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How Long Can Bonsai Trees Live?

Different bonsai trees have different life spans. Generally, a bonsai tree will live for as long as its parent tree lives. However, there are different factors that will also affect the lifespan of these trees. These factors include the following:

Growing conditions



Climatic conditions

The plant species

Tree care administered


Moisture retention

It is said that if a tree lives for one hundred years in nature, then the bonsai of this tree might also make it to a hundred years. However, since the tree is being grown in a pot, it might not necessarily live so long.

How Long Does an Outdoor Bonsai Tree Live?

Bonsai trees’ wild relatives are left alone in forests. However, bonsai trees themselves need care so that they can survive. Outdoor bonsai trees are no different. The greatest factor to determine the longevity of an outdoor bonsai tree is the primary care you provide. If you nurture it poorly, the tree will wither and die quite soon. Even if it lives, it will be a weak tree that’s unable to withstand climatic pressures.

However, contrary to what many believe, the small stature of these bonsai trees does not necessarily mean that it will have a shorter lifespan than its parent tree.

The oldest known outdoor bonsai tree is the Old Juniper Bonsai tree that is found in Mansei-en in Japan. Shockingly, the tree was tested and proven to have lived for more than one thousand years. The tree was collected in a wild area of Japan. Since it is in training, it is still considered a rough material. You can find it in the Mansei-en Bonsai Nursery of the Kato Family, Omiya.

How Long Does an Indoor Bonsai Tree Live?

Just like that of their outdoor counterparts, the longevity of indoor bonsai trees depends on the care they receive. For indoor bonsai, position really matters. For an indoor tree to lead a healthy life, it needs to be in a place where it receives adequate light for its growth. With proper care, the tree can live for even more than five hundred years.

The oldest known indoor bonsai tree is the Shunka-en, by Kunio Kobayashi. This is a stunning bonsai tree that is displayed at Shunka-en. It has been proven that the tree is more than eight hundred years old.

How Do You Ensure That Your Bonsai Lives for a Long Time?

Just as we had seen earlier, the longevity of any bonsai tree depends on its environment as well as the care that it receives. Environment is a key factor that determines the lifespan and health of your tree. Different bonsai trees thrive in different environmental conditions. For example, outdoor bonsai trees require a cold season. They are likely to die if they are kept indoors. On the other hand, indoor bonsai trees require room temperature to thrive. However, they can be kept outside in milder months.

Watering is another important consideration, just as it is for any other plant. Water your tree regularly and monitor the moisture closely to ensure that the plant is neither over- nor under-watered.

Other practices that will see your plant bloom and live for a long time include the following:

Applying fertilizer for proper growth

Proper trimming to maintain stature and keep it healthy

Getting the ideal soil mixes to grow it in

Checking for pests regularly, and eliminating them if they appear

Bonsai trees are beautiful trees. With proper care and optimal environmental conditions, the tree will lead a long and healthy life.

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