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How Big Do Bonsai Trees Grow? | Helpful Tips & Insight

How Big Do Bonsai Trees Grow? | Helpful Tips & Insight

Bonsai trees are often associated with tiny plants that can fit in a dish. But did you know bonsai trees are not small at all? Some bonsai tree species grow to be as tall as three feet!

If you’re looking to plant a new bonsai tree, but don’t have enough space for it indoors or outdoors, then this blog post is for you. This blog post will answer the question; How Big Do Bonsai Trees Grow?

So How Big Do Bonsai Trees Grow?

The size of a bonsai tree will depend on the species of tree you choose to plant.

Bonsai trees come in a huge variety of sizes. You can have full-grown, small-statured (6 inches to 3 feet tall) and even giants! The type depends on the species you go with. But no matter which size your desired tree is, the Keshitsubo Bonsai only grows up to 1 to 3 inches.

The size of the tree also depends on the gardener. Some people prefer smaller trees while others enjoy the challenge of growing a giant. Bonsai trees come in all shapes and sizes, from the size of a seed to as tall as a three-foot tree.

Classification of Bonsai Tree Size

There are two sizes, which are the Keshitsubo and Imperial. Keshitsubo can be found from 1-3 inches with Imperial measuring 60 to 80 inches.

  • Keshitsubo Bonsai – Keshitsubo bonsai, with its tiny size and delicate appearance, can be lifted using just two fingers.
  • Imperial Bonsai – Imperial Bonsai is a rare, eight-handed tree that can grow up to 80 inches in height. It’s well known for its large size and meticulous care requirements.

A regular tree is any tree that grows taller than an imperial bonsai.

The 3 Size Categories of Bonsai

Size is important when it comes to caring for your bonsai tree. The three main size categories are miniature, medium, and large with each classification having subcategories that vary in specifics.

Large Bonsai

The largest bonsai trees can grow to be between 60 – 80 inches tall. According to the Bonsai Size Classification System, this is an imperial-sized bonsai. If it’s larger than the imperial-sized, then it’s not going to fall within the size category.

Subcategories of the Large Bonsai includes;

  • Imperial
  • Omono/Dai
  • Hachi-Uye

Imperial – The imperial size is the largest classification for a bonsai tree. These trees range in height from 60 to 80 inches tall.

Omono/Dai – Omono is a large bonsai that can measure anywhere from 30 to 48 inches in height.

Hachi-Uye – Hachi-uye is the tallest subcategory of the large bonsai size. These trees can grow up to 40 to 60 inches tall.

How Big Do Bonsai Trees Grow? | Helpful Tips & Insight

Medium Bonsai

The medium-sized bonsai tree is classified as any tree that is between 12 and 24 inches in height.

Different subcategories fall within this classification, including;

  • Chumono/Chiu
  • Katade-Mochi

Chumono/Chiu – Chumono is a medium-sized bonsai that can measure up to 16 to 36 inches in height.

Katade-Mochi – Katade Mochi is the smallest subcategory of Chumono and usually measures between 10 and 18 inches tall.

Miniature Bonsai

The miniature size category includes any tree that falls between 1 inch to 8 inches in height.

Subcategories of the miniature size include;

  • Shito
  • Keshitsubo
  • Mame
  • Shohin
  • Komono

Shito – Shito Bonsai is a miniature bonsai that can measure between 2 and 4 inches in height.

Keshitsubo – Keshitsubo or dwarf trees are the smallest classification of all three sizes, measuring just 1 to 3 inches tall! They also require special pruning techniques to ensure their small size does not interfere with their natural growth pattern.

Mame – Mame bonsai are the second smallest classification of miniature trees, measuring between 2 and 6 inches in height.

Shohin – The shohin size is the most popular category for beginners because it’s a relatively small tree that doesn’t require a lot of care or maintenance. These trees measure between 3 and 8 inches in height.

Komono – Komono is the largest subcategory of miniature trees, measuring around 6 to 10 inches in height.

How Big Do Bonsai Trees Grow? | Helpful Tips & Insight

How to Take Care of a Miniature Bonsai?

Bonsai trees in tiny pots require a few basic instructions for placement, watering, and repotting. And you have to make sure that as tiny as they are, they require delicate handling.

  • First and foremost, miniature bonsai trees need to be placed in a spot where they will get plenty of sunlight. They should not be kept in a dark corner or in an area that is shady most of the time. If you live in a climate with four seasons, you will need to move your tree around according to the season. In the summer, it needs to be in a spot where it will get at least six hours of sunlight each day.
  • In the winter, when the days are shorter and there is less daylight, your miniature bonsai tree can be moved to a spot that gets four or five hours of sunlight.
  • Watering is also very important. If the soil is dry to touch when you are planning on watering, do not soak it. Let the soil become drier before watering your bonsai tree again. You should water your bonsai daily in summer and just once a day in winter.
  • Look for signs of over-watering or under-watering to adjust your watering schedule. Over-watering will cause the leaves of your miniature bonsai tree to turn yellow and droop, while under-watering will make the leaves wilt and curl up.

In terms of repotting, you should wait until your miniature bonsai tree has outgrown its pot before transplanting it into another pot with fresh soil.

How to Take Care of a Medium-Sized Bonsai?

A medium bonsai tree is a good place to start for beginners. It requires basic care and has simple maintenance, making it less overwhelming than larger or more complex trees. In terms of work involved with keeping them healthy, you don’t need to sacrifice quality time spent on training yourself into becoming an expert artist at this skill!

  • Medium bonsai trees should be watered every other day, making sure to drench the soil until water begins to drip from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. If the tree is kept outdoors, it will need to be watered more frequently, since it will be exposed to the elements. In wintertime, make sure to reduce watering frequency, since the tree is dormant and will not need as much water.
  • Misting your bonsai with water once a day is also beneficial; it cleans off the dust that accumulates on leaves and can help promote new growth (depending on what kind of tree you have).
  • As far as fertilizing goes, use a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) every other month, diluted to one-third the recommended rate. Too much fertilizer can be harmful, so it’s important to follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Prune your tree as needed, being careful not to remove more than one-third of the foliage at any given time. If you’re not sure what to prune, take a look at pictures online or in books for inspiration.

To keep your tree healthy, it’s important to inspect it regularly for pests and diseases. If you notice any problems, take action immediately to treat the tree.

How to Take Care of a Large-Sized Bonsai?

Growing large bonsai trees is both an exciting and challenging experience. The size of the work makes it more difficult than training miniatures, but it also creates a different kind of satisfaction. For those who have the space and resources necessary, a large bonsai can be uniquely rewarding to grow at home.

  • The first step is determining how much space you are willing (and able) to allocate for your project bonsai garden. A large bonsai will need more room than a small one. With enough space, you can create an entire bonsai landscape with several large trees and accessory plants.
  • Once you have determined the size of your garden, the next step is to select the right tree. Not all species are suitable for large bonsais, so it is important to do your research.
  • When caring for a large-sized bonsai, you can decide to have a complex design because of the extra time and care that is required, or you can go with a simple style to make it easier on yourself. Whichever route you choose, regular pruning and wiring are essential for developing the correct shape.
  • Watering a large bonsai is more difficult than with smaller trees, as too much or too little can cause problems. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering will cause the leaves to wilt. It is therefore important to check the soil moisture regularly and correct any imbalances.
  • Fertilizing a large bonsai is also more difficult, as you don’t want to overdose the tree with nutrients. A slow-release fertilizer is the best option, as it will provide the tree with a steady stream of nutrients over an extended period.
  • To protect your large bonsai from pests and diseases, regular inspection is essential. Look for any signs of infection or infestation and take action immediately.

Creating a large bonsai garden is a huge commitment, and you have to consider the size making it hard to move if needed. But with careful planning and execution, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience for any bonsai enthusiast.

Which Bonsai is Right For You?

Now that you know all about the different size classifications, it’s time to decide which one is right for you! If you’re just starting, we suggest choosing a Chumono or Katade size tree. These are medium-sized trees that are best for beginners.

If you’re looking for a challenge, try growing an imperial-sized bonsai. These trees are larger than the average bonsai and can be quite difficult to maintain.

There are also other factors to consider when choosing the right size for you, which includes;

  • Cost of the bonsai tree
  • Your experience
  • Your intended location (indoor or outdoor)

Cost of the Bonsai Tree

Chumono and Katade size bonsai trees are more affordable than their imperial counterparts, however, many other factors contribute to the price of the tree. These include;

  • Tools
  • Age of the tree
  • Work required

Tools – Bonsai trees come with a variety of tools that are required for proper care. Pruners, wire cutters, and root shears are among the most common.

Age of the Tree – A newly-planted tree will be much cheaper than an older one.

Work Required – The more work that is required to maintain the bonsai, the higher its price.

Your Experience

Bonsai trees can be more expensive than you think. Expensive bonsais usually require less work to maintain, however, it takes time and effort to learn how to properly care for them. This means that beginners should start with smaller bonsai sizes such as chumono or katade.

Your experience with bonsai trees will improve with time, so you can upgrade to larger sizes when it feels right.

Your Intended Location

Bonsai trees can be kept both indoors and outdoors, but the climate will have a major impact on the tree’s size. If you live in a warm climate, an outdoor bonsai tree will grow much larger than one that is kept indoors. Conversely, an indoor tree will not grow as large if it’s kept outdoors, so these trees are best for beginners.

Now that you’ve decided on the right size for your bonsai tree, it’s time to get started!

How Big Do Bonsai Trees Grow? | Helpful Tips & Insight

Tips for Growing Your Bonsai Tree

Maybe you moved to a new home and your bonsai was left behind. Or maybe you inherited a lovely little plant that’s not a bonsai but would be if only it were shaped into that style. You can work wonders with nursery stock or “material,” as the pros call their saplings and cuttings, using what you’ve learned from this article and with a little experience.

How to Get Start Started

Start by looking at the trunk of your plant, which is also called a “canoe.” It should be straight and not curved or bent. If it’s curved, that curve must become part of your design. If it’s crooked, decide whether that’s something you can live with or not.

Now, look at the branches. They should be coming out of the trunk at different angles and in different places. If they’re all sticking out in the same spot, your tree will need some pruning. You may have to cut off some branches entirely and shorten others so they grow in the right direction.

How to Shape Your Bonsai Tree

You may need to use wire if your trunk is too long to bend in the required direction. Don’t be afraid of it; it won’t hurt your tree at all. You can also prune away branches that are growing the wrong way or cut them back, which means make them shorter.

When you’re done, your tree should look like a miniature version of the style you were aiming for. Keep in mind that it will take many years for it to grow into that shape, so be patient!

Now that you know how to get started, put your skills to the test and create a beautiful bonsai tree!

How to Water Your Bonsai Tree

Bonsai trees need to be watered regularly, but you don’t want to overwater them. The best way to tell if your tree needs water is to check the soil. If it’s dry, then it needs watering; if it’s wet, then it doesn’t. You can tell by feeling the soil; if it’s dry, then go ahead and water your tree.

Don’t over-water the soil, though. You don’t want it to be too wet or too dry; keep it in a happy medium. The best way to do this is to water until the soil is just moist, not soggy. Make sure to use lukewarm water when you water your bonsai tree!

Feeding Your Bonsai Tree

Your bonsai tree needs to eat, too. You can use specially formulated plant food or you can make your fertilizer with fish emulsion and kelp extract. This organic mixture will feed your bonsai until it’s ready to be repotted; only then should you switch to a special bonsai fertilizer.

Make sure to feed your tree once a month during the growing season, which is April through September. You can stop feeding it during the winter months, but don’t forget to start again in the spring!

Repotting Your Bonsai Tree

Your bonsai tree will eventually outgrow its pot. When this happens, you’ll need to repot it into a larger container. You can do this by using a pot that’s two sizes bigger than the current pot; for example, if your tree is in a 3″ pot, use a 5″ pot.

Make sure the soil in the new pot is damp before you remove your tree from its old home. If the soil is dry, then it needs to be watered before you repot your bonsai.

Make sure not to tip the roots up as you remove them from the pot, as this can damage them and make it harder for your plant to re-establish itself in a new container. Gently loosen the soil around the roots and then place the tree in the new pot. Fill in around the roots with fresh soil and water well.

Pruning Your Bonsai Tree

One of the most common mistakes with bonsai trees is over-pruning. If you’re not careful, you can end up killing your tree by cutting off too much! You should only prune when necessary and only then if your tree needs it.

If a branch is growing toward the sun, for example, cut it back so it’s growing in the opposite direction. You can also prune away branches that are growing the wrong way or cut them back, which means making them shorter.

When you’re done, your tree should look like a miniature version of the style you were aiming for. Keep in mind that it will take many years for it to grow into that shape, so be patient!

Now that you know how to take care of your bonsai tree, put your skills to the test and give it a makeover!

How Big Do Bonsai Trees Grow? | Helpful Tips & Insight


Bonsai trees are a beautiful addition to any home, and with the right size you choose and the right care, they can last you a lifetime!