees, but one of the most popular one is five leaf pine bonsai.

Five leaf pine is an evergreen coniferous tree. Its needle-like leaves are thin and bright green. The tree stands upright and looks extraordinary tough, which gets really high ornamental value.

Maintenance And Care


five leaf pineFive leaf pine tree is cold-tolerant and drought-tolerant. It can be put on the balcony or in the courtyard all year around where with good ventilation and sunlight. But avoid exposing it to heating sunlight during hot summer season.

Except the extremely cold areas, the five leaf pine tree can persist through the winter well in outdoors. It is best to set the bonsai in leeward and sunny locations.

If it is taken indoors for winter, the indoor temperature should not be too high.


Five leaf pine’s growth period falls in spring and autumn. It is generally recommended applying fertilizers two times throughout the year: one time before germination on early spring and another one in autumn.

Summer and winter seasons are its dormant period, so do not fertilize it, otherwise its roots will be on high risk of dehydrating.


To ensure healthy growing of five leaf pine, it is important to keep the planting soil in moist condition. Although the tree will enter into hibernation during summer season, we still have to water it regularly due to high temperature and large amount of water evaporation. Control the watering amount and frequency in winter, once per few days is fine.

Flowering Heavenly Bamboo Bonsai Tree


Flowering heavenly bamboo is an evergreen shrub that blooms in late spring and early summer and bear fruits in late autumn. It is quite adaptable to the environment.

Its new foliage appears in spring in bronze red color and are soon followed by clusters of white blossoms. In summer green and round berries will crop up on the end of the tree and eventually turning to bright red color, definitely will become a focal point in your garden.

Maintenance And Care


Flowering heavenly bamboo prefers fertile sandy loam with good drainage. The soil will be ideally slightly acidic.


Flowering-Heavenly-Bamboo-LeafWater the bonsai once the surface of the soil is dry and make the soil drenched. But avoid excessive water clogging in the soil.

Watering once per day in the hot summer season, and spraying water on the leaves to keep the leaves in moist condition, preventing the leaves from being scorched. Sprinkle water on the ground near the bonsai to increase the humidity of the air, which might be helpful to its pollination.

In winter, flowering heavenly bamboo is in semi-dormant state, do not make the basin soil too wet.


Flowering heavenly bamboo prefers partially shaded, cool and humid cultivating environment. The intense sunlight will make its stem short and tick, and the young leaves might get burned.

While in the very shaded area, the stems will be thin and leaves will become larger. The too loose stems are detrimental to its ornamental value.


The favorable temperature for flowering heavenly bamboo’s prosperous growing is about 20-25℃ (68-77℉). And its growth will be ceased with cultivating temperature lower than about 8℃ (46℉). So it is suggested to bring the bonsai indoors during freezingly cold winter.

Baby Jade Bonsai Tree


Baby jade is a succulent plant. It can reach up to 3 meter’s height when growing in the natural world. Baby jade gets thick, brightly green oval leaves, and thick brown stems.

Succulents usually grow in dry areas such as deserts, and their thick leaves can retain moisture for long term consumption. Baby jade prefers rough sandy soils similar to those in their natural desert habitats. Therefore, baby jade is the best choice for bonsai starters, as it is really easy to grow.

Maintenance And Care


Baby-Jade-LeafBaby jade likes full sun and can tolerate partial shade as well. The optimum growing temperature for it would be: 21-24℃ (70-75℉), daytime; 10-13℃ (50-55℉), nighttime.

Likewise, avoid setting the baby jade bonsai under direct harsh sunlight during torrid summer season.

During winter, we should pay attention to the temperature and ideally place the bonsai indoors, preferably in a place that can bathe some sunlight. Indoor temperature cannot be lower than 7℃ (45℉). And baby jade will be freezed to death when temperature is lower than 0℃ (32℉)


Baby jade is not finicky on the planting soil. It will go well with loose and fertile soil with good drainage. Typically, sandy loam soil will be optimum.

Baby jade prefers relatively dry soil, so do not water too much. Especially in summer, when baby jade will enter into dormancy, we should control the frequency and amount of watering. If the upper layer of the soil is already in a dry state, we can water it and make the soil soaked. Be wary of water accumulation in the soil, which might lead to roots rotten.


Spring is the best season for pruning, during when baby jade will enjoy most active growth. And the pruning wound will heal faster then. Be sure that using clean and sharp tools for trimming.


Apply enough base fertilizer, such as decomposed organic fertilizer, when planting or changing potting soil. And carry after manuring twice or three times a month during its growing period. The fertilizer is preferably diluted liquid fertilizer. The dormancy stage of baby jade falls in summer and autumn. Stop fertilizing during this time to prevent injury.


With gardening knowledge is far from enough cultivating bonsai, it also calls for patience and carefulness. Small mistakes may lead to huge waste of cashes and efforts.

For those who just step into the bonsai world, it is important to do some homework and learn as much as possible about the trees. It is also wise to practice before purchasing and cultivating some very valuable bonsai species.

Practicing makes perfect. Hope the above mentioned information about bonsai plants for beginners will be helpful to the starters. Enjoy the bonsai!

10 thoughts on “5 Best Bonsai Plants For Beginners-Getting Started From The Most Easily Cultivated Bonsai Tree

  1. I am so glad i found your website! I always like Bonsais. My concern only is that i live in a very cold place and the only thing where i can place my bonsai is inside the house.
    I have a Baby Jade Bonsai tree right now. I would like to know more how to take care of it.
    Can you give me more tips about it?
    Thanks for sharing your article.

    1. Hi Hanna, i’m exciting to know that you keep a Baby Jade Bonsai, awesome! Compared with other bonsai tree, i think Baby Jade is far more easier cultivating. Sure, i’m more than happy to share some tips on cultivating Baby Jade bonsai in my later posts. Welcome back to check it!

  2. My favorite is Elm Bonsai Tree. It’s only because I am not aware of different types of bonsai out there. We have this Elm Bonsai Tree at home. Our gardener takes care of it.

    I do like bonsai compared to other plants. It’s beautiful to behold. I am curious where are these bonsai found normally. I am in CA, we mainly see cactus.

    1. Hi Ahearst, thanks for checking this post. Personally, i adores Elm Bonsai a lot as well. As Elm Tree is easy to grow and with strong vitality. It is easy to be shaped as we prefer. I’m a big fan of bonsai and i kept several bonsai in my garden, there is even a grape bonsai, haha. As far as i know, there are bonsai exhibition hold by “California Bonsai Society” in CA and there are several public bonsai gardens available for visiting.

  3. Hey there,

    I am really impressend that one can cultivate Bonsai at home. You give some practical tips that I will take into consideration. Thanks for the awesome post.

    1. Hi Asen, thanks for stopping by and reading this post. Do hope the bonsai trees and tips i mentioned in this post will be helpful to you to get started in the bonsai work.

  4. Thanks so much for this post!!
    I’ve tried creating my own bonsai with a ficus in the past and it did quite well until we moved lol.
    I’d really like to try again and appreciate your advice.
    Which plant would suggest for a very dry climate. We live in northern Alberta, Canada and rarely have much humidity.
    Thanks so much

    1. Hi Suzanne, thanks for checking this post! I’m glad to know that you have kept bonsai before and would like to tried again now. Concerning your location and temperature, i think the Baby Jade bonsai tree that i mentioned in this post will suit you. Baby Jade contains lots of moisture in its stems and leaves, so it is tolerant to dry. But make sure that bring it indoors during winter, the harsh winter in Alberta will significantly hurt the Baby Jade.
      Bring it indoors during winter, preferably in a place that can bathe some sunlight. Indoor temperature cannot be lower than 7℃ (45℉). Thanks!

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