Bonsai Plants General Information


Bonsai plants are trees and ornamental shrubs grown in shallow pots. Although a Chinese invention, most people outside of the Far East associate the art of bonsai with Japan. There are many legends on the beginning of bonsai art, including rumors that once only the royalty of China could own miniature landscapes.


The earliest documented proof of bonsai art was dated between A.D. 630 and A.D. 910. The paintings on walls found in a tomb of a Tan Dynasty Prince depicted miniature trees in pots and miniature landscapes.


Typically recognized bonsai plants have lower trunks free of limbs to give the impression of an ancient tree. Many are pruned to appear twisted or have a windblown appearance.


Bonsai plants can be under 12 inches tall or up to 3 feet tall dependent upon plant species and the artist's vision. Bonsai will remain small their entire life span, if properly pruned.


Many prospective owners of bonsai trees believe the plants are houseplants. This is a myth that can result in a dead bonsai. The plants are historically grown outdoors and survive better in the open elements.

Famous Ties

In the 1989 third installment in the Karate Kid series, Mr. Miyagi and Daniel open a bonsai tree shop. This made popular the "Karate Kid Juniper Bonsai" design which is still popular today.


  • A Beginner's Firt Bonsai
  • Bonsai Gardener
  • Bonsai Beginning Gardner Resource

Who Can Help

  • The Bonsai Site
  • Karate Kid Part 3 T.V. Guide information
Keywords: bonsai tree, bonsai plants, growing bonsai

About this Author

Julia has been writing professionally for 4 years and has appeared in WNY Family, Baton Rouge Family, Unique Magazine,, and, just to name a few. Julia attended Rowan Cabarrus Community College. Part of her health care education was provided by training through Elderwood Skilled Nursing Facilities.