The Deep South Bonsai List

This is my attempt at a list of acceptable species to be used for bonsai.  It is by no means a complete list of varieties you could use, but something I have tried to put together through all the research I have available to me.  One of the best ways to find species that work in your area is to visit a local nursery.

As I gather more and more information, this list will be updated.  It contains tree and shrub species that have leaves that are small enough for bonsai(or can be reduced) and are acceptable in zone 8.  In zone 8, you mostly have to look for trees or shrubs that can survive the heat and mild winters, instead of worrying about the cold in those zones above zone 8.  I’ve also tried to filter out those that may not have a long life-span or are weak-wooded.  90% of these trees will be fine in zone 7.  Few will be ok in zone 9 because of the extremely short winter not allowing the tree enough dormancy.

Acer Barbatum —  Florida Maple

Acer buergerianum — Trident Maple

Acer campestre —  Hedge or Field Maple

Acer palmatum —  Japanese Maple *

Acer rubrum —  Red Maple

Berberis —  Barberry *

Betula nigra —  River Birch

Buxus —  Boxwood

Camellia — Camellia

Carpinus caroliniana — American Hornbeam

Cedrus atlantica —  Atlas Cedar

Chaenomeles —  Flowering Quince

Chamaecyparis —  Falsecypress (Hinoki, Japanese, Whitecedar)

Cryptomeria japonica —  Japanese Cedar

Euonymus —  Winged Euonymus

Fagus grandifolia —  American beech

Gardenia —  Gardenia

Ginkgo biloba —  Ginkgo

Hibiscus syriacus —  Hibiscus

Ilex —  Holly

Jasminum nudiflorum — Winter Jasmine

Juniperus chinensis — Chinese Juniper, Shimpaku

Juniperus procumbens —  Japanese Garden Juniper

Juniperus virginiana —  Eastern Red Cedar

Ligustrum sinense —  Chinese Privet

Liquidambar styraciflua —  Sweetgum

Lonicera nitida — Boxleaf Honeysuckle

Loropetalum chinense —  Chinese Fringe-flower

Magnolia stellata —  Star Magnolia

Lagerstroemia indica —  Crapemyrtle

Metasequoia glyptostroboides —  Dawn Redwood

Nandina domestica —  Nandina, Heavenly Bamboo

Parthenocissus —  Boston Ivy

Pinus thunbergii —  Japanese Black Pine

Pinus virginiana —  Virginia Pine

Pittosporum —  Pittosporum

Podocarpus —  Podocarpus

Prunus mume —  Japanese Flowering Apricot

Punica granatum — Pomegranate

Pyracantha —  Firethorn

Rhaphiolepis indica —  Indian Hawthorn

Rhododendron indicum —  Satsuki Azalea

Rhododendron obtusum amoenum —  Kurume Azalea

Serissa foetida —  Japanese Boxthorn

Taxodium ascendens —  Pond Cypress

Taxodium distichum —  Bald Cypress

Ulmus alata —  Winged Elm

Ulmus crassifolia —  Cedar Elm

Ulmus parvifolia —  Chinese Elm

Wisteria floribunda —  Japanese Wisteria

Wisteria sinensis —  Chinese Wisteria

Zelkova serrata —  Japanese Elm

* May need to be protected from full sun or extreme heat.

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