Different Bonsai Tree Types Outdoor – Popular Varieties

Among the most common types of bonsai trees outdoors, you have Ficus, Japanese maple, Chinese elm, Boxwood, Crabapple, etc. There are many others as well listed below.

Outdoor Bonsai Tree Types

Outdoor bonsai trees are a living masterpiece, captivating millions of hearts with their serene beauty and exquisite elegance. Though diminutive, the bonsais are attractive. They are a testament to the harmonious union of nature and human ingenuity.


Bonsais, a Japanese art form with ancient roots, has found its way into the global landscapes and gardens, enchanting passersby and gardening enthusiasts alike.


Within the realm of bonsais, a kaleidoscope of common outdoor bonsai tree types emerges, each with its distinguished aesthetics and character.


From the delicate charm of the Japanese maple to the rugged beauty of Juniper, Ficus, Boxwood, and Azalea, etc, every kind of bonsai can breathe life into the notion that even the littlest wonders can evoke awe-inspiring elegance.


Stay with us as we venture below into the enchanting world of outdoor bonsai trees where nature and art entwine, and the essence of timeless elegance resides.


Common Varieties of Different Types of Outdoor Bonsai Trees


Bonsai trees planted in your yard or garden hold the potential to exemplify the artistry of sculpting nature’s beauty on a miniature scale.


With roots that go back to ancient traditions, these living masterpieces captivate admirers with their serenity and elegance. They are cultivated in landscapes, yards, and gardens globally.


Broadly, the outdoor bonsai trees comprise a delightful variation in species and styles. Below we will take you through some of the best bonsai varieties for the outdoors, each with a unique allure and an invitation to embrace the harmony of nature and art.

Ficus Bonsai Tree


Scientific name Ficus retusa or Ficus microcarpa
Type Broadleaf Evergreen Bonsai Trees
Suitable region Warm, Temperate
Beginner friendly Yes


The Ficus Bonsai tree variety is a popular choice amongst bonsai enthusiasts. It has glossy, dark green, and leathery leaves that create a visually appealing contrast with its pale gray and smooth bark. This evergreen variety exhibits a robust root system and can develop aerial roots, amplifying its allure.
Ficus bonsai demands indirect and bright light and a consistently warm environment. They cherish moderate humidity, and you must shield them against sudden temperature changes.
Regular watering is imperative to ensure the soil remains moist, not waterlogged. Shaping and pruning must be conducted during the growing season to maintain its shape and form.
You can grow this bonsai indoors and outdoors, making it a hit amongst beginners and seasoned enthusiasts.
Related: Ficus Bonsai Care

Chinese Elm


Scientific name Ulmus parvifolia
Type Deciduous
Suitable region Warm, Temperate
Beginner friendly Yes

The Chinese Elm is a captivating bonsai variety admired for its artistic and elegant appeal. It is a deciduous tree that boasts deep green, small leaves that offer a delicate contrast to its textured, rugged bark, exuding an aura of wisdom and age.
Its branches gracefully cascade and arch, creating a harmonious balance in its design. The Chinese Elm’s ability to endure a wide range of growing conditions makes it a popular and resilient choice for bonsai enthusiasts of all levels.
Its inherent beauty and adaptability contribute to its timeless charm.

Juniper Bonsai


Scientific name Juniperus spp.
Type Coniferous Bonsai Trees
Suitable region Cold, Temperate
Beginner friendly Yes

The Juniper bonsai is an enduring and enchanting symbol of bonsai artistry. With its needle-like evergreen foliage, the Juniper showcases a timeless elegance that mimics its full-sized counterparts found in nature.
Its gnarled and twisted trunks exude a sense of ancient wisdom, while its dark green or bluish-green leaves create a striking contrast against the textured bark.
As a resilient coniferous bonsai, it thrives in different climates and is celebrated for its adaptability, making it a beloved pick for bonsai enthusiasts seeking an enduring and captivating masterpiece.
Related: Juniper Bonsai Varieties | Juniper Bonsai Care

Japanese Maple Bonsai


Scientific name Acer palmatum
Type Deciduous tree species
Suitable region Temperate
Beginner friendly Yes

The Japanese Maple bonsai is a captivating masterpiece known for its exquisite beauty. Its delicate leaves depict a breathtaking array of colors, from vibrant greens to fiery oranges and reds, enhancing its allure across the seasons.
The tree’s beautiful branches form an intricate network, offering an artistic flow to its appeal. Japanese bonsai exudes a sense of sophistication and tranquillity, capturing the essence of traditional Japanese aesthetics.
Japanese Maple’s striking appearance and rewarding nature make it a preferable pick for bonsai enthusiasts seeking a touch of nature’s artistic marvels in their gardens and homes.

Japanese Black Pine


Scientific name Pinus thunbergii
Type Coniferous Bonsai Trees
Suitable region Temperate
Beginner friendly Yes


The Japanese Black Pine is one of the bonsai tree types outdoor variety revered for its majestic allure. This coniferous evergreen plant boasts dark green needles that gracefully cluster, creating a stunning contrast against its reddish-brown, rugged bark.


Its twisted, unique branches evoke a sense of character and resilience, whereas its needle-like leaves add a touch of elegance to its overall appearance.


The Japanese Black Pine’s ability to develop intricate bark patterns and respond well to pruning and wiring make it a prized choice for bonsai enthusiasts symbol of tranquility and strength in their living art collections.

Mugo Pine


Scientific name Pinus thunbergii or Pinus mugo
Type Coniferous Bonsai Trees
Suitable region Temperate
Beginner friendly Yes

Pine bonsai exudes a timeless charm via its evergreen elegance. They are admired for their striking needle-like foliage and present an array of colors from vibrant blues to deep green, gracing their branches year-round.
The bark depicts a rugged texture, adding a sense of age and wisdom to its character. Its ability to form intricate and graceful shapes makes it a favorite amongst bonsai enthusiasts seeking a symbol of resilience and endurance amidst the changing seasons, capturing the essence of nature’s enduring beauty.
Related: Pine Bonsai Varieties

Boxwood Bonsai


Scientific name Buxus spp.
Type Broadleaf Evergreen Bonsai Trees
Suitable region Temperate
Beginner friendly Yes

Boxwood is a versatile and classic bonsai choice, loved for its compact and refined appearance. It exhibits glossy, small, dense leaves.
They form an intricate canopy resembling miniature hedges. Its light-colored, smooth bark offers an elegant contrast to its lush green foliage.
With its ability to endure shaping and pruning, the Boxwood bonsai is amenable to different styles, from formal to informal, making it a perfect canvas for artistic expression and a symbol of timeless grace in the bonsai world.

Birch Bonsai


Scientific name Betula spp.
Type Deciduous tree species
Suitable region Temperate
Beginner friendly Yes


These outdoor bonsai tree types are celebrated for their distinctive appearance and graceful charm. With its serrated, tender leaves that flutter like golden coins in the breeze, the Birch exudes poetic and ethereal allure.


Its papery, delicate slender bark, typically featuring striking colors and patterns, adds to its unique character. As a deciduous tree, the Birch illustrates an enchanting metamorphosis via seasons, casting a mesmerizing color spectacle in autumn.


This beautiful bonsai depicts beauty and resilience in simplicity, embodying nature’s ephemeral yet enduring artistry.

Azalea Bonsai


Scientific name  
Type Broadleaf Evergreen Bonsai Trees/Coniferous or Pine Bonsai Trees/Deciduous tree species
Suitable region Cold/warm/temperate
Beginner friendly Yes

It is a captivating bonsai loved for its enchanting and vibrant display of flowers. Its funnel-shaped, dainty flowers bloom in different colors, ranging from delicate pinks and whites to fiery reds and purples.
The plant’s lush, glossy foliage complements its beautiful blooms, presenting an exquisite balance of beauty. With its graceful branches and compact size, the Azalea bonsai showcases a picturesque and harmonious form.
It is an emblem of splendor and elegance, offering a breathtaking spectacle of nature’s artistry in miniature.
Related: Flowering Bonsai Types

Olive Bonsai


Scientific name Olea europaea
Type Broadleaf Evergreen Bonsai Trees
Suitable region Temperate
Beginner friendly Yes

The Olive bonsai is a symbolic and timeless variety, loved for its historical significance and aesthetic appeal. Its elongated, small leaves present a silvery-green hue and exude a sense of resilience and grace.
The Olive bonsai’s twisted and gnarled trunk and textured bark illustrate the passage of time and the tree’s enduring nature.
This evergreen beauty offers an alluring blend of sophistication and simplicity, celebrating the spirit of peace and longevity. The Olive bonsai is a living testament to the harmonious fusion of cultural heritage and horticulture.

Crabapple Bonsai


Scientific name Malus spp.
Type Deciduous tree species
Suitable region Temperate
Beginner friendly Yes


The Crabapple is one of the captivating bonsai tree types outdoors loved for its delightful fruits and stunning blooms. Its branches burst into a mesmerizing display of fragrant, delicate pink, red, or white flowers in spring. The blossoms add a touch of romance to any setting.
As summer changes to autumn, the Crabapple’s colorful and small fruits adorn the branches, offering a picturesque and vibrant spectacle.
With its compact and charming form, this deciduous tree forms a striking balance of beauty. Hence, it is a top selection for bonsai enthusiasts seeking a year-round show of nature’s splendor.

Cedar Bonsai


Scientific name Cedrus spp.
Type Coniferous Bonsai Trees
Suitable region Temperate
Beginner friendly Yes


It is an enchanting coniferous variant loved for its timeless allure and majesty. Cedar has needle-like foliage, ranging from silvery blue to deep green, adding a touch of elegance to its appearance.


The tree’s graceful and sturdy branching structure exudes a sense of resilience and strength. Its grayish or reddish-brown bark adds to its distinctive character.


This evergreen beauty exudes a sense of permanence and tranquillity, symbolizing harmony and endurance in the art of bonsai and delighting the growers with its enduring splendor.

How Do I Know If My Bonsai Is Indoor or Outdoor?

Basis the species, you can assess if your bonsai is indoor or outdoor. Subtropical or tropical species are ideal for indoor environments, whereas coniferous and deciduous variants thrive outdoors.


Consider the natural habitat and climate to ensure the plant receives the right environment and care.


You might also like: Different Indoor Bonsai Types


Where Is The Best Place To Put A Bonsai Tree Outside?

The most suitable place to put your bonsai tree outdoors is in a spot receiving ample sun, ideally in the afternoon and morning.


Avoid extreme heat and strong winds. A sheltered area with good air circulation and protection from harsh weather conditions is best for a tree’s growth and health.


Can Outdoor Bonsai Survive Winter?

Yes, outdoor bonsais can survive winter. However, their ability to endure cold temperatures depends on the species and their natural hardiness. Here is a detailed guide to help you understand how to care for bonsai trees in winter.


Some, like junipers and pines, are more cold-tolerant, whereas others may need protection, such as sheltering them in a cold frame or mulching, to ensure survival during winter.