When you become interested in bonsai, choosing the first type of tree that you will train into bonsai will certainly be confusing. But be patient and try to see in the future, is the tree suitable for the temperature and climatic conditions where you live? If they match, that’s okay and you can choose from them. However, if the tree you want doesn’t match the temperature and climatic conditions in your area, don’t choose.
Very popular bonsai specimens are long-lived tree species such as the Pine, Juniper, and Banyan. However, that does not mean that ordinary trees cannot be bonsai. There are tens or even hundreds of tree specimens suitable for bonsai and you can get them from nurseries in your area of residence.
We have recorded more than 120 types of trees that are suitable for bonsai, complete with pictures, you can see them in this article.
A small number of specimens that are very suitable for beginners in learning to plant and care for trees to make bonsai are listed below.
Paperflower (Bougainvillea) is a recommended bonsai specimen when you first start planting trees for bonsai. The main reason why this tree species is recommended is that it is easy to care for and tolerant of drought. You can also easily buy in nurseries in the area where you live.
This paperflower has its uniqueness, the hotter the air temperature and the drier the soil, the more flowers it will produce.
I have personally tried to make bonsai with Paperflower, and the result is that within half a year I can have a beautiful home bonsai. For more details about the process, you can read the article entitled “Make a Beautiful Bonsai in 6 Months!“
Azalea (Rhododendron sp.) are the most widely grown ornamental trees and living hedges in most of the world. This tree has hundreds of types with various colors and interesting flower shapes.
You can also start making your first bonsai from an Azalea tree. Not without reason, besides being easy to care for, you can also find lots of information about how to care for Azalea on the internet.
It’s just that, the disadvantage of this tree is because Azaleas only flower in season (May-June), in contrast to the Paperflower which always flowers in any season as long as it gets enough sun and dry soil.
Banyan or Fig (Ficus sp.) Is the name of a genus of plants that has more than 800 species recorded. Some of them are already popular as indoor ornamental plants such as Fiddle-leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) and Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica). However, there are many more species of Ficus that are specially treated for bonsai, including Chinese Banyan (Ficus microcarpa), Red-leafed Fig (Ficus ingens), Long-leafed Fig (Ficus binnendijkii), Goolar Fig (Ficus racemosa), and many others from cultivar Ficus microcarpa.
Banyan is highly recommended for beginners who want to learn to make bonsai. This tree is very tolerant of a variety of temperatures and soil types, they also have relatively fast growth. So, you will see the tree growing every week.
But keep in mind, not all Ficus species are tolerant of low light. Especially for the types that are recommended for bonsai as mentioned above, they usually need full sun and enough water to grow healthily.
Mulberry (Morus sp.) has three main species named according to fruit colors as White Mulberry (Morus alba), Red Mulberry (Morus rubra), and Black Mulberry (Morus nigra), with more than 200 cultivars having been identified in taxonomy. The mulberry tree itself produces edible fruit and the tree is very easy to propagate.
In tropical Southeast Asia, the mulberry tree grows on dry, bare land, and the tree is often grown as a hedge tree.
Mulberry can also be said to be a suitable tree for learning to make bonsai, in addition to the many species of this tree in the wild, it also produces fruit in a fairly short time.
Cherry Tree (Prunus sp.) is the name of a genus of trees that includes plums, cherries, peaches, apricot, and almonds. There are about 400 species scattered in temperate regions around the world. Many species of this genus Prunus are cultivated for fruit harvesting and as ornamental trees.
Japanese Cherry (Prunus serrulata), Peach (Prunus persica), and Apricot (Prunus mume) are three popular tree species from the genus Prunus that people often talk about. Most tree species from the genus Prunus also not only produce fruits but bloom beautiful and dense flowers in the spring which makes it one of the ornamental trees that must be collected.
If you are interested in making both flowering and fruiting bonsai, the Prunus species is a great choice. They can be easily propagated, and although this tree requires moderate temperatures, maintenance is very simple. You can easily find information on pest management and tree care to fruit from the internet or a dedicated Prunus agricultural group on Facebook.
FYI: Each Prunus species has its characteristics, you need to make sure your area matches which species. Make sure you know the average daytime temperature and climate in which you live before choosing to buy and plant them.