A bonsai tree, on average, would be matured in 10-15 years, however, it majorly depends on the species of the plant and the way it is nurtured. Moreover, the average life of bonsai is about 100 years and the oldest in the world is like a thousand years old.
How Long Does It Take To Grow A Bonsai Tree From Seed?
A bonsai tree will take around 10-15 years to be a mature tree from seed. Stages of growth for bonsai are like five-year plans. Slow-growing bonsai’s initial life stages are of 5-5 years whereas fast-growing bonsai’s life stages are of 3-3 years. Let us see more such stages of a bonsai tree and how it should be treated.
1. Planting Stage
The planting stage is when you sow a seed of bonsai in a pot or a container. The overall planting stage for fast-growing trees is 1 to 3 years when the sown seed is kept in direct sunlight and the soil with enough moisture.
When you see some positive growth of roots, you can put it in shade and sunlight as per the duration of the direct sunlight available. Keep your growing bonsai tree in a safe place, out of reach of infants and pets at your place. Secondly, You don’t need to worry about pruning at this stage.
2. Styling Stage
This is the stage when you decide how your bonsai should look. and treated accordingly. At the styling stage (usually 5-10 years), you can do repotting, pruning, and defoliation of the tree.
Working on the shape, size, and thickness of the trunk and training the branches to look a certain way are things you can do in the styling years of your bonsai. The best time to work on your plant is from early spring to summer is the best time to nurture the physique of your bonsai.
3. Pruning And Growth Stage
Placing a bonsai into the ground would still be an act of hurting. In the pruning and growth stage, repotting is necessary for a pot with more numbers of drainage holes sufficiently large for the size of your plant. During this age of 10-15 years, bonsai needs maximum water and nutrients.
Supplying essentials is crucial at this stage and needs to be taken care of. Focus more on root structure and the health of roots while repotting and make sure they are not dark black and are fungus free.
4. Aftercare Stage
Now that your tree has reached the maturity stage, you are allowed to not worry much about the plant and just take care as a regular tree.
From now onwards, plants need to be watered regularly, trimming, repotting, and changing soils to benefit the plant for highly rich nutrients regularly. Keep monitoring the color and size of stems, branches, and leaves.
Also, Read How Often To Water A Bonsai Tree?
Growing Conditions That Affect Bonsai Tree Growth
It is of course that any plant or tree needs water, soil, and sunlight for its growth. For a bonsai tree, the requirements are the same. Adding two factors that affect the growth of bonsai and answers your question How long does a bonsai tree take to grow?
1. Sunlight: Bonsai plants do need direct sunlight for the first couple of years and should be placed accordingly. Sunlight contains particles in the form of heat that are responsible for the growth of bonsai.
2. Water: Just like sunlight, water is the most important factor responsible for the growth of your bonsai. The bonsai tree needs a continuous supply of water and should not be stagnant in its roots. So regular watering is an essential thing to give your bonsai good health.
3. Soil: Soil is again the main factor that makes your bonsai grow healthy in the initial years and for the matter, for its entire life. Soil is the biggest source of nutrients for all plants and the bonsai tree. Highly organic soil is the most preferred one for bonsai.
4. Plant Disease: It is clear that bonsai needs optimum attention at an early stage and Disease is one of the factors in the early stage of its life that can affect its growth. Keep monitoring the plants and if fungus and insects are observed, getting rid of them at the earliest is necessary. Also, dying leaves is a sign of bonsai disease.
5. Being in the right environment: As you might be aware that bonsai loves humidity and grows the most. So for the good growth of bonsai, being in the right environment is also necessary.
Which Species Of Bonsai Grow The Fastest?
Talking about species, the fastest growing bonsai tree species, Chinese elm, would mature in around 10 years, and slow growing bonsai species, jade would take around 10 years for the same. Lets us know about each species in detail
1. Ficus Religiosa: Ficus Religiosa is one of the fastest growing bonsai at a regular pace throughout the lifespan and is why it is best for beginners. Also maintaining is quite easy comparatively.
2. Japanese Maple: Among all maples, the Japanese maple attracts more because of its beautiful leaves. Japanese maples are sensitive to direct sunlight and freezing temperatures.
3. Japanese Black Pine: This species of bonsai can grow to 5 feet at the age of 10 years as it is an averagely growing bonsai species. Trimming of needles and candles regularly in springs can give this tree the best life and looks.
4. Japanese white pine: This species of pine bonsai is a stimulus to sunlight and can grow above any plant or tree to get maximum sunlight.
5. Jade: Also known as dwarf bonsai, jade is among the slowest growing bonsai and takes around 15 years to mature. The average growth of bonsai is around an inch a year.
Find Out More How Long Does A Bonsai Tree Live?
Quick Tips For Growing Your Bonsai Faster
Growing bonsai is all about nurturing it the right way and keeping track of it regularly. So let us know some quick tips to grow them faster and with love:
- Look for a younger plant: Instead of starting a tree from scratch or seeds, try to start with a sapling with healthier leaves and stem growth. Starting from seed takes 3-5 to grow an inch of a bonsai plant, whereas, in this period, a sapling would be halfway to its maturity age.
- Select a fast-growing species: Not all bonsai species grow at the same rate and slow-growing bonsai-like jade takes an average of 5 extra years to reach maturity compared to the fast-growing species. So prefer Fast Growing species like the Chinese elm
- Keep the roots thin and thick trunk: The growth of upper bonsai and roots of bonsai are almost the same. So regularly changing the soil in around 2-3 years makes it better as far as the health of roots is concerned and also the soil nutrients. Above the thick trunk is responsible to transfer all nutrients etc to leaves and branches so focus on thickening the trunk.
- Provide nutrients and monitor health: The growth of bonsai is majorly through water, nutrients, and sunlight. Nutrients are managed through the soil so keep changing the soil at the time of repotting and monitoring the health through the growth of stems and branches and the color of leaves.
- Enlarge the pot or container: With the growth of the plant, bonsai needs larger space for its growing roots, and hence the plant should be shifted to a larger container from time to time.
How Long Do Bonsai Trees Live?
The life of different bonsai species is different. Let us see in a tabular form the classification of each bonsai species.
|Classification||Size (in inches)||Average Time to Mature (in Years)||Category|
|Chiu or Chumono||16-36||12-15||Medium|
|Dai or Orono||30-48||15-20||Large|
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How fast do bonsai trees grow?
The growth of the bonsai tree is a matter of time, species, and nurturing. A bonsai tree takes 10-15 years to be said to be a mature, mature tree.
2. How long does it take to grow a mini bonsai tree?
Mini or dwarf bonsai are also commonly known as Jade bonsai trees. The Jade bonsai tree is a slow-growing tree and it takes around 15 years for a jade bonsai to mature.
3. How long does it take for a bonsai tree to grow an inch?
The average time period for a tiny bonsai tree, of size 1-3 inches takes 3-5 years. 1-3 inches are around 3-8 cm and are said to be tiny and are classified as keshitsubo.
4. Is growing a bonsai tree hard?
Growing a bonsai tree ain’t hard at all as far as you have patience. Growing bonsai is said to be a hobby for people. And For tree lovers, bonsai is a part of the family as they are an inch small to a couple of meters tall in height and are easy to maintain. Taking care of watering, stem and leaves are all that matters.
5. Do Bonsai Trees Grow as Fast as Normal Trees?
No, the Bonsai tree needs quite a time to grow. They grow nearly at a similar pace to humans as far as maturity is concerned but in dimension, a matured bonsai plant can grow 3 feet (equivalent to 36 inches).
Get More Knowledge What Type Of Soil Should I Use For My Bonsai Tree?