Different Types of Ficus Bonsai Varieties

Among the hundreds of Ficus varieties, the most popular ones for Bonsai are Banyan Fig, Weeping fig, Willow Leaf Ficus, Indian Laurel, etc.

Different types of ficus bonsai

Exploring the captivating world of Ficus opens the door to an array of more than 800 different Ficus species. But not each one is suitable for Bonsai crafting, but a wealth of Ficus bonsai types exists.


Notably, these plants stand out as prevalent and cherished indoor Bonsai trees. Their charm lies in their allure and adaptability, making them a beloved selection.


From the elegant Ficus macrocarpa to the famed Ficus Retusa, each variant exudes its distinctive allure, beckoning Bonsai aficionados to delve into the art of Bonsai cultivation.


Get on this journey of botanical wonderment with us as we list out the most beautiful Ficus bonsai trees.


Ficus Bonsai Overview

Family Moraceae
Type Evergreen
Growth habits (size) Small to large, depending on species
Ficus bonsai soil Well-draining soil mix, e.g., akadama, pumice, and lava rock
Ficus bonsai light requirement Bright, indirect light
Ideal location Mostly indoors, but some species can grow outdoors too
Maintenance Moderate, depending on the species and styling preferences


Why makes Ficus so special to be a bonsai?

Ficus holds a distinguished place in the Bonsai world for many reasons. Their diversity is unparalleled. They boast of an astounding variety of species, which appeal to different preferences and aesthetics of the Bonsai enthusiasts.


From Ficus Benjamina’s elegant weeping branches to the Ficus benghalensis’s striking aerial roots, all Ficus bonsai varieties offer a distinct visual appeal.


Further, they are known for their forgiving nature and resilience, making them a top choice for experienced Bonsai growers and beginners.


The Ficus can endure different environmental conditions and respond well to shaping and pruning, enabling seamless artistic expression sans the fear of irreversible damage.


Another standout attribute of the Ficus bonsai is its capacity for aerial roots. It offers an opportunity for fascinating root-over-rock styles.


This distinguished characteristic adds a sense of drama and intrigue to their appearance. Hence, they are a preferred pick for Bonsai lovers.


Different Types Of Ficus Bonsai


Below we will take you through some popular Ficus bonsai in detail, each boasting unique characteristics and charm.


A. Ficus Retusa (Banyan Fig)


It is a captivating Bonsai variety known for its aerial root formations and dark green, glossy leaves.


This bonsai species can thrive outdoors and indoors, making it a versatile selection for Bonsai enthusiasts.


Its growth pattern comprises a striking root structure that typically develops into entwining aerial roots, adding visual interest and drama to the overall composition.


It is ideal for slanting, informal upright, and root-over rock styles. Banyan Fig responds well to shaping and pruning, allowing artistic expression and beautiful Bonsai designs.


This Banyan Fig needs indirect, bright sun and moderate watering for optimal growth. Further, maintaining a consistent temperature and offering ample humidity is necessary for its well-being.


Repotting and regular feeding, typically every two years, contribute to its longevity and health as one of the remarkable Ficus bonsai types.


B. Ficus Microcarpa (Indian Laurel)


This variety captivates the onlookers with its unique growth habits and diverse foliage variations, making it a top choice for Bonsai enthusiasts.


This specie depicts ovate, small, and glossy leaves, presenting variations in shape and size, adding visual appeal to the bonsai.


One standout attribute of this bonsai is its propensity for creating an aerial canopy and roots. Its aerial roots develop from the trunk and branches, offering a distinctive aesthetic aspect to the bonsai.


Further, you can train the tree’s branches to cascade downward, forming a spectacular aerial canopy, adding grace and elegance to the composition.


Pruning helps in maintaining this bonsai’s desired shape and size. Regular trimming off excess growth and managing the aerial roots can boost their appearance.


Further, maintaining the bonsai’s health involves monitored watering and ensuring well-draining soil to avoid root rot.


By following these maintenance and pruning specifications, Bonsai enthusiasts can nurture the Ficus Microcarpa into a breathtaking masterpiece, celebrating its artistry and natural beauty.


C. Ficus Ginseng (Ficus Microcarpa Ginseng)


Amongst the different types of Ficus bonsai, the Ficus Ginseng is known for its bulbous trunk and root structure, resembling the ginseng root it is named after.


This unique feature adds an intriguing visual element, making it a standout choice for Bonsai enthusiasts.


Options abound when styling this specie, as its twisted and robust root system allows for creative expression in different Bonsai styles, such as forest styles or root-over-rock.


Its bulbous roots can be above the soil surface or submerged partially, adding a layer of aesthetic appeal to the composition.


Repotting and potting strategies are crucial for its growth and health. Because of its distinctive root structure, picking a suitable pot with ample space for root development is vital. You can repot every two to three years to avoid root binding and promote vigorous growth.


Ficus Ginseng’s allure and beauty lie in its intriguing trunk and root structure and the limitless styling options, enabling the Bonsai enthusiasts to build beautiful living artworks that stand out as a testament to nature’s enduring beauty.

D. Ficus Benjamina (Weeping Fig)


These Ficus bonsai species exude elegance with their graceful drooping foliage and occasional aerial root development.


This inviting feature makes it a top choice amongst Bonsai enthusiasts who like an expressive and captivating tree in their garden.


You must offer proper temperature and light conditions to maintain vitality and health. The Weeping Fig thrives in the indirect, bright sun.


Guard it against direct, harsh sun rays that may scorch its delicate leaves. Maintaining a temperature between 60°F and 75°F (15°C and 24°C) is recommended for its well-being.


A common concern associated with Weeping Figs is the leaf drop. It can stem from stress or environmental changes. Prevent sudden changes in the temperature, light, or watering routines to avoid leaf drops.


Regular misting can help with moisture and maintain optimum humidity levels and prevent leaf drop instances.


By understanding and following its care requirements while avoiding leaf drops, you can achieve a visually captivating and flourishing Ficus Benjamina Bonsai, which adds tranquillity to your space.


E. Ficus Retusa Nitida (Taiwan Ficus)


Such Ficus bonsai types enchant with their small leaves and compact growth, making them a delightful selection amongst bonsai enthusiasts seeking a charming miniature tree.


When it comes to shaping them, wiring techniques are prevalent. It helps guide its flexible branches into artistic and graceful forms.


The tree responds well to wiring, allowing for precise shaping and forming intricate designs that capture the imagination.


Proper humidity management and watering are vital to ensure its vitality and health. Taiwan Ficus thrives in well-draining soil. They need regular but not excessive watering.


You must let the soil dry between two watering sessions to avoid overwatering and ensure a robust root system.


Further, adequate humidity, typically indoors, boosts the tree’s well-being and prevents stress and leaf dryness episodes.


With its shaping versatility, small leaves, and compact growth, cultivating the Taiwan Ficus can be a rewarding journey for enthusiasts resulting in a captivating and delightful living art piece that adds a touch of natural beauty to any space.


F. Ficus Neriifolia (Willow Leaf Ficus)


These Ficus bonsai species are a captivating Bonsai variety that stands out for its elongated and elegant willow-like leaves. Native to Southeast Asia, these species boast a unique charm, making them a popular selection amongst Bonsai enthusiasts.


People love this Willow Leaf Ficus for its intricate branching structure that lends itself well to different Bonsai styles, such as cascade, slanting, and informal upright.


Its flexible branches respond well to shaping and wiring techniques, enabling artistic expression and the creation of beautiful Bonsai designs.


The Willow Leaf Ficus thrives in indirect, bright sun and moderate temperatures. It cherishes regular watering, allowing the soil to dry between watering sessions. Proper humidity levels are crucial for its growth and health, typically indoors.


With its versatile styling options and graceful foliage, the Ficus Neriifolia is a captivating addition to any Bonsai collection, embodying the delicate beauty and artistry that Bonsai enthusiasts cherish.


G. Ficus Religiosa (Sacred Fig or Peepal Tree)


These Ficus bonsai varieties hold significant cultural and holy significance in different religions. Peepal Tree is regarded as a sacred tree in Buddhism and Hinduism.


It is believed to be the tree under which Siddharth Gautam, or Gautam Buddha, attained enlightenment.


Meeting its unique growth habits is vital for its successful cultivation as a Bonsai. This specie usually forms aerial roots from its branches, which can fuse with the main trunk over time, forming a striking visual effect.


Emphasizing these aerial roots can add an ethereal quality to the Bonsai’s overall composition.


Because of its religious prominence, the Ficus Religiosa’s care demands respect and attentiveness. You must offer it proper temperature, light, and watering conditions to ensure its longevity and health.


By recognizing its cultural and sacred value and addressing its distinctive growth habits, Bonsai enthusiasts can cultivate a powerful living symbol of enlightenment, connecting with its spiritual significance and rich history.
Related: Flowering Bonsai Types | Juniper Bonsai | Pine Tree Bonsai Types
Here is a list of some other Ficus bonsai types:


  1. Ficus Carica (Fig Tree)
  2. Ficus Racemosa (Cluster Fig)
  3. Ficus Citrifolia (Shortleaf Fig)
  4. Ficus Rubiginosa (Port Jackson Fig)
  5. Ficus Lyrata (Fiddle-Leaf Fig)
  6. Ficus Cyathistipula (African Fig)
  7. Ficus Virens (White Fig)
  8. Ficus Elastica (Rubber Fig)
  9. Ficus Binnendijkii (Alii Fig)Bottom of Form


Bonsai Ficus Care

Here are some crucial care tips for your Ficus bonsai:


  1. Prune them regularly to maintain the desired shape and encourage new growth.
  2. Use proper pruning tools to ensure clean cuts and avoid damage.
  3. Employ wires to shape branches gently, but avoid excessive pressure
  4. Allow some development before rewiring to avoid wire marks
  5. Keep a balanced canopy by distributing the growth evenly.
  6. Trim back new shoots to allow denser foliage and branching
  7. Pruning during active growth periods for faster recovery.
  8. Remove any unhealthy or dead branches promptly to maintain health.


You might also want to learn about Bonsai tree care in winter.