There are some things that you just shouldn't give as a gift; a bonsai tree is one of them. Sure, they are unique, beautiful and a lot more original than that bouquet of flowers you may have intended on sending but they are just not practical. Bonsai tree care is extensive and although they may be lovely to look at for a while, not everyone is ready for the amount of commitment that they require just to keep them alive.
- Proper Care - There is little chance that the gift-receiver will have any idea how to care for bonsai. This isn't a typical houseplant that you can just water when you remember or a bouquet of flowers that you can place in a vase and leave alone until they wilt. Bonsai trees demand attention for them to flourish, anything less simply will not do.
- Tool Investment - Bonsai tree care requires very specific tools. The gift receiver will not be able to take care of their tree without these tools. This means that either the tree will die or they will need to buy the instruments that are needed to keep it alive and bonsai shaped. If you haven't shopped for bonsai accessories then you have no idea how costly some of them are. These are designed and crafted specifically for bonsai growing enthusiasts to use long-term. Unless you intend on also buying the individual necessary tools, a bonsai is not a good gift idea.
- Commitment - Many people who want to learn how to grow a bonsai are shocked when they learn just how much commitment these trees require. Not everyone is prepared for such a long-term, serious relationship with a tree. Not only is daily cleaning and watering a concern, this doesn't even include pruning and training. Not to mention, you can't just go out of town for a weekend without taking the health of your bonsai into consideration. Someone will need to water and clean it. If the person you are giving the bonsai to likes to get away at a moment's notice, the bonsai will likely suffer.
- Death - If you are unfamiliar with bonsai trees, you may not be aware just how easy it is to kill them. Bonsai growing is an art that requires passion, patience and determination. The people who succeed are those who really devote their heart to the practice. You have to consider how the other person will feel if their bonsai dies. You also need to think about how you are going to feel knowing that you may have caused them upset, especially if they really did put forth an effort to keep the tree alive.
- Dislike - Not everyone enjoys the beauty of nature. For whatever reason, some are just not intrigued by art in its rawest form. This doesn't mean that you have to unfriend them; it simply means that you need to pick a different gift.
Unless someone has specifically asked for a bonsai, already has bonsai trees or you know for a fact that they would enjoy taking care of one, this is not a practical gift. Bonsai tree care requires time, commitment and proper tools to be successful, something not everyone can provide.