How Much Is a Bonsai Tree? Buying Guide and Tips

Bonsai is a name of passion, emotion, and love. It provides an aesthetic view that can refresh you every day. So, everyone has a dream of having Bonsai. But creating a new Bonsai is not an easy job. So, people ask, how much is a bonsai tree? Or how much does a Bonsai cost? If they find it within budget, who wants to go through a time-consuming and complex task.

On average, a bonsai costs nearly $10 to $100. The more artistic shape and older Bonsai tend to be a bit expensive. The rare species of the most expensive Bonsai can cost more than 1.3 million dollars.

Basically, we find this price compared to Bonsai beauty and the hard effort behind growing the plant. So the average cost of a bonsai tree is really reasonable. But, the actual price depends on Bonsai’s age, plant type, and shape. So, there is no fixed answer for the Bonsai tree cost. 

This article will break down the Bonsai tree prices that are important to make your purchase worthy.  Look at a few examples of Bonsai pricing to understand why the cost varies and how to choose the best budget Bonsai.

How Much Is a Bonsai Tree

What Is Bonsai?

Basically, Bonsai is a popular Japanese trick that gives a plant an aesthetic outlook with a particular form. The art form is derived through cutting, pruning, and wiring. You force the natural form to redirect it according to your wish to make a Bonsai. Besides, bonsai is a way to confine a tree’s height into a particular length to give it a cute, and tiny landscaping view.

There are lots of techniques to make Bonsai.  You can choose different types of species to make a Bonsai or buy it from the market. The most used species for Bonsai are Chinese juniper, Japanese apricot, Satsuki azalea, and many more. 

The price of Bonsai plants vastly depends on their size, species, and many more. Moreover, it is time-consuming, challenging, and risky to convert a tree into Bonsai. That is why people prefer to buy ready Bonsai instead of making bonsai.

Why The Bonsai Price Is Not fixed?

Why a Bonsai tree cost is mostly dynamic; it is a common inquiry for a newbie Bonsai lover. Yes, you can indeed buy a young Bonsai even at only 10 dollars. But at the same time, some aesthetics and 100+ years of bonsai costs millions of dollars.

Here, there are lots of factors that impact on Bonsai tree price. You should consider some factors to get an idea about Bonsai plant cost. Such as

  • Plant species

If you buy a common species for Bonsai, it will cost $10-$100, but you should pay a handsome amount for uncommon species of Bonsai. For example, the shunka-en species is the rarest type of Bonsai tree. It is an 800+ years older tree and the most expensive bonsai tree in the market. The rare species for Bonsai can cost $122,000- $750000+. 

  • Age

Age is another key factor in setting Bonsai tree prices. Well, the price increases for rare species because most of them are 100+ years old. Even some of the rare species are over 800 years old. So, age plays a significant role in determining the Bonsai cost. So, before buying, know the Bonsai age to avoid overpricing.

  • Shape and Design

Bonsai is known as art. So, the shape, design, and form are vital facts to set its price. The more aesthetic the outlook, the more you need to invest. Bonsai is a craze for its beautiful art form, so the thicker cord and bushes leave is the key to increasing its price. Especially a twist in Bonsai can convert it into an expensive piece.

  • Technique and time

Most of the reasonable Bonsai trees are available in China. The trees are produced from cutting plants and the cutting height is about 6ft. The gardeners give it time to chop, wire, and grow. So, it only takes 3-5 years to make Bonsai from cutting. But older bonsai deserved a high-end budget. 

Besides Bonsai making technique, it is important how much time a gardener spends in Bonsai to grow and give it an excellent look. It is not easy to make a thick trunk at a small height and grow a larger number of branches in a particular shape. So, it is only possible to give an attractive look with tampering if you invest lots of time and effort. That means gardeners’ effort is also a major factor to vary the price.

  • Size

The plant size also matters to fix its price. Normally the smaller height is probably more expensive than a larger one. But some common species can cost less.

  • Health 

The tree’s health is a key concern to differentiate its cost. A healthy bonsai that gets proper watering, pruning, and looks must tend to be expensive. This type of healthy plant has less chance of getting sticky leaves or Pest attacks or any other disease. That is why people are always looking for healthy bonsai to avoid future hassle. 

  • Quality

The Bonsai tree plant fluctuates a lot depending on its quality. Now you must ask how to know the bonsai quality, right? Well, a high-quality bonsai comes with good root spread, a thick trunk with a twist, ideal branch placement, silhouette, and adequate branching. So, you should look at all these features to find a good quality bonsai. And the quality needs a better investment.

  • Pot

We know it sounds a bit surprising, but the pot is also an important factor that impacts Bonsai’s cost. In the market, there are many types of Bonsai pots available. The cost of a pot depends on its age, material, and design. The antique pot can cost more than $1000. But if you want to reduce the cost, you can buy a new pot for only a few bucks.  

These are the most considerable and worthy reasons behind varying Bonsai prices from tree to tree or shop to shop. You should remember that quality matters when it is about Bonsai. Some rare species of Bonsai are struggling to grow and maintain. So bonsai is worth every buck if you can focus on quality. Look at the above factors to find the best budget Bonsai.

Most Expensive Bonsai Tree price

We already talked about the price differentiation factor of Bonsai. So you can understand why the Bonsai prices vary depending on your plant choice. As bonsai offers a wide range of costs to meet different customers’ demands, let’s know about some of the most expensive bonsai prices. 

  • A Black Pine Bonsai that is 200+ years old and it can cost nearly one million dollars. It contains a thick trunk and its form is majestic. So it deserves the value. The price can also slightly vary depending on age and shape.
  • Our second pick is one of the famous Bonsai plant species that is the Chinese juniper. It comes with an impressive white trunk and branch and twisting. The shape is unique and tiny and gives a luxurious outlook. It cost nearly $16000-$750000. The age of this Chinese juniper can be more than 800 years. Depending on age and shape, the cost can vary.

Read More: How to Grow and Care for Pine Bonsai (Here’s The All Answers)

Best Budget Bonsai

Well, you can also buy a good decorative and healthy Bonsai at a low budget. In that case, you can’t avail rare species but attractive ones.

  • Ficus tree Bonsai is one of the appealing and value-worthy choices. The younger ficus Bonsai plant may cost $50-$70 only. The thicker trunk, wider branches, and shape make your deal lucrative. 
  • Juniper Bonsai is a green mound of healthy Bonsai that can enhance your outdoor beauty. It costs only $30.
  • Braided Bonsai is one kind of money plant that is suitable for indoor use. If you are looking for indoor bonsai on budget, then Braided is an excellent choice. It costs nearly 30-40 dollars.
  • Fukien tea bonsai is a popular name for Bonsai lovers. The twisted trunk and unique shape make it a top choice. The Fukien tea bonsai costs only $90-$100.

Here we are discussing some budget-friendly Bonsai plants. The cost mentioned above is an approximate pricing brief, not the exact amount. Depending on Bonsai’s age, shape, health, and height, the price can slightly vary. But it won’t go beyond your limit.

What Is The Best Plant For Bonsai?

You can choose lots of plants for making bonsai. But we will talk about some exclusive species that are ideal for Bonsai. It will make the Bonsai making process smooth and faster.

  • Kaede maple

It is a tiny and ornamental type plant that is ideal for making Bonsai. The best part is it can change color within a season. You will find it vivid in autumn and pure green in summer. The lifespan of this type of tree is so long. So, you can make expensive Bonsai with this species.

  • Kuromatsu

Kuromatsu contains grey and black bark, which is thick enough that makes it a popular choice for bonsai. It is also a masterpiece species that can live over a thousand years.

  • Kinshi Nanten

It contains a thin leaf and provides a separate thread view. It is a classical bonsai plant.

  • Yabai

It is a Japanese variety of Bonsai.


Why are bonsai trees so expensive?

There are several reasons behind bonsai’s high pricing.  To make an exclusive Bonsai, it needs years of pruning, wiring, repotting, watering, and many more. It requires skill, effort, and knowledge, which are worth the price. A bonsai that is over 500-800 years older is definitely priceless.  

Are bonsai trees illegal?

Buying a bonsai plant is not illegal. But there are some terms and conditions to grow and maintain your Bonsai to protect the environment. The rules depend on your region. For example, In Washington DC, you need to meet particular sizes and ages for Bonsai to avoid harmful insects.

Are bonsai expensive?

No, you can buy common species and young Bonsai at only 10 dollars. So all the Bonsai are not expensive.

How much can you sell a bonsai tree for?

The selling price depends on your bonsai species, shape, health, quality, age, height, and many more. You can check the above factors that differentiate Bonsai plant cost.

How much is a 15 year old bonsai tree?

The cost of a 15-year-old Bonsai also depends on its species, shape, growth, and many more. The approximate cost can be $1200 to $3200+.

Final Words

We try to give a detailed answer of how much is a bonsai tree. The breakdown of Bonsai tree cost will help you to identify the best value bonsai. 

Now you know the average cost of a bonsai tree, so the next step is to buy your favorite bonsai. We already talked about some best quality bonsai species within budget. You can choose from them. 

Happy home gardening!


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