It’s no secret that bonsai trees are simply delightful to have around as they add a whimsical element to the environments in which they are displayed. But these pint-sized pals are more than just fun to look at; they support numerous other physical, spiritual, and personal benefits too!
Bonsai Tree Benefits: Health & Wellness
Humans and plant life have a closely linked evolutionary history. So it’s no surprise that when we bring this intimate relationship indoors, we bring a number of health benefits with it.
- Purify air: Plants are widely known to reduce indoor air pollutants and purify air indoors1 (including the ficus tree, a popular bonsai breed). Be aware: Some species filter better than others.
- Lower stress: Active interaction with indoor plants can lead to lower blood pressure and reduce feelings of psychological stress.2 So, go on, get your hands dirty!
- General well-being: Simply being in the presence of plants can positively affect everything from stress levels, to productivity, to attitude!3
- Maintain humidity: One study found that keeping plants indoors can reduce the occurrence of sore throats, coughs, and dry skin. This can be linked to plants’ ability to increase humidity in a space.4
Bonsai Tree Benefits: Spiritual & Personal Growth
Physical health aside, the magic of bonsai may have more do with less quantifiable effects. The following bonsai tree spiritual benefits are often what draw people to the art.
Bonsai is a practice of honoring long-term goals. Bonsai grow much more slowly than traditional houseplants—which means that you grow in patience. In bonsai, the caretaker looks to the future while tending to the now. In other words, you achieve your long-term goals for your tree through thoughtful, daily maintenance.
Bonsai tree benefits also include learning to honor the cycles that come with long-term goals. Leaves will fall seasonally. A freshly pruned tree may look vulnerable and bare. Bonsai reminds us that dormancy is an essential part of the cycle of growth.
Spark Your Creativity
One of the best bonsai tree spiritual benefits is connecting with your creative side. With the proper techniques, you can encourage your bonsai to grow almost any way you want. Your only limitation is your imagination.
Curiosity and adaptability are essential parts of creativity. To achieve the desired effect, you’ll often have to learn new techniques. This may include guiding growth with cages, rope training, or intimidating structural pruning.
Take care: At the end of the day, your tree is a living creature. It will grow (stubbornly) as it pleases. The real creative challenge? Staying flexible.
Bonsai is as much a practice as a hobby or an art form. Much like yoga or meditation, bonsai helps us “cultivate” an understanding of our internal reactions to the external world.
Our response to wilting branches or oversized leaves is a mirror of the way we meet challenges in our lives. Do you get defeated? See red? Blame yourself? Bonsai is a safe space to observe these reactions and develop a healthier relationship with discomfort.
Of all the bonsai tree benefits, this may be the most impactful. Bonsai is the practice of planning ahead, problem-solving, and learning new techniques. These efforts help your confidence grow just like your tree—with quiet, steady resolve.
Every new species nurtured or procedure taken for a spin is a reminder of how capable you are. As you move from novice into confident caretaker, you are reminded your only job is to keep trying, to stay curious and open.
Simply put: As your bonsai grows, so will you.
Work With Compassion
Your bonsai tree can live for hundreds of years, but it needs regular care to stay alive. Tending to a bonsai tree is a daily reminder that all things must be nurtured—even when they are not beautiful. When your tree sheds its leaves, or you remove attractive branches, it creates space for new beauty to emerge.
When you love and care for a bonsai tree through all of its cycles, you develop the mindset of a benevolent ally. With time and intention, you begin to shine this light into your broader world.
Bonsai Tree Benefits: Home and Community
Beautify Any Size Space
A thoughtfully placed bonsai can bring the expansiveness of life into even the smallest spaces. This hobby also gives those who don’t have space for a garden or larger houseplants the opportunity to interact with the natural world on a daily basis. For practitioners of feng shui, bonsai can be used to attract abundance or good fortune while taking up minimal space.
Grow a Family Heirloom
A bonsai tree can easily outlive its owner. (Several bonsai are reported to be over 1,000 years old!) When you decide to explore the art of bonsai, you could very well be nurturing a companion that will be passed down for generations.
Your thoughtful care today could become a living heirloom. Imagine your tree bringing joy to future family members you may never even get the chance to meet. A gift, and a lesson, from you to your loved ones to come.
A Thoughtful Gift
Bonsai is a special gift for meaningful occasions. For new marriages or business pursuits, clean bills of health, or special education milestones, the gift of bonsai is a gentle reminder: with love and care, all things will grow strong and resilient.
Join the Bonsai Journey!
Ready to experience the full range of bonsai tree benefits? At the Bonsai Resource Center, we equip you with all the tools you need to grow and maintain a healthy bonsai. Explore our other articles, visit our online shop, and connect with other bonsai lovers in our Facebook group to learn everything you need to know about this rewarding hobby!
These novice-friendly resources will help you care for your tree as well as it cares for YOU!:
- The Ultimate Bonsai Tree Fertilizer Guide
- 5 Easy Tips to Master Advanced Bonsai Care
- Shop live bonsai trees here!
- Planting Healthier Indoor Air
- Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study
- Benefits of Using Plants Indoors
- Benefits of Office Plants – Tove Fjeld (Agri. Uni. of Norway)