19 types of bonsai

The art of growing bonsai has its origin in China two thousand years ago, at the hands of the Taoist monks. They saw the figure of the trees as a symbol of union between the earth and the sky, as well as as a symbol of eternity. In bonsai they tried to enhance all these symbolisms, creating a plant that was a representation of a perfect specimen of the same species, but in miniature.

Since then, the art of growing bonsai has developed a lot, so much so that today there are a lot of ways to cultivate and shape them. If you want to learn more about the different types of bonsai , join us in this article where you will see a guide with the names of the most relevant types of these small trees, their characteristics and photos.

Types of bonsai according to their size

There are different types of bonsai according to their size and these are their names:

  • Hachi-uye
  • Omono
  • Chumono
  • Kotate Mochi or Komono
  • Shohin
  • Mame
  • Keshitsubu or Shito

Bonsai Hachi-Uye, the largest

These are the largest bonsai . These are plants with a height greater than 130 cm , and for that reason they attract a lot of attention. The Hachi-Uye bonsais are very rare to see so expensive and time – consuming that result as they keep the bonsai technique in such a large plant takes a lot of work and effort.19 types of bonsai - Hachi-Uye bonsai, the largest

Bonsai Omono

The Omono are between 60 and 120 cm in size, so they are the equivalent in size to many common bushes to see in parks and gardens. They are large enough to be eye-catching, so they are often used to preside over the center of patios or to cross doors or passageways.19 types of bonsai - Bonsai Omono

Bonsai Chumono

With a height of between 30 and 60 cm , Chumono are still difficult to see among novice amateurs, as they are still plants of a certain size and weight. Their price, however, is cheaper than that of the even larger categories, so those who are not intimidated can find them in specialized stores.19 types of bonsai - Chumono Bonsai

Komono bonsai

Also called Kotate Mochi , the size of these bonsai ranges from 15 to 31 cm . These are fairly simple bonsai to maintain, in which a lush forest or fukinagashi style is usually sought.

19 types of bonsai - Bonsai Komono

Shohin Bonsai

They are one of the most common types of bonsai , since their size of between 15 and 25 cm makes them very popular and easy to maintain compared to others of more extreme sizes. The Shohin do not involve much work of larger bonsais and the technical difficulty of the smallest.

19 types of bonsai - Bonsai Shohin

Mame and Shito, the smallest types of bonsai

The Mame are bonsai of up to 15 cm , while the Keshitsubu or Shito are bonsai of less than 5 cm . These are of greater technical difficulty, and usually require sowing the seed in the small pot itself and starting to prune the seedling as soon as it grows.

19 types of bonsai - Mame and Shito, the smallest types of bonsai

Types of bonsai according to their style or shape

According to their shape or style , these are the different types of bonsai :

  • Chokkan
  • Moyogui
  • Shakan
  • Hokidachi
  • Sokan
  • Fukinagashi
  • Kengai
  • Han Kengai
  • Bunjin
  • Ishitsuki
  • Ne Agari
  • Yose ue

Chokkan or formal style

It is the most formal style in the art of bonsai. In the Chokkan type of bonsai , the aim is to create a completely straight trunk with a cylindrical shape, with branches that alternate on each side, with branches deep between them and a distance that shortens as they approach the apex.

19 types of bonsai - Chokkan or formal style

Moyogui or Moyogi

It is also known as informal upright style . A curved trunk is sought in any of the three axes, with alternate branches on both sides that emerge from the curved areas of the trunk. There are also branches deep, and the distance between branches shortens as they go up. The Moyogui or Moyogi is common among beginners.

19 types of bonsai - Moyogui or Moyogi

Shakan or slant style

Similar to the chokkan, with the difference that it is an inclined style , in which a trunk is sought that remains straight but inclined with respect to the ground. The Shakan bonsai style is common in pines and other conifers, like this pine in the picture.

19 types of bonsai - Shakan or slant style


It is also called an umbrella or broom . The Hokidachi bonsai style seeks to form a dense dome like that of an umbrella, uniform and completely covering the branches with its leaves.

19 types of bonsai - Hokidachi

Sokan or sankan

It is called sokan or sankan depending on whether there are two or three trees that make it up. It is actually a single tree, but with an outlet that splits at the base into different trunks, creating the illusion of separate trees .

19 types of bonsai - Sokan or sankan

Fukinagashi or windswept style

It is the so-called windswept style . The style of fukinagashi bonsai emulates the shapes adopted by trees typical of areas with very strong winds, which mark a very inclined or even horizontal growth.

19 types of bonsai - Fukinagashi or windswept style

Kengai and Han Kengai

Similar in some sense to fukinagashi, the kengai or waterfall style represents trees that grow in a downward inclination, with low branches and even without a crown. In the han kengai or semi cascade , the inclination is less marked and they do retain the cup.

19 types of bonsai - Kengai and Han Kengai

Bunjin or bunjingi

It is the literati style , with a bare and twisted trunk. The bunjin bonsai or bunjingi represents the minimalist philosophy of the monks who sought in this style a basic bonsai and with nothing that was not really necessary.19 types of bonsai - Bunjin or bunjingi


The ishitsuki style of bonsai is characterized by having a tree that grows on a rock , leaving its roots in sight and descending through it until it digs into the ground to collect the necessary nutrients.

19 types of bonsai - Ishitsuki

Ne Agari or neagari

In the style of bonsai n e Agari or neagari , the substrate is removed from the base of the bonsai as it grows, so that its roots are gradually exposed. This style is common in pine bonsai and azaleas.

19 types of bonsai - Ne Agari or neagari

Yose Ue or forest style

The forest style implements a certain amount of trees of the same species and odd number, of different thicknesses and sizes, with which it is sought to create the image of a small landscape or forest.

19 types of bonsai - Yose Ue or forest style

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