How Long Does It Take for A Bonsai Tree to Fully Grow?

A Bonsai tree takes about 10 to 15 years to grow if they are a fast-growing tree. For the slow-growing trees, they take about 20 to 30 years to develop.

Bonsai trees grow at a slow pace, although they are all different. You may be curious regarding how long it takes for the tree to grow completely to its’ full height and circumference. You will know if growing Bonsai is for you when you know more.

You may have many questions about how long it takes to grow a Bonsai tree. You are encouraged to read the information below. Many interesting facts will help you decide if Bonsai is for you.

How Long Will it Take for Certain Trees to Grow

bonsai tree

The slow growers are ideal for beginners because they are low maintenance for quite some time. Ultimately, whether the tree grows fast or slow is dependent on the grower.  Fast growers take 10-15 years, and slow growers take 20-30 years.

Some of the fastest-growing Bonsai trees include: 

  • Chinese junipers
  • Japanese black pine
  • boxwood shrubs
  • jade plants
  • snowdrop trees
  • maple trees 

Here are more fast growing bonsai trees.

Some of the slowest growing Bonsai trees include:

  • Kingsville Bonsai tree
  • Chinese Elm 

You must maintain adequate growing conditions for the Bonsai to reach full form and take shape. The tree will grow faster during early spring through late summer.

During the trees’ fourth year, you can begin shaping your tree by wrapping the branches with wire. The wire will hold the branch in place and guide the growth in the direction you choose. 

How Quickly Can a Bonsai Grow from A Seed?

How Quickly can a Bonsai Grow from a Seed

When you grow your Bonsai from seeds, you will be present for the birth of the Bonsai and the cultivation of seed to tree. You can collect the seeds yourself from already grown plants. 

In the first four years, the tree grows from a seedling to a tree about six to eight inches tall, and you get to train it the way you want. 

When you grow from seeds, you can start to shape and prune early in the tree’s life. This process involves patience since it takes longer to grow when you choose this path.

You will have to wait for the first four years before you can begin to shape or style your tree. If you purchase a planted tree from a dealer, the first four years have already passed.  

The roots of the Bonsai do not grow more than 25 centimeters in length. Regarding their size, they can grow to about one meter in height.  These are the measurements at the full maturity of the Bonsai. At this time, your tree should be 15 to 30 years old, depending on the growth rate.

Take These Steps to Help Your Bonsai Grow Faster

Steps to Help Your Bonsai Grow Faster

Bonsais grown so slow that you’re probably wondering if you can accelerate the process. Although you can’t change the growth rate significantly, there are techniques you can use to grow a healthy, fast-growing Bonsai. 

How and When to Water Your Bonsai

Water is an important factor in the growth of your tree. Some require scheduled watering. See chart below:

Name of TreeWater Amount Per DayTimes for Watering
Ficus2 x per dayEarly A.M. and Late P.M.
Hawaiian Umbrella2 x per dayEarly A.M. and Late P.M.
Jade  (succulent)Every few daysEarly
Sweet Plum (sun-loving)2 – 3 x per dayEarly A.M. Noon, Late P.M.

Water your plant in the early morning before the sun is high and use room temperature water. It is important to soak the root and allow it to drain. Always check the soil to see if wet or dry to the touch.

Proper Drainage for Your Tree will Encourage Growth

Proper drainage is also crucial to keep the Bonsai healthy. Without suitable drainage, your tree’s growth will stop, and the tree could die.  You need to choose the right kind of soil. If you want to mix your soil, you will need to use a combination of: 

  • regular potting soil 
  • peat moss
  • pine bark
  • sand
  • perlite

This soil mixture will leave gaps for the water to make its’ way through to the roots and provide good drainage.

Nourishment for Your Tree Will Help Your Bonsai Grow Faster

Nutrients are also a big part of Bonsai tree growth. The Bonsai does not have access to the nutrition it needs to grow. You must bring nourishment to the tree. Fertilizer is the best way to help the tree grow quickly. The fertilizer assists in the growth of the Bonsai and should contain: 

  • nitrogen
  • phosphorus
  • potassium

Nitrogen increases above-ground growth, phosphorus encourages healthy root growth, and potassium improves the health of the whole plant.

The Proper Pot is Necessary for Plant Growth

Your Bonsai needs a proper pot. When potting the Bonsai, a clay pot is ideal. When you place your tree in the pot, you should add some dry soil to cover the roots. A layer of moss can act like the glue holding it together. 

You can also install small mesh screens over the pot’s drainage holes. This screen prevents the soil from eroding and falling through the bottom.  This screen allows water drainage so the roots do not rot.

Bonsai trees need to be re-potted every two or three years. In the case of the Bonsai, if it is pot bound, the growth can slow down and add years to its growth cycle. After re-potting, the tree needs about three weeks to rest in a shaded area.

When you re-pot your Bonsai, always use a larger pot; this will speed up the growth by giving the plant more room to extend its roots and gather nutrients.

Sun, Nutrients, and Stable Environment Will Encourage Growth

sunlight shining on bonsai tree

The Bonsai plant should also be rotated a quarter of a turn each day to expose the tree to balanced sunlight. When given about 4 hours of sun daily, the tree will grow faster.  It would be best if you also have a thick trunk to support the tree.

The roots from the trunk pull nutrients and water from the soil. The tree should always be protected from extreme temperatures, insects, and disease so that it can flourish and grow to be magnificent. 

Pruning is Important for the Growth of Your Tree

Regular pruning fosters the growth of the tree. Pruning means removing undesirable branches and cutting back twigs. The tree needs time to recover when you prune. Routine pruning will help your tree grow, flourish, and look beautiful. 

There are two types of pruning, including maintenance pruning and structural pruning. Maintenance pruning maintains the small tree size and promotes growth, while structural pruning is shaping the tree to your liking.  

Wiring the Tree Means Training and Slow Growth

Wiring trains branches to grow a certain way. This practice also slows the growth of the tree.  Anodized aluminum wire is the beginner’s best tool for wiring. Wiring helps you to have more control over the branches of the tree. You also choose which branches you want to train to go in specific directions. 

When you wire the branches, they stay in place for 1 to 4 months. During that time, the tree does not grow quickly; it is being trained to stay in position. Once the wire is carefully removed, the tree will begin to grow again in the oriented position.


It takes many years for a Bonsai to progress from seedling to a full-grown tree. The future of your tree depends on you following the simple steps outlined above. Successfully growing your Bonsai to maturity will provide you with a sense of accomplishment. 

roses vs tulips

Roses vs Tulips

There are many positives and negatives to having both roses and tulips. They both make lovely cut flowers. However, the type of care that they need is a bit different….

What Temperature Can Tulips Survive

What Temperature Can Tulips Survive?

Generally speaking, tulips should tolerate up to 28 degrees. Ideally, tulips should be kept below 54 degrees for the best growth. Avoid planting tulips above 28 degrees because that could damage them severely.

Can Tulips Survive Snow

Can Tulips Survive Snow?

Yes, Tulips can Survive snow without a problem. Although, heavy snowfall could get too heavy on the tulips, which could crush them. However, generally speaking, snow shouldn’t be a problem for tulips.

Can You Plant Store-Bought Tulips

Can You Plant Store-Bought Tulips?

Yes, you can plant store-bought tulips but it shouldn’t be done outdoors. Make sure to plant store-bought tulips indoors for the best growth and flowering. They will not grow well if planted outdoors because tulips are not cold-hardy plants.