Best Bonsai Tree Reviews 2017

(Updated )
Bonsai trees are great additions to any home or office. Not only do they stand out for being unique, they’re also a perfect entry point to gardening; if you’re looking for a hobby, bonsai tree art will teach you tenderness natural awareness. However, many people shy away from them, as they look so delicate. The success of learning bonsai tree art depends largely on the tree you choose. To help you make this decision, we’ve picked some of the best bonsai tree brands with one tree featured from each; whether you’re looking to purchase your first bonsai tree, or if you want to add one to your growing collection, these are some great picks for you. Whether you’re an expert collector, intermediate hobbyist, or beginner, this list has something for you!
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Species
Age
Size
Pot/Vase
Our Top Choice
Eve’s Garden Small Japanese Juniper Bonsai
Eve’s Garden is a family-owned brand in Florida, specializing in creative living designs. It's known for its bonsai, gift plants, and Lucky Bamboo plants.
This bonsai tree wiithstands even the coldest weather conditions and requires little maintenance. It's planted in a rich bonsai potting mix and is great-looking and disease-resistant.
Unfortunately, it doesn't produce flowers for those who love flowering bonsai trees.
Evergreen Live Tree
Juniperus Procumbens
6 Years
10 Inches high, 7-Inch Spread
5-6 Inch Ceramic Container
Best Value
Brussel’s Bonsai Ficus Bonsai Tree
Brussel’s Bonsai is a 30-year-old US company. It's the largest grower and importer of both outdoor and indoor bonsai trees, with a 175,000-square-foot greenhouse.
This tree works well in different lighting conditions and requires very little maintenance. It's great for beginner bonsai tree enthusiasts and it has healthy leaves and compact foliage.
You'll have to be careful though as it is sensitive to being moved, responding by dropping leaves.
Rubber Tree Family
Ficus Microcarpa
4 Years
10 Inches High
8 x 6 Ceramic Pot
Bonsai Boy Flowering Bonsai Tree
Bonsai Boy of New York is a renowned family business specializing in bonsai trees. The company grows and supplies a wide range of bonsai tree species and accessories.
This is a great species for beginners as it requires minimal care. It's easy to train and can take numerous shapes, including literati and broom styles. It works well in artificially lit areas.
However, it doesn't do well in snowy and extremely cold areas.
Flowering Bonsai Tree
Ehretia Microphylla
13 Years old
11-13 Inches High
Rectangular Pot
Nearly Natural Artificial Bonsai Silk Tree
Nearly Natural believes that people who can't tend live indoor plants and flowers can still enjoy artificial plants that "look so real, for being 'nearly natural.'"
This bonsai looks so real that you may be tempted to water it but it doesn’t require any maintenance and can be used in any setting. It has an impressive design, capturing the real tree's beauty.
The down side is, it doesn't offer the benefits of a natural bonsai tree.
Artificial Bonsai Tree
Silk Cherry Blossom
Artificial
15 Inches High
Plastic Pot
9GreenBox Japanese Juniper Bonsai
Since 2007, 9GreenBox has been growing lavish home plants like tropical plants, indoor bonsai, lucky bamboo, and other bonsai. It also provides gardening accessories to millions of customers.
This bonsai has great health benefits and aesthetic value. It's easy to train into your preferred shapes. It's great for beginners as well as bonsai pros and requires minimal maintenance.
Be warned though, many buyers said it's smaller than it appears in photos.
Live Juniper
Juniperus Procumbens
18 Months
6-8 Inches High
4-Inch Pot

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How Do I Choose the Best Bonsai Tree?

Going camping, walking in the woods, watching the sunset; these are some of best things you can do to relax, namely thanks to their all having to do with the great outdoors. Think of the trees, fresh air, and the serenity. However, you may not afford to do it daily, especially if you normally have a busy schedule.

But there is a way out. What about bringing the “outdoors” to your “indoors”? There are several ways to do this, from getting an artificial plant, to buying a bouquet of flowers daily or getting yourself an artificial tree. But getting a bonsai tree is one of the best ways if you’re looking to do it in a natural, beautiful and an engaging way.

Bonsai art is timeless, or at least some thousands of years old and loaded with history. While bonsai art is mainly associated with the Japanese, its actual origins are in China. Look, "Bonsai” is a Japanese name referring to “penzai," which in Chinese refers to miniature trees, potted landscapes, potted scenery, or a tray landscape.

Unlike some years back when people felt maintaining bonsai trees isn’t for the faint-hearted, today it’s user-friendly, and bonsai trees are easily available. This makes it an activity that anyone can undertake. The best thing is that, apart from its sheer beauty, it teaches you a lot, especially if you’d opt to grow and train your bonsai tree(s). Luckily, there are enough resources and communities to learn from.

In this guide and the following review, we’ll take you through what you need to know when purchasing bonsai trees. We’ll also provide tips on maintenance like using nutrient-rich fertilizers.

Did you know that bonsai growing is best for hobbyists? If you’re looking for an exciting hobby, you’ll be spot on with bonsais. They are also one of the best gifts you can give to a family member, colleague, or friend, whether for a birthday, anniversary, or whatever!

Let's now get on the critical considerations when shopping for bonsai trees, shall we?
Price
How much does a bonsai cost? The answer here depends on several factors. During the time of this research, the average price range of bonsai trees was between $20 and $100. But, don’t be surprised if you come across a bonsai tree costing several thousands, especially if it's imported from Japan.

The first price determinant is the popularity of the species. As we mentioned earlier, bonsai art has its history back in ancient Chinese Buddhist monks. Then, there were specific trees that they preferred, which some people refer as the “parent bonsais.” These species are usually costlier.

Price therefore also depends on the species. Today, there are more than a hundred species, each with a different price range. Apart from these two, their price is also largely determined by the age of the tree and the provider. Older trees are more expensive, as they take years to mature. The best thing with bonsais is that there is little cost after the acquisition.

In our review, we didn't include cheap bonsai trees, which are either the least popular species or ones which are vulnerable to diseases. We picked the species from the leading brands that’ll give you the real experience of a bonsai tree. Therefore, pick any of them, without a second thought, as long as they can survive where you intend to place them.
Features
Even if you’re following bonsai maintenance and care guidelines religiously, if you picked the wrong species it won't work for you. That means that your success starts with picking a tree that’s best for your area and one that you can manage.

Here’s a list of the important factors to consider when shopping for bonsai trees;
  • The species. Each species has different ecological requirements. Choose one that is for your area.
  • Type. There are 2 broad categories of bonsai trees- indoor and outdoor bonsai trees. An outdoor type will rarely survive indoors
  • Age of the tree. Old trees are less demanding compared to young trees, but young trees are the best for training
  • Parts of the trees. The easiest way of assessing the health of a bonsai tree is checking its parts. Healthy leaves, strong roots, and strong trunks show that the tree is healthy and strong
  • Ancient and modern species. The fact is every tree can be trained into a bonsai tree. However, if you’re a first-time buyer, go for the ancient species. Later you can add the modern species
  • User feedback. Feedback from other buyers provide important insights into different species, their requirements, and performance under various conditions
  • Price. How much are you willing and able to spend on a bonsai tree?
Construction and Design
The best starting point for your bonsai art journey will be answering these two questions: Where do you want to start? and Do you want to buy seeds and grow the tree yourself, or first buy a mature bonsai tree to get a better experience?

If you’re a starter, we highly recommend going for the latter option. Purchase a mature bonsai tree and learn the basics using it. Here you can either choose a specimen tree stage, which has reached the refinement level, or the bonsai stage, which has undergone various training processes, but still requires some more training. With this one, you’ll learn the basic maintenance, with the tree having high survival chances. The specimen type is the best for those who are already trained in the art.

If you’ve already taken care of a mature bonsai tree, you can then proceed and acquire a pre-bonsai, which has only undergone the preliminary training. This one offers you a better challenge and a good “playground” to play with it. Finally, if you’ve successfully gone through these stages, you can plant seeds or buy small seedlings and grow them. However, this can take up to one decade.

If you don’t like the reverse training and you decide to go vice versa, you’ll likely burn your fingers. There’s also another alternative: buy an artificial bonsai tree. While not the most natural choice, this is for those who want the feel and look of a real bonsai tree, but cannot manage to take care of a live one.

After identifying where to start, decide whether you want an indoor or outdoor type and pick the best species for you. Some good examples for indoor bonsai trees include Ficus Bonsai, Jade, Carmona, and Chinese Elm. For outdoor bonsais, examples include Juniper Bonsai, Ligustrum, and Japanese Maple.

Bonsais can either be tropical plants, shrubs or trees. Some of them have leaves, for example the privet, money tree, and ficus species. Others are coniferous, and still others are needled. Overall, the two most popular species are Ficus Bonsai (fig tree) and Juniperus (Juniper Bonsai).

If your preference is deciduous species, you have numerous options including Trident Maple, Japanese Maple, Dwarf Pomegranate, Chinese Elm, Hornbeam and Beech, Zelkova, Wisteria, Magnolia Stellata, Oak Bonsai, Crabapple, and Celtis bonsai. For broadleaf evergreen, examples include Privet, Boxwood, Snow Rose, Olive Bonsai, Jade, Fuchsia, Fig tree, Fukien tea, Azalea, Bird plum, Cotoneaster, and Money tree. If you'd like the arid areas feeling, there’s the conifers and pines. Examples of these include Spruce, Juniper Bonsai, Yew, Pine and Buddhist Pine, Cedar, and Larch Bonsai.

The final consideration here is size. Do you have enough space for the tree and how easy will it be if you want to relocate it? If you live in a condo, without a spacious balcony, a large tree will be more of an inconvenience.
Performance and Ease of Use
The performance of a bonsai depends on two things: the health of the tree and how you take care of the tree. Before purchasing the tree confirm that the tree is healthy and strong. For a healthy tree, the branches will be strong, evenly distributed, and angled properly. The nebari, which refers to the surface roots, add some elegance to the tree. If you see dead branches and scars, that’s a sign of age.

The proportion of flowers, leaves, and fruits must be proportionate. For a small tree, the leaves should be small and vice versa. For branches, the more there are the better, especially if the tree is fairly young. They offer you a good space to shape and train them, as opposed to just a few branches.

The trunk of a bonsai is another great yardstick when you’re assessing a bonsai tree. Go for trees with a strong and big trunk. A strong trunk is an indication that the tree had a good start and that is was grown from a seedling, as opposed to cuttings, which have no future. A good trunk should have a wide bottom and narrow top.

Apart from health, the performance of the tree will also depend on whether you’re taking care of the tree. Luckily, it’s easy to take care of these special trees. In case you try and fail on your first tree, don't lose hope; give it another shot and identify what went wrong.

There are five main considerations here: lighting, watering, temperature, feeding and pruning.

The amount of light depends on the tree you have. If you have a shrub bonsai type, place it in a well-lit area. For tropical species, they perform well in an area with indirect lighting. Because of these specific lighting, the greatest mistake you can do is to purchase a tree when you have no idea what species it belongs to.

When it comes to watering, obviously don’t overwater them! Only water your tree when it’s necessary, which will largely depend on its species. The Japanese say that it rains twice for bonsai.

The beauty of the bonsai tree depends on you. Trim, train, and shape in your preferred way. Don't forget to clip off yellow and dead leaves. In this guide, we have only highlighted care and maintenance to give you a picture of what you should expect.

Okay, now that you’ve taken a look at all the different things to consider when buying a bonsai tree, it’s time to take a look at our selection of five great bonsai tree brands.

What is the Best Bonsai Tree?

All bonsai trees look great in store displays, but the reality hits when you get one in your house. The best bonsai tree should fit well in your home environment for it to thrive. It should be tolerant of varying weather conditions and resist pests and diseases. When picking a bonsai tree, get one that you can maintain comfortably. Remember, if you don't have the basic skills, you may lose it. So, if you’re buying your first bonsai tree, pick a beginner-friendly species. Read through our picks below and liven up your living space with any of them.
Our Top Choice
Do you want to have the natural feel and look of Japanese juniper contorted trees as seen in Japanese movies? You can get that with this six-year-old Eve’s Garden Japanese Bonsai. If you’d prefer an older Japanese juniper bonsai, check out the 10-year-old Japanese Juniper Bonsai, sold as a complete gift kit, great for outdoor areas and patios.
Eve’s Garden, Inc Small Japanese Juniper Bonsai Tree Gift Set – 6 Years Old – Fertilizer, Figurine & Clippers

Eve’s Garden Bonsai Tree 19702


Features
Nothing's better for a house than well-maintained indoor plants. Apart from the aesthetics, they also have numerous health benefits, as they facilitate air purification. However, maintaining indoor plants isn't easy. Luckily, there are brands filling this gap, like Eve’s Garden.

Eve’s Garden has been around for over three decades. The Florida family-owned brand offers indoor plants and living designs to florists, homeowners, garden centers and plant brokers. The Eve’s Garden Small Japanese Juniper Bonsai Tree is one of the best trees for anyone handling bonsai trees for the first time. If you’re looking forward to learning the art of bonsai trees, this is a great place to start.

Apart from being novice-friendly, here is a list of other impressive feature of this bonsai tree:
  • Comes in 5-6 inch glazed container; tree has an average spread of 6-7 inches and 9-11 inches
  • Sold as gift package with figurine, fertilizer, and clippers - everything you need to maintain a bonsai tree
  • Beautifully decorated with landscaping pebbles and moss
  • Planted on a special mix designed for bonsai to support its growth for years
  • Easy to train the branches into your preferred shapes; compact foliage
  • Best suited for patios and outdoor areas and survives even in the coldest areas
  • When winter is knocking, the leaves turn purple, adding to its impressive look
  • Evergreen, so it will have leaves all year round
  • Very resistant to diseases and has impressive pest-resistant abilities, compared to other bonsai trees
  • A great gift item for anyone you love, any time of the year
Attention to bonsai enthusiasts living in Hawaii and California: the sale of this tree in these two states is prohibited by the state agricultural restrictions. But don't worry - there is plenty for you to replace it with.
Best Value
Introduce some real tropical beauty to either your office or home with the Brussel's Bonsai Ginseng Grafted Ficus Bonsai Tree. It's tolerant of most light and soil conditions. If you’re a beginner looking for a bonsai tree with low maintenance requirements, try the cool-looking 6-year-old Ponytail Palm Bonsai Tree, great for home and offices.
Brussel’s Bonsai Ginseng Grafted Ficus Bonsai Tree

Brussel’s Bonsai Bonsai Tree CT7012GMF


Features
Brussel's has literally run with the bonsai tree industry. This 30-year-old brand serves Asian culture enthusiasts, homeowners and gardeners by providing them with indoor bonsai, outdoor bonsai, specimen bonsai, lucky bamboo and ceramic containers, both in retail and wholesale. Apart from bonsai trees, Brussel's also offers tools to tend bonsai trees and guides to maintaining them. Today, it's estimated to be the largest grower and importers of bonsai trees, with a state-of-the-art greenhouse. The company is also known for its annual Rendezvous gathering, which brings together bonsai enthusiasts every Memorial Day weekend.

Brussel's Ginseng Grafted Ficus Bonsai Tree is one of the best for starters, and for being tolerant to diverse lighting and water conditions. The exposed roots and the sturdy thick trunk give it an impressive tropical look. With this bonsai tree in your home or office, no one will leave without noticing it. Apart from impressing your visitors, you'll enjoy improved creativity, productivity, and fresher air.

It’s not just about the exposed roots and trunk. Here are its other features:
  • 8.66 inches tall and delivered in an 8x6 ceramic pot
  • Soil surface is covered with decorated tiny rocks
  • Survives well indoors provided there is some indirect sunlight
  • Requires watering once every three days; delivered with a humidity tray and a care manual
  • Has healthy glossy oval leaves, grafted branches
  • Impressive full clusters of compact foliage
  • Great gift for housewarming parties for your loved ones
  • Great for those who find pleasure in growing bonsai trees
To get the best results, keep this tree away from vents or drafts. Take it out during summer, and avoid placing it in dimly lit areas. Decrease watering during winter.
Liven up your living room or office with Bonsai Boy’s Fukien Tea Flowering Bonsai Tree, which is native to China’s Fujan Province. It is 13 years old, with a height of between 11 and 13 inches. If you are looking for a smaller flowering bonsai tree, see this 7-year-old Bonsai Boy Flowering Bonsai Tree. It's 7 inches tall, with raised roots.
Bonsai Boy Fukien Tea Flowering Bonsai Tree – Large Curved Trunk Style

Bonsai Boy Bonsai Tree Fukien Tea


Features
There is something beyond the look and design of a bonsai tree, and that's why these trees look artificial to some people. How do you train a tree to look like a mature tree, when it's only 10 inches high? The answer is in learning bonsai art, which is the specialty of Bonsai Boy of New York. While this journey started as a hobby, today, it's an established large-scale grower and importer of bonsai trees. It has a wide range of juniper bonsai trees, flowering bonsai, indoor bonsai trees, and indoor and outdoor evergreen and deciduous trees. It also provides tools and bonsai accessories.

Bonsai Boy's Fukien Tea Flowering Tree is ideal for beginners and easy to maintain. The tree performs well in most indoor environments, making it great for home and office use.

Here are some other features of this flowering bonsai tree:
  • Produces white flowers any time of the year for a very impressive look in your living space
  • Has a curved trunk, making it a bit wide without being extra tall
  • Small, dark green foliage
  • Upon maturing, the flowers become red berries, which eventually turn dark as they grow older
  • Resembles a cloud layer, which brings out an old age look in a tropical environment
  • Loves bright light and heat and performs well in moist soils (but not soggy soils)
  • Requires less maintenance and is resistant to many diseases and pests
The Nearly Natural Artificial Bonsai Silk Tree is a great imitation of the real Japanese tree. It is made of silk, doesn’t require maintenance, and is usable anywhere. If you want a green leafy artificial bonsai tree, get the 8.5-inch Nearly Natural Decorated Silk Plant, with exposed roots and natural-looking trunk, in a low-profile pot.
Nearly Natural Cherry Blossom Bonsai Silk Tree in Pink

Nearly Natural Bonsai Tree 4764


Features
Have you tried tending real bonsai trees and not succeded? Take a break before giving it another shot. In the meantime, get a perfect imitation bonsai tree, which doesn’t require any maintenance and can be used anywhere. That’s where Nearly Natural silk plants come in. Nearly Natural is a leading producer of lifelike artificial plants, which give relief to anyone who is looking for replacements for real plants. It has a wide collection of wreaths, silk flowers, silk trees and silk plants.

Nearly Natural's Cherry Blossom Bonsai Silk Tree is great for those who love flowering bonsai trees. It has a real-life appearance.

Here are some of its features:
  • Made of high-quality silk, while flowers are plastic
  • Since it is artificial, there is no watering or pruning needed
  • Varied pastels bring out tranquility and elegance
  • Weighs 2.8 lbs. and measures 17.5 x 10 x 15 inches
  • Beautiful design, with minuscule marking of the branches and bark
  • You can change the plastic pot to any Asian pottery or a ceramic pot of your choice
  • The artificial soil can be replaced with pot moss, giving it a more natural look
  • You can use it anywhere: the bedroom, the kitchen, on your desk or in the aquarium
If you’re a beginner with bonsai trees and wondering where to start your bonsai art journey, the 9GreenBox Japanese Juniper Bonsai Tree is a great one to start with, as it's easy to train and grow. If you're looking for a versatile, trouble-free and tolerant bonsai tree, get the handmade Ginseng Ficus Bonsai Tree, with exposed roots and heavy trunk.
9GreenBox Japanese Juniper Bonsai Starter Tree - 4" Pot – Procumbens Nana

9GreenBox Bonsai Tree B001EBJSKC


Features
9GreenBox's mission is to help homeowners decorate their homes and get the gardens of their dreams. Whatever kind of home garden you are looking to develop, 9GreenBox has a wide collection of flowers and plants, from colorful perennials to exotic jasmine themes, that you can use to liven up your garden. If you don’t have soil, there are air plants, which are independent plants, to decorate your yard or house. Some famous plants from this brand include lucky bamboo, Chinese elm, air plants and Christmas cactus.

9GreenBox's Japanese Juniper Bonsai is tagged as one of the most beginner-friendly bonsai trees on the market. If you’re starting to learn this art, this tree will offer you a great foundation. Despite being small, it features the true tranquility of a bonsai tree.

Interested? Its other features include:
  • It is a live tree, so you’ll enjoy purified air and aesthetic benefits
  • Easy to train into varied shapes, making it a great learning specimen
  • Requires little maintenance and does well in moist soils, rather than soggy soil
  • Thrives well in an indoor place, with enough light
  • When exposed to cold, the color changes to a bronze tone
The best time to add fertilizer is during summer and spring, after every two weeks. In case of repotting or root pruning, wait for one month before adding fertilizer.

Get the Best Bonsai Tree of 2017!

Now that you’ve read through our reviews of some of the best bonsai trees available today, you should have the skills and knowledge you need when shopping for bonsai trees. The selected brands are reputable, so count on them for healthy trees. If you'd love a different species than the five we featured, the same brands have a lot to choose from.

Our Top Choice
Eve’s Garden Small Japanese Juniper Bonsai
Best Value
Brussel’s Bonsai Ficus Bonsai Tree
Bonsai Boy Flowering Bonsai Tree
Nearly Natural Artificial Bonsai Silk Tree
9GreenBox Japanese Juniper Bonsai