Bonsai trees – they come in all shapes, colors, sizes, and even prices. You don’t have to be a millionaire to start playing around with bonsai gardening, but you do have to have some money. After all, there are plants and soil to pay for!
Are you considering a more luxurious purchase? When it comes to the most expensive bonsai trees, you’ll have plenty of options to consider. You might be wondering what makes a bonsai tree expensive. Often, the price tag of one of these trees is closely tied to its age and other aesthetic qualities that might be hard to find, such as a thicker trunk with a unique taper.
Other bonsai trees are expensive simply because they are rare. The more mature the bonsai is, the higher the price but the stronger the tree will be. Trees that have smooth, uninterrupted trunks with gradual tapers are more expensive, as are those in older pots, too.
Here are some of the most expensive bonsai trees – and a few tips on how you can find the perfect bonsai tree for your goals.
1. Trident Maple Bonsai Tree
Trident maple or Acer buergerianum, is prized for its gorgeous fall foliage. The most expensive specimen sold by Bonsai Boy is nearly four feet tall and is 114 years old.
2. Eastern White Pine Bonsai Tree
You can find another Eatern white pine bonsai tree for sale that is a whopping $1200 at Bonsai Boy. This 58-year-old tree is potted in a 14” container but can also be grown outside.
3. Blue Moss Cypress Bonsai
You’ll find another pricey pick in the Blue Moss Cypress Bonsai, or Chamecyparis ‘glauca minima.’ This tree has gorgeous blue foliage but is more impressive because it’s a whopping 80 years old!
4. Dwarf Hinoki Cypress Bonsai Tree
Just because Hinoki Cypress is a tiny, compact little bonsai tree, that doesn’t mean that this specimen is any less of an option – or any less expensive! It’s 70 years old and has a hefty price tag of $2,900.
5. Juniper Bonsai Tree
Juniper bonsai trees are extremely common, but this one is expensive because it’s more than 16 years old. It’s a hardy and long-lived species, so you can reasonably expect it to live much longer, too. Compared to the other bonsai plants on the list, this one is a steal, coming in at just $150.
6. Flowering Chinzan Azalea Bonsai Tree
This tree, Azalea satsuki ‘chinzan’, can be found for sale for $2500. It’s so expensive because it has been trained to grow in a compact dwarf habitat and has a unique pink bloom color. It is also unusual because it blooms later in the season and can even bloom in the shade. Plus, it’s 35 years old.
7. Five Needle Pines
After bonsai became popular, and then, conversely, became less popular in Japan in the late 1980s, bonsai precision began to soar. Two sales in Japan have set records as being the most expensive – with two five needle pines sold for $600,000 and $300,000 apiece.
8. Ficus Ginseng Bonsai
If you thought $600,000 was a high price to pay for a bonsai tree, here’s another record setter to round out our list. There’s one ficus ginseng bonsai in Vietnam that is rumored to be worth as much as $2.6 million – one of the most expensive bonsai trees in the world ever sold. Although the collector refuses to say how old the bonsai actually is.
What to Look for When Buying a Bonsai Plant
While you will of course need to keep your budget in mind while shopping for the perfect bonsai tree for your needs, remember that quality is everything.
When you pay for a more expensive bonsai, you aren’t just paying for its age, although it’s true that cool bonsai trees are usually more expensive because they are old specimens. Often, you will find yourself paying top dollar for trees that have been trained in a unique way or because they are rare, too.
Weigh all of your options as you shop – but remember that a bonsai tree is a smart investment that’s worth every penny, too. That’s true no matter how many pennies that might be!
*image by arlette_lg/depositphotos