Bonsai Plants for Beginners


Bonsai is the practice of growing miniature trees in small pots. Bonsai can range from a few inches tall to many feet. In Japanese bonsai, trees are often under 6 feet tall while Chinese bonsai can reach as high as 12 feet. Learning about bonsai is easy with small, easy to care for indoor trees.


Junipers enjoy a variety of different light, ranging from full sun to shade. They don't require as much water as other trees, but are easy to overwater. Styling a juniper is easy, but gloves may help keep the tree from poking your hands.


Azaleas are an easy to care for bonsai that can grow both inside and outside, depending on your climate zone. Azaleas should be watered daily if planted in a well-draining bonsai medium.

Japanese Maples

Japanese maples require different care at different times of the year and are a nice, hardy bonsai for a beginner. Water a Japanese maple bonsai once per day in the evening during the growing season. In the winter, water whenever the soil feels dry to keep the roots healthy.

Japanese Cherry Blossom Bonsai

Japanese cherry blossom bonsai are a slow growing tree that with proper care is quite hardy. Many varieties of cherry blossom bonsai are sensitive to chlorine so they should only be watered with distilled water or water filtered via reverse osmosis.

Local Evergreens

Local evergreens are often overlooked by many beginning bonsai growers. These trees are ideally suited for your climate. Buy a small tree in the spring and begin pruning and training the tree. If you find a particularly nice specimen you can immediately plant it in a bonsai pot, however, you may want to train it for a year or two before selecting a pot.


  • Bonsai Gardener: Beginner Bonsai Trees
  • Bonsai Tree Masters: A Beginner's Guide to Amazing Bonsai Trees
  • Azalea Bonsai

Who Can Help

  • Chinese Bonsai Garden: Japanese Maple Bonsai Tree
  • Japanese Bonsai Tree: Review Of Tropical Japanese Cherry Blossom Bonsai Trees|Care
Keywords: bonsai care, bonsai training, beginning bonsai

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.