How Long Does It Take To Grow A Bonsai Tree?

Did you know that growing bonsai could give you the patience you need? Growing a bonsai tree, it’s a lifestyle, a choice you make and plan to undertake for the long run.

bonsai in an earthen pot, in front of a dark background

The question ‘’how long does it take to grow a bonsai tree?’’ is tricky to answer. Whenever you start asking nature questions, you often get ‘’well, it depends’’, as an answer.

In this article, we’ll look at what you can expect when growing your first bonsai tree. From how long it will take to grow from seed to caring for a pre-loved bonsai, here’s everything you need to know about how long will it take to grow a bonsai tree!

Growing a Bonsai tree

You have two choices when it comes to growing your bonsai tree. You can grow a bonsai from seed, or you can purchase a pre-grown and loved bonsai tree.

Growing a bonsai tree from seed

Are you ready to start experimenting by growing a bonsai tree? If so, growing them from seeds could be your best bet.

You will, however, have to wait between three to 10 years before you could finally say ‘’this is my bonsai tree’’.

Growing a bonsai plant from seed is arduous, it could keep you awake at night, and often you’ll wonder why you have chosen this route. It will be a one-sided relationship at first, where you will only get so much in return on a yearly basis.

In fact, during the first three to five years, you can expect to be an active observer of your plant.

Growing a pre-owned bonsai tree

Perhaps someone in your family no longer wants their bonsai tree, and now you have inherited one? Great news! If you are a complete gardener amateur, chances are you will find this is a more suitable option for you.

Alternatively, purchasing a pre-grown tree is another valid choice you can make. This option will be your golden ticket, especially if you want to dive right into the fun part of taking care of your tree.

You are not cheating by purchasing a pre-bonsai tree. On the contrary, you are being smart about it because this way you’ll get to understand and know how to care for a bonsai tree properly.

It’s all about the bonsai journey, not the bonsai destination.

Bonsai tree in a blue pot, tied to give it a shape

How Can I Make My Bonsai Grow Faster?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to make your bonsai grow faster because your tree is a living being; therefore, it will choose what’s best for itself.

You can, however, provide the most optimal conditions for it to develop strong, healthy, and as fast as possible without interfering in its development.

Remember that bonsai trees require you to become a gardener, researcher, observant, and experimenter.

Once you get your hands dirty with your first bonsai tree, you could soon realize the powerful energies these plants emanate.

Do the following things, and your bonsai tree could grow more each year:

Choose the right bonsai tree species

Choosing the faster-growing bonsai species to kickstart your bonsai journey could be your best bet.

Focus on Japanese white pine, Aspen, Ficus, Chinese Junipers, or even Maple bonsai trees.

These bonsai tree species are known for having a more accelerated growth rate than other types.

Focus on your climate

Another great tip is if you are purchasing a bonsai tree, make sure to ask your local nursery what is the best bonsai tree to grow in your particular area.

Knowing what your bonsai tree requires in your specific climate conditions could make all the difference in terms of time and growth. In fact, the tree will already be adapted to the climate where you live.

Think about the water needs

Always keep an eye on the soil. Don’t let it dry out completely and don’t let it waterlog for a long time either. Find the right balance between these two!

Consider the soil preferences

One thing is to be a gardener, and another completely different thing is to be a bonsai gardener. Bonsai trees are known for having specific demands that other plants do not have.

From growing in a compacted ecosystem to only growing a couple of inches, if that, yearly, you really must focus on your tree’s requirements. For instance, you should purchase the best specialty bonsai soil you can find.

You must focus on your tree’s roots; so, supporting the roots with good quality soil filled with nutrients is something you should aim for.

Learn about pruning techniques

bonsai being pruned by hand with scissors

A bonsai plant needs a good trim every now and then in order to photosynthesize light correctly. Photosynthesis will, in turn, help your bonsai tree grow faster.

You should always prune the sticks that are at the top, which tend to be the smaller ones. After all, bonsais are small trees.

Your aim is to keep all its energy at the core of the trunk in order to produce a stronger root system.

Repot the bonsai when necessary

Sometimes bonsai trees’ roots grow, and it could cause your tree to suffer from root-bound, especially when they don’t have enough room to keep growing. You can alleviate this symptom by repotting your bonsai every two to three years.

Alternatively, you could offer a root trimming hut so the bonsai tree can focus on storing its energy on the core of the trunk.

Fertilize your bonsai

Fertilizing your tree is always an excellent first step when it comes to helping it grow faster. You can do so regularly; this way, you’ll be aiding the trunk to grow faster and healthier.

Final Note

As slow growers, bonsais take time to grow, but once they do, they can live up to a hundred years or even more. It is a long time, thus, understandably, the tree will determine how many inches it’ll grow a year.

It would be best if you suit yourself up with patience and trust the process you are in. It’s time to visualize yourself seeing your bonsai tree grow and allow this feeling of gratification to invade your body.

Albeit, it won’t be instant gratification, because a bonsai tree will take a long time to grow, commitment, and patience.

But when you start seeing your bonsai grow, you will undoubtedly feel like a proud bonsai parent!

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