How long do bonsai trees live? Bonsai Tree Lifespan

Are you planning to bonsai tree cultivation? Growing bonsai trees is a very peaceful form of hobby. It’s gratifying to see your determination and care growing into the form of a tree. And they enhance the aesthetic beauty of your house at the same time.

Now, the question many people have is, “How long do bonsai trees live?”. The reason is pretty apparent many people wouldn’t want to spend their time growing a tree to see it die days later. So, let’s find out the answer to that question below.

Please stick with me till the end as I go a bit deep into the lifetime of a bonsai tree.

How long do bonsai trees live

How long can bonsai trees live?

Well, any tree can be a bonsai tree, and it can live as long as a regular-sized tree would live. So, there is no pinpoint number on how long a bonsai tree can live. Some trees can die within months of growing them, and some can even live up to 1000 years.

There are a lot of popular trees that have been alive for hundreds and thousands of years. In some cases, bonsai trees can live even longer than a normal regular-sized tree would live in the wild. What’s the reason for that? Well, there are a lot of factors behind the lifespan of a bonsai tree.

Now, the question is, how do you tell apart which one will live longer? It’s very simple. You go through some underlying factors of a bonsai tree’s lifespan and make the right choices. If you make the right choices and do the right things, you may end up with a tree that will at least live longer than you would be alive to see it.

What determines the lifespan of a bonsai tree?

This is the essential part of knowing about bonsai trees and their lifespans. Several things have an impact on the lifespan of a bonsai tree. Some of them are external, and some of them are just an integral part of the trees. Let’s go through these factors quickly to see how they impact the life of a bonsai tree.

Species of the tree

This is an integral part of a tree that determines its lifespan. When you choose a suitable species, you end up with a tree that can live long. I will go through the different long-living species in a bit.

To give you some reference, there is a famous bonsai tree, a Ficus bonsai, and it’s known to have lived for more than 1000 years. So, in short, the Ficus species is renowned for a longer lifespan amongst other types of bonsai trees.

Environment and condition 

Whether it’s regular trees or bonsai trees environment can impact their growth and lifespan. With the perfect conditions, a bonsai tree can easily live for a long time. The thing about bonsai trees is that you can create the ideal environment for your tree without depending on nature.

This is where your work begins in extending the lifespan and growth of your tree. Depending on the species, you will need to create the conditions that support and enhance the growth of your tree.

Unlike regular trees, you can’t just hope nature to do the work for you with bonsai trees. This is why it’s highly rewarding to see a bonsai tree grow because you have to work hard for it to grow properly.

Proper care 

Taking proper care of your bonsai tree is a highly impactful factor in increasing the lifespan. You have to constantly water them, prune them, repot and go through pest maintenance. Doing all these things promptly and correctly procedure can increase the lifespan of a bonsai tree by a lot.

Like I said earlier, bonsai trees can live longer than regular trees. This is what makes the difference. Regular trees in the wild don’t get the kind of care a bonsai tree gets. As a result, bonsai trees can live much longer than normal trees out in the wild.

Little luck 

Yes, you heard me right. Luck is also a factor in the increased lifespan of a bonsai tree. How is that? Many bonsai trees can accidentally catch some disease, and the last destination to that is the death of the tree. Sometimes there is nothing you can do about it.

And that’s where luck comes in. You can hope that you are lucky enough to have a tree that won’t get any fatal disease. However, some diseases can be caused by a lack of care. As I stated, earlier proper care is a crucial factor in increasing the lifespan of any bonsai tree. So, you can’t overlook that at all.

This is how you can end up with a tree that will live for a long time in the coming. First, you choose a species that is known to live long. Then you create the perfect conditions for it to grow and live according to your capabilities. Then, you go through proper care for the tree. And if you are lucky, you will surely end up with a tree that may live even after your departure.  

Which bonsai species live the longest?

Now, among the above factors, the most difficult one is choosing a suitable species. If you do not know bonsai tree species, then getting the right one can be pretty daunting. That’s why I am going to help you out with some familiar and popular choices. These are known to live for a long time in general-


oldest bonsai tree

As I referenced earlier, a Ficus is the oldest bonsai tree to be alive. This is just proof that with proper care and conditions, even you can grow a Ficus to be living for 1000 years. Even though the number isn’t fixed to this tree, you still get the idea of the possibility with this species.


Pine is another bonsai species that has a name for itself when it comes to a longer lifespan. There is a popular Japanese white pine that has been known to have lived for more than 400 years. Aside from the longevity, this tree looks extremely beautiful as a bonsai because of its fulfilling appearance.


This is another excellent appealing bonsai tree that can live for a long time. One instance of this species lived for more than 200 years in a single pot. However, if you are not ready to work on your tree and take care of it as life, then cypress isn’t the tree for you. These trees require a lot of care and effort to live for a long time.

Well, aside from these, you can also find others like, Azalea, Maple, Cherry, Juniper, etc., that have a long lifespan. But none of it truly matters unless you take good care of them. It’s the essential part of growing bonsai trees that can live for a long time.

Can you extend the lifespan of a bonsai tree?

Yes, you can. All you do is take the right care of the tree, and you can easily extend its lifespan. Regardless of the species or any other factors, with proper care, you will impact the lifespan of any bonsai tree. The real question here is, how do you do that?

There are several things you have to keep up with in taking care of a bonsai tree. The first thing is knowing the tree. What do I mean by that? Knowing the tree simply means you have to learn the perfect conditions and environment for your tree.

Some trees live better outdoors, and some grow better indoors. You must know which one you have and act accordingly. Next up is watering the bonsai tree in the right way. You always have to make sure that the moisture content of the bonsai soil is maintained correctly. You may need to water your trees even more in the summer due to excessive heat and dryness.

Another care measure is potting. This is important in growing your bonsai tree. You have to get the proper fertilizer for your tree and create the perfect soil mix. Or you can go for a potting mix to make sure your tree is growing properly.

Lastly, pruning is an integral part of extending the bonsai tree lifespan. Appropriately pruning your bonsai tree keeps it healthy, which then adds up to the longevity of your tree. With proper pruning, you can see the response from your tree in its growth and appearance.

Doing all these things perfectly will lead you towards a more extended living bonsai tree. You never know. You may end up with one that lives for 100 years.


All in all, how long do bonsai trees live will come down to the person who is growing them. If they do an excellent job of maintaining the proper condition and take good care of it, a regular bonsai can easily live for 100 years. And with the correct species, the number can go much higher than that. So, the gist is taking excellent care of a bonsai makes it live way longer than it can live.

Related Post:

Leave a Comment