Classified into an ancient art in the botanical field, bonsai has everlasting popularity throughout centuries. The term “bonsai” can be translated as “planted in a container”. Its definition is later specified into dwarfed trees or shrubs which are grown in a tray or shallow pot.
There are numerous types of bonsai trees that you can buy and care for. Fifteen tree types below are considered more popular than the others.
Adenium has bright-colored flowers, glossy green leaves, as well as a thick and bulbous trunk. All in all, those characteristics make this plant a stunning bonsai tree.
It will create a natural and elegant look while serving as a beautiful ornament. Also, caring for adenium only requires a little effort; you only need to keep the plant under an average temperature and protect it during winter.
Of all bonsai tree types, azalea is considered one of the prettiest types. Azalea flowers come in many vibrant colors, while the plant itself can be formed into different shapes and styles. To get the best quality of azalea blooms, this bonsai tree needs to be placed outdoor where it can be exposed under a sunny location.
Bougainvillea looks outstandingly dashing with its papery flowers which come in various colors. It is one of the most famous bonsai trees that can be formed into a number of traditional styles. However, because the flowers of Bougainvillea are quite delicate, you need to protect the plant from frost or low temperature.
Boxwood is actually an outdoor plant which prefers shady to bright sunlight. However, it is also a great choice for bonsai tree if you place it in a location with partial sun. Several bonsai shapes that can be formed by boxwood include slanting style as well as formal and informal upright.
5. Chinese Elm
Native to East Asia, Chinese Elm would make an outstanding bonsai tree. More importantly, this plant is easy to style and prune as well as highly adaptable to various seasonal conditions. In spite of it, you need to keep the plant away from cold drafts in the room to maintain the quality of its trunk and leaves.
6. Common Beech
Suitable for the upright formation of a bonsai tree, common beech (Fagus sylvatica) exhibits an elegant shade of colors.
In the fall, the leaves of this plant will turn into golden yellow, creating an impressive sense of autumnal days. Although it naturally belongs to tall trees category, common beech can be formed into a medium-sized bonsai.
7. Crape Myrtle
Crape myrtle is often identified by its delicate branches and attractive small flowers in white, purple, or pink colors. Several bonsai styles that can be formed using crape myrtle include curved trunks, cascade, and informal upright. This plant prefers low light and moderate temperature, so you can place it on a windowsill.
8. Dwarf Schefflera
Schefflera arboricola, or popularly known as Dwarf Shefflera, is quite easy to grow as a bonsai tree. The trunk and the root of this plant can be formed easily into some traditional styles of bonsai, even by a beginner. Moreover, Dwarf Shefflera is also highly adaptable and resistant to drought or hot weather.
9. Fukien Tea
Looking great as a small indoor bonsai, Fukien Tea (Carmona retusa) can be placed in a sunny location at your home.
The shiny green leaves of this plant are naturally embellished with tiny white dots that make them look unique and attractive at the same time. Moreover, the plant produces small flowers all year round and occasionally bears red berries.
10. Indian Laurel Fig
Indian Laurel fig is one of the best choices for an indoor bonsai tree. The most special characteristic of Indian Laurel fig is its bendable trunk that can be twisted into a nice sculpture. Originated from the tropical area, this plant prefers bright, indirect light and temperate climate.
11. Jade Tree
Crassula ovata or jade plant is an evergreen bonsai tree that has thick stems and flesh leaves. Its hardy trunk can be styled into several shapes of bonsai, including clump, upright, slanting, even planted on a rock. Although jade bonsai tree can be located indoor, you need to place this plant in a room with high temperature and under a bright light.
12. Japanese Maple
Japanese maple has high adaptability to be formed as a bonsai. This Japanese bonsai tree is also famous for its attractive colors and unique-shaped leaves. However, its leaves may decay if the plant is not placed in a location with a light shade.
Having an adaptable, growing habit and an elegant tree form, Juniper is listed under the most popular types of bonsai trees. It is mostly used as an outdoor bonsai tree because of the plant’s hardy features.
Juniper comes in more than 70 different species, including several types that are cultivated in particular areas such as Chinese Juniper, California Juniper, and Japanese Garden Juniper.
14. Pomegranate Tree
Pomegranate is not only a pleasant fruit tree but also a good choice of plant for bonsai. This is supported by the plant’s shallow root system which can adapt well to the structure of a bonsai tree. Pomegranate bonsai tree also looks beautiful with its unique fruits and elegant red flowers.
15. Rock Cotoneaster
As the name suggests, rock cotoneaster or Cotoneaster horizontalis is often planted on a rock. This plant is considered one of the best bonsai trees due to its attractive styles and long-lasting colors. Moreover, because it doesn’t require a lot of attention, rock cotoneaster is a good choice for beginners.
Those are several popular types of bonsai trees that you can buy, form, and care for. In addition to fifteen trees above, there are some other types of plants that can be an excellent choice for a bonsai tree.
These include cedar, jacaranda, Brazilian rain tree, and cherry blossom bonsai. However, if caring for a bonsai tree is your new hobby, choosing one type of tree on this list is more than enough to get started.