Bonsai tree flowers can be somewhat of a challenge. We tend to prune our bonsai often to keep them in shape.
By doing so, we can unintentionally remove potential flowers!
In the beginning you will most likely be styling the tree itself, then become concerned about the blooms.
If you have purchased your bonsai, it's still important to learn when and how often the species you are working with flowers.
As beautiful as bonsai tree flowers can be, traditionally speaking it is important that they are somewhat in scale with the plant.
Traditionally, plants with large flowers should only be used for large bonsai.
This will help them look more like real trees, rather than bushes.
Keep in mind, leaf sizes can be reduced in size by pruning, fruit and flowers rarely down-size.
As a bonsai novice, I was totally enthralled with the beautiful flowers on Japanese calendars.
Azalea bonsai of many colors and flowering quince seemed to be the most popular answer for flowers on these calendar trees.
After trying several, I soon realized most azaleas were not easy (or even possible in most cases) to grow in my sub-tropical climate.
And, as beautiful and they are, forget flowering quince for tropical and sub-tropical zones.
Fortunately they grow well in many other areas!
In the tropics, there are many excellent choices for flowering bonsai trees.
Because they are tropicals, many of them will grow indoors with proper light.
Both plants are fairly easy to grow, and they are both available in several varieties and colors.
Bougainvillea and Calliandra (powder puff) are both prolific bloomers.
I prefer the 'pixie' (as shown here) over many other varieties of Bougainvillea.
(Mainly because of its hard wood and less rangy growth pattern.)
Read more on the Bonsai Bougainvillea page.
A somewhat unique plant, commonly know as the Chinese or Mandarin Coolie Hat (Holmskioldia sanguinea,) is not used very often.
Young plants are skimpy. Older plants can be a good subjects and are more difficult to find. They are available in red, orange and yellow.
This photograph of Warren Hill's wisteria bonsai, shown here with his wife Sharon, is one of my all time favorite bonsai pictures.
In addition to a beautiful lady and fabulous plant, it totally expresses the design and scale of the magnificent bonsai.
It's also the perfect reason to use a white pot!
No bonsai is in a permanent state of flowering.
Blooms come and go.
Some have more than others, some then bear fruit, others have seeds of various forms.
To the left is a wisteria at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
This photo was after flowering.
(The seeds have been removed.)
By the "rules", large flowers should be on large bonsai to make them look more like real trees, rather than bushes.
Occasionally an artist chooses to work with large flowers.
Walter Pall (one of my favorite European artists) acquired this Hibiscus, approximately 30 years ago.
As time went on, he developed a beautiful bonsai. Walter's blog is called Walter Pall Bonsai Adventures.
This beauty, although the flower size is not classical, can truly be called an "adventure".
This little charmer was created by Haruyosi.
He is a prolific shohin grower in Japan and he makes many of his own amazing pots.
Not exactly what you expect in a tiny bonsai!
Many plants with relatively small blooms are perfectly suited for miniature bonsai.
I especially like two of the Malpighias. Malpighia coccigera (with holly shaped leaves) and the Malpighia punicifolia (very soft leaf and more of a wispy, weeping form.)
The flowers are similar but otherwise, they look nothing alike.
The Malpighia c. shown here is by Min Hsuan Lo of Taiwan.
In addition to the above trees, you will see many bonsai flowers scattered throughout this site.
More bonsai tree flowers:
Water Jasmine - profuse bloomer and all time fragrance favorite.
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Know the basics? Ready for more? Watch these amazing Colin Lewis bonsai class videos.
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