How Long Does it Take For a Bonsai Tree to Grow

 

a bonsai tree growing in a pot

What is Bonsai Tree?

To start, bonsai is not a plant, but more like a method of caring for your plant. 

By definition, bonsai is the art of growing ornamental, artificially dwarfed varieties of trees and shrubs in pots (Oxford Dictionary). 

Bonsai originated from China but the practice has been widely perfected by the Japanese in the modern century.

Types of Bonsai Trees

There are countless ways to cultivate bonsai trees, but there are 15 popular styles widely practiced today.
  1. Broom style Bonsai (Hokidachi)
  2. Formal upright Bonsai style (Chokkan)
  3. Informal upright Bonsai style (Moyogi)
  4. Slanting Bonsai style (Shakan)
  5. Cascade Bonsai style (Kengai)
  6. Semi cascade Bonsai style (Han-kengai)
  7. Literati Bonsai style (Bunjingi)
  8. Windswept Bonsai style (Fukinagashi)
  9. Double trunk style Bonsai (Sokan)
  10. Multitrunk Bonsai style (Kabudachi)
  11. Forest Bonsai style (Yose-ue)
  12. Growing on a rock Bonsai style (Seki-joju)
  13. Growing in a rock Bonsai style (Ishisuki)
  14. Raft Bonsai style (Ikadabuki)
  15. Shari Bonsai style (Sharimiki)
In this article, we will not be elaborating on each of the bonsai styles. You can conduct your research when you are free to do so.

Is It Possible to Grow a Bonsai Tree Yourself?

Yes, why not? 

However, to grow your bonsai, you will need to ensure that you have the right tools to structure your plant. 

A fancy bonsai master will tell you all the fancy tools needed to make it work. But essentially, the only tools you need to grow your bonsai are a sharp pair of scissors and strong metal wires that can wrap themselves around the plant and hold its shape.

Additionally, you must have patience, for, without it, there is no way you are going to be able to grow your bonsai well.

How Long Does it Take For a Bonsai Tree to Grow?

Technically, a bonsai tree is only considered a bonsai once it has taken some sort of irregular shape that will not grow under natural circumstances. Until then, it is simply considered a plant. 

Different types of plants grow at different rates but in general, it would require at least 2 years for a plant to start adopting a bonsai shape. 

For the bonsai to mature into a fully grown bonsai tree, it can take up to 20 years, that’s right, 20 years. 

How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Bonsai Tree off the Shelves?

Buying a ready-made mediocre-shaped bonsai can cost you as low as $20.

However, if you are interested in buying a bonsai that looks anything like the photos above, then get ready to spend at least $1000. 

The good thing about buying a ready-made bonsai is that you do not need to put in much effort nor wait years for it to take shape.

However, one shortcoming is that once you purchase a ready-made bonsai, it is unlikely that you are going to be able to change its shape, so if you were to purchase a mediocre shaped bonsai, it would likely stay that shape forever. 

Thus, when buying a bonsai, make sure it is a shape that you can live with for as long as you have it.

To successfully grow your own bonsai tree, the most important thing to have is patience and discipline. 

You also need to have special tools to help shape your plant and turn it into a bonsai. 

But without those attributes, it might be a better idea to just buy one off the shelves. Generally, it takes at least 2 years for a plant to start taking on a bonsai shape and can take up to 20 years to mature and become a fully grown bonsai tree.

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