lifespan of a bonsai tree

How long do bonsai trees live (in-depth guide)

Have you ever wondered what is the lifespan of a bonsai tree? Since loads of bonsai lovers curious to know about this, I decided to write an awesome article just for you!

What is the lifespan of a bonsai tree? Usually, Bonsai trees have the lifespan of parent trees. Many trees can live over 100 years while some other special species live thousands of years. There isn’t any correlation between their size and the lifespan of bonsai trees. It mainly depends on caring.

In order to keep your bonsai tree for long years, you need to follow some expert tips and tricks of caring.

How long can your bonsai tree live? 

Literally, bonsai trees can live as their parent trees, but the lifespan depends on the way you treat the plant. So now you might think “how should I take care of this plant ?”.

It depends on many facts. We have to go through one by one.

  • The life expectancy of natural tree. ( mother tree )
  • The habitat you are giving to the plant.
  • The way you treat the plant.

The life expectancy of a natural tree. ( mother tree )

How long your bonsai tree lives depends on the life expectancy of the natural tree. But there are two sides to it.

Part of those who have bonsai trees is looking for the life expectancy of their trees. And Others are looking for trees that can live long, before making their bonsai tree.

You have to pick a tree that has a long life expectancy, it is the first thing you have to do if you are starting a bonsai to pass through the generations.

But when you choose the tree you have to consider what habitat is required by the tree to grow. 

Today we can see bonsai trees that are still alive for more than five hundred years. One main thing that affects the long life is caring.

When we grow a bonsai tree near our habitat is fully different from the tree’s own habitat. Normal trees have the ability to deal with all the climatic conditions on their own.

But a tree out of its own habitat can’t do that. Because the habitat now plant in, is not its habitat.

Also, some bonsai plants live longer than their parent plants under good care. Totally you can handle the lifespan of your bonsai tree.

Anyone can’t tell how long a bonsai tree lives by sight.but you can decide how long your plant should live.

Longevity depends on habitat, the way you treat it, how you prune it, and nutritions that plant has. Literally how a bonsai plant is small does not mean that it has a short lifespan.

The habitat you are giving to the plant.

Giving the optimum habitat to the tree is the most crucial role when growing a bonsai tree.

The habitat and conditions depend on the variety of tree you have. Also depending on the tree variety you have to grow your bonsai outdoors or indoors. 

Outdoor species must be kept outdoors and indoor species must be kept indoors. Outdoor species want a cold season for their dormant period and dormant period is very significant to the proper growth of bonsai trees.

If it isn’t able to get these periods of time, the bonsai tree will not be able to enjoy its lifespan.

Indoor bonsai trees also have a long lifespan under good caring. These species didn’t want to be kept outdoors in winter.

You have to provide a constant temperature to these bonsai trees to maintain its healthiness. Indoor bonsai trees must be kept under 40-60 degrees celsius in the cold season. 


If you want a healthy bonsai tree with a long lifespan you have to do something. Study about the plant’s native habitat and decide how you can provide it to your plant. How long your bonsai tree lives depends on it. 

Understand what is the type of your plant and what is the near climatic zone of your bonsai plant, 

  • Tropical climate
  • Temperate climate
  • Polar climate

Many bonsai trees are situated in tropical and temperate climates. Then if you have a tropical climatic plant,

most of them didn’t have a dormant season. And most temperate climate plants have a dormant season. According to that arrange the habitat for your bonsai plant. 

  • You can plant outdoor bonsai trees in a large pot and bring it indoors and outdoors in the proper seasons.
  • You can use greenhouses for the plants if you are in a cold climatic country. Also, you can place the plant near your stove to give proper temperature, but be very careful. If you are able to give the proper habitat to your bonsai tree, your bonsai tree can enjoy a long lifespan. 

The way you treat the plant.| a better way to increase the lifespan of a bonsai tree

As god decides your lifespan, you also can decide the lifespan of your bonsai tree. It depends on how you treat the plant. Giving a suitable habitat is only one fact to the long life of bonsai trees. 


When we make a miniature tree we have to prune the branches and leaves. Also, we have to prune the root system of the bonsai tree.

When we do these things we have to be very careful, because the plant in its natural habitat did not face this pruning, so it has a long lifespan.

Then if we want a long life to our bonsai tree, always be gentle with your tree.

Also trimming branches and leaving that feeling with diseases can increase your bonsai trees lifespan. So also look after the plant. But when you trim the plant use a wax suitable for the cut branches.

Watering and fertilizing

Water is the beginning and the end of life. Therefore, water is the most significant thing when growing bonsai. You have to manage the watering, the soil moisture should not be overwatered or underwatered.

You have to increase the moisture of soil during the summer season and you have to decrease watering in the winter seasons.

To manage the soil moisture properly. If you do, your plant has a long lifespan. Also, the natural trees in its own habitat have good fertilized soil and a wide root system to absorb nutrition.

So it can live for a long time. But when we grow a bonsai tree, we have to provide fertilizers constantly. 

Please be very careful with the drainage system of your bonsai tree pots, if you’re growing them in pots.

Usually, bonsai trees live over 100 years.

As we know, a bonsai tree is a small structure of a big tree in its own habitat. People make miniature structures of big trees, beside them by giving the required conditions to the plant. 

Among all these people including you, have a common problem “ what is the lifespan of my bonsai tree? Or how long do bonsai trees live?.

On the one hand, your problem is fair. Because bonsai tree gardeners change the habitat of bonsai trees, just like you.

Normally bonsai trees have their mother trees’ life expectancy. There are many trees that can live more than hundreds of years and also some trees can live more than 1000 years.

If you protect your bonsai tree and treat it well, your bonsai tree also can live for a long time period. When you start a bonsai tree to pass through the generations, try these bonsai tree types.

  • Azalea
  • Cypress
  • Fig
  • Kendar
  • Ficus
  • Pomegranate

These trees are ideal for long lifespan bonsai trees.

The lifespan of normal trees and bonsai trees.

First of all, you must know that every tree can live a long time or they have a long lifespan. There are several trees that can’t live a long period of time,

But many trees can live. When we make bonsai trees, we have to pick trees that have a long lifespan, because the Beauty, value, attractiveness, all add up to this tree when the tree grows older. 

As I said earlier, the lifespan of a tree did not depend on the size of the bonsai tree. All bonsai trees have their parent tree’s lifetime.

As an example, a ficus tree can live more than 300 years, if they are not harmed. So if you pick a ficus tree to make a bonsai tree, your bonsai tree can also live for 200 or more years, if your generations treat it perfectly. Always keep in mind a long life bonsai tree always wants good caring.

Ficus is not the only tree that has a long lifespan. There are many other trees. But now I’m not going to discuss all those.

Here we have to Justify that bonsai trees can live as normal trees. because the problem that most people felt is that. 

Really bonsai trees can live as long as their parent trees live. Sometimes it differs from the conditions you give to the plant and how you take care of it.

If you treat it well, the plant will live for a long time and if you’re not the plant will die in a month or so. 

Oldest bonsai trees that have long lifespans.

There are many oldest bonsai trees and the oldest one is older than 1000 years

Bonsai typeAgeCountry situated
Chabo-hiba cypresses                     160+ years old         USA
Yamaki pine      392     years oldWashington, USA
Sandai shogun no Matsu    500     years oldTokyo japan
Red pine         600      years oldAtami japan
Bonsai Trees at Shunkaen Nursery  800      years old   Tokyo japan
Juniper tree           1000    years old  Omiya japan
Ficus bonsai                1000+  years old    Parabiago Italy 

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