Sometimes, making bonsai tree flowers happen can be a challenge. To keep our bonsai in shape, we prune them often. By doing so, we often unintentionally remove potential flowers!
(In the beginning, you will be styling the tree itself, then become concerned about the blooms.) If you have purchased your bonsai, it's important to learn when and how often the species you are working with flowers.
It's important that the size of blooms be kept in scale with the size of plant. Traditionally, plants with large flowers are used for large bonsai. Small blossoms are perfect for all sizes, they are especially appropriate for small bonsai sizes such as shohin.
(Leaf sizes can be reduced in size by pruning, fruit and flowers rarely down-size.) Keeping proportion in mind, helps them look more like real trees, rather than bushes.
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 calendars.
After trying several, I soon realized most azaleas were not easy (or even possible in most cases) to grow in my sub-tropical climate.
The tree quince (Cydonia oblanga) is primarily grown for its fruit. The flowering quince, shown here (Chaenomeles species) is a shrub especially enjoyed for it flowers. Quince do not do well in the tropics.
In the tropics, there are many excellent choices for flowering bonsai. Because they are tropicals, many of them will grow indoors with proper light. Read about another showy powder puff (more than one variety is suited to bonsai.)
Some artists prefer the 'pixie' (as shown above) over many other varieties of Bougainvillea. (Mainly because of its hard wood and less rangy growth pattern.) Read more on Bonsai Bougainvillea .
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 Bonsai and Penjing Museum 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 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 on 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. Leave this bonsai tree flowers page and see tiny flowers on Bahama Berry.
More bonsai tree flowers:
Silk Tree Mimosa - Azalea bonsai - Serissa perfect for shohin - Fragrant flowers on the Carissa - Fukien Tea not too showy, but perfect size - Chrysanthemum, showy, although not always long lived - Water Jasmine profuse bloomer and all time fragrance favorite.