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How Long Does Bonsai Take to Grow?

Bonsai trees can be extremely slow-growing, and it often takes between ten and fifteen years to get a mature, well-grown tree. 

Certain trees may even take as long as 30 years to grow to maturity. 

However, some species grow much faster than others.

Many things affect the growth rate of a bonsai tree, including the species, container, lighting, and soil conditions. 

So, if you want your bonsai to grow quickly, you need to meet all its requirements and optimize its environment as much as possible.

What Affects a Bonsai Tree’s Growth?

A bonsai tree will always grow slowly because of the restrictions on its roots, but the conditions you raise it in will make a big difference.

The light levels and amount of nutrients in the soil are often the most critical factors in how quickly a bonsai can grow.

A tree needs reasonable amounts of bright sunlight, either direct or indirect, to produce chlorophyll and convert the light into energy that it can use for new growth.

Trees also need essential macro and micronutrients from the soil, as these help them produce new twigs, branches, and leaves.

Without these, the tree will struggle to grow because it will be malnourished and have little energy. 

So, you need to make sure your bonsai always has enough food and sunlight.

Other factors will also affect how quickly the tree can grow, including how regularly you water it, how suitable the temperature is, and whether it has enough humidity (although not all bonsai trees will like humidity).

Thus, when you get a bonsai tree, spend some time researching that specific species and the conditions it likes, so your tree can grow to its full potential

What Slows Bonsai Tree Growth?

A bonsai tree will not grow fast if the conditions are unsuitable. 

So, if your tree isn’t getting enough light, water, or nutrients, its growth will slow down.

Being kept in an unsuitable container may also slow the tree down. 

Overall, you need your pot to restrict the tree’s roots if you are going to keep it as a bonsai, but you don’t want them so constricted that the tree cannot grow. 

Therefore, think carefully about the kind of container you’ll use for your bonsai when you plant it.

Additionally, pests and diseases will slow your tree’s growth and prevent it from quickly growing new branches.

Pests will drain the bonsai tree’s resources and stress it out, which can often cause it to stop growing.

Diseases, on the other hand, can also cause a cessation of growth because they warp the foliage and kill the plant’s tissues.

Root rot will have a significant impact, too, since it will prevent your tree from accessing water and nutrients effectively.

Furthermore, root rot will put your plant’s survival under threat. 

But even if you deal with root rot quickly, it will often take a few months for a plant to recover, meaning your bonsai will need to put energy into regrowing its roots rather than enlarging its branches.

All of these factors can make your bonsai tree grow more slowly and prevent it from reaching maturity until it is many years old.

Can You Make a Bonsai Tree Grow Faster?

The best way to make a bonsai tree grow faster is to meet its growth conditions the best you can.

So, if your bonsai has enough light, nutrients, and water, and you keep it at a good temperature, it is much more likely to grow fast because it will have everything it needs. 

Plus, maintaining the correct conditions will also keep your plant happy and free from stress.

Therefore, tending to your bonsai tree every day gives it a good chance of growing fast.

Thus, dedicate time to checking your tree’s leaves for pests and diseases, and make sure you have fertilized it and given it plenty of water.

You should also be prompt about pruning growth you don’t want before your plant commits time and energy to that growth.

For example, if a branch starts to sprout from a part of the tree you don’t want to branch, cut it off before it has become large.

Doing so will reduce stress and minimize the wasted energy the plant has put into that growth, so it can instead focus those resources on overall development.

The other technique to get a large bonsai quickly involves choosing one of the quick-growing species.

What species you choose makes a massive difference, as a fast-growing tree will naturally gain size and height far more swiftly than one of the slow-growers, even in optimum conditions.

Which Bonsai Trees Grow Quickly?

One of the fastest-growing bonsai trees is the weeping willow. 

However, weeping willows aren’t the easiest bonsai to look after, and if you want them to stay healthy, you will need to provide an ideal environment.

Additionally, willows are rapid growers and should soon shoot up, but they don’t live as long as some other bonsai trees and turn brittle as they age.

Red maple bonsai trees are also quick-growing and can produce impressive displays of color.

In the wild, these trees often reach over 100 ft, so they need to be able to grow quickly to achieve this feat.

Alternatively, you can choose a redwood bonsai, a Leyland cypress, or a quaking aspen bonsai.

These trees all grow fast and can reach their full size in just a few years, provided you give them the optimum conditions and plenty of care.

Be aware, however, that the fast-growing bonsai trees often do not live as long as the slow growers.


A bonsai tree is usually quite slow to grow because its conditions are restricted, and it has limited access to nutrients and resources. 

Yet, if you want your bonsai to grow quickly, you will need to do everything you can to optimize its environment. 

You should also choose a tree capable of fast growth if you want speedy results.

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