How Long Does it Take to Grow a Bonsai Tree?

Bonsai trees and time – two things that go together. If you want to get into bonsai trees, you need to consider how much time, or rather, how long you will invest in this hobby and what to expect and how quickly you can start seeing results and growth. Here is our research on how long does it take to grow a bonsai tree and other time-related questions related to bonsai trees and how long they can live.

On average, a bonsai tree can take 5 years to grow as a small tree and 10-15 years to mature. Most people get a bonsai tree that is already grown (so about 5 years old) and care for it for about 10-20 years. The table below will help you better understand the expected height when growing a bonsai tree.

Bonsai Trees Age Average expected height
5 Years 3″ to 5″
10 Years 8″ to 12″
15 Years 18″to 21″

In this article, we’ll cover everything related to bonsai growth and timing, from growing from seed to how long they can last, so we can really understand how long it takes for an average bonsai tree to fully grow. . But for now, let’s start with bonsai plants and how to grow them from scratch.

Time To Grow a Bonsai Tree

It is difficult to understand the fact that bonsais can challenge your patience, since they take time to grow. Usually, people who don’t do their proper research get excited about bonsai trees, but never anticipate how long it can actually take. So here are three options you have when you are considering extending the time for your bonsai tree to grow, which can be quickly extended to the stage at which you want to buy your particular bonsai tree. Let’s get down to start!

How long does it take to grow a bonsai tree?

Let me be very clear; It takes some good time to grow a bonsai tree. Now, this is why being able to grow a proper bonsai tree feels so fulfilling and rewarding. It’s worth your patience, and it’s definitely worth it.

There are generally three ways you can get a bonsai tree. You can grow it from seed, you can grow a pre-grown bonsai tree, and you can inherit a bonsai tree. These three different ways have values ​​that allow you to go through different stages. Confused? Well, let’s clear things up one by one.

Growing a bonsai tree from seed 

How long does it take to grow a bonsai tree

Credit : Youtube.com

If you are patient and want to follow the entire bonsai tree growing journey, you should start here. It’s starting from scratch, where you only have seeds.

Before you decide to do this, you must know that this is the most difficult stage to pass with your bonsai tree. When you go with this method you won’t even see a proper tree before 4 to 5 years. This is the most complete way to grow a bonsai tree.

Here you will make something from scratch, taking the hardest and longest way to do it. It can feel like an accomplishment and give you a lot more satisfaction than other methods.

Read More :Ultimate Guides How To Grow A Bonsai Tree from Seed?

Growing Pre-Grown Bonsai Trees

Since growing from seed can be a bit longer than people might be willing to wait, most hobbyists tend to go with pre-grown bonsai plants. These plants are 5-7 years for the most part, and thus, people can start right where the fun begins.

Some people might consider this cheating or something of the sort. We say don’t sweat it. Ultimately, bonsai trees are meant to last and that’s what really matters. In the long run, when you have a tree for 10-20 years, it doesn’t matter if you grew it from seed or not. The journey of bonsai is one you will truly learn to appreciate. So do what you think works best for you.

Inheriting a Bonsai tree

In essence, the same as pre-grown trees. You might even get an old tree, who knows? However, the only difference is that you don’t really know how healthy or what condition your tree may be in.

So ask yourself: Does the person who gave you the tree take full care of it? Does it look healthy? Does it look over-watered or underwater? (If you want to learn more about over-watering and under-watering, check out our post on watering bonsai tree). Does the soil look new? etc

These questions can give you an idea of ​​where to start and how much care your bonsai tree should take. But in most cases, proper care will do the trick. And you can find a tree that will live as long as you are willing to care for it.

So how long is that?

How long does a bonsai tree live?

As a rule, bonsai trees live as long as normal trees grow in nature. So, for example, if your bonsai tree is a ficus, a common ficus can be expected to remain out in the wild for as long as your bonsai lives. So as with many responses from bonsai trees, the answer is: “It depends”. However, you can put your bonsai tress in two columns: slow growers or fast growers.

It may take 20-30 years for slow growers and 10-15 years for fast growers. However, this is for normal plants, which serve as a reference, as bonsai tend to grow somewhat faster due to the proper care they receive continuously.

In theory, your bonsai tree can live up to 100, but to do that, you need to reproduce it in the right conditions, indoors or outdoors. If you don’t, most bonsai plants die within about 2-3 months of most beginners. Here moisture, pruning, fertilizers, erosion, soil modification and other factors come into play.

Read More :How Old Are Bonsai Tress? Bonsai Tree Lifespan

How long do bonsai trees last?

The question should be, how long are you willing to take care of it?

The good news is, most bonsai trees live a bit longer than normal trees in the wild. The reason is that bonsai trees are usually cared for more than normal trees, so they can live longer than others.

Please think. If you take proper care of your plants, this means that you constantly check the soil. With proper pruning, your tree will develop more branches than a regular tree. This will bring more leaves, and with it, more photosynthesis and eventually, a stronger bonsai tree all around.

Fertilization is a feature of a healthy plant’s growth and development, as it can receive nutrients more frequently than is possible in its natural environment. The same goes for other external factors such as wind, water, pests and drought, which can affect your plants but which you can control.

Read More :How To Take Care of a bonsai tree

Faster growing bonsai species

This is the first step in accelerating the growth process of bonsai plants. You need to choose a bonsai tree that grows or matures faster than other trees. There are several such species. Let’s take a quick look at them.

  • Ficus: This species shows the fastest growth among all other bonsai tree species. They also have a long lifespan so you can get a lot out of this species with proper care.
    Z: Here is another species of bonsai tree that is fast growing in nature. Also, it has a great attractive look to enhance the aesthetics of your home.
  • Japanese White Pine: These are fast growing and great for long periods. If you give this plant the best care, you will see amazing results that can last you a lifetime.
  • Japanese Maple :Apart from these three, you can go for maples, junipers, weeping willows or aspens. They grow faster than all other species. But for best growth and longevity, Ficus is the way to go.
  • Chinese Junipers
  • Japanese Black Pine
  • Jade
  • Weeping Willow bonsai tree

Read More :The 12 Best Indoor Bonsai Tree Types:How To Care Indoor Bonsai Trees

Tips on growing a bonsai tree faster 

The truth of the matter is, you’ll be hit hard by the fact that trees aren’t really going to shape their growing speed for anyone, so you actually have very little influence.

However, as with many natural things, the best rule of thumb to follow is to give your plant proper care. Brush up on your water knowledge, your sunlight knowledge and choose the best plants for where you live. And then, take great care of it.

However, there are a few other things you can do to steer your page friend in the right direction. These include:

1.Select the fast growing bonsai tree species

This may seem like a no-brainer, but since speed depends on what type of plant you have, the fastest way to grow bonsai plants is to find a species that grows quickly.

Some popular fast-growing tree types are evergreens, conifers, and succulents. Now talking specifically about plant varieties, Japanese black pine, maple tree, jade plant and Chinese juniper are the most famous bonsai fast growers.

You can choose from different types of trees but you need to consider where they will be located. Some are sensitive to colder climates or require more care and attention than others so make sure your decision is the best for your needs!

2.Using the right soil

Since you will be growing a bonsai in a container, you need to make sure that you give it the nutrients it needs. Plants get nutrients from the soil and you will need special soil for your bonsai to grow perfectly. This is what bonsai artists call potting mix.

The right potting mix will help the plant grow from the roots. It also helps retain moisture without trapping water. And when you water the potting soil mix properly, they retain nutrients very easily, which greatly aids growth.

Read More :5 Best Types of Bonsai Soil For The Bonsai Gardener

3.Proper maintenance routine

Credit : Amazon.com

Our top recommendation on how to grow your bonsai tree fast is to give it proper care with a good maintenance routine. There are no other shortcuts you can take in bonsai tree care, this is how it is. In your routine, remember watering (over and under-watering), lighting, root health and overall proper environment.

4. Trimming roots

A maintenance tip that many forget for bonsai plants is root pruning. When the bonsai tree begins to grow, its roots will reach a certain limit. Once that limit is reached, plant growth may stop altogether.

That’s why before the roots reach the limit, you need to prune some of them and allow the plant to grow more. After pruning the roots, you can repot it in the same pot or a larger pot.

Read More : The Ultimate Guides How to Trim a Japanese Maple

5.Pruning to Right way

Pruning makes a huge difference in the growth of your bonsai tree. The contrast in growth between a regular tree and a bonsai tree has a lot to do with pruning.

If you do this correctly, you will allow your plant to photosynthesize better. This eventually helps the plant to grow much faster than you expect. So, master the pruning technique before anything else to get the best growth possible from your bonsai tree.

6.Aim for trunk growth

A bonsai plant needs a strong core to support whatever is on top, in this case its leaves or branches. This core will be essential to its overall health, as it provides nutrients and water to its system and carries carbon away from the plant’s leaves. There are some techniques to follow for trunk growth, but they are not considered for beginners.

  • Splitting :For a quick and easy way to thicken the trunk of your bonsai, try dividing it. The plant will heal faster than using other methods that can take weeks or even years to do the same thing!

The process is really simple: just split your bonsai with the wire in the middle so they don’t reconnect when you let them cross each other. This method not only gives instant results but also takes up less space if done correctly because now there are two small plants instead of one big plant!

  • Merging :One way to thicken the trunk of a bonsai tree is by using the merging technique. In this method, instead of using an existing bonsai tree you use several seedlings that are tied together as they grow and eventually merge into one tree! This unconventional process can take several months when associated with fast-growing trees such as pine or spruce.

The tedious process of thickening the trunk of a bonsai tree is an important step in making the tree grow faster. If you use the split or combine method, it will give you significantly more time to shape your branches and leaves than if you’ve been waiting for years.

7.Fast bonsai growth comes from thin roots

Thin roots? Well, bonsai plants need care to live a healthy life in their small container. Due to limited water and nutrient storage, the roots will continue to grow in search of more. In the shallow pots used for bonsai, one side of your plant’s root system may grow much larger than the other as it searches for resources not available on its own side.

This can cause problems with soil saturation when you need fresh dirt because there is nowhere left but where all those thirsty roots grew! That’s why pruning them regularly ensures that they remain flexible enough for periods of rapid growth – although things start to look bad, if everything dries out too quickly you run the risk of slowing down or even stopping altogether so make sure to take good care of it before that happens.

The environment and the bonsai plant’s growth rate determine how often you need to prune the bonsai’s roots. Slow-growing plants may only need root pruning once a year, but any fast-growing species will need more frequent attention to maintain them.

8.Repot your bonsai plant into a larger pot

Repotting your bonsai tree is an important part of keeping it healthy. Repotting a bonsai tree regularly will provide more nutrients to your plant and ultimately make a bonsai tree grow faster. As the tree grows, you may want to repot less frequently if you have a fast-growing species or as time goes on and your tree ages.

During the repotting process, you will cut off about ⅓ (one third) of the total mass of your bonsai plant’s root system to allow it to grow stronger than before. This process helps your plant regenerate its roots and along with it, allowing it to grow stronger and faster each time.

9.Fertilize the Soil

In the wild, rain brings nutrients washed down to the ground, which will be picked up by the roots and “fed” to your leafy friend. However, in a pot, things are a bit different. This is why you should consider adding fertilizer to your soil to replenish the nutrients it’s lost.

A bonsai tree can become too small for its own good, as it has no room to grow. This lack of growth results in reduced levels of nutrients and oxygen that plants need to thrive. One way to combat this is to water your plants with fertilizer or feed them during their off-season months when they don’t need as much food due to less sunlight exposure.

Read More :The Ultimate Guide To Best Bonsai Tree Fertilizers


In short, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to grow a bonsai tree because it is not a race. Growing a bonsai tree is a journey, and you have to love every part of it. Taking a difficult path to complete the journey will feel much more fulfilling than taking a shortcut.

Just remember to take care of your plants as much as possible. It is not only suitable for a healthy plant. It also helps in faster growth. So there is no harm in doing it.

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