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Are Bonsai Trees Hard to Take Care Of?

Bonsai trees are gorgeous trees, and we all know that anything beautiful usually isn’t easy to create and maintain. 

Bonsai trees can be quite challenging to look after because they need a very balanced level of water, nutrients, pruning, and light to thrive. 

You will often need to tend to your bonsai tree every day. 

However, the amount of care your bonsai needs depends on the size and species of the tree and the type of container you have.

In this article, we’ll discuss why bonsai trees are hard to care for and which bonsais are easiest to tend. 

Why Is it Hard to Care for a Bonsai?

When caring for bonsai trees, the main challenge is ensuring you can give them the correct balance of everything they need. 

And finding the right balance can prove quite tricky. 

For example, bonsai trees will generally dry out pretty quickly if you leave them for more than a day or two without water, especially if you keep them in a tiny pot.

You will even need to water some bonsais more than once per day if you keep them in really small containers. 

Bonsai trees in larger pots, on the other hand, may last slightly better without water, but they will still need regular attention to keep them at the proper moisture level. 

So, you’ll have to be aware of the amount of water your bonsai species needs while also factoring in things like pot size and shape. 

Similarly, it can be challenging to keep enough nutrients available to the tree.

Since you only should add fertilizer occasionally, correctly balancing the nutrients that your plant receives can prove difficult, especially with a small container.

And if you don’t feed the plant enough, it will struggle to grow. 

However, if you feed it too much, its roots will burn. 

Therefore, you will need to balance how frequently you fertilize it with great care.

Furthermore, you will need to prune your bonsai.

Now, with some species, pruning is not too hard. 

But, you may find that pruning certain bonsais is quite tricky. 

You need to know which branches to trim and which to leave and how the particular variety you are dealing with handles cutting.

So, considering all these factors, you’ll need to think about how much time you can commit to the plant before you try to grow one.

Because if you can’t give a bonsai the proper care, it will quickly die. 

Are Any Bonsai Trees Easy to Maintain?

Some bonsai trees are easier to care for than others.

The ficus bonsai, in particular, is not that hard to grow and maintain.

For one, ficus trees are resilient and will tolerate under-watering far better than most trees. 

Thus, they are preferable if you need a more hands-off bonsai tree.

They do still need care, though, but if you forget them for a day or two, they will not immediately dry out and die.

They are also easy to prune even if you are not an expert.

Ficuses will back-bud very readily, so you don’t need to spend long periods choosing what to cut back and where.

Furthermore, you can grow ficuses indoors, meaning they are less vulnerable to pests and diseases, and you can put them somewhere convenient.

Other easy bonsai trees include the Chinese elm and jade bonsai trees.

The Chinese elm does need regular watering, but it generally has a good shape naturally.

Therefore, Chinese elms will need less pruning work, so you can focus on developing the leaves and branches.

Meanwhile, the jade bonsai is succulent, so it is much more tolerant of droughts, and it is easy to get to back-bud.

Also, you can train jade bonsais with wire.

However, they do need to be a little dry to wire them, so be careful when handling these trees.

Other reasonably easy options include bonsai trees like holly, boxwood, and olive.

These trees are easy enough to train and will cope with being under-watered.

Any of these trees should be reasonably easy for a beginner to handle.

So, remember that if you aren’t sure whether you can keep up with the maintenance a bonsai needs, you can always choose one of these easier plants.


A bonsai tree can be hard to take care of, and even if you choose one of the more straightforward varieties, you will need to water it and prune it regularly to keep it healthy. 

Yet, bonsai trees bring a lot of pleasure to the people who own them. 

And once you have mastered their care, they are usually easy to look after.

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