You’ve spent hours on Pinterest and Instagram scoping out bonsai tree inspiration. You’ve admired the displays at your local nursery and given way too much thought to this plant (we’ve been there too). Now you’re ready to take the plunge into the bonsai world and bring home your new plant baby.
But where do you start? Since bonsai are not a one-size-fits-all plant, here’s what you need to know before you click “submit” on your order.
1. Not All Bonsai Trees Are Created Equal
There are many types of bonsai trees to choose from, and they all require different things to thrive. Before you start Googling “bonsai trees for sale,” decide where you want to keep your tree and choose a variety that will flourish in your climate. For example, if you want an indoor plant, make sure you can provide it with plenty of natural and artificial light and humidity. If you dream about seeing a bonsai in your backyard or on your balcony, find a variety that is native to a climate similar to yours, then tailor your care to that specific plant.
2. Look For Signs Of A Healthy Bonsai Tree
Like all plants, you want to invest in a bonsai tree that shows clear signs of health. When analyzing a potential purchase, look for these five things:
- Bright green leaves with no spots or discoloration
- A smooth, tapered trunk
- A strong, stable tree with roots slightly showing
- Branches and foliage that are proportionate and symmetrical
- Avoid trees with crisscrossed roots or branches.
3. Size Matters
When full-grown, bonsai can be over 6 feet tall, just a few inches tall, or anywhere in between. Just like climate consideration, make sure you buy a tree that fits your environment or suits your goals. If you want a larger tree to enhance your backyard, you’ll go for a different species and provide different care than for a small windowsill plant. The size of your tree will determine the amount of maintenance, water, and attention it needs.
4. Patience Is A Virtue
Growing and caring for a bonsai is an incredibly fulfilling hobby, but you will need to invest time and energy into your plant to see results. Bonsai is considered an ancient art for a reason, and it will take time to develop and master it. Don’t give up if your tree isn’t meeting your expectations. Instead, educate yourself (that’s what we’re here for), practice what you’ve learned, and you’ll reap the fruits of your labor. Remember, the more you work for something, the more you appreciate it.
Join The Bonsai World
At The Bonsai Resource Center, our goal is to equip you with everything you need to grow and maintain a truly beautiful bonsai tree. This is our passion, and we want it to be yours as well! Whether you are a bonsai beginner or are looking to hone your skills, check out our other articles and visit our shop for all your bonsai needs!