How Long Do Bonsai Trees Live? | Oldest Bonsai Trees in The World

Discover How Long Do Bonsai Trees Live and some of the world’s oldest bonsai trees in this informative article!

Bonsai trees are more than just ornamental plants. They are symbols of patience, care, and timelessness. But How Long Do Bonsai Trees Live? Let’s find out the answer and more below.

Here are some majestic trees with heart-shaped leaves

What Are Bonsai Trees?

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shutterstock/Bernd Schmidt

Bonsai trees are miniature trees that are grown and trained to mimic the shape and size of full-sized trees. The art of bonsai originated in China over a thousand years ago. But it was later adopted by the Japanese, who developed their own unique style of bonsai. The word “bonsai” comes from the Japanese words “bon,” which means tray or pot, and “sai,” meaning planting. Bonsai trees are grown in small containers and are trained to maintain a small, compact size.

Types of Bonsai Trees For Indoors and Outdoors

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shutterstock/Walter Pall

There are many different kinds of bonsai trees, each with its own unique characteristics and requirements. Here are our top picks:

Best Indoor Bonsai Trees

  • Jade Plant Bonsai (Crassula ovata)
  • Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai (Arboricola schefflera)
  • Juniper Bonsai (Juniperus)
  • Dwarf Jade Bonsai (Portulacaria afar)
  • Ginseng Ficus Bonsai (Ficus retusa)
  • Ponytail Palm Bonsai (Beaucarnea recurvata)
  • Ming Aralia Bonsai (Polyscias fruticosa)
  • Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)
  • Money Tree Bonsai (Pachira aquatica)
  • Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)

Best Outdoor Bonsai Trees

  • Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia)
  • Hemlock Bonsai (Tsuga)
  • Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
  • Cherry Tree Bonsai (Prunus serrulata)
  • Cedar Bonsai (Cedrus Libani)
  • Oak (Quercus)

How Long Do Bonsai Trees Live?

The lifespan of a bonsai tree varies depending on the species of tree, the care it receives, and other environmental factors. With appropriate care, some bonsai trees can live for 100 years. Even there are some specimens that are more than 1,000 years old. With proper care and attention, it’s possible to keep a bonsai tree alive for many years, making them valuable heirloom pieces for future generations to enjoy.

Oldest Bonsai Trees in The World

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Here are some of the oldest bonsai trees in the world with their age:

  • Mansei-en Nursery’s Juniper Bonsai (Over 1000 Years)
  • The Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai (Nearly 800 Years)
  • Crespi Museum’s Ficus Tree Bonsai (1000 Years)
  • Akao Herb Rose Garden’s Giant Red Pine Bonsai (600 Years)
  • Yamaki Tree Bonsai (Over 400 Years)
  • Shunkaen Nursery’s Bonsai (800 Years)
  • Master Kobayashi’s Bonsai (Over 800 Years)
  • The Sandai Shogun No Matsu (Over 500 Years)
  • The Million Dollar White Pine Bonsai (800 Years)
  • Happoen Garden Bonsai Trees (
  • Chabo Hiba Cypresses (Over 275 Years)
  • The Comfy in the Pot Bonsai (Over 200 Years)
  • The Wild Specimen (1000 Years)
  • Black Pine Bonsai (500 Years)

How Long Do Bonsai Trees Live: FAQs

1. Are Bonsai Trees Hard to Keep Alive?

Bonsai trees require some level of care and attention, but they are not necessarily hard to keep alive. The key to success with bonsai trees is to understand the specific needs of the species you are working with and provide the appropriate care. This includes watering, fertilizing, pruning, and providing adequate sunlight and air circulation. Bonsai trees also need to be repotted periodically to maintain healthy root growth. While caring for a bonsai tree can be a challenging and rewarding experience, it requires patience and commitment to keep the tree alive and healthy over time.

2. Are Bonsai Trees Expensive?

The cost of a bonsai tree can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the age, species, size, and quality of the tree, as well as the region. Some bonsai trees cost a few bucks, while rare, exotic ones cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

3. Can Bonsai Trees Grow Outdoors?

Yes, many species of bonsai trees can be grown outdoors. In fact, outdoor bonsai trees are often easier to care for than indoor bonsai trees because they are able to benefit from natural sunlight, fresh air, and rainwater.

4. How Long Does It Take a Bonsai Tree to Grow?

The growth rate of a bonsai tree is influenced by factors, including the species of the tree, its age, and the level of care it receives. Generally, bonsai trees grow at a slow rate, requiring both patience and attention to achieve the desired shape and size.

5. How Often Should I Water My Bonsai Tree?

The watering frequency for a bonsai tree varies from species to species, the humidity levels, and the weather conditions. In general, it’s recommended to water your bonsai tree when the top layer of soil feels slightly dry to the touch.

6. How Long Can a Bonsai Tree Live Without Water?

The length of time a bonsai tree can live without water varies greatly depending on its species, age, and environmental conditions. Extended periods without adequate hydration can lead to severe stress and potentially death.

7.  How Do I Know if My Bonsai Tree Is Dying?

There are several signs indicating that your bonsai tree is dying. These include yellowing or browning leaves, lack of growth, wilting or drooping branches, and an overall unhealthy appearance. Overwatering or underwatering, improper pruning, pests, disease, and exposure to extreme temperatures impact the lifespan of the bonsai tree. Regularly inspecting your bonsai tree for these signs and taking appropriate action, such as adjusting watering or fertilizing, can prevent your bonsai from dying.

8. Can Bonsai Trees Live Underwater?

No, bonsai trees cannot live underwater. Bonsai trees, like most terrestrial plants, require a careful balance of water, nutrients, and oxygen for survival.

9. Can Bonsai Trees Live in Cold Weather?

Bonsai trees, like their full-sized counterparts, have various species with different cold tolerance. Some bonsai trees, such as junipers or pines, can survive and even thrive in cold climates. However, tropical bonsai trees, like the Ficus species, can’t tolerate freezing temperatures.

10. Can a Bonsai Tree Live in a Terrarium?

Yes, a bonsai tree can live in a terrarium with proper care and maintenance. The terrarium creates a small, controlled environment that helps maintain the humidity level necessary for a bonsai’s growth.

11. Can a Bonsai Tree Live in an Office?

Yes, a bonsai tree can thrive in an office environment. These miniature trees are adaptable, but they need proper care.

Read the best Indoor Plants that Look Like Banana Trees here

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