Do Bonsai Lose Their Leaves In The Winter?

I’ve had a few worried people asking me “Do bonsai lose their leaves in the winter?“. This depends on what type of bonsai tree that it is. If it has got leaves and it’s kept outdoors, the chances are that it’s a deciduous type tree or bush and therefore it will lose it’s leaves.

What you must remember is that bonsai are just small trees or shrubs. Because of this, they will act in exactly the same way as other trees around at this time of the year. Most will become dormant and drop their leaves until the weather warms up again in spring. Even needle type trees such as pines or junipers will become dormant and stop growing.

The only difference is that the needles (in most cases) will stay on the tree. There are always exceptions to the rule where the leaves will stay on and the needles will fall off. It’s best to identify your bonsai to find out what it will do this year.

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9 Comments to "Do Bonsai Lose Their Leaves In The Winter?"

  1. martin thomas's Gravatar martin thomas
    February 9, 2009 - 9:10 pm | Permalink

    got a sageretia bonsia,will it lose its leaves in winter

  2. February 10, 2009 - 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Martin, if it is an indoor tree then it won’t be completely bare at any time during the winter. It will slowly lose leaves and regain them all year long.

  3. Graham's Gravatar Graham
    October 20, 2010 - 12:01 am | Permalink

    I am not sure of my bonsai type. It has small flat leaves, that’s about all I can tell you. It has currently lost all of its leaves. They browned and fell as one would expect around autumn/winter time, but I am concerned. If it is not a result of the changing seasons do you know what else it could be?

  4. Jodie's Gravatar Jodie
    September 23, 2011 - 8:44 pm | Permalink

    My bonsai is 2 years old and has an odd habit of growing its leaves in the autumn for winter time. I’ve got no idea how to sort it but it’s definitely a seasonal leafer since it’s an ash. It’s currently at about 15cm tall after a growth spurt this year during leafing.

  5. admin's Gravatar admin
    November 23, 2011 - 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Have you got the tree outside? It’s not a problem, trees have a few growth spurts throughout the growing season. As long as it is healthy it is fine.

  6. December 12, 2011 - 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Hello Do you have to carry on watering a bonsai acer tree indoors when the leaves are still on the tree ,but have all gone brown, it’s a miniture tree in ceramic long pot about 6 inches long.

  7. admin's Gravatar admin
    February 1, 2012 - 12:57 pm | Permalink

    It sounds like it might have died I’m afraid. acers are supposed to be kept outside

  8. Cecilia's Gravatar Cecilia
    October 11, 2012 - 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I Just bought a Bonsai 5 days ago, please help me with some information for the basic care cause i have no idea :S do you know if it will loose it leaves in fall/winter? do indoor bonsai need sunlight too? i hope you can help me with that….Thanks in Advance!

  9. danny mccaskill's Gravatar danny mccaskill
    October 12, 2014 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    I have recently bought a ficus bonsai tree,and the leaves are starting to turn yellow/brown is this normal for this time of year or am i doing something wrong?

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