In this blog article we take a brief look at the most popular species of indoor and outdoor bonsai tree. We include some of the special tree meanings and symbolisms in our descriptions. For hundreds of years and throughout different cultures bonsai trees have held unique symbolism and significance.

Indoor Bonsai Species

Chinese Elm Bonsai Species (Ulmus parviflolia)

The Chinese Elm makes a truly beautiful bonsai. The leaves are small, bright to deep green and are slightly serrated. The tree has excellent twig structure and has great character throughout, making it the perfect representation of a woodland tree. In our opinion the Chinese Elm is the most perfectly proportioned, easy to care for and adaptable tree and makes a superb bonsai. Furthermore, The Chinese Elm bonsai is our best-selling indoor tree. It has the most superb natural twiggy structure with excellent miniature proportions.

Additionally, it responds extremely well to pruning, thus creating dense foliage pads. This bonsai species represents inner strength, wisdom, intuition & love. It’s a beautiful and easy-to-care-for bonsai plant, perfect for beginners or as a starter bonsai. A highly recommended evergreen bonsai tree which can be grown outside if protected from extreme weather. If grown outdoors may become deciduous or semi-evergreen. A must for anyone. Here are our top selling Chinese Elm bonsai trees.

View our best selling Chinese Elm Bonsai

Serissa Bonsai (Serissa foetida)

The Serissa has small elongated leaves which are smooth around the edges. The Serissa is commonly known as ‘the tree of a thousand stars’ or Snow Rose bonsai. It symbolises Well Being, Good Luck, and Hope. With dainty white or pink star-like flowers and textured creamy bark, it’s a highly regarded indoor bonsai species. The proportions are exceptional with small leaves. The creamy textured bark gives the bonsai tree a mature, naturally aged appearance which is beautiful and inspiring. Prefers a warm location and for the soil to be maintained on the drier side.Please protect from frost.

View our best selling Serissa Bonsai

Fig or Ficus Bonsai Species (Ficus retusa)

The Ficus bonsai or Banyan Bonsai signifies good health both spiritual and physical. It has dark green glossy leaves and can tolerate lower light levels, making it a fantastic indoor bonsai. The Ficus displays wonderful silvery striations across the bark. One of the most simple varieties of bonsai to grow. Additionally, it displays small fruits as it is a member of the fig family of trees. It buds back very quickly after pruning and has an immense amount of unique character in the truck and aerial root system. A very powerful bonsai, fun and easy to care for. It is also less susceptible to pest attack. Protect from cold (min 10oC).

View our best selling Ficus bonsai

Fukien Tea Bonsai Species (Carmona microphylla)

The Carmona Bonsai, also known as the Fukien Tea Bonsai, symbolises courage, heart, love & devotion. It’s a simple and elegant indoor bonsai with pretty white flowers and shiny green foliage. The well-proportioned leaves grow in neat clusters, creating a highly visible branch structure. It is a relatively slow growing species, renowned for its ease of care. Perhaps one of the more artistic species. A minimal maintenance species of indoor bonsai which prefers a warm environment away from cold draughts.

View our best selling Carmona bonsai
Carmona bonsai species

Myrtle | Rose Apple Bonsai (Syzygium buxifolium)

The Syzygium Bonsai, often called the Rose Apple Bonsai or Myrtle Bonsai, has beautiful semi-double cream flowers and cherry-like fruits. It’s an easy-care bonsai with wonderful attributes, symbolising love, good fortune, long life, and joyful living. This bonsai has such wonderful attributes and a sensational structure. Ideal for beginners as it is particularly easy to grow and is not fussy about positioning.

View our best selling Syzygium bonsai

Chinese Sweet Plum | Bird Plum (Sageretia theezans)

The Sageretia Bonsai, or Chinese Sweet Plum, symbolises protection, creativity, new life, and warm wishes. It’s a pretty indoor bonsai with red toned flaky bark & rusty red foliage turning glossy green. Tiny white flowers give rise to tiny purple plum-shaped fruits. It’s an elegant species of indoor tree which is fairly hardy and provides a beautiful canopy of evergreen well proportioned leaves.

View our best selling Sageretia bonsai

Aromatic Pepper Tree (Zanthoxylum Bonsai)

The Pepper Tree Bonsai symbolises purification, healing, and protection, making it a perfect Get Well Soon gift. With its sweet zesty fragrance, bright green glossy leaves, and lush aromatic foliage, it’s a vibrant and easy-to-care-for bonsai. The leaves are really very dainty and the new foliage is an almost iridescent lime colour. Really quite wonderful and ideal for those seeking a variety which is a little different.

View our best selling Zanthoxylum bonsai

Money Tree Bonsai (Jade or Portulacaria)

The Jade tree bonsai symbolises Good Luck and Prosperity. Also known as the Money Tree Bonsai, it requires minimal watering and is incredibly easy to care for. Its well-proportioned, naturally small leaves and compact habit make it perfect for beginners.

View our best selling Money Tree Bonsai

Chinese Blush Tree | Fringe Flower (Loropetalum Chinensis Rubrum)

The Loropetalum bonsai has amazing purple leaves and vibrant pink spidery flowers. It’s definitely the most eye-catching and colourful indoor bonsai.
Additionally, the Blush Tree is a highly adaptable bonsai. It can thrive both indoors and outdoors, but it’s important to shield it from harsh frosts. We adore its incredible colours. In spring and autumn, the leaves boast a beautiful purple hue, which transitions to a deep green in mid-summer. The bonsai’s flowers are truly remarkable—vibrant hot pink with long, slender petals. In many ways, it’s a striking and captivating bonsai. This tree is a member of the witch hazel family and symbolises strength, light, hope, cleansing, and inspiration.

View our best selling Loropetalum bonsai

Outdoor Hardy Bonsai Species – Evergreens & Deciduous Bonsai Species

Cherry Blossom Bonsai Species (Prunus)

Cherry Blossom bonsai trees boast sensational white/pale-pink/hot pink blossoms, making them a visual delight. The meaning and symbolism behind these bonsai trees are profound, representing fragility, the beauty of life, good fortune, and future happiness.
The Flowering Cherry Blossom Bonsai tree (Prunus Incisa Kojo-no-mai) is the most popular real bonsai for sale in the UK. This deciduous bonsai type is exceptionally beautiful and highly regarded in Japan for its ornamental qualities. Renowned for its pale pink/white flowers that bloom from crimson buds before leaves emerge from the zigzag branches in spring, these bonsai trees also showcase striking orange, red, and gold autumnal foliage colors. The rich hues of the autumnal cherry fruits add another wonderful dimension to this species.

Cherry blossom bonsai species  - An all time favourite

English Oak (Quercus robur)

Although I love all trees, the English Oak holds a special place in my heart. It was a natural progression for me to specialise in them. Our English Oak bonsai are fantastic representations of these majestic native trees. They form powerful trunks and main branches and make incredible bonsai. On most of our oak bonsai the leaf size is down to about 5cm (2″) and on some of the older ones they are about 2.5cm (1″) They are easy to care for and extremely hardy. A must for all tree and bonsai lovers. Prune to shape. The oak stands as a symbol of power, strength, ancient wisdom, and survival. It holds a significant place as the national tree for many nations, including England. Beyond representing qualities associated with power and durability, the oak tree is believed to bring good luck, fertility, potency, and contribute to healing and health.

Japanese maple bonsai species

Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)

A bonsai classic. Fantastic spring and autumn foliage, displaying reds, yellows, oranges and greens throughout the growing season. They require a sheltered position in the garden protected from strong winds. When pruning please allow 1-2cm for die back and do not use wire to style your maple as the bark is very delicate and scars easily. A truly beautiful bonsai. The Bonsai Japanese Maple Tree carries profound symbolism, embodying qualities such as grace, peace, serenity, strength, endurance, honor, and love.

English Maple / Field Maple (Acer campestre)

Lovely shaped foliage with a beautiful autumn colour. English maples represent the hardiest of the maple family, being native to Europe. They have wonderful shape and form and are easy to care for. When pruning please allow 1-2cm for die back. A lovely outdoor bonsai.

Japanese Red Maple (Acer palmatum Deshojo)

Truly beautiful and vibrant spring and autumn colour. With bright red foliage throughout the spring, changing to pink/greens during the summer months. A classic Japanese bonsai with great character. Requires a sheltered position, protected from strong winds to prevent leaf scorch. When pruning please allow 1-2cm for die back and do not use wire to style your maple as the bark is very delicate and scars easily. A bonsai classic. The Bonsai Japanese Maple Tree holds deep meaning and symbolism. It represents grace, peace, serenity, strength, endurance, honour, and love.

Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora)

Probably the most popular bonsai in Japan. A beautiful evergreen bonsai which needs to be kept fairly dry. Fully hardy outdoor bonsai which will tolerate a sunny position. Forms fantastic trunk and branches, very slow growing with amazing character. Can be styled using both pruning and wiring techniques. Fantastic bonsai. The pine bonsai tree is revered as a symbol of positive qualities and longevity. Beyond that, it holds significance as a representation of rebirth, renewal, and the promise of a bright and hopeful future.

Silver Birch bonsai species - ideal Silver wedding Anniversary gift idea!

Silver Birch (Betula pendula)

Extremely hardy native bonsai with simply fabulous silvery bark. It takes several years before the trunk turns silver/white with black horizontal striations. The edges of the leaves are slightly serrated and the foliage turns a lovely yellow colour in the autumn. Please do not over look the silver birch as a bonsai, its beautiful bark and delicate branches make a fabulous addition to any bonsai collection. Please ensure that any major pruning is undertaken during the summer months to prevent die back. The Silver Birch Bonsai Plant holds rich symbolism and meaning. In Celtic and Northern European cultures, it represents purity and is associated with renewal, purification, and protection.

The tree’s sensational white bark, shedding to reveal fresh layers beneath, symbolizes the release of old burdens and the embrace of new beginnings. Regarded as a bridge between worlds, connecting the earthly and spiritual realms, the Silver Birch is linked to fertility in Norse mythology, its branches used in rituals celebrating new life. With delicate leaves and a fluttering appearance, this elegant tree signifies grace and artistry in nature. Today, known as the Graceful Lady of the Woods, it symbolises “a fresh start,” new beginnings, making new choices, purification, and the promise of new life and love.

I believe that a Silver Birch bonsai makes the perfect Silver Wedding Anniversary Gift – Something unique, sustainable, beautiful and a gift which keeps on growing!

Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis)

A bonsai favourite. This wonderful evergreen bonsai has it all – naturally small foliage, incredible character throughout the trunk and branches, it’s evergreen and has beautiful flaky bark. The juvenile foliage of the juniper is spiky but as it matures soft ‘pads’ of foliage are formed. The juniper responds very well to training by pruning and wiring. Please be careful to check the wire weekly to prevent scaring. Junipers will tolerate a very sunny position and like to be kept on the dry side, in a free draining soil. Very hardy. The Chinese Juniper Bonsai carries symbolism associated with strength, wisdom, and beauty. Notably, the strength of the juniper tree is exemplified by its resilience, thriving in challenging climates and rocky terrains.

Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)

The Common ash, is as the name suggests, very common in the English countryside. It is not, however, common in the bonsai world. The ash makes a powerful, yet graceful bonsai; it grows fairly fast and can be pruned hard. It is a hardy tree and easy to care for.

Larch (Larix)

Larch trees make beautiful bonsai. During winter the branches are bare revealing intricate branch and twig structures. When spring comes, small bright green needle shaped leaves appear around the buds, giving the appearance of small green flowers. After watering little globules of water are trapped in the centre of the leaves, which sparkle in the sunlight. The foliage darkens during summer and in autumn turns bright gold. The bark also has great character. The Larch is easy to shape using pruning and wiring techniques. Larches stand as elegant trees throughout the seasons, and their symbolism extends to maternal love. They are often associated with this sentiment as they frequently provide shelter to squirrels and birds.

Larch lair bonsai tree species

Hawthorn (Crataegus)

In the wild the hawthorn is a survivor, it clings to life in the remotest areas where no other trees dare to grow. In winter it reveals large thorns which make for delicate pruning! It has lush green foliage with deeply divided lobes in summer. Mature bonsai will have beautiful blossom followed by red berries. This is a no fuss tree which makes an extremely hardy outdoor bonsai. Easy to care for.

Azalea (Rhododendron species)

Azaleas are often grown for there amazing flowers, but with the right training azaleas can make beautiful miniature trees. The roots and start of the trunk are often naturally good. The bark is smooth and beige. During spring the bright green leaves are over shadowed by a truly magical display of flowers. Azaleas respond well to pruning, so shape is easily maintained. Keep well watered during flowering, just damp at other times. Hardy outdoor tree.

Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum Katsura)

Striking orange foliage during the spring and autumn with beautiful leaf proportion making this a beautiful bonsai. Lovely bark. Also requires a sheltered position and protection from strong winds. When pruning please allow 1-2cm for die back and do not use wire to style your maple as the bark is very delicate and scars easily.

Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

Beautiful flowering and fruit bearing bonsai with small, glossy, narrow leaves. The flowers are small and trumpet shaped and are bright orange in colour. The fruits are thick skinned and full of seeds. Pomegranates are frost tolerant but do benefit from some protection, although heat is not necessary. The bark of the pomegranate is a fantastic feature. It has depth and character. Unlimited potential as a bonsai, I believe we will enjoy the pomegranate’s new fame in the future.

Beech (Fagus sylvatica)

The beech has beautiful waxy veined leaves displaying fabulous spring and autumn colour. In the spring the leaves appear to have an artificial lime green iridescence and during autumn the leaves turn yellow at first, then orange and brown. To me the beech signifies the changing British seasons. The bark of the beech is smooth and grey and the leaves are often retained well into the winter, finally released as the new buds swell in the spring. Shape by pruning. Very hardy.

Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)

Displays bright green pointed leaves and smooth silver-grey bark. Often confused with the beech tree the hornbeam makes a lovely native bonsai. The Hornbeam responds well to pruning and buds back very easily. Trunk and branches start to show great character from an early age. A hardy bonsai and very easy to grow.

Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa)

With lovely long slender leaves with saw like edges the sweet chestnut makes a powerful and yet graceful bonsai. The trunk thickens nicely as do the main branches and roots. The canopy is free and open which allows for space around the trunk. Very hardy and easy to care for.

Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

The horse chestnut displays spectacular flowers and spiky fruits containing shiny conkers on mature trees. The large hand-like leaves reduce gradually over time forming a well proportioned bonsai. The horse chestnut is not one of the easiest trees to train as it is difficult to maintain proportion. But with the right pruning it can make a handsome bonsai. Very hardy.

Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris)

Native to the Mediterranean areas the Turkey oak makes a handsome bonsai with dark green, fury leaves with deep cut lobes. The turkey oak can be very late to lose its foliage in the autumn and often retains some foliage during mild winters. It is an easy tree to care for and should be shaped by pruning. The trunk thickens nicely and the bark is dark grey giving the bonsai a silhouette look.

White Willow (Salix alba)

The white willow is a shapely tree, with a stout trunk and small silvery leaves and slender twigs with grey/white buds. White willows are native to Britain and flourish in damp soils. Easy to care for. Hardy.

Trident Maple (Acer buergerianum)

Highly under-rated bonsai. The autumn foliage can be fantastic, incorporating wonderful shades of orange/yellow and russet tones. Less susceptible to leaf scorch than other Japanese maples. Great character throughout with beautiful lightly grained bark. When pruning please allow 1-2cm for die back and do not use wire to style your maple as the bark is very delicate and scars easily. Trident maples are easy to care for and grow fairly fast. Hardy.

Hibiscus / Rosemallow

Renowned for their beautiful showy purple flowers. Hibiscus makes an interesting bonsai with lush bright green foliage. They make a lovely flowering outdoor bonsai and enjoy a sheltered position. Unusual in the bonsai world.