15 Smallest Bonsai Trees You Can Grow Indoors and Outdoors

15 Beautiful and Smallest Bonsai Trees You Can Grow Indoors and Outdoors

You must already be familiar with what bonsai trees are. You would have seen some miniature plants that look like a synecdoche of a real tree. These trees are too small, but they have real roots, natural branches, whole fruits, and authentic life.

The highly praised art of Bonsai is 1000 years old. Remember seeing those tiny mangoes for a bonsai mango tree? Yes, you pictured it right! The smallest bonsai trees are the most popular.

You can grow the smallest bonsai trees in your backyard or garden space you have.

But if your purpose of choosing Bonsai is to save space, you can even grow these smallest bonsai trees right in your home. With careful pruning, cutting, and regular shaping, you can grow them anywhere you want them to be. That is the specialty of these smallest bonsai trees.

Different Smallest Bonsai Trees

It is merely a misconception that it is hard to grow bonsai trees with careful observation and following a specific pattern. The first thing that these smallest bonsai trees need is control.

You must know how to control the growth to keep them short, that is, the desired size. You must prune and prune till you achieve! Now, let us look at a few different types of smallest bonsai trees there are.

1. Firethorn Bonsai

Firethorn Bonsai

Firethorn or ‘Pyracantha’ bonsai trees are famous for their aesthetically pleasing look. They have beautiful blooms in the spring, and they also produce berries. Pyracantha gets the name ‘Firethorn’ from its thorns. It would be best if you were careful about these thorns, or you might harm yourself. All these smallest bonsai tree needs are some wiring while it is still tender.

2. Twin trunks!

Twin trunks

This gardener planned a Scots Pine tree into the smallest bonsai tree to have two trunks. Now with two trunks, it looks more visually pleasing than usual. You can only do these kinds of experiments using rigorous methods of controlling this pine tree’s rapid growth.

It must grow entirely in a cabinet that does not allow the tree to grow more than the cabinet allows.

3. Chinese Elms

Chinese Elms

Chinese elm bonsai tree is quite popular throughout the world. Mostly, the people who choose Chinese Elms are beginners.

It is famous for being the first bonsai tree of interested people. Beginners can get a gap of breath because these Chinese elms can survive over or under-watering. If you prevent the tree from freezing or overcooling, you can grow it out as a bonsai tree.

4. Deshojo Bonsai

Deshojo Bonsai

Japanese is not only famous for cherry blossoms but also beautiful maple trees. What if you can make a bonsai of these Japanese maple trees? Yes, you can! And that is what exactly Deshojo is; it is the Japanese maple tree 

This smallest bonsai tree is strictly for outdoors. Because maple trees need a lot of natural atmospheres to breathe, it is the best choice if you are looking for something visually pleasing.

5. Hornbeam Bonsai

Hornbeam Bonsai

If we are talking about Japan, we also need to talk about this Korean beautiful bonsai tree. Hornbeams are native Korean hardwood trees. This plant/tree is adaptive and can live both inside and outside the house. 

Your garden and your balcony are its favorite spot. But if you plan to keep it indoors, you need to make sure that the plant does not freeze.

6. Buttonwood Bonsai

Buttonwood Bonsai

Buttonwood Bonsai is a unique bonsai tree that is only meant for its cults. Regardless of the negative opinion that people share about Buttonwood, it is unattractive and bizarre. Many people find it artistic, and its odd look created a cult of its own. Many people who are not into bonsai trees also buy or make Buttonwood Bonsai for its artistic appeal.

7. Shimpaku Bonsai

Shimpaku Bonsai

Shimpaku or Juniper Bonsai is famous for its bushy and pleasing look. Because of its hardwood, it is easy and possible to sculpt something with Shimpaku bonsai. These smallest bonsai trees are grown outdoors in Japan.

And again, you should make sure that you do not freeze the plant. It must be grown outdoors, but you should also do that according to your geographical weather conditions.

8. Wisteria Bonsai

Wisteria Bonsai

You can find Wisteria trees in China and Japanese as they are native there. You can prune them and make them into fine bonsai trees. It is blue and purple mixed leaves give artistic pleasure. Both artists and bonsai loving people hail this Wisteria bonsai. 

Growing it is not very hard, and it is easy to control this smallest bonsai tree’s growth. Even though Chinese Wisteria is famous for pruning into Bonsai, Japanese Wisteria is equally used for pruning.

9. Fuchsia Bonsai

Fuchsia Bonsai

Fuchsia Bonsai is not usually a variety of Bonsai. But gardeners who love the smallest bonsai trees say that they can wire the Fuchsia and prune it into Bonsai. And it needs a lot of wiring to control the growth and density of this tree.

The beauty of this bonsai tree is that even though you control its leaf density, its flowers grow in regular size. This tree’s beauty is that the tree and leaves look miniature, but the flowers bloom in regular size.

10. Japanese White Pine Bonsai

Japanese White Pine Bonsai

As we have seen earlier, Japanese pine trees can be grown indoors using wiring and controlling the tree’s growth, making it a bonsai tree. You can also grow white pine trees like Bonsai. It is like the other pine varieties.

Hence, the way of pruning and controlling is identical to the method of pruning other pine trees. Japanese pine trees are usually grown for more than 100 years. Imagine having a 100-year-old bonsai tree.

11. Twisted Pomegranate Bonsai

Twisted Pomegranate Bonsai

Did you know that Pomegranate trees, if pruned as Bonsai, would make an artistic piece of art? Well, even if you did not, you know now. Pomegranate trees have a natural twist in their barks. You do not even need wiring to make them twisty.

All you need to do is prune regularly to control its density. The twist occurs naturally, and we all know that natural things are more beautiful than something forceful. Adding this natural twisted pomegranate bonsai tree to your indoors or outdoors adds aesthetics to your house.

12. Flowering Pear

Flowering Pear

Flowering Pear Bonsai trees are native to central European countries. Europe is famous for its beautiful fruit trees and fruit gardens. Pears are widespread across Europe, and imagine having a little pear as big as a cherry!

Flowering Pear tree can be pruned as a Bonsai, and it is fun to look at those pears bloom. But it is not an easy task to control the growth of these trees. If you are a beginner, then this is not for you. You need to have experience in handling the density of bonsai trees.

13. Rocky Mountain Juniper

Rocky Mountain Juniper

As the name suggests, these Junipers grow in the Rocky Mountains and are wild. Many experts claim that wild trees make beautiful bonsais. These wild Junipers, when pruned, make artistic Bonsai trees.

They will make sure that you do not turn your eyes away from these masterpieces. It feels as if some sculptors have sculpted statues on the hardwood. They are alive and visually pleasing in a way that you crave to look at it.

14. Black Pine Bonsai

Black Pine Bonsai

As we have already understood, we can make any Japanese pine tree into fine Bonsai trees. But unlike other pine trees, black pine trees have a specialty. If you prune them and maintain them like saplings, they look like a snowflake on a toothpick.

These smallest bonsai trees, when exposed outdoors, catch the morning dew, and it is pleasing to look at them. It feels different from other pine tree bonsai.

15. Daisy Bonsai

Daisy Bonsai

Chrysanthemums are one of the most popular flowers. They are famous for their look, color, and unforgettable fragrance. If you could prune them into Bonsai, imagine the little tree blooming out beautiful daisies.

The usage of white daisy bonsai trees is widespread throughout the world. While the flowers bloom in regular size, you can control the trunk’s density. Experts claim that the daisies bloom even in spring.

16. Sakura


Have you heard about the Sakura? Cherry blossoms are one of the prides of Japan. There is no Japanese piece of art without referring to Sakura (Cherry Blossoms). They are pink so beautiful that many people visit Japan to spend a beautiful vacation having Sushi under these Sakura trees.

It is not easy, but it is possible to have a Bonsai version of these Sakura trees. Any list of beautiful and smallest bonsai trees should end with stating the best one among all. And that would be Sakura!

Asher Pollan
Asher Pollan, with a Master’s in Botany from the University of Chicago, has been a plant enthusiast and educator for 16 years at a university. He joined our editorial team as a freelancer, sharing his knowledge of plant physiology, indoor gardening, and botanical science. His background includes roles in public gardens, as a horticultural therapist, and researcher, and taught the skills of everyday gardening to people in weekend workshops. He enjoys botanical illustration and participates in plant conservation initiatives.

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