Fruit trees require a lot of space that many of us don’t have. But who wouldn’t want to eat a piece of fruit picked straight from their own tree? In the mission to find a way to grow fruits from window sills and small patios, many turn to bonsai trees. Don’t be fooled by its small size because bonsai trees are fully capable of growing fruit. Bonsai fruit trees are the perfect solution for those looking to enjoy fresh fruit in a limited space.
Do Bonsai Trees Produce Fruit?
Yes, certain bonsai trees can produce delicious, edible fruit. Fruit trees that produce smaller fruit work best for bonsai because they won’t look unproportionate or weigh down the small branches. A bonsai tree is nothing more than a full-size tree that has been pruned and trained to remain small.
When most people think of bonsai trees, they think of small plants with leaves and flowers. But these tiny trees are fully capable of producing fruit. Remember, you don’t have to worry about your bonsai tree randomly producing fruit. Only fruit trees will do that because it’s in their DNA.
Is The Fruit Miniature On A Bonsai Tree?
The fruit produced by a bonsai tree will remain a normal size even though the tree has smaller limbs and leaves. It’s possible that fruit from a bonsai tree will be smaller compared to a normal-size tree, but not miniature.
A bonsai tree is small due to constant pruning and limited root growth. There is no genetic difference between a bonsai tree and a full-size version. That’s why bonsai trees are still able to produce full-size fruits.
Can You Eat Fruit From A Bonsai Tree?
Absolutely! The fruit from a bonsai tree is edible. You shouldn’t notice a difference between the tastes of fruit from a bonsai versus a full-size fruit tree. A bonsai tree is not a genetically modified plant. Bonsai is the art of keeping trees small in shallow containers.
What Are Popular Bonsai Fruit Trees?
Because bonsai fruit trees are the same as normal fruit trees, they will produce normal-sized fruit. When choosing a fruit tree for bonsai, consider the size of the fruit. Because the bonsai will have smaller branches and foliage, larger fruits like full-sized apples will not work. Because bonsai trees do not produce miniature fruit, having large fruit hanging off a small tree will look unproportionate and can damage limbs.
Look for trees that produce smaller fruits that meet certain requirements. The fruit tree should respond well to pruning and ideally, the tree should grow quickly. If you’re considering purchasing a bonsai fruit tree, here are some of the popular fruit trees to use.
Regular apple trees have a poor germination rate and it can take a minimum of seven years before you see any fruit. Regular apples are far too big for bonsais because their leaves are big and don’t respond well to pruning. That’s why crab apples are a great alternative to normal apples.
Crab apple trees need full sunlight each day and grow in acidic soil. Depending on the species, the white or pink flowers will bloom in the springtime, making the tree a beautiful centerpiece to your garden.
Recommended Crab Apple Varieties For Bonsai:
- Golden Hornet
- Harvest Gold
- Malus halliana
- Wild Apple
A citrus tree is a great choice for a bonsai gardener because these trees produce both full-size and small fruits. Because they are a tropical plant, you can grow them indoors if you give them enough light. Although it’s ideal to bring them outside in the summer. Citrus trees should stay indoors during the winter.
Because citrus fruit comes in smaller sizes, bonsai gardeners have many options. Key lime, for example, is excellent for baking. If you want oranges, it’s best to grow a mandarin tree. One of the most popular citrus species for bonsai trees is the Calamondin orange.
Grafting is a common propagation method in the citrus industry. So as you’re shopping for a citrus tree, you may come across a tree with multiple citrus fruits such as limes and lemons growing in one tree.
Citrus trees can be expensive because they take a long time to grow. The recent crisis in the Florida citrus industry also makes citrus bonsai trees harder to find.
Recommended Citrus Varieties For Bonsai:
- Calamondin Orange
- Citrus aurantium
- Hong Kong Kumquat
- Key Lime
- Kishu mikan
- Meyer Lemon
- Tahiti Lime
Fig trees are ideal for new bonsai gardeners. These trees produce fruit twice a year, in the spring and early fall. Fig trees are great because they have a high tolerance for heat and dryness. They also thrive with constant pruning.
Figs are also known as ficus and there are over 800 ficus varieties. It’s a tropical plant that lives all over the world. The fig tree is one of the most popular trees used in bonsai. These trees grow well indoors and outdoors. Its fruit can range in color from red, yellow, green, to purple. While fig trees produce fruit, most varieties don’t taste very good. A majority of fig varieties are ideal for feeding animals. The fruit is small and can range from a few millimeters to several centimeters which makes it the ideal size for bonsai trees.
- Recommended Fig Varieties For Bonsai:
- Brown Turkey Fig
- Carica Fig
- Chinese Banyan
- Fiddle Leaf Fig
- Ginseng Ficus
- Strangler Fig
- Weeping Fig
Berries are arguable the preferred bonsai fruit tree type. Almost every berry variety seems to bonsai very well. Because berries are naturally small, they are the ideal size for bonsai trees without making the tree look deformed or unproportionate.
There are many berries to choose from: blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, cherry, mulberry, and many more. Many berry plants, like blueberry bushes, have thin twigs so early wiring is essential. Berry plants produce beautiful flowers in the spring with colors ranging from white, pink, purple, and green. Then they produce edible fruit that can be eaten straight from the branch. It’s best to keep bonsai berry trees outdoors, but you’ll also need to protect your plant from animals.
Recommended Berries For Bonsai:
- Bahama Berry
- Bright N Tight Cherry
- Chaparral White Mulberry
- Oriental Cherry
- Rabbit Eye Blueberry
- Southern Highbush Blueberry
- Top Hat Blueberry
- Yoshiko Cherry
Olive trees are commonly found in Mediterranean counties and have a long history and cultural importance in that area. Olive trees, a symbol of peace and glory, are evergreen trees that can grow over 25 feet tall. Several olive tree varieties produce small olives which are ideal for bonsai. Olives are not edible straight from the tree. They are only edible after they are watered and kept in brine over time. Many gardeners turn olive into olive oil to be used for cooking. Bonsai olive trees work well due to their small leaves and short internodes. These trees can live for a very long time. There are reports of olive trees living for hundreds, even thousands, of years.
Recommended Olive Trees For Bonsai:
- European Olive
- Wild Olive Tree
Pomegranate trees are popular among bonsai gardeners because they are visually stunning and produce fruit. The pomegranate tree is native to the Middle East and Southeast Asia, but today it is grown all over the world. The tree produces mystical flowers and its trunk is thick with a natural twist. The combination of its trunk, flowers, and fruit makes the pomegranate tree one of the most sought-after bonsai trees.
Pomegranates can grow indoors if there is enough exposure to light. The tree also prefers dry periods between watering. The tree produces unique fruit that holds edible seeds. The pomegranate tree produces fruit and flowers of various colors, shapes, and sizes. It will lose its leaves in the winter.
Recommended Pomegranate For Bonsai:
- Dwarf Pomegranate
Now that you’re excited about the idea of growing a fruit bonsai tree, understand that it requires a lot of hard work and patience. You will need to choose a suitable container that is wide enough for your tree’s roots and allows for drainage. Choose the appropriate soil for your particular tree. Each tree has specific nutritional needs. Check with your local nursery to ensure you are properly feeding your bonsai.
As with any other bonsai trees, you must continually prune the roots and shape the branches to maintain its small size. Because the tree will be producing fruit, it’ll need plenty of light. After years of consistency and love, you can expect a reward for your hard work.
Enjoy the mini fruits of your labor from your bonsai tree!