This article is designed for the friend or family member of a bonsai lover who has no idea what to buy and doesn’t really understand the bonsai world.
If you want to buy your special bonsai lover a nice gift, I will go though some things that might be ideal. Surprisingly, I don’t recommend you buy them a tree, but I will get into that below.
If you are reading this and already a bonsai lover, well …you know what you like, want and need, so just buy it already, or pass this article on your family member as a subtle hint.
Gift cards seem like the easy cop out, which they are, but they are still probably the best option. You are basically giving full control to your bonsai lover, so it’s impossible to mess up. They are the safe option.
A gift card allows them to actually end up with what they want or need. My guess is you have no idea what supplies they might need, or what tools might need replacing. You probably have no idea what style of trees the like or what their collecting goals are …so it might be easier to just get a gift card and remove yourself from all those decisions.
For all the wives reading this …would you rather your husband went and picked a dress for you, or would you prefer that he give you the credit card and sent you into the shop? A gift card is basically the same as this.
Most bonsai nurseries should offer gift cards, and even normal plant nurseries will too so you should be able to always find something. If you are in any doubt about what to get, you can’t go wrong with this option.
Bonsai pots always make a good gift. They may not be used right away, so don’t take offence to that, but your bonsai lover will find a tree for it at some point.
It can be a little tricky to buy the perfect pot as everyone has different tastes. Pots come in all sorts of shape sizes and colour so unless you know what they like, it’s best to keep it simple not buy anything too crazy looking.
If you are unsure, look at their collection and see if they like a particular shape or colour. It’s common for people to have quite a wide taste, which means no matter what pot you buy, it will be appreciated.
Tools are an amazing gift, but only if you know what to get. The only way you are really going to know if you are getting the right tool is because your bonsai lover has told you, either as they are dropping hints or because you have asked.
There are a lot of tools available in the bonsai world, and you really do not need all of them. I wouldn’t buy any tools unless you know they need a replacement or want something specific. this way you will know your gift will actually be used.
(You can read more about – A Guide To Beginner Bonsai Tools)
You could also look into watering tools, which means attachments for the hose, or a watering can. So long as the water comes out very fine, they will love it.
Wire is another tool that makes a great gift and you can’t really mess it up. We all need it and we equally don’t like buying it, so as a gift it’s perfect. It really not pretty, but it’s a highly functional gift so trust me when I say it will be appreciated. We always need more wire!
I will be honest, I’m not a big fan of book, but I do understand other people are. There are a lot of good ones out there and they will make amazing gifts.
Just do your research and read the reviews and you should end up with a decent one.
Bonsai courses can be taken online or in person. The in person ones will of course depend on where you live and what is available near you.
However, you should speak to your bonsai lover and see if a course would be of interest to them. I wouldn’t just enrol someone without checking first in case they are already paying for one.
The online courses can be pretty good. Some of are a sort of monthly subscription, where the bonsai master is constantly uploading new videos lessons as they develop trees, rather than it being a set course, so you could pay for a subscription for a few months as a gift, which would be pretty cool, but again check they are not a member of one.
I think we are all aware of the general merchandise you can get. It doesn’t matter the hobby, there will be endless T-shirts, mugs and whatever else you can think of branded in slogans and funky designs.
The bonsai world is no different you can get all sorts of bonsai merchandise and if you think your bonsai lover would like something like this, then go for it.
There is also a bonsai Lego set, which is pretty cool. These are a very popular gift and the good thing is they can’t kill it.
I think I’m just projecting here when I say viewing stones make good gifts. These are not really bonsai, but are closely related. A lot of bonsai lovers do like viewing stones, so chances are they will enjoy being gifted one.
The issue is the price. When you see how much they cost and realise it’s a rock on a little bit of wood, you will not be able to justify it.
Most bonsai lovers struggle with that, so as a non-bonsai person you will think it’s insane. However, if you see any nice ones going cheap, they can make a nice gift.
What Not To Get As A Gift
I think if you stick with the above options, you can’t really go wrong. The whole point of getting someone a gift is so they can enjoy it and use what you have given them.
I think the items below can be a little troublesome. In some circumstances they can be fine, but if in doubt avoid these.
Most people would expect this to be the number one gift that you would give a bonsai lover. However, unless you have some knowledge about bonsai, I would avoid this.
You firstly need to pick a good tree, which if you don’t know what you are looking for is very easy to mess up.
You also need to know if this type of tree is something your bonsai lover can actually care for and would actually want in their collection. (Although, I would say they probably do want it).
You also need to look after the tree before you give it to them, which hopefully is not every long, but you don’t want to kill it before you even hand it over to them.
I just think there is too much that can go wrong so it would be better to avoid it. The tree could also die in the care your bonsai lover, which isn’t very nice.
Basically, do you want to give your friend or family member something that that might die? Probably not, so stick to something where this won’t happen.
This is why the gift card idea is better, and then they can pick their own tree. They could also tell you exactly what tree they want, which would then make this the best gift ever.
Seeds can be an okay gift, but you have two problems, the first is that they may not grow, but you can’t control really that. The second issue is that they are super slow and not everyone likes that.
If your bonsai lover likes growing trees from seed, then it’s a great gift, if they don’t, then it’s the worst gift ever.
If someone wants a bonsai, then they want a tree, not seeds they have to grow for 15 years to get the tree, so be aware of that.
When it comes to fertilisers, bonsai lovers are pretty particular with what they use and they won’t just add anything to their trees. This means if you do not know what they use, don’t buy it.
I’ve also talked about some pretty boring gifts in this article and a bag of fertiliser has to be the least glamorous of them all, I would just avoid gifting it.
So there are plenty of gift ideas here, which don’t include buying a tree, so hopefully you can get them something they will love and have a use for.
I really do think a gift card is the best option. You really are just saying “I know you like this stuff, but I don’t understand it, so just get whatever makes you happy”. I think for most of us, we would just prefer that. It’s better than ending up with something we have to pretend to like or will just never use.
Hi, I’m Ian. I discovered bonsai in 2014 and I’ve been hooked ever since.
I created this site to spread all the knowledge I have acquired over the years.
Don’t forget to check out my Youtube videos where I show the progress of my Bonsai